SpiderForest Applications are Open

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SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby Kyulein » July 16th, 2019, 3:03 pm

Hello everyone. Longtime reader and professional lurker speaking up :)

The SpiderForest Webcomic Collective is accepting applications for membership until July 31st.

SpiderForest is a casual and not-for-profit collective of quality, free-to-read webcomics. We’re run by a host of volunteer comic creators, and our emphasis is on community collaboration and personal achievement. The Collective, in its current form, has been around for over a decade and has become more active with larger comunity projects in the past couple of years. Those include Anthologies, Podcasts and tabling at conventions together.

https://spiderforest.com/apply/

My comic has been accepted into the ranks of the collective three years ago and I've had a great time there since. So I figured I could spread the word and who knows maybe some of you consider an application :)

I'm also happy to answer questions. I'll try to look in at least once a day. (Or perhaps other members will :) )
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby Ulta » July 16th, 2019, 3:14 pm

I've heard of Spiderforest ever so often, but never really sat down and looked into what it was exactly.

What is it? What is a collective? What makes SpiderForest different or better than other collectives? Why would I as a comic creator wanna apply for it? what benefits does it serve me?
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby eishiya » July 16th, 2019, 3:38 pm

Ulta wrote:I've heard of Spiderforest ever so often, but never really sat down and looked into what it was exactly.

What is it? What is a collective? What makes SpiderForest different or better than other collectives? Why would I as a comic creator wanna apply for it? what benefits does it serve me?

I have the exact same questions. What few answers I've heard all basically amount to "a great community!" but that's not useful.


Do they have any requirements regarding how many updates might need to be done as part of the collective? Their pages don't mention anything about length beyond a starting length, but I don't imagine they'd want comics that are about to end.
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby Kyulein » July 16th, 2019, 4:22 pm

Ulta wrote:I've heard of Spiderforest ever so often, but never really sat down and looked into what it was exactly.

What is it? What is a collective? What makes SpiderForest different or better than other collectives? Why would I as a comic creator wanna apply for it? what benefits does it serve me?


SpiderForest is a curated collection of comcis (hence the application process), run by volunteers from the community. Your IP stays yours, all we need is a couple of images to showcase on the website. The collective itself is run democratically, so everybody has a voice and can pitch in or get projects going themselves. The latter is generally encouraged by the admins, too, since they're only volunteers as well.

Benefits can include:
- Participation in community projects, as a majority of them is exclusive to members. However, there is the occassional project open to everybody, like the recent Charity Zine.
- Increase in reach and networking. We do a couple of cross-promotion events, new members are showcased and we've got the requirement for a banner, which rotates between comics. Comics are also showcased on the website, of course.
- Experience sharing. We've got a lot of members who've run several kickstarters, tabled at lots of cons and such, who gladly provide advice and help out with feedback. Feedback itself can also be on a smaller scale, if you want quick advice on scripts/sketches or your google fu needs another angle to find you what you want :)
- SpiderForest is also providing free hosting for members, as you'll need an independent site. (Keeping mirrors is totally fine! No need to leave those.)
- Regular exposure to new comics. Every member is required to participate in voting during application season, so lots of new comics to read :)

As with most communities, you get out of SpiderForest what you put into it. The more active you are within the community, the more you'll benefit. But we all know that downtimes/breaks/hiatus happen.


eishiya wrote:Do they have any requirements regarding how many updates might need to be done as part of the collective? Their pages don't mention anything about length beyond a starting length, but I don't imagine they'd want comics that are about to end.

The only requirement is to have a currently updating comic at the time of application, with a schedule that equates to once weekly at least.

During the application process every current member is able to weigh in on the decision, so there might be case-by-case decisions that can't be covered by broader statements. I'd imagine, if your comic is scheduled to end in a month or two it might not help your application. If it will be running for another year or so, things might be entirely different.
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby eishiya » July 16th, 2019, 4:25 pm

Kyulein wrote:
eishiya wrote:Do they have any requirements regarding how many updates might need to be done as part of the collective? Their pages don't mention anything about length beyond a starting length, but I don't imagine they'd want comics that are about to end.

The only requirement is to have a currently updating comic at the time of application, with a schedule that equates to once weekly at least.

During the application process every current member is able to weigh in on the decision, so there might be case-by-case decisions that can't be covered by broader statements. I'd imagine, if your comic is scheduled to end in a month or two it might not help your application. If it will be running for another year or so, things might be entirely different.

Makes sense, thanks! Maybe I'll apply with my next comic, it's probably too late for my current one.
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby mitchellbravo » July 16th, 2019, 5:43 pm

Just asking for clarification about having your independent site- does a comic hosted on SmackJeeves count as "independently hosted" since the hosting is not being done by SpiderForest?
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby eishiya » July 16th, 2019, 5:56 pm

mitchellbravo wrote:Just asking for clarification about having your independent site- does a comic hosted on SmackJeeves count as "independently hosted" since the hosting is not being done by SpiderForest?

It does not count, they specifically list Smack Jeeves as an example of platforms, along with Tapas and the like.
By "independently hosted", they mean a stand-alone/self-hosted site (or with them). You're not required to have your own site when you apply though, only when you actually join, and they're willing to provide you with basic hosting if you need it.
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby mitchellbravo » July 16th, 2019, 6:59 pm

eishiya wrote:
mitchellbravo wrote:Just asking for clarification about having your independent site- does a comic hosted on SmackJeeves count as "independently hosted" since the hosting is not being done by SpiderForest?

