Saturday, October 04, 2008

The EBD hype Machine Challenge

So, I've started up a Myspace page ( Add me, Bitches!) and Aeron and I were trading some notes thereabouts; Why not an Eaten By Ducks myspace page? It definitely can't hurt.
I'm about halfway done with changing up the look of EBD proper; I'm going to shrink the avatars a little bit, embed links in the images, widen the template, and even add some pages- other urls- to EBD.
But here's the thing- We need a kind of coherent set of images that binds it all together. We need :

1. An avatar

2. Either a banner that isn't done in one of our signature styles, or a cool font, or really great hand-drawn lettering.

3. Some kind of background image that doesn't crowd the page. It would have to be sort of muted, basically, or it will look like a jumble, competing with our posts. We don't "need" this, but I think it could be cool.

I've got a few things up my sleeve regarding the content of EBD. One thing I plan on doing is soliciting for interviews with artists and cartoonists and what have yous that I plan on posting here. I kind of started off with that idea way back when. It's something I've always been interested in.

My hope is that EBD will kind of get to the next level, so to speak. Sean is certainly helping on that front with the in-the-works EBD zine.
( How cool will that be to have the cover image linked-to on the sidebar? )
I don't want to sound like I don't like EBD how it is.We have great, great cartoonists and artists posting here right now and I think lots of people would be into reading this blog if they only knew it existed, or if we offered some more reader-friendly content.I just think it can be more than what it is right now. It can be what's going on here now, squared.

So, my worry is that this change will be seen as sort of presumptuous on my part. It's tricky, trying to figure out what all of you are going to like,or how to negotiate any potential conflict. After all, none of us "owns" Eaten By Ducks, but we all sort of do. But I try to keep in mind that EBD is not, as far as I know, the sole internet outlet for any of us. We all do personal blogs ,it seems.
So EBD should be about something a little different. It's first and foremost for us to communicate with one another. We do that well. But we can do that on our aforementioned blogs. It needs to be about something a little more.
For some, it might be about hyping their own projects, for others, a way to participate in creating media, for others still it will remain a casual way of getting and giving feedback to like minded friends and nothing more. all of those are good motives, in my opinion, as long as it's done with the idea in mind that you're contributing to a larger organ.
Some of us are published artists, some not. But I think the common denominator is that we would all like to be, wether it's commercial work, comics or self-published books and zines. The potential for posting content to that end hasn't really been met by us, I don't think. I mentioned earlier that I plan on adding new pages to EBD; I hope to create one that features links to all of our published work, pdf zines, actual zines- all that stuff.

SO: Let me know what you think about all these changes.
If it seems like very few are interested enough to participate in the discussion, maybe I'll rethink all of it and start up something new.Maybe this just isn't the place to do all this.
If you can't actively participate in the discussion, that's okay- keep doing what you're doing- but If you really don't want any of these changes to occur, make your voice heard.If you have ideas about better ways to change it, let's talk about it.
Also, I realize this might seem even more presumptuous on my part, but there are a few members who simply do not post here anymore. I'm going to take down their links for the time being.If they want to start up again, I'll be more than happy to welcome them back, but based on their participation over the last six months or so, I think they won't even notice ( what a drag!)
Now, let's hit the comments board .


Anonymous said...

interviews with artists and cartoonists is good.


Mr. Sean said...

I got a good interview with my pal Dennis Dread... i'll put that up, been thinking about it anyhow. As far as the changes go, Open up the guns & fire away.

zeke said...

All the changes sound very exciting and I do think they'll make an already buzzing blog even more enjoyable.
A big thanks to you and Sean for putting the time and energy into dragging us lazy arse cartoonists to the next step!

Aeron said...

Here here!

Yeah I'm on the same page with you regarding any and all changes you have in mind, Uland.

ULAND said...

For the record, I always want to keep EBD an underground, zine-like environment.So please, everyone, keep posting random drawings and little rants and videos and all that.

ULAND said...

The larger worry for me is getting the visuals right. It's hard because- though we're all roughly in the same artistic universe- our tastes don't always jibe.That's a good thing, but when it comes down to making avatars and logos and all that, i don't want to draw things that others are going to dislike, and I'm not so good at drawing stuff that isn't directly up my alley.
If any of you wants to step up and submit some images, that'd be great.
I will take it on myself if no one wants to, however.

Human Mollusk said...

Change we need... change we can believe in!

Human Mollusk said...

50 cents: What might work is to go for a certain color scheme with the banners and logo and so on, so everyone would still keep their own drawing style, only adjust it to make it fit the colors we agreed on.

MD Encolpius said...

I for the record say yes

Jeffrey Meyer said...

All sounds good to me, Uland.

I especially like the idea of interviews -- that sort of thing will not only benefit us as artists (questions about craft, etc.) but also likely draw a lot of traffic to the site. There are a few cartoonists I've been wanting to interview... but figured it would be a waste of my time if the interviews couldn't be published in say, TCJ or wherever. I'm not saying I can promise to arrange or follow through with any of these interviews, but knowing I had a guaranteed outlet would make it more likely.

As for the look of the blog -- your concern about a cohesive approach is very valid, especially with such a diverse group of styles here. But I think (hope?) we're all pretty accommodating of each others' work, even if it isn't always right up our alley. I think FuFu's suggestion of a color scheme might work... but I'm no web-designer, so...

Any way, I would love to draw a title logo or banner. I can work up a variety of sketches in various styles and submit them to you Uland, or to the group as a whole, for approval. I'm not so much interested in drawing a complete illustration, just text (I really like doing diplay lettering). Were you still interested in a rotating series of banners, or...?

This all sounds pretty exciting.

ULAND said...

Yes, Jeffrey, by all means post some banners. I thought the avatar could be something with the letters 'EBD" and not so much more.

ULAND said...

Oh, yeah, if any of you guys wants to offer up a color scheme, let's do it.
Mine would probably be something close to my avatar, maybe with white or light grey as a third color..

Paleo said...

Yeah, great job Uland keeping this thing moving, and double yeah, i like the idea of this blog moving forward.

Can the rotating banners be done? If they can i’ll sure draw one

Avatar wise i’ll left it to Jeffrey, i’m sure he’ll do a cool lettering job.

Also i want to mention that Jeffrey’s posts and lately Aeron’s added a lot of both aestethic & entertainment value to the blog.

I’ll try and do the odd “Hispanic point of View” post, try to showcase stuff that is, somehow obscure to you guys, though i’m a lousy writer, so don’t expect anything more than dazzling scanning.

Also, conflating the EBD’s flakey members with the interview idea, won’ t the blog be best served if instead of inviting someone who can’t really make the commitment to post regurlarly, we make a big interview/mini portfolio thing? Ideally something the artists themselves could link to their resume.

And this is a personal problem: have you ever guys had the blog freeze up? Through the weekend up to today, i couldn’t see any post after my “Devil” post, it won’t even show the comments on that post...anybody has an idea why Blogger does that? or is something wrong in my end?

Jeffrey Meyer said...

I just want to be clear about the banner/avatar thing: I'm just gonna work up a series of variations on the letters "EBD" right? What size/proprtions/arrangement (vertical? horizontal? either?) are you thinking of, Uland?

And are we talking about two different things when we say "banner" and "avatar"?

I like the idea of a rotating banner illustation -- perhaps every once in a while we could scan a portion of any contributor's artwork posts and use it? Just a suggestion, and of course each contributor would have to "OK" it. I mean, for example, think of a close-up cropping of Mr. Sean's "Post-It Note Man" from a few days back as a banner illo -- that would rock.