Webcomic Workshop #31

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

This podcast we discuss:

Ken: How do you guys evolve your characters – both personality-wise and graphically.

Dawn: Gimmi ideas of how to market (and if you even should?!) a webcomic to kids who are too young for social media, project wonderful ads and the like!

Chris: “I established Capes & Babes as a humor strip from the very beginning. Lately though, I’ve been contemplating  doing more interpersonal related stories where there may not necessarily be a humorous punchline in every last panel.  I’ve been reluctant to do that though simply because I worry the change would be too jarring for the people who have come to expect humor in Capes & Babes. I know it’s my strip and I shouldn’t base my creative decisions on fears of what my readers may or may not like but for whatever reason, I’m still reluctant to pull that trigger – even though I think it could potentially take Capes & Babes in a new and exciting direction. So why can’t I do that? What’s holding me back?”

Byron: A simple one: Should I put my blog posts on my home page or not?  I have had them turned off for a long time for it felt to me it made the home page really long and ugly, but then I also notice the blog posts get few hits, even though they have their own page.  What say you all?

Reader Issue:  from Robyn of LeyLines: “Is it better to be your own publisher, or seek one? Do the connections outweigh the control? Death by “exposure”?”

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5 Comments

  1. Hello all, this is my first time posting =P and I would like to say cookie rules!!!!! Now to move on to giving my 25¢

    Ken: Well, tbh over time for myself. At first just like it was said on the cast, you start out with the character and how you see them putting a little of yourself or who you know into the characters, but just like real life, people grow.. so do characters. When you put them in events and adventures you can not suspect them to be unchanged at all from it, the character grows and becomes something beyond where they started, they grow, change and well move on. I really can not stand when characters go thur hell and high water and the next story they are back to status quo. It does not happen in real life and should not happen in comics, not saying that if a character gets a splinter that they should be immune to getting there arm blown off, but they would learn and suspect such things. Everything we learn from the character from that adventure should carry over, just makes to much sense..

    For me I plan out some changes because of story, the attitude changes, there abilities and even in some cases the outfits. So over all it will change, when I write out the story and draw it they change along the way as well, little things happen that was not part of the bigger plan so they change according or maybe do not change at all. Just run it how real life is, look at your life, everything you did and how much you changed, I am pretty sure what you liked when you was 10 is not what you like now, and what you liked as a teen you do not like as much now, but you learned and move forward, you never stood at that spot in time.

    Dawn: Really, easy way to do it, is not to market to them. You see the parents are the ones that control it to some degree, they also have the money, so really market to kids is an idea, but with kids today they like you and tomorrow they like Xmas trees on Ice. But the parents they are older and if they like you now they like you in 4 weeks. They can give the kids stuff from store and even try to get kids to read it being they buying it for the kids to read, or hug or whatever, it is just a better plan over all.

    Saying that, the Dr ideas is a good one, leave it in Dr’s offices that take care of soon to be mom’s or kids. Dentist offices so on. Any office like that you can easily take a book to and leave it there they love it and most times you do not even need permission just leave it there someone will pick it up.

    The Library idea is good, but how many kids do really go to libraries, it seems like a small market over all to market to kids you will have to think way way outside the box, you can always go to your local McDonalds or so on and leave them some bookmarks or something and ask and see if they would add that to happy meals as an extra items something like that be great or even a local dinner or resturant that has kids as well, leave them something. If you go to a chuck e cheeses you can also leave a book or plush and say here sell this for tickets, ideas like that are strange but you can spread around if you can find nice people. That is something I would do.

    Chris: I read your comic twice… anyway, lol But over all, what was said is what you can do. You can just market it as it’s own story to download for free or a price. People, specially fans like that kind of stuff. If it goes off you can either slowly move your comic in that direction or you can make another site and work on it there when ever you get to it. A special once a year or even something to do a few times a year no one would complain about. Over all if you want to change your comic it will have to be a slow change it just can not happen over night. If you really want to get into serious comics maybe it may be time to hang up current comic or start a 2nd one. That is the issue really with all gag comics, sooner or later the person wants to move on from gags and do serious stuff or just move on from the comic. In end it is your choice what to do, fans will always always come and go. Either way a slow steady pace would be better then any changes over night. Including if you want to make another comic you will have to wait till fans build up.

    Byron: No, seriously just open a blogger account or do it separate. As long as you advertise the stuff the fans that go will go the others well, they do not read anyway. This also allows you to build a different fan base, some people like comics others do not, if you want to talk about music just have a site for that, then link it in your comic so those fans know and you can also get more fans using writing. Eventually, the fans you make in both will cross over to other and you can use both to get out and about more and hit more areas.

    Reader Issue: ZOMG!! You guys are evil, Diamond does publish comics but it is not a publisher, it is Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. That being said… Anyone can get into diamond as long as they willing to pay, depending on what you do you can make little money from them or lots. But either way you need to sell somewhere around 2000$ in presales to be distribute from diamond. That is there rule and why many smaller companies faded.

    Saying that, Comic or book companies as said do want to make money, but odds are you will still be advertising your own work, they will do it to some degree, but in end it is up to you to go that extra mile, you will have to talk to stores you will have to attend con’s book fairs so on. You will still have to do a bit of leg work, companies only do so much, if they did it all then everyone be at the top list. But it is far from the case. They lead with names and to be honest you have no name they will not try hard, you will have to get those people in and then you become worth it to them.

    Just getting publish by a company does not do much, you have an unknown product and all the big companies will do is put you in a book or advertise it some. In end you have to go extra mile to make sure you get known and sold more, or what ends up happening is they cancel you for lack of sales. If your comic or book just make enough money to cover cost they will push you aside they want money so do you.

    But comics are falling behind the times they catching up but slow, self publishing you have many many choices and hard work. Doing it yourself may be hard work but when you do it, it is all your work so if you fail you fail because of yourself, same with publishers they advertise but nothing great, you will have to push forward that extra mile, if not you failed because of yourself. So in end if you are blamed either way you may as well venture forward yourself, if you get picked up by a company you can have more say then if you submit to them.

    There is many stories of companies that screw over the writer or artist as well. Some stories range from just not getting paid till only getting a small percent that was promised. There is one story that always stood with me. A writer was self publishing online and a book company wanted to publish her books, but she of course had to remove the online ones, so after looking at the numbers she found out she would make less money then she is making on her own. With books you get a nice check at start but no pay till company makes back their money.

    Comic companies may put an ad in Preview (which is for diamond) and maybe an ad in a comic they own, but over all that is not much. You have to go to cons you have to do foot work go to stores and so on to push further. So in end you still doing all the work but now you have to split money for your work. And whatever terms you have with company you may not even make much and if the sales do not come they will get ride of it. Many comics are getting cut left and right for lack of sales, so unless you have a name or a huge fan base odds are you should self publish till something comes along….

    Darn.. I ranted.. ok it ends here soooooorrry!!! Be free to ask me questions not like anyone would $_$

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