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Warren Ellis Curates new Webcomic Site

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the creator-to-curator dept.

63

Warren Ellis has announced on his blog that he has finally been talked into curating a mass webcomics site titled "Rocket Pirates." The submission process is completely open via Warren's gmail account and invites anything as long as it isn't too terribly formal. While Rocket Pirates doesn't pay authors for submissions the site is apparently going to allow each author to post their own advertising via "Google Ads, Amazon Associates ads, ads for their own products, rate cards for prostitution services or any other damn thing on their comic's Rocket Pirates page."

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63 comments

Wowzers, slow news day (0, Troll)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856029)

While I usually look down at "how did this get posted?" comments, this time I gotta stop.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! How the hell did this get posted? What standards are being excercised to push this story to the front page? Slashdot is the grand-pappy of the tech/nerd webblogs, but some days, it's kinda like listening to grand pappy talk about the amazing things he did in "the war" while trying to avoid looking at the slowly spreading wetspot on the front of his stained sweat pants.

If this is news for nerds that matters, then I've got the next story: "Title: Chairboy is freakin' cool" with a summary of "Three out of four doctors prefer Chairboy's presence to that of their dentist. Visit his website to see all the cool things he does, ps, he's inviting submissions to his neat new Star Trek Slash-zine where the cast members are all furries and the author is the main character".

Re:Wowzers, slow news day (0, Troll)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856799)

This post is not a troll. You may not like his post, but that is irrelevant.

Metamoderators: do your thing.

And the goal is ... (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856038)

...what?

No, seriously, what's the point of doing this? The comics will be hosted on this site; check. But the arrangement is non-exclusive, which means the creators are still free to host them on their own sites, also -- which presumably they would have done anyway.

Wouldn't it be much easier to create a kind of "Drudge Report" of Web comics, that aggregates links to new episodes as they appear? Seems like just about anybody could do that with some blogging software.

I suspect that it's about bandwidth. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856051)

Bandwidth isn't cheap if you become popular.

Providing a site that is supported via Google ads and such would save those artists from having to come up with the bandwidth cash themselves.

Re:And the goal is ... (5, Insightful)

zepher-109 (650844) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856055)

The point is that your comic is hosted on a website endorced by Warren Ellis, publishing companies will look in there a lot quicker for new talent then on Keenspace or wherever.

Re:And the goal is ... (1)

tdvaughan (582870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856231)

They might do, at first. But separating the wheat from the chaff is going to be a full-time job, and you'll only do well if your work is good enough in the first place. At which point you've got just as much chance as you do by hosting it yourself.

Re:And the goal is ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856150)

The point is editorial selection. It's the same reason that reading Slashdot once made sense - out of all the thousands of things that happen in a day, only some of them are interesting, and those are supposed to be the ones that end up on Slashdot. Similarly, there are roughly 10,000 Web comics in existence today, and roughly 99% of them suck. If Ellis picks and chooses just the ones that he likes, then the result will maybe only be 90% suck... and that would definitely be worth reading.

I have a Web comic of my own, by the way - it's called Bonobo Conspiracy [sooke.bc.ca] . But most Slashdot readers today probably won't get the jokes.

Re:And the goal is ... (1)

mark_hill97 (897586) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856797)

Wouldn't it be much easier to create a kind of "Drudge Report" of Web comics, that aggregates links to new episodes as they appear? Seems like just about anybody could do that with some blogging software.

Actually that already exists on many sites, I wont advertize any of them here but you can google for web comics lists and find dozens.

Re:And the goal is ... (1)

mike_sucks (55259) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857321)

You keep Warren Ellis happy.

You really _don't_ want to see Warren Ellis unhappy. Bad things will happen.

Very bad things.

Re:And the goal is ... (1)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858415)

uh, yeah, like webcomics.com [webcomics.com] ? They provide updates webcomics and let you create your own "comics page"

I'm worried if they are allowed to put ads all over the place, the could presumably put malicious stuff there too. It's really just a big free webhost, because, if it's so massive, anyone can sign up and post anything?

Warren is the wrst comics writer I have read (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856041)

from his ridicilous bombastic look-how cool-I-am run on hellblazer to the outrageously stupid oh-cyberpunk-sells-so-let's-try-something simular Transmepolitan Warren is the worst writer ever to find his way into the comic scene. No wonder DC and American comics in general sux SO much

Re:Anonymous Coward is the worst poster I've read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856172)

From his ridiculous bombastic look-how cool-I-am run to the outrageously stupid Oh-first-post-so-let's-try-something-similar Slashdot replies, Anonymous is the worst writer ever to find his way into the internet community. No wonder Slashdot in general sucks so much.

