TWCL Forum Index TWCL
Forums for The Webcomic List
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Lessons learned from making webcomics
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TWCL Forum Index -> General Ramblings
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
vulpeslibertas
Level 1 threat


Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 2488
Location: Here and there...mostly there. Sometimes kinda in between.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:36 am    Post subject: Lessons learned from making webcomics Reply with quote

I'd like to see more of the good old days around here, with discussion of webcomics. So, I'd like to start out this particular thread.

Lessons I learned from making webcomics

1. You'll make mistakes, live with them. Your art will never be perfect, your writing will always need improvement. Sometimes you'll write yourself into a corner, deal with it.

2. Jump in the water and go for it. You can't and you shouldn't expect your webcomic to be a masterpiece. Especially if it's your first. So just go out there and do it. The sooner you start, the sooner you begin to learn.

3. It's your webcomic, make it because you love it. There's lots of advice for making comics. There are rules, too. Some rules can be bent, and others can be broken. But at the end of the day, it's your webcomic, and you should make it because it makes you happy, not based on a formula.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
ttallan
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1128
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, here are some things I've learned:

1) There will always be people who are faster/better/have a larger readership than you, and you will drive yourself mad trying to figure out why. Don't bother trying to be like them. Just be like yourself.

2) Think like a turtle (the non-teenage/mutant/ninja variety). Slow and steady wins the race.

3) Treasure your readers. They have longer memories than most creators give them credit for.

Also, in a somewhat less "Wisdom of the Ages" mode and more down to brass tacks,

4) People who make money from webcomics don't make it from posting their webcomics. They make money from selling the peripherals, many of which may have very little to do with their webcomic. (Stupid as it may seem, I actually found this a very difficult lesson to learn. I'm still coping with it.) Having said that, though, posting a quality webcomic is still the first requirement.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kail



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 424

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) Get going. Now. It's easy (well, easier) to stay moving once you're moving, and too easy to stay motionless once you stop to rest. Having a schedule you have to maintain is a great way to force yourself to do a bit of work regularly, while working without a schedule makes it really, really easy to come up with excuses to wait for a few hours, days, next week, etc.

2) Ideas are easy. Getting it from in your head to the real world is the hard part, and easy to screw up.

3) Know your motivation. If you want a comic that will make you a ton of money, design a comic that will make you a ton of money. If you want to have fun, then do whatever you feel like and stop the instant you don't want to do it anymore. Do not assume that one of these goals leads to the other.

4) Feedback is important, but few people give it. If you like something, take a minute to tell the creator. If you're a creator, don't assume that people are going to leave feedback unless you go out and start actively collecting it from them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AndrewBCrisp



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From someone who's still learning:

1) Your comic deserves your best. Note, not THE best, just YOUR best. Avoid the temptation to be lazy at all costs.

2) Don't be afraid to start over. Sometimes the first idea or script may not work as well once it's out on paper. Learn from the mistake and do it better.

3) Seek feedback, though not from close friends and family if you can help it. There are a number of comic communities around where you may find help and advice. Only, when you approach those communities, be polite and professional and ASK PERMISSION before you thrust your epic on them.

4) Beware those who sneer at the word "amateur". Remember that an amateur does something because they love it - those who hate the word and try to stamp it out have lost their way, even if they're drawing in six figure incomes for their comics.

5) On that note, never use the word amateur to mask bad work habits. We have a hard enough time getting respect to begin with, don't hand the enemy ammunition please.

6) Always get as much preliminary work (writing and rewriting, layouts, whatever) done BEFORE you launch the comic and AFTER you've gotten some honest feedback from the community - trust me on this, I've got a "ready fire aim" on my record because I didn't.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
vulpeslibertas
Level 1 threat


Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 2488
Location: Here and there...mostly there. Sometimes kinda in between.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kail wrote:
Ideas are easy. Getting it from in your head to the real world is the hard part, and easy to screw up.
I'd like to double-echo this.

A lot of people in a lot of creative endeavors think that you come up with some brilliant idea, then Globomax Corporation comes and buys your idea for a million billion dollars, and that's how it all works.

It's a lot more like this: You have a brilliant idea. Then you find out someone else invented it already. Then you find out that lots of people invented it already. Then you develop your idea anyway. And you redevelop it. And redevelop it. And then polish it, and polish and polish and polish and polish it. And then Globomax Corporation comes and pays you some money, and after all that time you spent, if you're lucky, it actually figures out to minimum wage. Wink

Humor aside, the real core part of a good idea is making it work. Everyone has ideas. Most creative people have more ideas than they'll ever get to work on (Which is both depressing and liberating at the same time). It isn't really the idea that makes something successful, but how the idea is implemented.

Understanding your idea and putting in the elbow grease is where it pays off.

This goes back to the old phrase "There are only 36 different stories in the world". You aren't going to come up with some brilliant new idea that nobody has ever come up with before. What sets you apart is your storytelling skill.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Eve Z.



Joined: 10 Aug 2006
Posts: 681

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some things I've learned myself:

* Don't crave popularity, or a lot of page views, a lot readers, because you're kind of losing motivation to do anything! If you're doing it for popularity and not because you like it, just don't do it at all!
(I still need to work on this one myself Rolling Eyes because I often fall in this trap, whatever I do)

* Readership increases with time. It takes A LOT to form a fanbase formed by the people who relate to what you do. If you're not patient and have the income, make a shiny banner and advertise!

