Webcomic Workshop #32

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Now featuring a listener’s issue each podcast! Happy New Year! First Podcast of 2012!

This podcast we discuss:

Antoine: We’ve seen it in the Comic Books industry. But how do you feel about getting a better artist than yourself to draw a Cover Page of a Potential Upcoming Comic?

Byron: Does Google Analytics have a way to see what files (i.e. images) are being used?  My old stats reports would have a listing of pages and then files.  This way I can see who’s downloading a certain size Desktop, etc. or if a Member’s only file is suddenly being abused.

Ken: Thinking of scaling back from five days to one – is that too much and how would you reformat a comic from daily four panel to weekly nine panel? Note, I’d do as I recommended in past podcasts by posting the sketches on Monday, inking (no text) on Wednesday and Final on Friday OR should I do Comic on Monday, sketches on Wed and inking (no text) on Friday?

Since it’s our first of 2012 why don’t we each tell one or two resolution as artists?

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Posted in Featured News, Podcast.


  1. Since I’m late to THIS party – I’ll give you my thoughts.

    Antoine: If you’re an independent artist who does everything on the book (writing, art, etc) you SHOULD do the cover as well. Generally cover artists are commissioned by the Big Two and are a major selling feature for certain titles. But user owned material ALWAYS has the main artist doing the cover in order to avoid the disappointment.

    A better idea would be to do ‘alternate’ covers that you can use as extras for your book.

    Byron: Ken took care of this – but your hosting should also have a control panel of some kind that has these stats.

    Ken: I think 5 to 1 is a bit much. I’d start scaling back slowly – since you’ve already established a schedule with your readers. There will be an initial disappointment, but in the end, your faithful readers will support you no matter what. From 3, you could move to 1. But a big drop in production like that could be disastrous.

    As for the large 9 panel format, it’s not that difficult to make the switch. It may take a bit of time to get used to, but you have more flexibility in longer arc storytelling.

    In regards to the landscape vs. widescreen format, El Cuervo was set up in a 6 panel grid for this very reason. I could go 3 wide x 2 rows for screen viewing, and 2 wide by 3 rows for print.

    I’d bridge the gap and try to do 2-3 updates a week, with 6 panels. You shouldn’t have much more work than you did with a 5 day update of singles.

    Resolutions: If I had to give my New Year’s Resolution – I’d like to get back to drawing in pencil/pen & ink and bring back the traditional style I’ve lost over the years of doing everything in digital. I’m planning on doing my new comic in this manner.

    I want to expand my artistic horizons, so I’ll be getting back into painting and sculpting so my time making comics will be more focused.

    I’d like to finish strong with El Cuervo, and then wrap it up and move on to The Majors. In addition, El Cuervo will become more of a written novel so I can get out all of the concepts and ideas I really wanted to put out in the graphic novel, but failed.

    I also want to be a good dad, so I need to learn how to balance my time and be patient with my personal pursuits.

    Good podcast. I’m sad I missed it. Maybe next time!

  2. I really dislike “guest artist” covers that don’t represent the interior of the book. It’s standard practice in the Big Two but that’s a different ballgame. You’re buying into established characters and environments. In the indy world, you’re buying as much into the creator as you are the story, art, or presentation. I’ve found that in many cases, I actually get angry when I click on a beautiful ad or open a book with a wonderful cover, only to find that it in no way represents the interior comic art. I feel cheated. Even if the interior art is okay, I’ll still probably put the book down. The expectation was set too high and if I open the book/visit the site and feel let down, I’m moving on to something else.

  3. Ken – It might be good to alter the website highlight RSS feeds and other notification systems if you change schedule. Batch releases can be great, but it can interrupt the ritual of visiting your site. That said, I’m with Antoine on this one: If your main goal is to create a comic, and the business side is not a major priority, don’t worry about the impact it has. Do what keeps you excited about making your comic.

    Antoine – Something about guest covers rubs me the wrong way, particularly with independent books. With Marvel & DC, it’s not just selling, it’s schedule. Each book already has pencils, inks, colors, lettering, and editing done by different people. Why not the cover too? With a independent work, it just seems dishonest and unnecessary. Guest art as extras IN a book can be fun, but I just don’t feel good about using somebody else’s work to sell a product. That, and from an IP stand-point, you better make sure that cover was documented as Work For Hire, otherwise when you start selling it, you could have a copyright issue on your hands.

    Resolutions: I want to become better at interacting with people — ask open-ended questions, be more positive and engage people more effectively.

  4. Antoine: I think it’s a good idea, this always gets into what has been said in comments and yourself, that it does not set up the comic right or so on, only the big companies use it not just marvel and dc but image and others use this idea.

    You see, cover art will and should stand out on it’s own, it has to get the reader to think “I must look inside” So it will be different, better and so on as you yourselves has said, even when you draw it you draw it better then normal or as best as you can. So either way unless you just take a random panel or draw it the same exact way as you did the comic, then really it is no different if someone else doing it.

    Now my part two, it is a good idea because it’s good marketing, the cover artist is not just going to do the cover and say “Here it’s all yours now” No he will tell fans and other people he knows about it so they will buy or see it. So doing it yourself is one thing but getting another may help in that way.

    Also one last thing, no one on earth ever said one cover has to be done, comic companies throw out as many as 10 covers for one book, different cover artist, versions so on.. You can make the cover yourself and have a limited of the special guest star, or vis-versa. It may be a treat for fans even if selling digitally you can do it as well, different formats have different covers not that bad an idea. Most cases online their will be a few pages preview somewhere on the site most likely near the comic being sold, so they will understand. Also odds are you selling to your fans so they already know. If you sell a hard version of the book people will look inside before buying. So really only bad thing about other cover artist would be what you think is bad and it really is far from that.

    Byron: No need to add happy early birthday anyway!!

    Ken: You see, no matter what you do you will loose fans. Scaling back from 5 days should be a slow process not one done fast. I would suggest scaling back to 3 or 4 days maybe adding a panel or 2 if you go to 3 days, then scaling back to 2 days and making the comics 6 panels then doing 1 day with 9 panels.

    After that it really is just what you do story wise. Over time gag a day comic creators tend to want to get away from gag a day, it gets hard to do and you just want to do other things. That is more then ok, you should do what you want. But if it does not fit the comic then you should properly end the comic and start a comic that is more then a gag a day. Look at Ctrl Alt Del as soon as they got more serious and away from games the fans did not like it and said so. Over all if you want to move on I think there is many ways to do it safely with little backlash. In end you will do what you want and if you doing for yourself as you said you are, then do it, who cares no need to ask, do it and go with it. If you doing it for fans sake then you gotta play the game of chess.

    Since it’s our first of 2012 why don’t we each tell one or two resolution as artists?
    Mmm.. I do not make new years resolutions, mostly no one follows em after 2 months, also it is pointless to set a day specially beginning of the year to change things. If I want to change things I plan out steps and start climbing them. Everyone can always say tomorrow tomorrow but tomorrow never comes and what happens when you get hit on the head with a stone gargoyle?? You be dead!! So if you was to die would you be happy with the way it ends? choices you made? If no then change em, that is all, be happy and work on being happy. Life is to short to be unhappy.

    Anyway, dawn is faking it =P I saw he up and running when you recorded the podcast she was drinking up a martini out of a sailors mouth =P

  5. Pingback: Webcomic Alliance - At the Pub: 2011 Review & 2012 Preview

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