Webcomic Workshop #43

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face.

No one said we could count… this one is actually Podcast #43! Now we can all sleep at night. 

This podcast we discuss

Byron:   Remembering stuff.  I am having a terrible time with it.  I use to use my Outlook w/ Pocket PC software but that’s finally died.  Outside of buying a Smartphone (which I won’t do) any goo things out there that may or may not sync with Outlook to remind me to do shit?  Or other software (sticky notes is okay) that stands alone?  My biggest issue is I have two PCs I work on and keeping the reminders in sync (the Pocket PC did this easily).

Dawn:  Just got an iPad. Would love to hear some app suggestions that may help with comic creation or productivity. Yes, yes, I already bought skethbook pro for doodling, but I do not intend to create my comics on the iPad.

Drezz:  Adult oriented comics – should I be doing more to explain to first time readers that I have a ‘restricted-material’ type comic before they get into it? I’ve had my fair share of social media followers drop after they’ve read into my archives to find violent material. Its more off-putting than cheeky sexual innuendos and swearing – violence seems to be a bit taboo…

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  1. Interesting discussion, the iPad is great. I use thebrshespp to make m comc, but no pressure sensitive styus can be limiting. Penultimate app is great fo note taking at work. I find m gmail synchs Just fine.

    • my goodness, terrible iphone typing there, sorry. Back to the Mac, what I meant was I used BRUSHES app for comic making. Great podcast today yall.

  2. But, guh, do I ever know what Drezz is going through with wrangling new audiences when you have a violent comic. I think a few folks around here still remember my old webcomic Marsh Rocket, which had a pretty good amount of violence and foul language. When setting up the website, I created a landing page with a “read the latest comic here” button and right next to that button was a notification of “This comic contains graphic violence and language, reader discretion is advised.” That right there sewed up the vast majority of issues with new readers and the issue of violent content. Readers knew what they were getting into when they first arrived at the site, and could make the choice whether to go forward with reading. With that set up, I never got any complaints.

    However, I never could build a very big readership either.

    When I made the choice to create a comic with graphic violence and language, I had no idea how much I’d be limiting my readership. Webcomic readers just don’t embrace violence the same way as they embrace other kinds of mature content, such as porn (as long as the author states explicitly the comic is a porn comic) or vulgar language. Maybe it could be the safe for work issue, or maybe it could be that violence is already so prevalent in mainstream media, but whatever the case, violence can drastically limit a comic’s audience. It’s just something that we as creators have to deal with.

    When I started Valkyrie Squadron, I didn’t want that same audience limitation on me, so I made the conscious descision to greatly limit the violence and censor any profanities with symbols. As far as the writing goes, the comic is not milquetoast or sanitized; it’s just not as explicit about the grittier elements. I believe this decision has helped me to build a stronger readership than I ever had with Marsh Rocket. Anyone can pick it up and read it without having an explicit reason to walk away.

    I bring this up because Drezz discussed beginning a new project soon and I wanted to give him some food for thought. I hope to share what I learn so other creators don’t make the same mistakes as I did at one point.

    • Thanks Jules – its funny how things connect sometimes. Marsh Rocket was one of the reasons why I decided to pursue El Cuervo. It had some similar thematic elements and I noticed that there was a niche attached to it.

      I figured I could gain the interest of folks who liked Sin City and Tarantino movies etc – but as the months passed (I’m just past my second year now) I noticed a familiar trend emerging. I had spikes in traffic due to morbid curiosity or blind faith. Those dropped off dramatically (especially during social media plugs) and I’m finding that a lot of newer readers REALLY like the genre or don’t like it at all.

      My landing page has been a bit of a barrier that turns away a number of those folks. I don’t mind, to be honest – but its annoying in some aspects. You can’t really FORCE a readership to emerge. Nor can you predict HOW it will emerge. It just happens.

      I have a feeling when I put Eddie to bed, that readership will appear all of a sudden. That would be my luck.

      • Wow, Marsh Rocket inspired you to start El Cuervo? That is amazing. I am shocked my humble little violent action story made any sort of impact, but if it could bring creators to create, that’s better than anything ever imagined.

        The readership question is a funny thing, especially for a more mature action comic, but it does come. You just have to hit the right chord with the right audience. I have faith you’ve got a better chance reaching folks with El Cuervo than I ever did with Marsh Rocket because you still have passion for it. I can tell. As long as the fire burns, you can always reach someone.

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