Webcomic Workshop Podcast #54

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face.

This podcast we discuss:

Drezz: ย Other sources of generating income in relation to your site – instead of slogging it out just drawing comics, do you attempt to create a business that centers around a product and have the comic as an additional draw

Robin:ย  Persona & the dangers of false internet familiarity.ย  Do you have an internet persona – and is that a good or bad thing?ย  How does that impact your interactions with readers?

Posted in Featured News, Podcast.


  1. I really tried creating a persona outside my personal life/work life. We all wear different hats in different social roles but after months and conventions sooner or later my worlds collided. I tried keeping my artistic persona away from my work life but when I appeared on Univision I couldn’t hide any longer. Creating an internet persona is a worthwhile attempt but it is not guarantied to last. Just my 2 cents! Great workshop guys!

  2. I honestly have to be careful about the alter ego thing.

    In my day job I am a pillar of my community (not quite, but…), a high school teacher, department chair, and keeper of Saturday School detention (think Breakfast club minus all the hi-jinks). My main character is a felon, a lowlife, a serious drinker, and, once or twice, a pilferer of parts off of other people’s motorcycles. If I let my persona as an artist cross over with the persona of my main character much, it could look bad, were my admin or my school board care enough to look at the thing. Which they may not. Hard to say. I’m not up for giving them any ammo.

    I considered doing something like what Byron has behind his membership curtain, let Jones have some actual biker rally fun, and decided against it in favor of keeping the strip mostly clean. So even when I’m working my angle as a publisher or a comic strip artist, I find it essential to keep the distance between myself and Jones very clear. In reality we are pretty far apart (these days) but it would be fun to get some mojo going with persona. But I like my job. And my family likes me having it.

    • Definitely a situation where you have to use caution. I wasn’t even thinking, when recording the podcast, about those of us who have characters based on ourselves (or even that just LOOK like ourselves).. which is ironic, as I have a character based on myself in my comic. In that case, I only show the PG moments, obviously… and I also don’t disclose any hurtful info or get into arguments I may have with my husband. The arguments in the comic are NEVER things we ever fight about, they’re more generic.

      In your case, ever think of a pen name? Maybe be too late, but that’s a scenario pen name’s were made for :0)

      • Jones doesn’t look like me, but his bike is the spittin’ image of my trusty ol’ shovelhead.

        I did once have a pen name, Rupert Piston, which I used to hide behind while my skills improved. I had a hard time buying my own BS when I tried to introduce myself as Rupert Piston. I went back to my real name a few months into the start of my comic, and now it’s too late.

        I got interviewed on a biker podcast radio thing and I really should have worked up some alter ego mojo for it. These guys seemed let down, disappointed, and even sort of lied to when they found out I’m a teacher and don’t really live the biker lifestyle 24-7. Or even one day a month. Kinda funny.

        One of my students googled me during class the other day and found some of my comic work. “Mr. Campbell, did you draw this?”

        Like you, there’s a general assumption that we’re dealing with fiction. But some mojo would be in order once in a while.

    • Well, more than one of my clients have looked at me funny when they find my comic’s site and happen to land on some of the PG-17 stuff. But for the most part people have a good time with it and it’s been a good conversation starter. But for me, I’m dealing with my PAST and not my present and they can tell what’s fiction and what’s not (well, some can. The others are just idiots…)

      So, I’m careful of which of my clients I let know of my comic. But, it doesn’t take a genius to Google my name and BAM! There’s ALL type of stuff about the comic and me.

  3. Everyone acts different in different social contexts. You don’t talk to a single person the same way you talk to a room full of people. You don’t talk to your boss the same way you talk to a toddler. And you don’t talk to your internet followers the same way you talk to your friends. Why? Because even if the general tone should be “friendly”, you’ve got different things to say to each of them, and you optimize your language to get your point across better depending on who you’re talking to, the medium you’re using, how large the audience is, and whether you’re instructing, informing, asking for information, or just having fun. Filters and personas like that are completely natural, and not at all a bad thing.

    That said, I do know there’s a “false internet familiarity” phenomenon where the audience imagines people they meet or follow on the internet to be something they’re not like Drezz mentioned. I wouldn’t encourage a persona of a person drastically different than myself, but I don’t know what I can really do to stop people from jumping to their own conclusions about me otherwise.

    • man, when you put it that way, it sounds far more complicated than I ever thought it was! But you’re right, we all do this anyway, subconsciously to a degree… adding in an internet persona is just another sub-division of yourself.

      This discussion is beginning to sound like that show Catfish– where people actually meet the “internet crush” they have been “dating”. You sure can’t control other’s imaginations running away with themselves, but you can TRY to hone them.

      For me, it’s as simple as this— I don’t swear or say anything too adult on my site, and at my convention table I act the same way.. just a simple censoring. My personality itself is the same, in the comic and in person. (even tho my female character is just BASED on me, she does LOOK like me… so I also ensure she doesn’t do anything that outlandish)

  4. This was a great show. I especially can relate to the topic of your online persona vs. your real persona. Last year I met up with a group of webcomicers, who like me, have a crass and vulgar webcomic. We discussed our concerns that people might expect us to be a certain way based on our online persona, just to find out we are nothing like what they would have expected.

    My own webcomic is crass, vulgar, and sometimes a little direct when it comes to relationships. As someone who is in the dating scene, I’m sometimes a little worried about giving out my email which contains my full name, in case someone decides to google my name and come across my webcomic and judge me based off that.

    I once met someone for the first time after she read my comic and was surprised to find out that I was actually a really sweet guy, who just enjoyed telling crass jokes in my webcomic. I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with the idea of my webcomic being just a webcomic, and my real life persona being the vessel that creates said product. I still hold off before giving my last name, but I find most people are understanding of the need to two personalities.

    • heh, you have the opposite issue I do. I censor myself, and people expect you to be uncensored, LOL.

      But the dating life, much like if you were job-hunting, causes an issue, if you make an “adult/mature” comic in any shape or form. Though it may be too late for it to matter to anyone currently with a comic like this, a pen name is something to consider if you are starting a mature comic.

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