Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Questions about Zuda

Diego Tripodi, the artist on the Trex Backstory, recently had a web comic (Pieces of Eden) that was part of the January Zuda entries. I had several questions about Zuda that Diego was kind enough to answer, so I thought I'd share his answers here...

Did you enjoy your Zuda experience?

Yes, very much. I really liked the chance of getting feedback from the readers and finding out what things they liked and did not like about the comic. As a writer or artist, I think that's one of the finest things about Zuda.

You mentioned not being able to have samples of your comic anywhere but on Zuda? What was the deal with that?

That was something from their Rights Agreement, which can be read here:

"(…) the Material has not been published, posted, distributed or displayed
online, in print or in any other manner, and neither the Material nor any
elements thereof have been used in any manner or media".

Looking back, I guess it wouldn't have mattered to post some actual pages from the comic in forums, blogs, etc. (In fact, it could have been a good way to helping promote the series, and I don't think it would have been a big deal regarding the agreement that they have in their site…)

Were you allowed to canvase/solicit votes on messageboards or from friends? What restrictions are their on *pimping* your comic on Zuda?

As far as I know, there are no restrictions at all.

I e-mailed lots of people to ask them to vote for Pieces of Eden. Also, I left messages and links to the comic in many forums (and Yahoo groups), comic news sites, blogs… I left links to the comic all over deviantArt. So I pretty much felt like a politian, really.

I don't think they have restrictions to this kind of promotion because it might also lead to people to check other contents in their site, though in many cases, especially when it comes to friends who don't read comics, it's very likely that they'll register, vote for your comic, and not check the site again. Still, I think that having the competitors self-promoting their comics it's a good thing for Zuda as it helps expanding their audience.

Are you allowed to explain how the voting process worked? Did you feel like it was reflective of the ratio of views/favorites you got on your comic.

At the beginning, I thought it was only the votes that mattered in order to win the contest, but then (from the comments that I'd read in the Zuda Blog, from the editors) I realized everything counts: not just votes, but also the amount of pageviews, "favorites", and ratings (1 to 5 stars).

About the rankings, regarding if they were reflective of the amounts of views and favorites that the comics had, yes, I think so.

Would you do it again?
Absolutely. In fact, I'm already working in new pages for another Zuda submission.

Will you take your Comic elsewhere, perhaps as a webcomic or to submit it to another publisher?

I don't think so. Basically, Pieces of Eden was something that was created with the Zuda format in mind, so I don't know if it would work in a more traditional format.

Continuing this series (or any of the other series that didn't win) as a webcomic is a great idea, I think, because you already have people who know your work from Zuda and you can start building an audience from there.

At the same time, working on new pages on a regular basis without financial support it's hard to do. It takes too much time, and in our case that's what stopped us from continuing this comic on our own as a webcomic. We felt it was better to start work in a new project, and try our luck again at the publishing world (!).

Finally a non Zuda did an awesome job on Trex, and Cyclotron as well - are there any other Flashback Universe characters that you think you might enjoy drawing?

I always liked to draw skulls, so doing a Flashback Universe comic with the Dead Skull in it would be nice (though I got to draw AstroNaught in the Trex story, which was a skull character as well).

The Artifact is a character that would allow to create interesting graphics using textures, I think. Plus, while I've never been a big fan of robots or more "technological" characters (for the lack of a better term), this is a character that (at least visually) reminded me of Cliff Steele, from the Doom Patrol, who's a character I love, so maybe it's because of that connection, but the Artifact would be high on my list.

Runewraith is another character that seems interesting to me, and I always liked Prometheus, he's got a great costume (and I love the helmet).

Thank you Diego!

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