Re:Warren is the wrst comics writer I have read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856755)

warren ellis is english, you dumb twat

yeah but he mostly writes for DC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15858794)

and we ALL know how much quality material DC puts out

Re:yeah but he mostly writes for DC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15863326)

vertigo kicks ass and you are still a dumb twat

Great way to break into the business (2, Interesting)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856046)

This will be great for artists who have the talent, but really need exposure. One of the most powerful things about the WWW has been the collective filtering of content on places like Slashdot, YouTube, and Digg. Hopefully this site will help overcome the SNR of the WWW - I don't read web comics because almost all of those that I've come upon just didn't seem funny, at least not to me. Maybe with the enhanced variety of many sources, this pressing problem can be solved!

Re:Great way to break into the business (1)

y5 (993724) | more than 7 years ago | (#15859733)

This will be great for artists who have the talent, but really need exposure.

My wife has been working on her online semi-weekly comic strip for over a year now. Her drawing/photoshop skills have come a long way since she started. Even though her paintings and drawings have been featured in local (Columbus, OH) galleries, it's been a fight to gain an audience for her comic larger than family and friends.

Perhaps this is because RocketFuel follows her real life very closely, down to the clothes she wears and conversations she overhears/has. But I can't help but think her personal stories aren't so uncommon.

Check out RocketFuel [spacedog.us] if you have a chance. It's refreshing to me, in that it somehow pulls off being child-like, without being childish.

Kudos to Mr. Ellis. He's doing good work.

web 2.0... check (0, Troll)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856054)

"Rocket Pirates." The submission process is completely open via Warren's gmail account and invites anything as long as it isn't too terribly formal. While Rocket Pirates doesn't pay authors for submissions

hmmm.... I think I've seen this business model somewhere before...

And his website, it's atrocious! (2, Funny)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858774)

In that he must have every blog-related doo-dad invented since 1998 all crammed up in the sidebar. From last.fm, to an incoming links feed, to a myspace link.
This link circle-jerk digirati bullshit has to be stopped. He's fucking farming out his content creation with this RocketPower thing which is borderline ironic.

*sigh*

Ads Ads Ads (2, Insightful)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856058)

With your own ads for stuff, and presumably his sponsors' ads, won't that make the website very ad-ridden? Still an interesting business model, though...

Who? (3, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856061)

Sooo... Who is Warren Ellis and why should I bow at his comic-hosting feet?

Seriously, wtf?

Re:Who? (3, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856133)

C'mon - I had no idea who he was either, but just selecting "warren ellis", context clicking and choosing a google search gave me his homepage [warrenellis.com] and his wikipedia entry. [wikipedia.org]

While /. submissions could occasionally use a little more background, its not that hard to find out wtf the article's talking about (usually in less time than a post asking for said info).

He's an influential british comics writer - who's biggest work was transmetropolitan for DC's vertigo comics line.

Re:Who? (2, Insightful)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856240)

Ya, but at the same time, it really wouldn't have hurt the submitter to simple state: "Warren Ellis, influential British comic book author, has announced...". Yes, I'm lazy, and I want the work to be done for me damnit! But still, it's just good article writing.

Re:Who? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856464)

Yes, I realize that. I guess I should have been more transparent about my distaste for them assuming the entire world knew and worshipped him.

Re:Who? (1)

70Bang (805280) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856665)


Challenge: Name that tune.

Rewrite the original post, even with the newfound knowledge.

I'm certain someone will mod you some karma in compensation if you provide an excellent example.

Tip: Take the time to write, preview, edit, spell check, grammar & punctuation check[1], edit, etc.

Lots of people write something, scan it for what they think might be embarrassing[1], and submit it. It's not a race to post first.

Invest a few minutes and show us your best.

_____________________________________________
[1] see a message just a couple higher than this one: "who's" as possessive. (versus "whose") If everyone exploded apparent possessive pronoun contractions, "they'd" (they would) see "it's" (it is) not a tough thing to do. Write as well as you would on your resume, even if you don't proofread.

For those attempting to apply the label "Grammar Nazi", that's (that is) usually done by a "Grammar Idiot".

Re:Who? (2, Funny)

jrockway (229604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856606)

> its [sic] not that hard to find out wtf the article's talking about

This reminds me of the old saying: Teach a man to research slashdot stories; he's a subscriber for one day. Give the man an answer in the comments, and he's a subscriber for life :)

Re:Who? (1)

berj (754323) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856139)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Ellis [wikipedia.org]
http://www.warrenellis.com/ [warrenellis.com]

Finding these was less work than posting here.

Re:Who? (1)

Wabbit Wabbit (828630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857650)

That's because CdrTaco hasn't rewritten the comment entry system yet.

Re:Who? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864448)

I suspect he asked partially for the benefit of others. He probably decided not to volunteer the information to chastise the author lightly.

