do you have any suggestions for someone who's about to start their own webcomic?
Gosh! I suppose I do. Here they are:
Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s good to want to make high quality comics, but if you’re too stressed out about the aspects that aren’t perfect, you’re going to feel stuck and it’ll stop being enjoyable. We all have to start exactly where we are!
Keep going. Keep going! I have notebooks full of webcomic ideas I started planning and never launched and there are a lot of comics that stop after a few weeks or months. Sometimes this is because people moved on to better things (that was certainly true in my case), but people also just get discouraged if they’re not getting feedback and give up. Don’t give up! If you like your comics, chances are, someone else out there will too. I was updating Riot Nrrd for months before I was fully convinced that there were humans out there actually reading it.
Yeah, on that note, make comics that you would want to read! Not what you think other people want to read. It makes your job harder. I mean, it’s good to know your audience and respect your audience, but if you’re just pandering to an audience with comics you don’t really care about, that’s a funny kind of respect.
Um, on a more practical note, join Project Wonderful? It’s a really nifty tool, there are a lot of ads you can place for zero or nearly-zero money, and you promote yourself to an audience that you know already likes webcomics.
I guess this should go without saying, but don’t expect to make money. I have been doing my webcomic for a year and a half now, and I’m pretty sure the truly dismal amount of money I’ve made so far is unusually high for that period of time. It’s like having this weird part-time job, except I don’t get paid and I can’t even really put it on my resume.
When you have ideas, write them down. I have lists scribbled everywhere of things coming up in the comic, which lets me put an order to them and maybe realize how things should fit together better than if I was just working on one comic at a time. Writing out a complete script for each comic also makes planning jokes and art easier. And then you have a transcript at the ready!
Talk to other webcomics artists! I mean, you talked to me sort of, so that’s great! I still don’t think of myself as very experienced, and I think my creative process is kind of a weird one, so you should see what tips other people give, too. But also, in general, chat with comics artists you like, on twitter or tumblr or in real-time meat-space. Some of them may not answer, but chances are they won’t be intentionally rude. Some of them will be very friendly, and you might make a neat comics pal! I certainly consider Sam of Rooster Tails a friend. And we just know each other because we make drawings for the internet! That’s so cool.
Jeph Jacques (whether or not you like his work) wrote some good advice on the actual practical choosing-a-domain, getting-hosting, designing-your-site kind of stuff.
Oh! When I was starting out I also heeded a lot of the advice in this article, in that it’s satire so I followed the opposite of it.
Posting to my alma mater’s (annoying, joyfully ignorant, mean, like Jesus do you even do a second of research before you do ANYTHING including 1. saying things 2. inviting speakers to say equally eye-rolly things 3. hanging up your terribble exploitative posters without even going through the student activities office, and, uh yeah, right-wing) PoliSci club facebook page.
Yes, by all means, pick a symbol of chastity that has a giant horn atop its head. That’s a good idea.
This is also getting the symbolism all confused. Unicorns aren’t virgins themselves, they only allow themselves to be touched by virgins. Which is a waaay creepier connotation than what yer going for here.
just trying to remember what wolverine looks like over here
[triptych of screen-captures of Riot Nrrd in purple sketching stage. Unrelated sketches of Wolverine’s head, and occasionally hand/claws and shoulders, are floating in each. Writing nearby reads “BUB”, “snkt”, “snkt” and “BUBUBBUBUBUB”]