Webcomic Workshop #27

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Now featuring a listener’s issue each podcast!

This podcast we discuss:

Antoine Launching a New Webcomic: Get a mini-archives ready or start from the beginning? Example: The Trench started with only one Strip.

Drezz Only keeping the comic digital, but selling other merch at shows (e.g Steamcrow, QC) like prints, posters and limited edition minis – is it worth it?

Dawn Slideshows of comics at conventions. Is it worth lugging around my precious tablet PC? (can’t afford an iPad yet, iPhone works for everything else) I have not seen enough evidence to say it leads to sales, unless the exhibitor across from me who’s stuck watching it buys a book. Do YOU guys stop to watch slideshows, or notice people who do?

Ken I’m trying to find my niché or demographic. What have you guys done to research or find that?

Special Comment: Webcomic Alliance One Year Anniversary…what it means…

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  1. Good podcast. Lots of fun for my first, and its a shame we didn’t get Antoine’s musical interlude in there while Ken was troubleshooting the recording.

    Kazoos, cowbells, flutes, guitars, harmonicas and we discussed bringing in a TUBA.

    It was a riot. Man, we were tired at the end.

  2. About having a monitor kind of thing to display images… What about one of those digital photo frames? This is just a thought, since larger sized ones might still cost a lot of money and as Dawn already said it’s not worthwhile…

    Personally I haven’t stopped to look at what’s in the slideshows (due to habitual ad aversion), but I have been interested in the device people were using. Some iPads, some laptops… Once those sheet-like displays become common-place, maybe that’ll be the new banner device. 😛

  3. I have an iPad on my convention table. I have a combination case-and-cable that keeps it secured to the table, which is a huge deal. Otherwise it would not go — I’d be too afraid of it getting stolen. I use this one: http://www.maclocks.com/i-pad-lock/ipad-security-case-and-lock-bundle.html

    What I did is load an entire storyline of comics, numbered sequentially, onto my iPad, as photos. They’re the only pictures on the iPad. When I take it to cons, I run the screensaver using those photos! The comic displays in order without me needing to pay attention to it at all. If you adjust the speed of the screensaver refresh, people can stop to read your comic. And it’s *moving* — it gets attention.

    I have my iPad set up to require a password, so if anyone did try to access it for some reason, they won’t get past the screensaver. But I can still use it if I need to.

    I’ve found that the iPad battery lasts most-to-all of the convention day without worry (as long as you remember to turn off WiFi), but if you’re at a place where you don’t have a power drop and it’s going to be a really long day, you can get an i.Sound: http://www.amazon.com/i-Sound-Portable-Power-iPhone-Blackberry/dp/B00439G3WS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319649439&sr=8-1

    I have one and I love it to death. It holds an enormous battery charge, and the charge lasts for months. I can use it to charge my iPad, my cell phone, whatever. I used it during the San Diego power blackout, too. A great extra widget for a (relatively) small price tag.

  4. Fun podcast, gang! And I missed being there as well. I’m mending well and should be back on the horse soon, so hang in there and I’ll be back…

    Let me just add that being a part of this great team has made me a better artist, a better business person, and most of all, a better friend. Love you guys. See ya soon.

  5. Best part of my Wednesday. Granted, it’s been a slow Wednesday. BUT STILL. Best. Part.

    On Drezz’s issue, your discussion got me thinking — in creating “cool content” it may also be important to not only capture what is “in” at the time, but try to match other fandoms to your own in feel. Kinda like a “it’s X meets Y” elevator pitch, but in drawing form.

    I was planning on creating a commission portfolio for con season next year, but I had no idea what to put on it. Now you’ve got me thinking beyond what might be popular and into what ALSO serves my products. LeyLines has a very “Avatar: the Last Airbender” series feel to it, not to mention a story structure similar in rhythm to Full Metal Alchemist. So if somebody sees something from those series at my booth and comes over, there is a much greater chance they’ll be interested in MY work as well. MUCH better odds than if I chose to draw Iron Man or Thor to try and tap into Avengers hype, for example.

