This month’s results are evocative of trends at ComicBookBin and elsewhere on the Web. For years, ComicBookBin was a generalist comic news and review portal. We attempted to cover everything. As you would have it with jacks-of-all-trades, we did not do everything perfectly although we covered much ground. Then, social media made the recruitment of new writers to replace the older ones who come and go more difficult. Why contribute to a larger site like ComicBookBin when you can have your own blog and promote it through social media? Are they really benefits to working with a team of dedicated writers and create a strong pool of original contents?
The Web today, asks for specialization. I have been trying to do that by turning around ComicBookBin into a mobile-friendly comic news portal since 2010. Before that, I was convinced that the traditional comic news portal had nothing but five more years of life before it would crumble to changes in how people consume news and comics online. My mobile gamble paid off for a while, but not being able to keep up with the technological changes and updates necessary to compete, neither the resources nor the time, the strong mobile core of the Bin, through apps and a strong mobile-friendly site just gathered dust.
Mainly, on the app side, users of our ComicBookBin apps asked for one thing. They wanted a comic reader within the app. Our users wanted to read comics through ComicBookBin. But ComicBookBin was a news and review site, not a Web or digital comic portal. The first thing that people think about when it comes to comic apps is to read comics. If comic news and review portals have one flaw, this is the one. Strangely enough, users do not expect to watch movie trailers on the Internet Movie Database or Rotten Tomatoes, although they can to some extent.
But comic do not have such luxury. Sites like Comic Book Resources do well because they have such a breadth of news contents. They also have videos. How could a site like ComicBookBin ever compete? How could we stay relevant? Enter 2013 when a massive flood in the city of Calgary destroyed all of my 30 years comic collection. I also lost all of my animation drawings. Over night, I had nothing to show in my personal portfolio. In 2014, I stumbled upon the idea of Johnny Bullet. It was not a well thought out concept. But for since 2008, I had tried to do a Web comic called The German Cousin. I could not. I was stuck and fearful.
The German Cousin is a project I storyboarded in 1994. I never drew the clean version and it is still unfinished to this day. With Johnny Bullet, I had none of the mental blocks. I do not know why. I will need a psychologist to figure out why. The first few weeks and months of drawing Johnny Bullet were tough. I was a talker. I had the idea but I could not execute and get it done. Look at the gap between the first four pages. Then I got into the groove. It is exactly like training at the gym. Once you start and your body adjusts, it becomes part of your routine. Any interruption, like the upcoming holidays can hurt.
Starting with Johnny Bullet #5, I finally organized and started producing the pages almost every week. I anticipate delays and fill them with character models and sketches. I skip a posting once in a while or am a few days late, like last week’s Johnny Bullet #52. But I am still on schedule and producing every week. I am a doctoral student. It is normal for me to be late of a few pages of Johnny Bullet when conferences, grading, research, and other related activities are also part of my life.
But through Johnny Bullet, which was part of a series of new Web comics meant for ComicBookBin, we have differentiated the Bin. Leroy Douresseau’s Grumble and Constant by Cody Stewart and Rafael Desquitado are the original comics presented at the Bin. We do not have apps to display our work, but these comics are easily accessible to anyone. This week, I launched a mobile version of Johnny Bullet to test vertical comics.
I told the writers and editors at the Bin a few weeks ago that the site has now become Johnny Bullet’s site. I’m not kidding. More than any other month, we can see a specialization in what appeals to readers and visitors of ComicBookBin. They come here for our most popular articles, some that are close to 10 years-old. And then, they come for Johnny Bullet and to some extent Constant, which is often very close to the top ten but not quite there yet. I expect this to change soon though. Cody and Rafael have been steady with their work. They just need to promote their work more and start a Kickstarter campaign!
Speaking of Kickstarter, have you heard the Johnny Bullet ads in ComiXTribe’s Tyler James’s podcast? Tyler has created ComixLaunch, a weekly podcast on how independent comics creators should plan and run their Kickstarter campaign. If you are a comic creator thinking of self-publishing, you must visit Tyler James’s ComixLaunch. And while you are there, pay attention to the Johnny Bullet ads I have placed in episode 19, 21 and more on the way.
