Webcomic Workshop #6

The topics we cover in this podcast are:

Antoine: Brand Parody? What are we allowed to do, law and copyright wise?

Dawn: Project Wonderful – better to manually bid on a couple big-name sites, or set up a campaign for lots of smaller sites with similar subject matter?

Ken: What metrics are you guys using to measure where you are as a comic and as a business? *Metrics is a ‘businASS’ word I hate, but couldn’t think of anything that would be more appropriate. *

Byron: What to do when you piss off a reader. (In my case when I showed a bare breast on Robyn… really? man…)

Drink of the Week: Amaretto on the Rocks

Final Thought – Dawn: Guest comics and taking a hiatus.

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20 Comments

      • Strange! If I click on the in browser player, it plays Podcast #1. If I click on any of the other links, nothing loads. So I selected the download option, and it hangs. It’s only until I delete the letter ‘a’ at the end of the file (006a.mp3) that it loads.

        I’ll try different browsers and on my home PC, but I swear I’ve never had this problem before.

        • Odds-bodkins, man. I just tried it in IE, which I never use, so I’m not logged in as anything in that browser and it played fine on the page and in the pop-up, but the Download did hang up in IE.

          I copied and pasted the link into a new tab in IE and it worked fine. It was a bit slow in loading, but seemed fine.

          I cannot get it to play the first podcast for me. Try cleaning out your Cache and cookies like in Antoine’s article.
          http://www.webcomicalliance.com/helpful-hints/warning-got-cookies/

          Try that and I’ll keep testing this out.

  1. Hi, I stumbled on your podcast on huffduffer.com (of all places) and quickly caught up to the latest episode. Having grown up on a steady diet of The Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes, I’ve dreamed now and then of having my own comic strip, but the last time I devoted much time or effort toward this was creating a monthly strip for my high school newspaper. I like the perspective of the show, artists helping each other “troubleshoot” their comic strips rather than something more focused on readers, and I hope you keep it up!

    • Thanks! We are getting a lot of compliments on our format, and we hope that in helping ourselves sort out the issues we have as cartoonists, others can relate and we help the community as well. It’s all about continued growth!

    • Hey Philip! Thank you very much. I too was inspired by Larson and Watterson among others and also did comics for my High School and College newspapers. It took me 30 years, but I finally just dove in and started up my webcomic. It’s been 4 years since I did so and my internship is on-going… and this podcast has been fantastic for myself and the others, so I’m glad listeners can relate and take some information that may help them as well.

      Thanks for listening and we have a bunch more coming, so stay tuned!

  2. just a heads up – this ain’t working – plays for one minute. also downloaded via itunes straight onto my phone and same thing.

  3. Great podcast. The guest art is something I’ve been thinking about lately. Specifically, (non-canon) strips to appear in the comic between chapters. Something fun which would also give me time to pop a few more strips into the old buffer. I’m not sure if I’ll end up doing it, but the cast gave me something to think about if I do go that direction. 😀

  4. Giving the podcasts a listen. I like the informal chats on webcomicy goodness!

    I do think you guys were a bit off-base in regards to the “pissing off readers” portion, where the take-away was “do what you like.” In this case, it was the bare breast.

    But, here’s the thing: When you produce serialized fiction for an audience, you enter into an unspoken contract with the reader. Byron’s unspoken contract was “the tease,” not the bare breast. You broke the contract, without much warning or forethought.

    If you were intending on doing “more adult” and starting to not filter nudity, it now becomes a different kind of strip, with a different kind of experience. I believe (and this is just my opinion) that is a miscalculation. It’s tantamount to the Wiggles suddenly blurting “oh, hell!”

    It’s up to the creators to create a consistent universe, where certain things happen a certain way on a regular basis. That includes the level of reality you are establishing, the kinda of humor you are mining and the “rules” regarding mature content. And if you choose to deviant (like a musical episode does of a TV series), you need to reset your audience’s expectations and prepare them.

    There are some artists who don’t give a crap about audience size, but I don’t think you fall in that category. Why alienate some readers over something that you didn’t have THAT much heart for? Why not apologize for miscalculating reader expectations? (Note, not apologize for the content, but for the creative miscalculation?) You “broke” the unspoken contract, and some readers felt “ambushed.” In a way, it’s also a testament to your consistency and the depth to which they’ve entered your universe. Be sensitive to it.

    For my own comic, my “rule” is not only include content that would air on network TV between 8-9. That does include some racier fare like FRIENDS and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, but it puts real boundaries on language, nudity and innuendo… and I hold myself to that.

    The “covered up” and “alternate nipple version” are fair compromises, which should please your audience, though.

    • Fair enough and good point. The “unwritten” contract is a good analogy and I did break it. I push the boundaries a lot with my comic (and I call it PG-17 for a reason) but I guess the bare breast was out of bounds.

      I didn’t really think so, but I have maintained the “no nip-slip” rule before and sense and not had any complaints.

      Thanks for listening an sharing your view points… that’s what this is all about!

      • You could have taped it up with a big “CENSORED” sign and then given your members the actual uncensored page.

        Hindsight = 20/20

  5. Just heard this today. Interesting how after hearing you guys for an hour, the thing I think upon walking away is “so that’s where Dawn got that banner idea!”

    • ahahaha, yeah, it was a little experiment. Got the idea from Scott Kinoshita of Super Temps. He’s big into stats and google analytics and using that to zero in on demographics. Maybe I had unreasonable expectations, but it didn’t give the turnover I was hoping for.

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