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Lessons learned from making webcomics
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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.
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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!
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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.
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ewomack
Grand prize winner!


Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 469

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...
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Ed Womack
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Lavenderbard
^_^


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 845
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?
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Eve Z.



Joined: 10 Aug 2006
Posts: 681

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justender wrote:


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.


I have a shoutbox on my page that is right up near the comic and I RARELY get any comments. ^^; So yeah, people don't bother commenting anyway.
And honestly, I rarely comment myself on other people's comics because I'm really shy. Unless I knew the person for quite a while and I'm familiar with their stuff. Or, if the comic really leaves an impression on me and HAVE to say something. Very Happy
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nsanelilmunky



Joined: 12 Nov 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't really add much since I'm just starting, but..

Get used to the love/hate relationship you're likely to have with your ruler.

Perspective is your best friend, both the drawing type and the writing type.

Research is a P.I.T.A. but can really open up both your story and your imagination to new ideas.

Get an adult sippy-cup (water bottle or thermos with a lid) for your drawing area. It sucks when you have to redraw something because of spills.

--------------
Also... Hi, I'm new here. When I'm trying to avoid being productive I'm usually on the internet so you may see me here often.
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BX634



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:39 pm    Post subject: Lessons Learned Reply with quote

Keep it simple. Black pen. White paper. Free blog. Go.
Don't fret that your paper or pens are not nice enough. Jack Kirby used basic pens, pencils and paper.
Watch YouTube videos of established comic artists. You'll be surprised by at least some of the things you see.
Just draw stuff. Even if it sucks, you're producing. Every crappy drawing is one step closer to a good one.
Keep going. Most people quit. You'll get major credit for staying in the game.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:20 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.

This, this, a hundred times this!!

And about Spam filters; Akismet. This thing works so well I wonder if the folks who make it also made the spam-bots that it captures. Thankfully they offer their services for free if your site doesn't really bring in money.

wendyw wrote:
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.

...You DO know that you can clip the pen lids onto the other end of the pen while you use it, right?

wendyw wrote:
I love comments. I don't get many of them though.


The first few weeks I felt like folks were just posting comments for no reason, like they just wanted someone to pay attention to them. But now, if no one comments I start getting worried; is this page not good enough? Did those folks stop reading my comic?! What's wrong?!
Smile

Spencey wrote:

2. Never redraw an old strip. Just don't. Your artwork will improve over time and you could end up forever redrawing those same early strips instead of something new.


What about re-writing a chapter, especially a first one?
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http://maytiacomic.com/
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cct
B


Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:52 am    Post subject: aa 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.
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Clint Wolf



Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: aa Reply with quote

cct wrote:
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.


Huh. Weird echo in here.
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JohnK



Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 490
Location: Glendale, California

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never overload a page with dialogue. I learned this from my first comics. My bubble placement was terrible too.

If your comic is a story, have that worked out well in advanced unless you really want to go for an improvised feel.

Work hard, but have fun.

There's no such thing as a muse. Just sit your ass down and do it. I don't think I so much learned this, but grew up and stopped procrastinating.
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