Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Part 2 of our series on Websites for Webcomics. So you’ve decided where to host your comic (from Part 1’s topic), but what should be a part of your website? What gets top priority when you’re designing it? Robin Childs (LeyLinesComic.com & MokoPress.com), Dawn Griffin (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris […]
The question always comes up – “How to I get more readers for my comic strip?” And cartoonists have all sorts of answers – Tumblr, Tapastic, Facebook, and I think they are all great. I think social media has helped so many creative people. It’s a fast, easy way to get your work seen. While I feel that comic creators should have their own websites, I don’t believe they are as great as social media for getting viewers. When you publish on a website, there is that single comic there, the question is, how are you going to get people, lots of people, to click on your one site daily or even every few days, to read your comic. I do believe there is strength in numbers and comic sites with more than one comic are great, but I truly believe that social media is best. It’s unobtrusive and your feature pops up in people’s timelines without any fuss. It is just part of their daily life.
I took a break from my comic panel Tomversation; I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I’ve decided to start publishing daily again and this time on Facebook. My goal was always to be published in newspapers daily, and I’ve had a few bites from rather large newspapers, but the timing is always off. And almost 20 years ago, when I had my chance for daily publication, I decided to go in another direction. I’m still kicking myself in the head for that
For a long time I did a comic daily on Instagram and it had thousands of readers a day. It just came up on their feeds and they read it that way. Unobtrusively, because social media is unobtrusive. I recommend that cartoonists publish as part of any social media platform, whichever works best for you.
I’ve noticed that people prefer to read the comic at the platform, rather than click over to your website to read the comic. So if possible, post it fully at Facebook or Twitter or wherever.
When Berkeley Breathed brought back Bloom County, he used Facebook and he publishes there daily, he has about 670,000 fans on there and New Yorker Cartoons has over 913,000 fans and amazingly, Matthew Inman who does The Oatmeal, has almost 4 million fans on Facebook, he links to his website from there. The Facebook posts are “liked” and shared all day long!
When someone “likes” a comic, their friends see that they liked it, nothing is private anymore. So to that end, starting January 1, 2017, Tomversation will appear daily on Facebook. The goal is to build up a fan base during the year.
I invite you to like my page at Facebook.com/Tomversation. There are many items there now and you’ll receive the updated comic when it starts on January 1. And you can always read my thoughts and see what I’m up to at my Tomversation blog at Tomversation.com where I will post a batch of comics at once, so you can binge read them, sort of like Netflix for comics. In the meantime the blog covers arts and culture and some personal stuff sometimes.
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Robin, Liz, Christina and Byron talk about the do’s and don’ts of interacting on social media. What boundaries do you set, and why.
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… What are the advantages and disadvantages to self hosting verses using a service like Tumblr, Facebook, or a comic community like Tapastic? Robin (LeyLinesComic.com & MokoPress.com), Chris (CapesNBabes.com), Christina (Sombulus.com), and Liz (AdrastusComic.com) discuss what to consider about your hosting options before putting your comics on the […]
(Note from Byron: This is a guest article by Mark Stokes, a long-time reader/listener here at the Alliance. You can find Mark’s comic, Zombie Boy, here: http://www.zombieboycomics.com/)
Are You Feeling It?
We all have those days when we just don’t feel inspired. We don’t feel creative, and there are so many other distractions for us that putting out a comic seems like such a bother.
I’m going to open up with you about something that’s not so easy for me to express, but I think it might be helpful to some of you. Since I started drawing the Zombie Boy comic strip, I’ve been through some very trying times. In my second year of drawing the strip, an eleven year live-in relationship unraveled with all the pain, anger, and sadness that comes along with it. In my third year, I was laid off of a ten-year job that I expected would last forever. In my fifth year, I lost my beloved pug, Pooj, the inspiration for Zombie Boy’s best friend, Gorr, a personal devastation that left me at one of the lowest points in my life. I’ve experienced periods of profound loneliness and depression, anxiety, heartbreak, fear, and loss, and yet, through it all I’ve consistently updated. Even when my life was splintering into pieces and falling down all around me, the strip got done.
I’m no Hercules, I’ll tell you that. I’m not one of those guys with such steely determination that nothing would stop me when I set my mind to it, either. I just love making this comic and I’ve set a schedule that I’m committed to. It’s no great shakes to have to produce three comic strips each and every week. It’s not something I’m obsessed about either, it’s just something that I truly enjoy and that my work might brighten someone else’s day makes it worth it.
But there are times when I’m having a terrible day, things don’t go as planned, I’ve been called into the boss’s office, or a good friend lets me down and I feel very low — still, the strip gets done. There is a redemptive quality to producing the work, even when I’m not entirely feeling it. I’m all about the endorphins, and if my work brings a little blip of joy or a chuckle, well, that’s a strong motivator.
