Webcomic Workshop #8

This podcast we cover:

Dawn: I tend to over-do-it on the artwork. How do you know when your artwork on any particular comic is done?

Byron: Using Comic Ranking thingies on your site & should you use a Tip Jar?

Ken: Considering the creative direction/writing of your comic: Do you follow your instincts and do what you want to do or do you do what you think your readers will like/respond to? And ultimately, do you think that choice will lead you to a bigger audience?

Antoine: What do you do when you find out a character from a known comic has similarities with one of your character?

Final Thought: Dawn: Newbie alerts!

Drink of the Week: Pawtucket Patriot Ale or Sleeman Red Ale Rousse, you decide!

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5 Comments

  1. Good podcast folks. Especially the musical interlude.

    A few comments:

    Dawn’s point – I find with strip-based comics, Ken’s idea of recycling backgrounds with minimal changes works VERY well. I would even suggest to draw a number of common backgrounds from different viewpoints at oft-used locations and then you can sub them in as you need them. It may be a bit of work at the start, but if you already have 5-10 common backgrounds, you can just sub them in and people will remember that your characters are in a familiar location. And the appearance will always remain consistent.

    Ken’s point – Again, with a strip based comic, you could work in some reader ideas if your current arc allows for it, or keep it in the can for a future idea. A lot of readers are pretty perceptive and can offer additional insights that you wouldn’t have even thought of. If you’ve already got a long term arc planned, you should stick to completing those concepts first. You can always come back and elaborate later. That way you’re engaging your readers and giving them a comic they like, and you’re fulfilling your personal obligations to your story and how you want it to be shown.

    Antoine’s point – I wouldn’t scrap the character completely, unless it was a complete rip-off of an already established, popular character. Similarities will always appear – maybe it is just a matter of phasing out the similar looking items for something that is more personal. Perhaps the leaves on the shirt change into something else, and the colour of the shirt changes as well. Phasing the changes in will draw less attention to them. Then, when you decide to package your work into a volume of some sort, just revamp the old artwork with the newer look and update your archives.

    Good show, folks. 🙂

  2. I remember hearing that the creators of The Simpsons initially centered the show around Bart but due to the response from the audience they purposefully de-emphasized him in favor of Homer, whom the audience adored. Did this help their ratings? Probably. Homer is funnier.

    Also, if entertainers (such as cartoonists) are not satisfied with the response they are getting, wouldn’t it make sense to experiment? The comedian Louis C.K. changed his comedy style noticeably, making it more intimate, more revelatory of his actual life (see http://adamfishbein.blogspot.com/2010/12/stand-up-comedy-of-louis-ck.html which is a discussion of the excellent interview by Marc Maron: http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-111-louis-ck-part-1 ). His audience has responded to the change and grown significantly.

  3. Loved the episode! About made me start laughing like a crazy person at work, which would have gotten me interesting looks…

    I’d love to see how I would do on one of those comic ranking things, but not one of the popularity-contest ones. I was always picked last in gym class, and I have NO juice when it comes to getting votes for things… or getting an audience, for that matter. One of the ones that actually can tell how many visits you get though sounds interesting. Any links to those?

    I’ve been thinking about putting up a Tip Jar myself, and agree with whoever said that you should put one up for a specific purpose. Myself, I’m saving up for a Wacom Cintiq, because I’m tired of my dinky little Graphire.

    And I completely agree with being able to skimp out on backgrounds from time to time. I do it, and I’ve noticed that the professional comics that I’ve read do it too. You don’t need all that background information in every frame, just in enough of them so the reader doesn’t forget where the characters are. 🙂

    Really great final thought. If there’s something I’ve learned from my first year as a comic artist, it’s definitely that it takes a LOT of time and effort to build up an audience. (seems to be doubly or triply so if you’re not a comedy comic… Sad me. 🙁 ) If you build it, they will not necessarily come, unfortunately.

    Can’t wait for the next episode!

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