Social Media Is The Place To Be For Comics

The question always comes up – “How to I get more readers for my comic strip?” And cartoonists have all sorts of answers – Tumblr, Tapastic, Facebook, and I think they are all great. I think social media has helped so many creative people. It’s a fast, easy way to get your work seen. While I feel that comic creators should have their own websites, I don’t believe they are as great as social media for getting viewers. When you publish on a website, there is that single comic there, the question is, how are you going to get people, lots of people, to click on your one site daily or even every few days, to read your comic. I do believe there is strength in numbers and comic sites with more than one comic are great, but I truly believe that social media is best. It’s unobtrusive and your feature pops up in people’s timelines without any fuss. It is just part of their daily life.

I took a break from my comic panel Tomversation; I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I’ve decided to start publishing daily again and this time on Facebook. My goal was always to be published in newspapers daily, and I’ve had a few bites from rather large newspapers, but the timing is always off. And almost 20 years ago, when I had my chance for daily publication, I decided to go in another direction. I’m still kicking myself in the head for that

For a long time I did a comic daily on Instagram and it had thousands of readers a day. It just came up on their feeds and they read it that way. Unobtrusively, because social media is unobtrusive. I recommend that cartoonists publish as part of any social media platform, whichever works best for you.

I’ve noticed that people prefer to read the comic at the platform, rather than click over to your website to read the comic. So if possible, post it fully at Facebook or Twitter or wherever.

When Berkeley Breathed brought back Bloom County, he used Facebook and he publishes there daily, he has about 670,000 fans on there and New Yorker Cartoons has over 913,000 fans and amazingly, Matthew Inman who does The Oatmeal, has almost 4 million fans on Facebook, he links to his website from there. The Facebook posts are “liked” and shared all day long!

When someone “likes” a comic, their friends see that they liked it, nothing is private anymore. So to that end, starting January 1, 2017, Tomversation will appear daily on Facebook. The goal is to build up a fan base during the year.

Tom FalcoI invite you to like my page at Facebook.com/Tomversation. There are many items there now and you’ll receive the updated comic when it starts on January 1. And you can always read my thoughts and see what I’m up to at my Tomversation blog at Tomversation.com where I will post a batch of comics at once, so you can binge read them, sort of like Netflix for comics. In the meantime the blog covers arts and culture and some personal stuff sometimes.

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Are You Feeling It?

(Note from Byron: This is a guest article by Mark Stokes, a long-time reader/listener here at the Alliance. You can find Mark’s comic, Zombie Boy, here: http://www.zombieboycomics.com/)

Are You Feeling It?

We all have those days when we just don’t feel inspired. We don’t feel creative, and there are so many other distractions for us that putting out a comic seems like such a bother.
I’m going to open up with you about something that’s not so easy for me to express, but I think it might be helpful to some of you. Since I started drawing the Zombie Boy comic strip, I’ve been through some very trying times. In my second year of drawing the strip, an eleven year live-in relationship unraveled with all the pain, anger, and sadness that comes along with it. In my third year, I was laid off of a ten-year job that I expected would last forever. In my fifth year, I lost my beloved pug, Pooj, the inspiration for Zombie Boy’s best friend, Gorr, a personal devastation that left me at one of the lowest points in my life. I’ve experienced periods of profound loneliness and depression, anxiety, heartbreak, fear, and loss, and yet, through it all I’ve consistently updated. Even when my life was splintering into pieces and falling down all around me, the strip got done.
I’m no Hercules, I’ll tell you that. I’m not one of those guys with such steely determination that nothing would stop me when I set my mind to it, either. I just love making this comic and I’ve set a schedule that I’m committed to. It’s no great shakes to have to produce three comic strips each and every week. It’s not something I’m obsessed about either, it’s just something that I truly enjoy and that my work might brighten someone else’s day makes it worth it.
But there are times when I’m having a terrible day, things don’t go as planned, I’ve been called into the boss’s office, or a good friend lets me down and I feel very low — still, the strip gets done. There is a redemptive quality to producing the work, even when I’m not entirely feeling it. I’m all about the endorphins, and if my work brings a little blip of joy or a chuckle, well, that’s a strong motivator.
I’m not telling you this to illicit your sympathy, it’s just that I’m hoping you can glean something good from my experience. Many of my most joyous strips were created at very low moments in my real life. Being able to tap into that part of me that can feel that joy, even though it is not manifested in my exterior life, has been a true blessing. It’s not a matter of can you do it, it’s a matter of can you make yourself do it. Life goes on whether you create or don’t. No one is going to care more than you. Personally, for me being able to produce without that perfect mental state has been a redemption. No one else is responsible for what you do or don’t do, only you have that power.
Let me make a suggestion. The next time you feel low or uninspired, or you just don’t feel like working, go ahead and try to anyway. Or take a walk and think about what you might want to do and then get to work. Waiting around to feel inspired or more “in the mood” is just a waste of time.

