Webcomic Workshop Podcast 76


Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face.

This podcast we discuss:

Chris: I recently had a freelance professional illustration project that ended up being killed. That’s actually a good thing because some of the stuff that I was being asked to draw was leaning more towards racial stereotypes than actual caricatures and I was reluctant to incorporate some of the suggestions I was getting. So, the question is – how do you deal with commissions or freelanced work requests with subject matters you’re uncomfortable drawing?

Drezz: How many hours a day / avg per week do you spend on your comics + the business of your comic + promotion of your comic (not including conventions). I ask this, because I feel like I spend a ridiculously LOW amount of time on my own work and I’m wondering if that has been a major hindrance in getting noticed. I do active promotion daily (1x to 2x) I update 5 days a week, and I post on 3 sites but I don’t feel like I’ve been increasing my readership? Perhaps the next step is printing merch and hitting consโ€ฆ

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  1. Another great podcast folks, thank you!

    Yeah Byron summed it up perfectly, we all have to find our own path. It’s tough. The WebComics Weekly model does not work for every comic online, mostly for the gag-a-day comic strips, gaming culture, etc.

    I’m in Dawn’s camp, the comic for kids. I see this when I’m at Cons too. So is a web-presence helping me? The big question, with no real answer. I’ might try some things in 2015, limiting what I give away for free, still thinking about that.

    Thanks again, for talking about what exactly been on my mind too.

    Drezz, I used to get postcards for Crime, Detective, and Pulp cons. You may want to look around for Cons like that in your area, seems more genre specific for your comic.

    • I love it when I’m right. ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously though, thanks for listening and I’m glad we were able to provide you some food for thought. It’s tough and there’s no one answer.

      I too am looking for more targeted conventions or events to attend that would better suit my rock and roll/pin-up style.


    • I have looked into a few and I’d have to travel. I have a feeling that I’d find some success at smaller book fairs or indie culture events, seeing as my comic is more indie and mature in nature.

      But – here’s the thing. I’m slowly evolving away from just comics into more illustration, which has always been my primary passion and strength. I’m a creative director and designer by trade, and a comic book creator for fun, but I LOVE illustration, and I’m hoping to do more in 2015.

      That may end up being my calling… and from there I may end up attending more shows focused to artists.

    • yeah, poor Drezz is in the middle of nowhere, Canada. In fact, if you mail a letter to that address, specifically, they just assume it’s him.

      So stinking lucky I live on the east coast! yet, this weekend, I travel 8 hours to go to a tiny show in Cleveland. Mainly cuz it’s my hometown and I get to see some midwest friends. some shows are for “fun” but most are for the green stuff.

  2. It never surprises me how unimaginative and stereotypical a clients needs are. I just had a conversation with a few freelancer friends about this and its so common that if we turned down every job like this we’d be broke. Often times its just subtle- For example, they will ask for a group of children playing *draws group of diverse children* client will ask for revisions slowly hinting that they only want white blued eyed kids- but they wont come out and say it. I drew an african american kid doing math- client kept telling me he looked too aggressive- after several revisions i finally changed the kid to caucasian- art instantly approved. Its pretty shitty but so are some clients i guess.
    In the end its usually “the customer is alway right”- but i do a draw a line at some point (if you feel really uncomfortable about something then cut lose as graciously and cleanly as you can). I think telling your client “this isn’t really me specialty” is a good way out. The moral clause is a fabulous idea, im going to recommend it to all my buddies!
    BTW- Byron your story is heartbreaking ๐Ÿ™

    • Cmorgan, you ain’t alone. Trust me, even in the snack food biz (dayjob)… I find myself DE-diversifying certain ads that are supposed to be “gourmet”. Ticks me off, but that’s when I go into robot-mode.
      Chris’ issue was a bit different tho… an illustration piece that has racist or prejudiced tones (no pun, ha!) is more likely to cause a fuss than an ad with a bunch generic white children. And we illustrators want no part of said fuss!

    • I ran into the same problem with a client. He has an ongoing series of Christian based graphic novels where at first all the children were white. I tried to explain to him that for the market he is aiming diversity is key. He fought me tooth and nail on it until, he realized I had a point. So he added Black kids (note: African American is a geographical term, just had to put that out there) kids and Hispanic kids. I was then able to help make the project more diversified as well and shaking up the color pallet. There are only so many Caucasian flesh tones you can use in one comic. If you are interested, the comic is called Reagan and RJ in Space Sattelite Rescue, I think you can download it for free.

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