His name is a guarantee of quality (1)

Hitto (913085) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856069)

After him doing "Transmetropolitan", "Authority", and various other great things, I'm inclined to check it out, even though I hate the amateur connotation most webcomics bear.
Good show for helping out indie artists! I love this guy ^^

I remember finding Warren Had an Account on imeem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856109)

When I found Warren Ellis had an account on imeem.com [imeem.com] that was the point I realised that it was a cool place to be after all ;-)

It's funny how certain people can lend credibility to communities.

Comics are for kids (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856132)

Just cos they shows sum titties doesn't mean that they's written fo anyone smarter than kiddies.

Re:Comics are for kids (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856232)

Also, books, poems, art, movies and television. Ha-yuck-uck.

Re:Comics are for kids (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856268)

No...those are for adults. If you can't tell the difference between comics and literature, then maybe you should sign up for a few remedial classes at your local community college. (PROTIP: just because a comic calls itself 'literature' doesn't make it so!)

Re:Comics are for kids (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863047)

Paul Graham: "As usual the popular image is several decades behind reality. Now the misunderstood artist is not a chain-smoking drunk who pours his soul into big, messy canvases that philistines see and say "that's not art" because it isn't a picture of anything. The philistines have now been trained that anything hung on a wall is art. Now the misunderstood artist is a coffee-drinking vegan cartoonist whose work they see and say "that's not art" because it looks like stuff they've seen in the Sunday paper."

Re:Comics are for kids (1)

darvs (135096) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857271)

Yes, because the medium is so much more important than the content...

Re:Comics are for kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15857535)

Drop your pretentious crap, more often than not the content is 'zomg he's fucking an armadillo' or 'zomg titties!'. Only in comics is the 'adults only' material more purile than the stuff marketed to kiddies.

Re:Comics are for kids (1)

darvs (135096) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857797)

My comment was about the title ("Comics are for kids") and not about the sex and nudity. What I meant was that it's not because it is a comic that it absolutely has to be for kids.

But to answer what you said, I'd say comics that are not for kids do not absolutely have to contain sex and nudity either. Comics are just a different way to tell a story, any story.

Just as there are kids movies and X-Rated movies, there are lots of movies that do not fall in these extremes. There is no reason comics cannot have the same range and variety.

Re:Comics are for kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15857871)

There's no reason tv cannot have the same range and variety, either.
But it doesn't.
And neither do comics.

Re:Comics are for kids (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#15859990)

There's no reason tv cannot have the same range and variety, either.
But it doesn't.
And neither do comics.


But it does. And so do comics.

Re:Comics are for kids (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863028)

You [scifi.com] , my friend, fail [gpf-comics.com] .

A whole lot of comics? (1)

supersysscvi (984792) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856134)

I think it's a neat idea. Hosting a website with a bunch of comics will be might give it a lot of hits. I'm hoping that this comes out good. Especially with funny comics.

Curator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856142)

These days, there is a better model: Why not let the community decide what is most valuable in the collection? Why not let the community decide what is "in" and what is "out"? Why not let anyone publish, and leave out the self-elected controlling individual. Then the community can decide what is best for itself.

Maybe, now that I'm thinking about this: it's cost. Heck, if anyone could post content to MY web services, I'd likely be overwhelmed by the storage and bandwidth costs. Oh oh... I should get back to work.

Re:Curator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856182)

Couple of problems with that.

One, if "the community" has the ultimate power of choice, what's to stop authors from pandering to them? Remember that "the community" is not Slashdot. MySpace and AOL have the resident hipsters of Slashdot outnumbered by a hundred to one.

Two, many of our most important, influential, and enduring works received little or no recognition when they were first released. The Long Tail phenomenon actually isn't something the BoingBoing bloggers invented last week, you know. Everybody from Dickens to Joyce to Fitzgerald to Orwell owes their success to it. Moving to newer examples of interesting work, what kind of reception did Blade Runner or Fight Club receive from the masses when they were first released? Opinion leaders like Ellis are the ones who make the Long Tail possible.

The role of the publisher may be dead, and the role of the editor may be up for debate, but the role of the gatekeeper is, if anything, more important than ever. If, that is, you don't want your entertainment choices limited to works engineered for consumption by MySpace troglodytes.

I just got my (0, Offtopic)

Data Link Layer (743774) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856209)

Edison hate future shirt that I ordered 3 months ago. If you live in Canada and want one of his shirts expect to wait that long.

Edison hate? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856339)

"Edison hate future shirt that I ordered 3 months ago"

Edison, do you often refer to yourself in the first person and third person within the same sentence? So sorry about the future shirt!

http://www.twofo.co.uk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856212)

dchub://hub.twofo.co.uk:4144

spam it to death bitches!