Writing to the Beat

When I begin writing a script, I first try to plan out the most important “beats” of the story. The beats are the key events and scenes that drive my story forward. I never begin writing until I have a solid idea of the twists and turns my plot will take. An experienced writer has […]

Expanding your audience with Guest Comics

  Unless you’re willing to shell out some serious money for social media advertising, it can be difficult to expand the audience for your webcomic.  Comic sharing sites and apps are great, but you’re still just a needle in a haystack … of needles. One good way to expand your audience is to draw fan […]

Flatting and Your Web Comic

Byron’ Note: Hervé submitted this guest article and I felt it was an interesting read. Any views expressed are of the author’s and not of the Webcomic Alliance. Enjoy! For more information on this subject, Google “flatting comics” and you will find a variety of references and tutorials. Flatting is a virtually unknown but a […]

The ULTIMATE GUIDE to Webcomic Press Kits

Byron’ Note: Danny submitted this guest article and I felt it was an interesting read. Any views expressed are of the author’s and not of the Webcomic Alliance. Enjoy! Last week I joined in on a really great Webcomic Chat on Twitter regarding press kits. (If you’re a webcartoonist you should definitely join them or […]

9 Habits of Highly Profitable Freelancers

Freelancing can appear to be the perfect career: a completely flexible schedule, choice in projects, and working from home. Sounds like a dream, right? But in order to be successful, freelancers must have a completely different set of skills from the typical on-site cubicle Hobbit that has a supervisor checking their every move. As it […]

Being a Noob with Perseverance Part 1

Note from Byron: long-time reader of our articles, James Burton asked if I would share his experiences in starting up his webcomic. His story is inspiring and I’m glad he shared it with us. I got a chance once to feel the cold hand of death. I was diagnosed with an extremely rare and deadly […]

A Scrummy Cartoonist

(Editor note: This is a guest article by John Bintz) Introduction When I first started making comics, I was working on a single series with a single product type — minicomics that eventually became books. I knew what had to be done in this case: draw comics, print books, make advertising material, go to shows. […]

It’s a Comic Strip

(Byron’s Note: This is a guest article from Scott Jenkins.) The winds of change are continuing to blow through the comic making universe and there are a lot different opinions about its direction, its future and its viability as a medium. However, there is one thing about the comic strip that is still the same, […]

Webcomics and the Rise of the Mobile Web

I read a ton of webcomics. A virtual library of them. I love them and want for many of them to survive long into the future. I also work my day job maintaining websites and optimizing my company’s website for the future. And that future is mobile-readiness. I read a report recently that said mobile […]

Webcomic Retcons

(Note from Robin: This guest post is provided by Christina Major. Christina started her fantasy adventure webcomic in 2010 and loves reading, sharing, and connecting with the webcomic community. Her first comic is a Kickstarter Staff Pick, which you can check out at sombulus.com/kickstarter to help her reach her goal!) If you make a webcomic […]

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What Is Art/ What Is A Great Artist?

(Note from Byron: Tom Falco is a contributor here at he Alliance and today he chats about what is art and what makes an artist great. This is to open up a conversation on these subjects, so feel free to chime in one way or another with your opinions) I saw this article on Medium.com […]

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JUST THE FIRST FRAME: A NEW WAY TO FIND COMICS

Henry Kuo has created something new and unique in the way of webcomics. No, Henry isn’t a cartoonist, but he loves webcomics so much that he created “Just the First Frame,” a website that exposes the masses to new work by various cartoon artists. Just the First Frame is HERE. Everything is featured from long […]

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Webcomic Reader Poll!

Tell us what you think! We tried something different this summer, opening things up to a variety of new voices. Tell us what you thought! We want to hear from you. Please use this form to share your opinions!

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Impressions of the Wacom Intuos

(Note: This Is A Series Of Guest Articles We’ve Requested To Spice Up Things Here At The Alliance. We Current Members Of The Alliance Are Working On Some Special Things This Summer And Will Announce Them Come September When Our Guest Articles Finish Up. Enjoy The Change Of Pace And Let Our Guest Contributors Know […]

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Comic Rocket in Your Pocket

(Note: Today starts a series of Guest Articles we’ve requested to spice up things here at the Alliance. We current members of the Alliance are working on some special things this summer and will announce them come September when our Guest Articles finish up. Enjoy the change of pace and let our guest contributors if […]

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Life Hacks for the Wacom Bamboo Tablet

(Note: This Is A Series Of Guest Articles We’ve Requested To Spice Up Things Here At The Alliance. We Current Members Of The Alliance Are Working On Some Special Things This Summer And Will Announce Them Come September When Our Guest Articles Finish Up. Enjoy The Change Of Pace And Let Our Guest Contributors Know […]