Yes, ComicBookBin is becoming Johnny Bullet’s site. At first, I was uncomfortable with this. But why should I be? Since 2002, ComicBookBin has supported many comic book projects. We have covered thousands of comics. The comic book industry has not been very kind in return. But it does not matter. The comic industry cares more about people who create comics, than those who report on them or buy them. I think readers are the most important part of comics, but at the same time, why should I continue to stay on the sidelines and report on people’s work, instead of focusing on mine?
So this month’s results show what happens when I focus on my own work and how that can change a site’s focus. ComicBookBin is now more than a generic comic news and review site. It is also Johnny Bullet’s home.
10-Johnny Bullet #48 (French)
French is my first language and important to me. I cannot make ComicBookBin into a bilingual site or one that adequately covers French-language comics. But I can make sure that Johnny Bullet is available for French readers adequately. I will not apologizing for the confusion of having Johnny Bullet presented in both French and English here. The man who creates Johnny Bullet is a francophone.
Yaoi is popular and has been an emerging part of the comic world for years now. Yaoi has a strong home at ComicBookBin and part of the renewal of comic-reading audiences. Yaoi are more inclusive of queer readers.
8-Johnny Bullet #48 (English)
In this episode, we followed Johnny’s life in jail. Pay attention to this page. It has a lot of foreshadowing about upcoming plotlines!
7-Johnny Bullet #47
I like this page because we see Maggie Leduc’s plotting something related to Johnny Bullet. Notice how I put emphasis on certain elements in every 22-page installments of Johnny Bullet. Although a Web comic, I do plan the comic as if it was a 22 page comic. In the first “issue” I explored Johnny’s life and set up the intrigue. In the second “issue” starting with page 23, I focused on drag racing with over ten pages of pure racing. In the third “issue” starting at page 45, I started focusing on women in Johnny’s life. Johnny Bullet #47 and subsequent pages show that women are a big part of Johnny’s life! Having drawn all the comics up to Johnny Bullet #55, in anticipation of the Christmas break (and disruption), I can tell you that Maggie plays an important roles in the current storyline. I enjoy the character.
I drew this illustration to celebrate the one year of Johnny Bullet being at ComicBookBin. I am still surprised that this black and white page was so popular. Notice the direction of Johnny’s gaze and how he seats. It reveals a lot about the character!
This page is the unofficial hope page of ComicBookBin it seems. Never as popular as the home page, which I do not include in results since it is, always the most visited page, the comics is a directory listing of everything related to comics. Other main section pages are Movies, Games, and Action figures. This page is relevant when looking for material that is no longer in the home page.
4-Top Ten Comics of the 1990s
I think most readers had their comic reading fo9rmative years in the 1990s. That decade changed comics, nearly broke the industry, and is the source of much controversy. But it is also the decade that gave rise to different comics, and major series that DC and Marvel Comics did not publish.
3-Yaoi – The Future of Gay Comics?
ComicBookBin has reviewed and covered yaoi as far back as 2006. But yaoi is so huge and there is so much of it coming from non-Japanese creators. Here is something controversial. Most of the yaoi available in Web comic is bad. It does not feel sincere and just a way for new creators to latch on instant success through a genre that brings an automatic following. Readers do not challenge this assumption and continue to support bad yaoi indiscriminately. Although most yaoi is cheap porn and poorly crafted, there is good material out there. Perhaps this is why people visit this page so often. They want us to help them find good yaoi.
Fan films continue to be popular although they have questionable legal statuses. When updating this section, I will try to features original works. Fan films also include short independent movies about original properties, like The Flying Man.
1-Why Daredevil is Not on Blu-Ray?
Even with Jessica Jones being the newer Marvel series on Netflix, viewers are still looking for the DVD/Blu-Ray version of Daredevil. Based on the numbers at the Bin, I think that Jessica Jones’ viewership is probably significantly smaller than Daredevil’s. Let us hope that Marvel releases Daredevil on DVD and Blu-Ray soon. People have been waiting for that for months.