Friday, April 29, 2011

DeviantArt Comics

I was going to continue the discussion about characters, but I'm hitting a bit of a wall here, so let's talk about something else instead.

I read a lot of comics from a lot of different places.  Comicsgenesis, Keenspot, webcomicsnation and more often independent websites, but one source I don't cover much is DeviantArt.  In fact, I've only ever reviewed one comic on DeviantArt, The God Machine, and I don't read it anymore (due to various states of hiatus it's been on over the years).  There are comics I do occasionally follow that are on DeviantArt, but I don't review.  Why is that?

I suppose the hardest part is actually linking to the site.  The God Machine is a bit easier, but many comics are buried in subdirectories of the art page.  Not impossible to link, but difficult.  In other cases, the comic is interspersed with the regular artwork, and reading JUST the comic becomes even more difficult.  There are some tricks I've noticed that help this, mostly by including self added "Next" and "Last" buttons to the artist comment section of the individual post.  Sometimes, though, these are broken, or pointing to the wrong place.

Another thing that keeps me from doing more is DeviantArt's "mature" settings, which will only people with accounts on DeviantArt can actually see.  This means I can't generally recommend a comic because they may not have an account and thus can't view it.  That can really hamper the enjoyment of a comic if you have to sign into an account to view it.  I don't think any of the comics I've reviewed (God Machine excepted) has any kind of system that requires that, and in fact I outright avoid paid site because, well, I'm poor.  At least DeviantArt is free and you can go search for all the naked lady pictures you want, because that's art!

Which brings up the final, and biggest problem with having a comic on DeviantArt:  The mods.  I can respect that the site is trying to cover it's legal ass.  And while I don't like it, at least if a comic on another site goes down I can chalk it up to either the artist not paying the bills or getting a rod up their ass over something.  DeviantArt, however, seems to have a rather arbitrary system for pulling art.  They can, have and will, randomly pull artwork on the slightest of whims or the mildest of complaints.  This means a comic, with hundreds of strips, could lose quite a few, deleting them outright, for relatively minor infractions (or none at all, depending).  This third party could potentially ruin a comic with a casual thought, and that drives me bonkers.

They'll claim that it violates the TOS for the site, that they're doing it to protect everyone and all that and I get it, I do.  The problem is that what that violation actually is can vary from person to person.  I'm fine with seeing naked boobies in a comic, others aren't.  I do agree that explicate sex might be a bit much, but others may disagree.  Keep in mind there are dozens of mods on DeviantArt, and you can see where the problems can start.

So I don't review comics from DeviantArt, though I have read more than a few.  I can't trust them to be there tomorrow, let alone long enough for a review of them, or even to finish reading them.  I have one DeviantArt comic I'm following right now, and it's basically a fan comic based on the Legend of Zelda.  It's an interesting take on the Ocarina of Time, and I do enjoy it, but I can't give a review because it may just get taken down with little warning or reason.

If you want to do a comic, put it on Comicsgenesis or something, stay well away from DeviantArt, unless you're posting character sketches and such.  That's just fine, and probably where they should go anyway.

Next time, I hope to get back to the character thing.  I just need to figure out how to word what I'm thinking.  Later Kiddies.

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