Convict Comics

Discussion in 'Creative Discussion' started by Polyak Attila, May 23, 2017.

  1. Polyak Attila

    Polyak Attila White Belt

    Recently I was connected by a site named Convict Comics. Their concept seems to be that they write about comics, and preferably use a part of your work, thereby growing their own content. In theory win-win, sound good, but it feels a bit odd.

    Skimming through their Terms and Conditions their approach on IP seems to be a bit... Well... Not really clear, at least for me, tho it might just be the "legal" bits that confuse me. The terms and conditions start with stating the following: "This web site and its contents (’Web Site’) are owned and operated by Convict Comics.". This seems fine, however, the word "contents" is never explained. This is rather odd as based on what they do, and what they say in their FAQ, they have their own content and content of other creators as well, which should be clarified. Now there is a section there about IPs and such, where they state: "Unless otherwise indicated, the copyright in the Web Site is owned by Convict Comics.", so this does indicate that there are cases when the content is not theirs, but again, there's nothing on their content and submitted content anywhere in their Terms.

    That asides, they seem to be a rather good opportunity for some extra coverage of your work, which is always welcome. Has anyone ever used their services, and if yes what are you experiences with them?
     
  2. MegaRdaniels

    MegaRdaniels Blue Belt

    So they promote your comics for you? Sounds legit! :)
     
  3. Donathin Frye

    Donathin Frye Purple Belt

    I'm not a lawyer, so take any of what I say with a grain of salt and just as peer-to-peer suggestion. I'm also not experienced directly with them -- but they do seem very well intentioned, and less like a business than an attempt at building a new comic collective/community. I think that's admirable.

    I question their ability to promote your work, currently. For me, if I were to want to join something like a collective, I'd want to know that I'm throwing in with people who are experienced marketers who understand how to make social media work for independent creators. I'm sorta meh at it myself, and it's very time consuming, so I'd at least want to work with promoters who had a reach similar to my own (and hopefully significantly better!)

    Their site's social media outlets don't really see much engagement or have much reach, so I dunno that I'd stand to gain much from working with them. For me, I'm wary of groups like this, not because they don't mean well and aren't passionate, but because my time is limited and valuable, and I want to make effective choices ... I don't know that this group is there yet. I'd definitely need to see some real engagement with their social media presence to think twice.

    Beyond that, their Terms of Service does make it sound like if their site hosts downloads for your digital comic that they own that content. I doubt that that was their intention (though you really cannot be too careful sometimes), but it's definitely a side-effect of vague wording. I'd also want them to update and clarify their TOS before I considered working with them -- they mention elsewhere on their site that your IP is yours, but again -- better safe than sorry.

    On the other hand, their site really is rather aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate, so I see potential in what they're trying to do.

    Those are my thoughts after pouring over their website. They seem like a new endeavor, so in time, a lot of this might change!
     
  4. Polyak Attila

    Polyak Attila White Belt

    I sent them a mail with a few questions on reach and whatnot, and of course, I asked about the IP ownership as well, while that's probably just a case of bad wording it never hurts to clarify.

    On the topic of traffic.... Yeah, actual efficiency is always a question in deals like this. I was far too lazy to check their traffic out with a proper tool, but just out of curiosity I looked at them on alexa.com and the fact that they are not in that database is not promising at all, but who knows.
     
  5. Infected Blood

    Infected Blood Blue Belt

    This is interesting. I had a look and noticed that they repeat here and there that your IP will remain yours, and they seem to mean well but I'm also seeing that the comics they're promoting so far seem to be their own :) Not sure they have much reach, but who knows, maybe they'll be three next big thing.

    Please, keep us posted @Polyak Attila
     
  6. Polyak Attila

    Polyak Attila White Belt

    After exchanging email I got a few answers: By promotion, they write a post about you in their news section, post it on their social media outlets (which are not that active, but have some paid promotion to them), and if you provide them with pdf files they'll upload that to their site. Currently, they don't (or do... read on and I'll explain) link to the original source on their comics page, but they are willing to do so in the future. As many of you have noticed they mostly have their own work up right now, tho they have 2-3 other titles as well. Earthbound, Failure Force, and To Kill an Immortal are all rehosted. It might just be me, but these comics did not have links to the original comic sites yesterday, or I just didn't notice that, but now they sure do. Which is awesome even if it does not drive traffic because SEO likes relevant backlinks and you can't really get more relevant than this.

    They also clarified that they started with original content only, and recently went through a bit of a revamp, thus the difference between the FAQ and ToS (which is still awkwardly named Terms and Conditions). While that's still kinda dubious, it does explain the lack of differentiation between their own and third party content on their site. Anyways that's about all the info I got, I'll update once I know more.
     
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  7. grawlixcomix

    grawlixcomix 4-Stripe White Belt

    Good idea. Ask them to explain their policy on rights and ownership outright. If they give a straight, honest answer then they may be legit.

    There’s also #WebcomicsLawSchool on Twitter. Last time I checked they’d planned a conversation tomorrow(?) night.
     
  8. Polyak Attila

    Polyak Attila White Belt

    So minor update:
    Tales of Midgard is now on Convict Comics, the first chapter as a pfd is available there. Their news entry and the comic page are both on and of course, they shared it on their facebook and twitter. Since this is very new I can't really give any info on the traffic driven by them, but it's most probably will be rather minimal. Anyways... I'll update on traffic as well once a few days have gone by and I have some traffic data.
     
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  9. Polyak Attila

    Polyak Attila White Belt

    A few days have passed and I have numbers. Well, I don't, and that sais a lot. The traffic that arrived directly from convictcomics.com to talesofmidgard.com is exactly 0. I won't say that the effect was straight up nothing, especially since I have measurement issues here, but it is surely rather insignificant. Or so I'd like to claim, but the matter is I most probably got some traffic, but I can not properly report on it, however, I can show that it's rather small.

    Before going into the actual "numbers" I need to make a small sidenote on Google Analytics traffic measurement. It's cool and if you don't use it or another similar service on your site... Well.. You should. Unfortunately, as with everything, Google Analytics has its limits. It measures traffic pretty accurately, but not every piece of data is 100% reliable there, this is exponentially true for the source (and medium, which is often used next to source) of your traffic. Now I won't go into details here, but in case of my own measurements a good percentage of talesofmidgard.com's traffic is direct/none which is basically saying it's either someone directly typing in your url to a browser or using a bookmark or the source is unknown (if you're interested read more on this here).

    So my direct/none traffic for the last 7 days is 150 sessions. That's potentially not bad, however, I do know that Convict Comics only linked to two pages on talesofmidgard.com, the home page and the front cover of book 1. Book 1 cover got 14 sessions, mostly new users, and the homepage got 16 sessions, however, only 8 of this was by new users. While I can't say how much of this unknown traffic actually arrived from Convict Comics, I can say that this greatly limits the potential maximum that came from there. Of course, there's the traffic that is totally beyond my measurement, that is the traffic to my social media sites. They did link to those as well, and I did get a new like or two on Tales of Midgard's Facebook page, but that might just be random coincidence. At the end of the day, I'm sure some new people saw Tales of Midgard thanks to Convict Comics, which is good, but the efficiency is rather questionable.
     
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