Welcome to the weblog of the writers and artists of Ferret Press (a publisher of fine comix) and PANEL (a Columbus, Ohio comic creators collaborative.) Here you will find our musings on comics, art, the creative process, politics, the web, and life.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2003
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 7/30/2003 09:13:00 PM :


McCloud's The Right Number
So I paid my 25 cents and got the first 50-some panels of McCloud's online graphic novella. First, using BitPass was a breeze. I already had a PayPal account, so it was a simple matter to set up an account by depositing some PayPal cash. Paying for McCloud's work was a snap and I was off reading his novella.

It is an interesting story (what we have seen so far; it is part one of three). A man is in a relationship with a woman. Things start to fall apart and in a coincidence (a big one), he accidentally misdials a phone number by one digit and meets a woman who looks extremely similar to his girlfriend, but has a better personality. When they break up, he starts dating this girl. She has a similar looking friend whose phone number is also one digit off. Is it a coincidence, or has our narrator stumbled upon some grand scheme of things?

The blue color scheme is used throughout, except for a few instances to make a point as is a fairly linear panel by panel story. On one or two occassions, animation is used to grab the reader's attention. You advance the story by clicking the next panel of the story, which is imbedded in the current panel. This can be a bit distracting, but causes a neat effect as you fall deeper in the story.

With your 25 cent payment, you can read the story up to 30 times over a six month period, or you can download it to your computer. I am interested in seeing how this micropayment system works out. In the month since McCloud launched, a couple of other cartoonists have implemented the system.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2003
  Posted by Sean McGurr on 7/01/2003 07:37:00 AM :


McCloud, Webcomics, and Micropayments
Scott McCloud is offering his new graphic novel, "The Right Number," only as a Webcomic. While this isn't that much of a surprise, McCloud has been promoting Webcomics for some years, he has implemented a micropayment system. Each chapter of the piece will be 25 cents through a system called BitPass. McCloud has felt that micropayments are the wave of the future. Up until now he didn't think there was a workable system though.

Ultimately, micropayments may be how artists (writers, illustrators, poets, etc.) can get paid while distributing their work to a large audience. It remains to be seen if Web users, who are used to getting most content online for free, will embrace micropayments.

I haven't tried the micropayment yet, nor have I read his story, but I will sometime this week and let you know what I think.

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