WA Podcast 105 – Website Design

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Part 2 of our series on Websites for Webcomics.  So you’ve decided where to host your comic (from Part 1’s topic), but what should be a part of your website?  What gets top priority when you’re designing it?  Robin Childs (LeyLinesComic.com & MokoPress.com), Dawn Griffin (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris […]

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.

WA Podcast 104 – Social Media Boundaries

  Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Robin, Liz, Christina and Byron talk about the do’s and don’ts of interacting on social media. What boundaries do you set, and why.

Warning: Podcast may contain some language not suitable for all-ages

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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.

WA Podcast 102 – Ask not what your comic can do for you!

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… One question we are asked a lot:  “How do I get more eyeballs on my work?”  Today we talk about events and activities for creators to connect to new readers, peers, and communities.  Not to mention have a lot of fun in the process!  Robin (LeyLinesComic.com & […]

WA Podcast 100 – Starting your Story

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Starting a story can be intimidating.  There are so many different things to consider!  The plot, the characters, the theme…Where to begin?  Robin (LeyLinesComic.com & MokoPress.com), Dawn (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris (CapesNBabes.com), and Liz (AdrastusComic.com) share their favorite resources and techniques for developing your stories and getting started. People, […]

WA Weighs In: 3 Fictional COMIC Characters

  If you’re active on social media lately, you may have seen the fun fad of #3fictionalcharacters, wherein you choose 3 characters you feel represent aspects of your personality best. We at the Alliance decided this would be a fun topic for an article, wherein we share our favorite and most fitting COMIC and WEBCOMIC […]

WA Podcast 98 – Battling the Blank Blog

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Blogs can be a great way to connect with readers, but where do you come up with topics to fill them?  Robin (LeyLinesComic.com & MokoPress.com), Dawn (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris (CapesNBabes.com), and Liz (AdrastusComic.com) brainstorm different techniques for generating blog ideas.  (For extra credit, review Drezz’s article “No Comments?  […]

WA Podcast 97 – BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Robin (LeyLinesComic.com & MokoPress.com), Dawn (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris (CapesNBabes.com), and Christina (Sombulus.com) ponder printing books.  When is the right time to make a book?  What complications arise when you create more than one?  What are the pros and cons to different approaches, such as Print-On-Demand vs offset printing?  […]

WA Podcast 96 – Con Cost Saving Tips

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Robin (LeyLinesComic.com), Dawn (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris (CapesNBabes.com), Liz (AdrastusComic.com), and Jacques (NotSoSuperComics.com) share our cost saving tips for comic conventions! A special thanks to the folks that shared their own tips and tricks, Kambrea Pratt, Jimmy Steen, Bret Juliano, and Michael Rhodes. And if you’d like to make […]

WA Podcast 95 – Patreon Posts and Routines

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Robin, Dawn, Chris, and Christina examine PATREON: What to post?  How often?  What works, what doesn’t?  How can I build a routine?  What ways can I engage my readership?  How do I make the experience special for Patrons? AND we have a drink of the week (the […]

WA Podcast 94: RELEASE THE KRAKEN

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Recovering from failure and disappointment.  How do you reconnect with your passion, stay motivated, and keep going?  We share our experiences and lessons learned after tough shows, crowd funding stress, and other stumbling blocks. Dawn’s advice?  Drink heavily and unleash unholy beasts of the sea.  Hey, whatever […]

WA Weighs In: Overcoming Weaknesses

  Welcome everyone, to our new series of quick-tips articles, called “The Alliance Weighs In”, where we collectively offer advice or insight on a topical subject in the comic-making industry! This month we’re tackling our “Achilles Heels”…. so the question is: What do you consider your greatest weakness making comics and how have you overcome it? […]

The iPad Pro and Procreate – and introduction

Hey all you faithful Webcomic Alliance readers out there… So this past Christmas, I must have been a very, very good artist because Santa brought me a brand new iPad Pro and a bright, shiny Apple Pencil. The truth of the matter is, in terms of creative productivity, I needed a new iPad as my […]

East Coast Con Report Card: 2015 Edition

Have you started mapping out your convention schedule yet for this year? I’ve been frantically booking tables, Air BnB rentals, texting/emailing friends about new shows until… they aren’t my friends anymore, and over-analyzing which shows I should skip and which I should attend. Over the past 7 years of doing these shows, I can only […]

Quick Word Balloon Tutorial

A quick 6 min video about common mistakes making word balloons, and my personal approach to addressing these issues. While there are several industry rules of thumb for word balloons, there is also a lot of experimentation across the board when you consider the full range of comic artists. Some prefer hand-lettering and hand-drawn balloons. […]

Writing Simple Pitches with Personality

A pitch is one of the hardest things for a creator to write, but it’s also vital for grabbing the attention of an audience. A solid pitch can be the difference between a new reader and a lost opportunity. Yet time and again, I hear pitches that rely on featureless genre labels or vague mash-ups […]

Crossing Over to Freelance

The dream of most webcomickers is to make enough money off your work to live.  While this is possible, that dream may be out of reach for a lot of us.  Success   So what do you do when you want to draw comics all day, but maybe your webcomic isn’t getting the traction you need […]