04 April 2012

Webcomic translations

Why don't we have a wikipedia for webcomic translations?

Last night I was reading some of the webcomics I follow and for some odd reason I also jumped to wikipedia to check something. In some cross reference minded twist I connected these two sites and a hybred was born.

"Wikipedia for webcomics translations"

As of this moment I'm wondering why we don't have that type of site on the net. There are of course the logical reasons about intellectual property, copyrights and some other paperwork stuff like that. But those rules also apply to any of the encyclopedia articles that have been written in the past centuries. Yet we have wikipedia.

So why would it be impossible for an artist to say: "Hey, I don't mind posting my art on this webcomic-wiki. As long as people translate it I'm cool with it." Though some professional artist might dissagree with freely sharing their comic pages, I guess a lot of the lesser known (or cooler professional) artist might enjoy this type of site alot.

One of the other big issues is of course the practical application of such an undertaking. Making a site isn't the problem, but providing the endusers with the right tools to blank out comic pages, or put text in the bubbles in propper and easy way, that is the hard part.

In most cases you'll need extra software like photoshop to blank out the bubbles on the original webcomic. Putting in the text is also a bit tricky with the limited space of the bubbles. Although this slow proces is not impossible it would stop a lot of users because its not as fast and easy as making a new article in wikipedia.

All legal issues, artists restraints and technological issues put aside, I think it would be a splendid idea to have this type of wiki. I checked the internet and only found one or two sites that are involved in this type of practise. One of the sites "comic influx" has translations available but not on the comic pages themselves. Only as text next to a cover image of the comic.

There are some webcomics who have translations available of their own. In most cases however its only in one or two languages and the number of translated pages is about 10% of the total number of comic pages.

I'm sure there is a way to create either a wiki or an app for easily translating webcomics by the thousands. My only hope is that some webdeveloper is going to either read this blog or think of this idea and create a site for it. Where artists can submit their webcomics and users gladly translate any comic page that is presented to them.

A collaboration between endusers, webcomics and webdevelopers to make a better translated webcomic world. Ah, good old utopian feelings.

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