Since 2001 I’ve mirrored my comics on Drunkduck.com and I’ve been relatively proud of that. The last few years have not been easy, and considering recent developments on the Duck I thought I’d talk a little about my time with an inebriated water fowl.
Back in 2001 I was a year into the five year project that was Kota’s World. My readership was pretty small and I was hosting it on either Keenspace or Angelfire. I don’t really remember which at that point. I needed readers and a community. I seem to remember finding Drunk Duck through a forum and it had just recently launched. It was a good site, built by Dylan Squires (Volte6) and there were a LOT of people there. I started uploading KW and almost immediately I started getting readers. It was a fun time full of interaction with fans and fellow creators and I suddenly found myself as the number one story based series on the site.
There was down time of course, it’s a website. In 2005 there was a major crash where all out data was lost. You know what though? We came back. We all came back because we loved the Duck. I once again mirrored my comic “The Errant Apprentice” on there at launch.
In 2006, Dylan sold DD to Platinum Studios. There was hope that they would provide stability (financially and server-wise) to the site and that some of us would be picked up as hot properties. There was only one series I can think of that got optioned for anything and man, was there controversy around that. He didn’t get paid. That sort of sums up what actually happened with Platinum now that I think about it. Broken promises for everyone.
After several years of Platinum changing the site and making it more or less impossible to use, DD was sold to Wowio in 2010. They changed the name to “The Duck” and did little else. That’s sort of where the story stops for a long time. The site was non functional, there was frequent down time, the community has died, and it’s impossible to make new accounts there.
And yet, I’ve stuck around. I’ve got maybe four readers who exclusively read my comic on the Duck and I keep it up over there for them. It’s been rough.
This week has seen some big changes though. An effort by Ozoneocean, probably the most dedicated and amazing guy on the site, has managed to get control of The Duck. It will now be controlled directly by the community and we’ll be able to fix the site, add features that were taken away, and try to make it a live site again. We’re excited about this.
The only problem is with the reputation that’s grown up around DD in the last four years. A reputation for being broken, site admins that won’t listen, and a community that has shrunk to nearly nothing. Not only is this not “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”, it’s not even “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. It’s Leno’s cancelled prime time series. It’s going to take a lot of work to get the Duck floating again and to get people to see it as a viable site to use. With people like Oz in charge though, I think we’ve got a chance.