I’m not telling you this to illicit your sympathy, it’s just that I’m hoping you can glean something good from my experience. Many of my most joyous strips were created at very low moments in my real life. Being able to tap into that part of me that can feel that joy, even though it is not manifested in my exterior life, has been a true blessing. It’s not a matter of can you do it, it’s a matter of can you make yourself do it. Life goes on whether you create or don’t. No one is going to care more than you. Personally, for me being able to produce without that perfect mental state has been a redemption. No one else is responsible for what you do or don’t do, only you have that power.
Let me make a suggestion. The next time you feel low or uninspired, or you just don’t feel like working, go ahead and try to anyway. Or take a walk and think about what you might want to do and then get to work. Waiting around to feel inspired or more “in the mood” is just a waste of time.
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… One question we are asked a lot: “How do I get more eyeballs on my work?” Today we talk about events and activities for creators to connect to new readers, peers, and communities. Not to mention have a lot of fun in the process! Robin (LeyLinesComic.com & […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… The Old Fart Byron invited long-time friend of the Webcomic Alliance Kurt Sasso of TGT Media, and special guest Dirk Manning of the comic series TALES OF MR. RHEE and NIGHTMARE WORLD, to join in on a rant about digital comic distribution and how it could potentially […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Starting a story can be intimidating. There are so many different things to consider! The plot, the characters, the theme…Where to begin? Robin (LeyLinesComic.com & MokoPress.com), Dawn (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris (CapesNBabes.com), and Liz (AdrastusComic.com) share their favorite resources and techniques for developing your stories and getting started. People, […]
If you’re active on social media lately, you may have seen the fun fad of #3fictionalcharacters, wherein you choose 3 characters you feel represent aspects of your personality best. We at the Alliance decided this would be a fun topic for an article, wherein we share our favorite and most fitting COMIC and WEBCOMIC […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… The Old Fart Byron has returned! He chats about his life in the past 6 months. Robin chats about her upcoming autobiographical comic she is doing and all that is involved in that process. That then segues into all of us chatting about things that shaped our […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Blogs can be a great way to connect with readers, but where do you come up with topics to fill them? Robin (LeyLinesComic.com & MokoPress.com), Dawn (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris (CapesNBabes.com), and Liz (AdrastusComic.com) brainstorm different techniques for generating blog ideas. (For extra credit, review Drezz’s article “No Comments? […]
(Special Thanks goes to our own Chris Flick, for his insights on this article!) Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past two years, you know that a new Ghostbusters move was released this year. And you also know that the titular team of ghost fighting characters was gender-flipped from male to female. […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Robin (LeyLinesComic.com & MokoPress.com), Dawn (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris (CapesNBabes.com), and Christina (Sombulus.com) ponder printing books. When is the right time to make a book? What complications arise when you create more than one? What are the pros and cons to different approaches, such as Print-On-Demand vs offset printing? […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Robin (LeyLinesComic.com), Dawn (DawnGriffinStudios.com), Chris (CapesNBabes.com), Liz (AdrastusComic.com), and Jacques (NotSoSuperComics.com) share our cost saving tips for comic conventions! A special thanks to the folks that shared their own tips and tricks, Kambrea Pratt, Jimmy Steen, Bret Juliano, and Michael Rhodes. And if you’d like to make […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Robin, Dawn, Chris, and Christina examine PATREON: What to post? How often? What works, what doesn’t? How can I build a routine? What ways can I engage my readership? How do I make the experience special for Patrons? AND we have a drink of the week (the […]
As a reader and creator of longform webcomics, I know there’s nothing more frustrating than stagnant scenes. Many longform webcomics only update once a week, and those 4-5 pages only cover so much ground. And if you’re writing a particularly extensive conversation, five minutes could easily take months. I’ve written before about a few pacing hurdles […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. Today’s discussion… Recovering from failure and disappointment. How do you reconnect with your passion, stay motivated, and keep going? We share our experiences and lessons learned after tough shows, crowd funding stress, and other stumbling blocks. Dawn’s advice? Drink heavily and unleash unholy beasts of the sea. Hey, whatever […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. In this BONUS podcast… We welcome two special guests, Joel Duggan and Piper Thibodeau. Joel took the expertise he developed as a solo creator to start an independent publishing company called Forge Publishing. His mission is to help other creators who might lack the know-how or time to publish […]
Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face. This podcast we discuss: Today we welcome two new members to the Webcomic Alliance! Christina Major of Sombulus and Jacques Nyemb of Not So Super. Robin also takes over as host from Byron, and does her best to live up to his example.
Welcome everyone, to our new series of quick-tips articles, called “The Alliance Weighs In”, where we collectively offer advice or insight on a topical subject in the comic-making industry! This month we’re tackling our “Achilles Heels”…. so the question is: What do you consider your greatest weakness making comics and how have you overcome it? […]