Jan 2011 Search String Questions and answers
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.
Q. Can you use poser for making your own comics?
A. Hell yes you can. You have to get and learn the software, but lots of comics are using this software these days.
Q. Can i legally make money from sprite webcomics?
A. Technically yes, but only if you have the owner of the sprite’s permission to do so. You have to go through the process of asking and getting written permission to commercially use the copyrighted material, ie. the sprites. As long as you’ve got official and legal permission, go nuts.
Q. Can you hire an artist to draw your comic?
A. Of course. Its done all the time. Just make sure if you hire an artist, you have the money to pay them for their hard work.
Q. What is the best drawing program for webcomics?
A. This is HIGHLY subjective. It really depends on your process and what you will and won’t tolerate out of a graphics program. I think the programs made for drawing tend to handle tablet input the best. Programs like MangaStudio, Open Canvas, Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Flash, the GIMP, and Inkwell are all used. I personally prefer MangaStudio for drawing, as it accepts my tablet input at the most comfortable level for me.
Q. What equipments required for webcomics drawing?
A. This depends on if you want to go a traditional or completely digital route. For traditionally done comics, you need paper, pencil, pens to ink, eraser, and a scanner. If you want to go digital you need a digital tablet, and appropriate drawing software.
Q. What is the best webcomic merchandise?
A. The best merchandise is obviously what will sell to your particular audience and make you money. This is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT for different audience groups. Some audiences will buy t-shirts, others will not. Sometimes they will buy toys, sometimes they won’t. As a webcomic author it is very beneficial to regularly connect, and get to know your audience so you can get a sense of what they will buy. If you can’t figure it out, ask them directly with a poll. The only more or less universal peice of merch a webcomic should have is a book/compilation of their work. But even that’s not a guaranteed best seller.
Q. What is the best graphics tablet on a webcomic budget?
A. I’d probably recommend a Wacom Bamboo Pen. Its about 69$.
Q. Do graphic artists get paid before a job is completed?
A. They should have received at least half the payment (usually a deposit and then a progress payment), and then payment in full before files are surrendered to the client. The reason for this is that clients have a nasty tenancy of not paying for stuff after they get the files. Unfortunately a lot of Graphic artists & designers don’t ask to be paid in installments and then are left holding the bag when they try to collect on the business and/or people that screwed them out of their rightfully earned paycheck. Let this be a warning to you. Don’t wait till the end to get paid. Its like asking them to screw you over.
Q. How many visitors does a webcomic need to sell merchandise.
A. The basic math? Only 5% of your readership will be interested in buying stuff, only 2% actually will. If you want to sell 200 items, you need to have a readership of something like 10000 readers. Most webcomic artists are lucky to sell 10 of an item so most have readerships of more like 500-1000 readers. If it doesn’t cost you much to offer merchandise, there’s no harm in offering it. Just don’t expect to be making huge sales if you still can’t break 10000 uniques a day. Although if you go to a convention and are good at selling yourself those results can be quite different.
Q. How do I make my lines more defined in photoshop.
A. Well if you mean by ‘defined’ you mean thicker/deeper. Duplicate your line layer and stack it on top. Set the blending mode to multiply.
Q. How do I get started as a webcomic artist?
A. Draw a comic and post it on the web. Rinse. Repeat. Ideally on a regular schedule. It’s not really hard. Not like you have to got to school for it or anything. You don’t even have to know HTML. Just use a service like Drunk duck or Smack Jeeves. The hard thing for most people is getting over that fear of posting things on the web. Ironically a lot of those people become attention whores later on. Just post it.
Q. I can’t draw, but is there software that can?
A. Eh…. sorta. There’s software that will let you post pre-made clipart like drawings. I go into it here. But seriously, if computers could make art, you think we’d still have a reason for existence? Sorry dude, but there’s no programs that will take what’s in your head and translated those dreams into drawings onto the screen. You are going to have to suffer trying to get it out of your hands in one form or another just like the rest of us. There’s a REASON artists are valuable. They have an important skill. People should respect that more.
Q. How do I find webcomic artists to hire/work for me/draw my webcomic idea?
A. There are places to go, like webcomic community forums, deviant art, professional sites, etc where you can look for artists either looking for work or trying to catch one that’s interested. Although these days, like many others, its best to socially network with artists, get to know them, their styles, limits and availability and THEN try to see if they will work for you. It works better than just screaming “Hey! I need an artist over here!”
Okay I think that’s enough for this month. Next I’ll try to write a REAL article.