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What To Expect from Comic-Con From a Webseries Perspective

As I’m new here, first a few sentences to introduce myself. I live in German speaking Europe and run a small publishing company for comics, specialized in webcomics. Therefore it was somehow predetermined that I will stumble over this new media thing called webseries rather sooner than later, too. I’ve grown into the webseries media over the last 3 years and built up a network of people involved in and around webseries, mainly in L.A., New York, Canada and Great Britain. Lately I even got involved in webseries and short films as a producer and I am a member of the IAWTV – the International Academy of Web Television. If you want to know more about me, you can find me either on Twitter or on Google+.

I mentioned it quite a lot now and I hope you are all familiar with the term webseries. If not, webseries are in a sense TV series but made to be distributed via web channels like YouTube, or Hulu just to name a few.

Episodes are usually not longer than 10 minutes each, though there are exceptions, because some shows use episode lengths as normal TV shows do. B. J. Fletcher Private Eye for example is one of them.

On the content side there are all sorts of shows: scripted shows of all genres, live shows, talk shows, hosted shows, soaps, you name it.

In the last years the amount of series out there grew exponationally and we usually see some of them at Comic-Con, especially as TV channels start to jump on the band waggon and either buy the rights to already available webseries (SyFy did this with Sanctuary, Riese or the yet to be released Mercury Man, preview Friday 9-11pm along with Eureka and Haven) or develop their own shows (ABC announced last week that they will bring their cancelled soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web, or SyFy again with a webseries preceding the launch of the new season of Warehouse13: Of Monsters and Men).

Besides series like The Guild who already built a huge audience before they even considered going to Comic-Con, we will see a few smaller shows this year as well. Even a fan trailer.

A bit outside of the webseries circle (but not when it comes to producers and cast) is the Elfquest Fan Trailer, a project sprung to life on Twitter last fall, when Stephanie Thorpe, Paula Rhodes and Taryn O’Neill shared their love for the Elfquest comic world created by Wendy and Richard Pini since the late 70’s.

In an instant a lot of fans on Twitter were into the project and after a fundraiser on IndieGoGo the shooting took place last February and resulted in a very high-end fan trailer which got a lot of press and managed to collect more than 70.000 views on YouTube as of today.

The panel on Friday 7/22 at 8-9pm in Room 4 will see the attendance of the creators of the Elfquest comics Wendy and Richard Pini, as well as the before mentioned creators of the fan trailer. There will be a screening of the trailer and a few surprises for the fans. For example, you can win a pair of original elf ears from the production and you will get to see art never before shown to the public from the “Final Quest”, an arc that will wrap up the 34 years of the Elfquest saga. So make sure to be there.

Another webseries panel will be held on Thursday 7/21 from 11am-12pm at Room 7AB. It’s a discussion about the evolution of webseries from The Guild to Dragon Age, both series were developed by Felicia Day and Kim Evey. The dream team in webseries producing.

The new Dragon Age Redemption is still to be released. It’s a co-production with the game developer BioWare and plays in the same time period as their Dragon Age II game. Rumors are that it will be released soon after Comic-Con. First impression of the trailer (Rated M/17+) promise another great webseries written by Felicia Day.

The Guild itself will have their main panel on Saturday 7/23 from 4-5pm at the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront where Felicia Day and her crew will introduce us to season 5 of The Guild and they already promised a lot of surprises. Probably ones like the music videos Date My Avatar and Game On from 2009’s and 2010’s Comic-Con. Let’s all be there, because I bet you will also get the chance to see at least the first episode of season 5 and some of the new and exciting supporting actors of season 5 on the panel.

Off-Site Comic-Con there will be an event organized by the Celebrate The Web folks at The Bristol Hotel (1055 First Ave) on Thursday 7/21 between 5:30 and 8pm. The entry will be free. And it is co-hosted by the IAWTV, Tubefilter and The League of Extraordinary Ladies.

Celebrate The Web came to life last year, when Jenni Powell and Kim Evey decided to do something positive for the webseries world after the 2010 Streamy Awards desaster. They already held several events and in the spirit of creating something different every time, other than last year when there were screenings of old and new webseries and panels with the creators, this year it will be a simple meet-up were you will be able to meet and talk to a lot of show creators.

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