When we are starting up, and hell even when we are veteran webcomic creators, we make mistakes, take short cuts and overlook things. This can lead to sub-par performance in some aspect of our webcomic, hindering our efforts to build audience, community, and ultimately readership. There are definitely some things that turn webcomic readers off, and just fixing up a few things that could be really deterring readers from getting into your comic could make a big difference in converting visitors to dedicated fans.
Here is a list of 10 things to consider that could be holding your webcomic back from glory and what you can do to fix it.
Instead of doing a whole bunch of individual summaries of my conventions, I figured I’d kind of wrap everything up in a single post. Present what I’ve learned, what mistakes I made, what I will changes for next time, and what I did right. For those of you wondering about my Convention exploits and how things went.
All us webcomic folks, at some point, generally get faced with the prospect of printing our comics. Because of our small print runs and almost non-existent budgets, we tend to opt for print-on demand provides. There are a handful that actually specialze in small run, on-demand comics.
As a graphic designer who works almost exclusively in print, I’ve worked for about a decade with a number of different printers (large and small). This gives me a lot of expertise and expectation when getting anything printed as to what kind of quality I should get from a printer. So I’ve recently printed my first set of comics, and as such I’m exploring the world of on-demand comic printing. In an effort to help the community, I will bring my findings to you all so when you come to the time when you want to print some comics, you’ll have some perspective.
My first stop on this Road is one of the more well known On-demand services: Ka-blam.
Its no secret that every webcomic artist loves feedback. Sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is that anticipation of appreciation or minute moment of glory when someone leaves a comment on our latest page. But it can be very hard, especially in the beginning, to coax readers to leave that feedback or interact with you. Let’s have a look at the reasons why they don’t, and what you can do to get readers to be more interactive with you and your site.
It’s generally a known fact that there are usually way more writers out there in need of artists than the other way around. If you spend any time in any of the webcomic or art communities you’ll run into the age old problem of the writer trying to locate art talent to bring his writing to life, but they come into the search ill prepared to woo an artist to their project. Many are clueless as to what is required on their end to look professional, what artists expect to see, how to get positive attention, and what they can expect to pay, or if they can get work for free. In this article we’ll have a look at what it takes to score an artist for your webcomic project (and not make yourself look like a douche in the process).
This is sort of a little more personal than some of my other articles, as I myself am feeling this one out after a few half arsed attempts at doing conventions over four years ago with friends or as a tag-along to get a sense of what doing conventions is all about. But it will be my first time as a solo act, and the first time I’ve done conventions on my home turf of Vancouver, BC, Canada.
It used to be, back in oh, say 1998, that it wasn’t hard to get noticed as a webcomic. Mostly because there just wasn’t the same kind of competition that there is today, so anything that was half ways decent could get a readership just by being persistent, it didn’t actually have to be good per se. Today, that’s changed. With so many hundreds of thousands of webcomics to choose from and only 24 hours in a day, readers are getting pickier and pickier about what they stick around for. If you want to get noticed these days, you have to stand out. The trick of course is ‘how?’.
Search strings, otherwise known as “how people found your site on google” are awesome. You can get all sorts of interesting things pop up. With this site I get a lot of good and weird search strings.
I thought this might be fun, since I get a lot of interesting search strings about webcomics, often formatted as questions, to take some of the top ones and do a sort of Q&A every month for the previous month’s search strings.
So here were the best search string questions of Jan 2011.
Recently, I’ve been participating in a discussion over on Drunkduck with a sprite comic artist who wanted feedback specifically from people who hate sprite comics. I obliged him. Although in the course of the conversation it became clear to me that there needs to be more awareness raised for alternatives to ripping sprites for those who can’t draw. Legal alternatives that will help people who don’t feel like learning to draw (or mistakenly believe they can’t), create instant comics despite their artistic handy cap. So I’ve provided some links here in this article to software that helps you, the zero art skills dude make comics as a follow up to my first post about making webcomics if you can’t draw.