Just what we need! (3, Funny)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856219)

I've all but lost hope for the Internet but now my faith has been renewed! Yes, provide any cartoonist with hosting! I enjoy looking at badly written, unfunny, and largely idiotic cartoons! While you're at it, can you please duplicate LiveJournal? I am seriously lacking in my daily need to read higschool Emo-kid drama. A duplicate of MySpace would protect my prowling habits when MySpace.com goes down. Help me, Warren Ellis, you're my only hope.

In all seriousness, though, it seems like a duplication of existing services with a fancy name attached to it. I would have rather seen him do something for the web comic community by aggregating existing comics and posting reviews and commentaries on them blog-style.

Re:Just what we need! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856328)

Where do you get the idea that this is providing hosting space to just anyone?

Re:Just what we need! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856421)

Hope and faith in the internet? You'll have a better time of it if you place your hope and faith with people; yourself and, judiciously, others.

Re:Just what we need! (1)

A Brand of Fire (640320) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856794)

If I've read it correctly, Warren Ellis is providing hosting services for webcomic writer/artists for free and allowing them to post their own Google AdSense links so they can collect on ad revenue. That's something a lot of 'free' hosts don't allow, as they're the ones that collect on the ad revenue to support your hosting fees. While I don't think the host itself is precluded from its own ad revenue, this should be a boon to potential digital indie comic creators; free hosting, your own ad revenue, and increased visibility within the community.

Considering the fact that my best friend and I are about to bring our own sci-fi action drama comic (not all webcomics are comedic in nature) to fruition, the idea behind this seems like something I ought to look into. We don't have the money for hosting at the moment; though I do run a FreeBSD-based web server off my cable line, 20KiB upstream isn't much to write home about and isn't very practical for a large viewership when one takes into account the bandwidth required for just the comic page (8.5x11@72dpi).

While I'm hopeful, I think it would be best to watch with vested interest, see what happens.

Re:Just what we need! (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857380)

As the term "curator" implies, and the article pretty clearly says, this is not going to "provide any cartoonist with hosting." It's going to provide cartoonists who Warren Ellis thinks are worth promoting, with hosting. That a big name in paper comics like Ellis is getting involved in webcomics is, perhaps, somewhat interesting; and Ellis has very good taste and a sharp eye for coming trends (as you can see on his blog [warrenellis.com] ), so his webcomic picks will probably be of a fairly high standard.

Jesus fuck! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856244)

Will you fucking idiots get out of your homes every now and again? I'm so fucking sick of comic book shit being put on the shoulders of the technically ept. I'm sick of this whole geek thing being mixed with technology. GET A FUCKING LIFE!

Re:Jesus fuck! (1)

darvs (135096) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857255)

So, what you want is a clear separation between "News for Nerds" and "Stuff that matters", yes?

Re:Jesus fuck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15857296)

I want for dick sucking comic book fags to get out of their mothers basement and learn there is more to life than this shit. That goes for you too asshole.

You're right (1)

darvs (135096) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857401)

You're right, I am a bit of a recluse. I should probably get out more and meet fascinating people such as yourself.

Re:You're right (1)

Misfit Taz (962802) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858522)

>> You're right, I am a bit of a recluse. I should probably get out more and meet fascinating people such as yourself.

But these comix aint gonna read themselves.

mod 04 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856476)

GRAA WANTS YOU!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856524)

Are you Gay?
Are you a republican?
Are you tired of the Apple Macintosh being associated with gay liberals?

If you answered yes to these questions the GRAA (GAY REPUBLICAN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) wants to hear from you.

--
(c)2006 DCI on behalf of the republican party

Who is this guy? (2, Interesting)

Gunfighter (1944) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857489)

I think a subscriptionless comic site is a great idea. I hope he gets the content to get it kicked off.

While I understand that some Slashdot nerds like comics, I'm wondering a) who this guy is, and b) how many /. readers actually know who he is. So the question remains... who is Warren Ellis and why does he rate to be on the front page of /.?

Re:Who is this guy? (1)

kylner (639495) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858632)

Warren Ellis [wikipedia.org] is one of the premier writers in today's comic book scene. He's worked for pretty much every major comic book publisher and in the comic book world his name carries a lot of weight.

Re:Who is this guy? (2, Interesting)

aiwha (993742) | more than 7 years ago | (#15859971)

Warren Ellis wrote Transmetropolitan, which is considered by many to be a postcyberpunk classic. He is on the front of slashdot page for the same reason that you occasionally see the names William Gibson and Neal Stephenson on the front page of slashdot.

It's All About The Content (1)

Doomedsnowball (921841) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857810)

Jargon, Hype, Trends, whatever. It's all about the content. Speculation died with Red Herring. Stop trying to reinflate the internet bubble. It's either consumer-friendly attractive content that will drive advertising, or it won't. The attractiveness (economically) of the internet is that you can ride the marginalia of society and still make a profit. Sometimes it is all about the niche market strategy.
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