It does not count, they specifically list Smack Jeeves as an example of platforms, along with Tapas and the like.
By "independently hosted", they mean a stand-alone/self-hosted site (or with them). You're not required to have your own site when you apply though, only when you actually join, and they're willing to provide you with basic hosting if you need it.

Cool! I'm not eligible either way but was always curious about SF.
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby Ulta » July 17th, 2019, 2:35 pm

Well, my comic already has it's own website. http://www.hybridoronline.com/ So I guess that means I can apply if I wanted?

I had a friend tell me who I think did the zine with you guys (or maybe was a part of it a while ago) say that you require the updates on SpiderForest to be 1 page ahead of anywhere else the comic may be uploaded to. Is this true? Is it also true that Patreon 'early page' rewards are the exception?

I'm mostly interested because the more places I can get exposure for my comic, the better. And as long as I can opt out whenever I want and am not confined to a contract, I might just give this a shot and see how it goes =)
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby Kyulein » July 17th, 2019, 3:02 pm

Ulta wrote:Well, my comic already has it's own website. http://www.hybridoronline.com/ So I guess that means I can apply if I wanted?

I had a friend tell me who I think did the zine with you guys (or maybe was a part of it a while ago) say that you require the updates on SpiderForest to be 1 page ahead of anywhere else the comic may be uploaded to. Is this true? Is it also true that Patreon 'early page' rewards are the exception?

I'm mostly interested because the more places I can get exposure for my comic, the better. And as long as I can opt out whenever I want and am not confined to a contract, I might just give this a shot and see how it goes =)


Yes, if your application is accepted and you choose to join the collective, your main site with the SF banner needs to be an update ahead of your mirrors. Patreon (or other services that allow paywalls) are exempt from this rule.

As for contracts: SpiderForest isn't a publisher, but a group of volunteers. As such there is no contract. Your comic is your own and all we want are a couple of images to showcase on the SF website and the rotation banner. And if you get accepted, but feel that SpiderForest isn't the place for you, we'll be sad and might try to convince you to stay (by playing the "Power of Friendship" card), but you're by no means shackled to SpiderForest. :)
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby Ulta » July 17th, 2019, 5:28 pm

Haha good to know then!

I am interested, but sadly I have a revamp planned for the prologue to my comic. A rather drastic-ish one (sorta), and I highly doubt such a change will help me get accepted. Plus I don't want my story to give off the wrong impression. It won't be finished in time for the 31st deadline.

But next time they are open, I'll give it shot, once I got my comic updated =)
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby kayotics » July 17th, 2019, 5:38 pm

hi y'all! I've been kinda quiet the last few months, but I also wanted to chime in and say that last year I was accepted into being a part of SpiderForest as well!

I just wanted to say that I'm also willing to answer a few questions, but I'd also be happy to share my experience over the last year.

Becoming a member of the collective gets you featured on their site, and because of the cross promotion from one comic to another, members usually see a bit of a new readership boost. But having a group of dedicated comic people that you can just chat with about techniques, conventions, scripts, and pretty much anything else has been the biggest benefit here. There's a huge swath of information sharing within the community, and it's definitely a culture centered around learning how to develop your own skills to make a better comic. The members of SpiderForest range from hobbyists to professionals.

Also, on keeping one place updated ahead of everywhere else: as someone who had to make this transition, the hardest part about this is just keeping your update days straight. :)
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby eishiya » July 17th, 2019, 5:39 pm

Any idea what it might be like for someone who's rather asocial? I suspect I might just be a drag because talking is hard.
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby kayotics » July 17th, 2019, 6:30 pm

eishiya wrote:Any idea what it might be like for someone who's rather asocial? I suspect I might just be a drag because talking is hard.


Like Kyulein said, Spiderforest is what you make of it! There's a lot of people who are pretty asocial. There's a lot of people in the collective who I've never even spoken with, and it's for a variety of reasons. Some of the people only spend time on the forums (which there's a public facing part of the forums accessible to everyone) where as others spend time mostly on the discord chat (also has a public part available to non-members). The group (especially moderators) makes an effort to make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed in whatever level of discussion they wish to take part in.

The only social requirement is a yearly sign off that you're still there and you're still making comics, and you'll need to vote in the annual application season.

So, as far as I know, there's a lot of people who are not all that social at all. You can sink a lot or a little bit of time into it, it's absolutely your choice, and they're a pretty understanding bunch when real life gets in the way.
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Re: SpiderForest Applications are Open

Postby eishiya » July 17th, 2019, 6:41 pm

kayotics wrote:
eishiya wrote:Any idea what it might be like for someone who's rather asocial? I suspect I might just be a drag because talking is hard.


Like Kyulein said, Spiderforest is what you make of it! There's a lot of people who are pretty asocial. There's a lot of people in the collective who I've never even spoken with, and it's for a variety of reasons. Some of the people only spend time on the forums (which there's a public facing part of the forums accessible to everyone) where as others spend time mostly on the discord chat (also has a public part available to non-members). The group (especially moderators) makes an effort to make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed in whatever level of discussion they wish to take part in.

The only social requirement is a yearly sign off that you're still there and you're still making comics, and you'll need to vote in the annual application season.

So, as far as I know, there's a lot of people who are not all that social at all. You can sink a lot or a little bit of time into it, it's absolutely your choice, and they're a pretty understanding bunch when real life gets in the way.

That's great, thanks!
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