I'm going to start this rant with a couple of caveats. First of all, I simply adore Kris Straub
. I won't lie about that. He is not unlike a god to me. Also, I like--like
. I love--loved
. That said...
I still haven't gotten out of the habit of visiting CxN
on a daily basis. It's still in my bookmarks, filed under Webcomics: daily
, and I'm not likely to remove it soon. It's a constant reminder to me that I've been reading that excellent comic for close to 5 years now, and now that it's gone, it's left a noticeable hole in my webcomic psyche. My fragile
webcomic psyche, I should note.
you say to me. "We have Starslip Crisis now! We still have Kris Straub in our midsts! We still have reason to love him!"
I reply. "Not love; like."
is a good webcomic, it honestly is. It has Straub's excellent sense of comedic pacing, it has original humor, and it even has a fantastic Straub-crafted scifi universe in which to exist. I like
it. But I loved CxN
. And that's probably where my frustration comes from when I see something as appalling as this
It's the first Starslip Crisis
collection. Of the first four months
comics, with extras. It's 142 pages, but don't let that fool you. It's easy to fill 142 pages with only four months worth of comics when you put one comic per page
Now, I know part of the reason Straub is publishing a collection of SC
's first four months already
has to be because it's so god-damned easy
. Utilizing a slick service like Lulu
means digital, on-demand publishing. No backstock, no restock--no stock of any kind. Someone orders something, they print and ship it. Click, bang, boom, done. It's the embodiment of that Xerox commercial where the guy stands up in the middle of a college writing class and talks about digital, on-demand publishing, how there's no backstock, no restock--no stock of any kind, someone orders something, they print and ship it, etc., etc. It's simple, cheap, easy, and available. I can understand the desire
to do it.
But until this point in time, a webcartoonist making x
amount of his/her archives available in tangible book form has historically been a momentous occasion. Ordinarily it would be a year
of comics, with commentary and extra art, and miscellaneous other assorted goodies. It wasn't merchandise
; it was an event
. It was a moment in time where you knew that this particular webcomic you have invested your time and interest in was beginning to really make it
. You rejoiced in the event, and you threw down your dollars for a piece of the history. That was how it was
To see this now, this once historic event now feels a bit cheapened. The significance is lessened. It's now just another piece of merchandise.
The most difficult thing about this is that I should actually be behind this effort. This is the kind of thing that I would ordinarily get behind. I would rally around any effort that included: A) individual's rights/powers, B) technology, C) webcomics --and this effort includes all three of those things
. So, I should be proclaiming how fantastic this is, how utterly great and marvelous for the future of webcomics this is.
But all I can do is look at it and say "I don't even think I am going to want this book after one year
, why would I want it after the comic just started
?" I can then immediately follow that question with this inquiry: "How come we are offered a collection for SC
after just four months
, and after 5 years of CxN
haven't seen a collection there?" That's probably a question I should be asking Straub directly.
Obviously, I'm not the target audience for this collection, which is disappointing, because I should
be. All readers of a certain webcomic should--by default--be the target audience of any
merchandise offered by the creator of said webcomic. So why isn't a collection of SC
's first four months appealing to me?
Is it appealing to you?