    I ALSO could try angling my personal spin on popular characters to mix with the content of my own properties. Example off top of head – Masks and tribal symbols are common motifs in LeyLines. Perhaps I could draw a series of popular characters with a mask/tribal theme?

    Definitely has given me something to think on. Thank goodness Winter is here! I need stay-at-home-thinking weather!!

  6. Antoine Launching a New Webcomic:
    Well, you should have a few pages done, and start updating when you plan to to make sure you can keep up with the updates or will need changes. You also would need a buffer. I would make a few comics then when you want the site up post it up, then update when you say you will update, after you know you can handle it, you can advertise, till then I would keep it on the low down, build interest in it and then have a link somewhere for it but never ever go outta your way to advertise the comic.

    Once you know you can keep updates and have both comics up you can advertise and do whatever you want, by that time you will have an archives anyway and a buffer. It is what I am doing with my comic, also I do tend to do whole chapters at a time and upload them slowly…

    Over all just have fun 🙂

    Drezz Only keeping the comic digital-
    As said in cast, no one will know who you are, that is sad and true, you can have some comics out there, but over all it never hurts to have something about your comic, if all else you can do an old fashion CD, have some comics on a CD or DVD maybe a first story arc or a few pages and hand them out. If you look well enough you can find 100pks of CD’s very cheap and you do not need labels unless you want them, you can always draw something on each CD a little comic circling the CD and so on… you can make each different or just make 5 and copy them, this way they get an idea of the comic and also get a few pages to view later. You can also make CDcases at home very easy to do that would have a comic on it as well. If you want to go the more drunken route you can sell USB’s with your first year or so of archives with extras and you can put it in a nice holder that has your drawings on it.

    Besides that I have nothing else that was not said before.

    Dawn Slideshows of comics at conventions. Is it worth lugging around my precious tablet PC?
    Well… This is easy, no lol as said before, but if you have a projector, which are fairly cheap and portable you can draw while you have the projector pointed at the wall or a sheet behind you so people can see you do it. You can make it an advertising market as well if you do it right and wish to spend the money. Also you can get battery and solar type things to run the projector and other items off of, It may not give you days and days of power but a few hours here and there and you can charge them when you are not using it so you can get a few hours maybe all the time you drawing as well. Worth looking into. Some are quit portable but tend to be on heavy side, I know of a few that use car batteries and they can last long periods of time.

    Ken –
    Eh, nothing new to add, but maybe just maybe if you fix your archives I can read your comic =P

  7. An exciting new chapter of the Webcomics podcast with new member Drezz. I love the easy-going atmosphere you guys have cultivated, and Drezz’s initiation went really smooth. Do miss Byron, though, but I hope when he returns you can keep Drezz aboard, I think he makes a nice addition.

    Antoine’s question got me thinking. One of the biggest obstacles of starting a new strip is to build a buffer. I wouldn’t even big a new strip until I had at least two months worth of strips completed. Advertise and get the word out but don’t publish until you’ve got something to stand on. And if it takes a while, that’s ok, early publicity will only get the buzz going.

    Finding out who your demographic is should have it’s own podcast. I’d really be interested to get as much information about this as possible. I believe this is one of the most important things we can know to help us build our audience.

    One year of Webcomics Alliance? Time sure flies! WA is one of my favorite online destinations, I get really excited when I see a new podcast or article has posted. It’s a highlight in my webcomics experience. You guys work hard, offering your experience and know how collectively, I really do appreciate all you guys have done. Continued success to all of you. Long live Webcomics Alliance!

  8. Dawn, consider that while your demographic appears male based on your poll, consider that maybe men like taking polls online more than women? I’m kidding a little bit, but remember that any online poll is a self selected demographic to begin with. With only 50 people reporting in, I’d wager your readership is probably a little broader than you think. You can’t tell the gender of commenters, but sometimes you can make a pretty good guess.

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