Now Available In Paper-Vision: Webcomics

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I’ve done a couple-three blog entries on webcomics, which I managed to roll up into a piece in this week’s issue of Time. Some DVD-extra-type addenda here:

– after my death I would like to be known as the guy who put Penny Arcade in Time magazine

– we actually run a Penny Arcade strip in the print version. Disappointingly, it’s one of their much more staid strips — in fact it’s not a very good example of what makes webcomics different from print comics. But the Venn diagram intersection of “Penny Arcade” and “what can run in Time magazine” is pretty tiny, and we weren’t exactly spoiled for choice.

– I had a really hard time distinguishing Mike’s and Jerry’s voices on the interview tape. Years of close association have given them very similar cadences. So there’s a chance one or two of their quotes might be misattributed. Sorry about that.

– I interviewed Scott Kurtz of PvP for the piece. Besides being a nice guy, and schooling me on various aspects of the webcomics world, he gave me an illuminating quote about why PvP isn’t in newspapers. It was cut from the print piece at the last minute, for space, but I’ll reproduce it here:

I’ll have a newspaper editor who’s a fan get excited, and they’ll sit down and look at it. And the editor will say, yes, I like PvP, it should be in the paper. But we need him to only send strips that are about relationships, and none that really reference sex, and any reference to the word ‘God’ needs to be replaced by ‘man.’ Like if somebody says ‘God, I’m hungry,’ it needs to be replaced by “man, I’m hungry.’

Ah.

– this is the inaugural installment of a regular column I’ll be writing for the print magazine called Technoculture, about the intersections between technology and culture and social issues. I think too much tech journalism is either business-oriented number-crunching or uncritical gadget fetishism. I’m trying to get at the ways our own tools are reshaping us without us really noticing. You know, like all that stuff the cyberpunks picked up on. (Speaking of whom, there are a lot worse ways to kill 8 minutes and 15 seconds than walking around Belgrade with Bruce Sterling.)