* Your art improves with time. Your first strips will never be the greatest, while your last ones are. They always are and they will always be outshined by newer ones. You don't know how well you will do after an year. Wink

* Tell your story. Don't give a damn about what others say, unless it's constructive criticism that will help you improve more or less.

* If you do a good story, readers will stick and keep coming back. If you have readers who like your stuff, then it means your comic has some potential. Trust your characters - if they want to react in a way to a given situation, they will (but don't let them take over and make sure to stick to the story)!

* There will always be someone who's more awesome than you. But if you are good at what you do, some people will take notice of your art/comic.

* DON'T GIVE UP! It takes YEARS to become a good comic artist. I have a looooong way to go myself and I'm going to stick to it.

hsgfsffdsfh
Dunno what else to say right now - It's really noisy in my house right now and I can't concentrate!
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Clint Wolf



Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) I don't care what anyone thinks about my story. Except when I do.

2) I don't care about being recognized. Except when I do.

3) I don't treat this as a job. Except when I do.

4) I find solace whenever I bring this up to other webcomic people and they understand exactly what I'm talking about.

5) This probably just indicates you're all as insane as I am.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
ewomack
Grand prize winner!


Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 464

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. If it's not fun there's no point, large following or no large following

2. Popularity doesn't necessarily imply quality

3. In no other time in history has the "average person" had a way to present their personal art to potentially millions of people... may as well put some out there before someone closes the show...

4. Egotists and jerks sully the webcomic world just like any other field or genre

5. Beware of any webcomics discussion sites that require payment... there lie monsters in wait... see number 4

6. Advertising works... sort of

7. Eventually someone, somewhere, somehow, will enjoy your work... see number 3

8. It's far easier, far more lucrative, and perhaps more satisfying to go out and get a regular job than to try to make a living with webcomics

9. Too much of a good thing isn't necessarily bad, but it can make for a lot of wasted time...

10. Everyone has something to sell...
_________________
Ed Womack
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
chay



Joined: 22 Feb 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just started mine and although I am in comparison Charles Ingols in a space ship when it comes to computers, I do enjoy the learning process.
Making the online comics is quite a challenge to a guy who
is used to small news papers.
I will want to make some money ,come the time but right now it is a great hobby.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kail



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 424

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it online yet, Chay? I can't find a link to it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Stu-Jojo



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) don't be afraid to jump into making a webcomic because you don't feel ready. the best way to learn is to directly act on the battlefield.

2) you like your story? you think it may be liked? then do it. remember, you are a reader yourself, so you know the direction of your potential fanbase.

3) think carefully about your plot. little mistakes can be really important sometimes, so be careful and complete the story BEFORE starting the webcomic. if possible. at least the more important points.

4) don't be shy. never. do and say what you think, don't care about trolls and sorta, accept every critic only if supported by real helping purpose.

5) work to be famous if you want, but it will take time. a lot.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
justender



Joined: 09 Sep 2012
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kail wrote:
1) Get going. Now. It's easy (well, easier) to stay moving once you're moving


I've found this to be true on other projects. +1

Kail wrote:

4) Feedback is important, but few people give it. If you like something, take a minute to tell the creator.


Do you have any idea how many times I've wanted to comment on somebody's work in the past 10 years, only to find out that there's no email address, there's no comment form, or there's some stupid registration blocking me from doing so? The more roadblocks you throw in front of people, the fewer who will bother.

And in fact, it's gotten to the point that I mostly don't even bother trying. Because you can spend time crafting a comment, only to find out that you're not going to be able to post it. Get that lesson hammered home to you a few times, and you learn that, in general, people don't want comments.

AndrewBCrisp wrote:

4) Beware those who sneer at the word "amateur". Remember that an amateur does something because they love it


Amateurs are trailblazers. The inventive ones. And that's why I read 'em. The money sucks, and other people steal their ideas, but that's where the action is. At least there's a chance nowadays that these people will eventually get the credit they deserve, because some records are being kept... instead of buried in the dustbins of history.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wendyw
The Bomb-diggity


Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Posts: 4118
Location: North-East England

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one thing to add, one thing that came in useful just a moment ago, keep your old pen lids. If you use disposable pens for inking make sure you keep a few spare lids because it's amazing how easy it is to lose the things and nobody wants to spend twenty minutes looking for a pen lid.
_________________

Blog
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lavenderbard
^_^


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 826
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justender wrote:
Get that lesson hammered home to you a few times, and you learn that, in general, people don't want comments.


Er... Maybe they just don't want to have a bazillion bots sending them spam?
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ttallan
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1128
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justender wrote:
Do you have any idea how many times I've wanted to comment on somebody's work in the past 10 years, only to find out that there's no email address, there's no comment form, or there's some stupid registration blocking me from doing so? The more roadblocks you throw in front of people, the fewer who will bother.


Hence my third Lesson I've Learned from Making Webcomics, posted above: treasure your readers, because they have long memories. If you frustrate a reader, they will go away. Building a community is important for many webcomics, and feedback/comments are a part of that. Sometimes, it's worth fighting the spambots (much like the admins do here practically on a daily basis-- thank you, guys!) in order to keep the comments alive and the fans happy and returning to your site.

On the other hand, I think I've been fortunate. My spam filters seem to work pretty well, and I only need to delete spammy stuff occasionally. But I've heard horror stories... Well, in any event, turning off (or turning away) comments is a decision that should not be taken lightly, because it will affect your readership.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TWCL Forum Index -> General Ramblings All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Hosted by Fluent
The Webcomics List is operated and owned by Ash Young. Syndicate the comic updates.