Social Media Is The Place To Be For Comics

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.

Tom FalcoI 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.

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Are You Feeling It?

(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.
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Alliance Chat 43

Welcome to the Alliance Chat: Where no topic has gone before!

In this podcast, we chat our plans and goals for 2016.

Pick of the Week: Molly and the Bear

Molly and the Bear by Bob Scott (Update 2017: the comic is now called “Bear with Me”) is a very fun and original family friendly comic that takes us into the life of 11 year old Molly and her unusual pet a 900 lb pet bear.  Yep, you heard right, a 900 lb bear.  After realizing that life in the great outdoors is just one terrorizing event after another Bear decides life has to be better in the suburbs and that’s where Molly meets him one day and brings him home.

Life at home has just been turned upside down for Dean, Molly’s dad, but Molly is ecstatic with the new pet that she now has.   The story follows the many escapades that Bear and the family find themselves in with a new 900 lb house guest to feed and accommodate.

Bob Scott, creator of Molly and the Bear, is a veteran of 20 years in animation. Bob’s drawing and illustration work have appeared in various books such as “Your Friend the Rat”, “The Art of WALL-E”, and “Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown”. His animation has been seen in numerous feature films such as “Toy Story 3”, “Ratatouille”, “WALL-E”, “The Incredibles”, “The Prince of Egypt” and many others. He has worked for Pixar since 1999 and is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts film and animation program.

Bob brings his unique style to this online comic creating a fun lovable family and a story that just leaves you smiling as you read each new strip. Bob makes Bear a member of the family and creates an ongoing dialog between Bear and the family members that really shows the dynamic between Bear and Molly and the ongoing conflict that Molly’s Dad has with having Bear around. Even when Dean is upset with Bear you always get a glimpse of how much he cares for him and how he knows how important Bear is to Molly.

Part of the main fun about Molly and the Bear is seeing Bear’s take on the world around us. He brings a certain innocence to the day to day that sheds a comical light on what we consider normal and just accept. Life with a 900 lb Bear can’t be an easy task but Molly has embraced it wonderfully.

If you are like me and enjoy a great Family Friendly all ages comic that you can share with your friends and family, and one that makes you laugh and feel good each time you read it then look no further than Molly and the Bear.

Find the comic at its Website or at GoComics