General Discussion

Do Comments, Replies = Love?
smkinoshita at 7:50AM, May 19, 2008
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Great feedback, everyone! I started the thread because I was curious about comment etiquette beyond the obvious anti-trolling, and to find out why people comment and how important author availability was.

Here's an extra twist question: Would you comment more if your comments had a direct impact to the development on the comic?

This goes beyond constructive criticism – I mean that the comments clearly could alter how the story progresses. Say people hated a certain character and wanted him to die – after five pages of death requests, suddenly this character does die, and permanently. Would this make you comment MORE, or would you prefer to just see the story unfold?

For those who prefer to watch the artist and author's vision unfold, what would you think about a comic designed for interactivity on purpose?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
mattchee at 8:11AM, May 19, 2008
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Would you comment more if your comments had a direct impact to the development on the comic?

Reader perspective: It might be cool, in a special case where that was the way the comic worked. But, ultimately, I read to see what the author has to say, not because I want to dictate what happens. It might be neat, though if people were waiting for something to happen, and eventually the author gives in and gives people something indulgent, but if I knew this was coming, it wouldn't be as special. Basically, I don't think it would really dictate one way or another whether or not I would comment.

Creator perspective: Like i said above…. I would never make any guarantees, but if someone mention an idea that I thought was cool, I might run with it a bit… I don't think I'd be killing off characters unless i planned to, though…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
worstcase at 10:13AM, May 19, 2008
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Would you comment more if your comments had a direct impact to the development on the comic?

I think it depends on whether its a story or a strip. If its a strip and you suggest ideas over and over, i think thats fine and pretty cool. But if its a storyline, thats trouble. I don't think an author should change his vision because of reader demand.

But thats just me
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:51PM
Deathfire at 11:46AM, May 19, 2008
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Lessee, I hope I read the first post right (I'm very distracted right now lol)

Well, I'm new and so my comic hasn't had enough exposure yet, but if I compare it to my first days on Deviantart (which was what…5-6 years ago???), I've gotten attention very quickly! Of course I don't care about popularity (okay, maybe a little lol), but when people comment, it reassures me that readers love my work, and for every comment, there might be 5-10 views as well (I know not all that look at my stuff comment, I'm that way too). Now I've been commenting back accordingly to some comments (if they asked a question or I wanted to clarify something), but I know this won't happen in later months/years. I'm a very busy (and lazy) person, so I'll read all the comments I get, but I probably can't get to all of them. But otherwise, I really appreciate the comments. ^_^

Would you comment more if your comments had a direct impact to the development on the comic?

Hmm…well I don't really comment that much usually…so no. ^^' I only really comment if I'm in an unnaturally good mood, or the page is drawn very well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:09PM
Bocaj at 12:34PM, May 19, 2008
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Sure, I mean, TheMidge28 recently showed a sketch and asked help for naming it. I helped.
Are you trying to make a comic completely based off that?

Don't read Rape.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:31AM
Druchii at 12:49PM, May 19, 2008
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I think to some extent it does, but I had always figured that if anyone took the time to leave a comment, then they were truly getting into the story. I have tried to reply to each comment in turn, but some I have no response to, and I'll not insult the comment maker by just posting back random thoughts.

I'm grateful for the readership that I've garnered in such a short time, and each comment bolsters me forward to keep going with the storyline and art.

I think there are a fair amount of readers that don't leave comments and that's okay in my book. I've done that with some that I have on my favorites list, where when a particular run in a story really touches a chord with me, then I feel like I want to let them know, so then I'll comment, but otherwise, not as much as I'd like to be able to. Most is because I'm still busy trying to build a buffer zone for my own work! :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
mlai at 3:40PM, May 19, 2008
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Someone
Would you comment more if your comments had a direct impact to the development on the comic?
Artistic as well as writing improvement/development? Yeah, I would. It wouldn't be the thing that keeps me coming back to the comic, though.

Development as in affecting the plot? No I wouldn't. Unless I have ambitions of helping the author as a voluntary assistant/editor.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
usedbooks at 5:43PM, May 19, 2008
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Someone
Would you comment more if your comments had a direct impact to the development on the comic?

Technical help like improving the art, catching typos, keeping things legible, etc: Yes. I want to be helpful when I make observations/suggestions, but I feel like I'm being rude if the creator doesn't want to hear those things, so I'll be polite and leave it alone.

Plot development: No. Unless it is a collaboration or community project, I really don't like someone altering plotline based on fan reaction. That's just fan service, and I don't have much respect for it. (Don't cave into peer pressure! )
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
DAJB at 10:41PM, May 19, 2008
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Would you comment more if your comments had a direct impact to the development on the comic?

No. Generally speaking, stories are less interesting if you know what's coming next and - if the readers were dictating the course of events - that's what you'd end up with … a story where you always knew what was coming next.

I much prefer to be surprised by what the creators have lined up for us!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
MichaelSandford at 2:36AM, May 20, 2008
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Would you comment more if your comments had a direct impact to the development on the comic?
Well, I definitely wouldn't comment less.
But yeah, I think if it's details, little things I think the creator might like to try out, I sure would.
But if I'd be telling them to change whole plot points and characters and artistic styles, then that'd be turning their webcomic into something entirely different… and that'd just be silly.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:01PM
Druchii at 7:34AM, May 20, 2008
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smkinoshita
Here's an extra twist question: Would you comment more if your comments had a direct impact to the development on the comic?

Not at all, in fact, I probably wouldn't want to read it if such were the case.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
smkinoshita at 7:49AM, May 20, 2008
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Heh, that was a bit of an open-ended question, wasn't it?
Bocaj
Are you trying to make a comic completely based off that?
I have considered making an interactive comic from time to time, but the concept I have in mind is more of a game between author and readers than just a popular vote.
DAJB
…that's what you'd end up with … a story where you always knew what was coming next.
Actually, if you're competing with the comments from all other readers, not necessarily. In addition to wondering if your comment impacts the story, there is also the point of “How will the author deal with it”
usedbooks
That's just fan service, and I don't have much respect for it. (Don't cave into peer pressure! )
Nice point! Yes, it is a fan-service gimmick, really.

Before I continue, one word: SBEMAIL.

For those of you not familiar with www.homestarrunner.com, I'm talking about Strong Bad Emails. This is a case where people write in to a fictional character – the content is fan driven. The readers don't dictate much of the actual entertainment though; the fun is watching Strongbad's reaction to the email, which usually leads to tangents that go way beyond the couple of lines of text he reads.

One of the reasons why I asked these questions is because web media is unique in its ability to respond to its readers. After all, a syndicated or print comic answers to the EDITOR first, and has to deal with the response of the papers and their advertisers. But the web comic? Most comic servers don't censor except for extreme cases and so the comic really only has to answer to two groups of people: The creators, and the readers. So their capacity to react to their audience is far beyond what was considered the norm.

And on that note:
Have you ever had one of your comics generate a strong reaction from your audience? Why do you think it did?
Have you ever reacted strongly to a comic, and why did you do that?

And to start off the answers – I don't really know why I generate more comments when I do.
I can say from observations that Brock got a LOT of reaction when Jerry was shot by Dictator Tot, and probably because it was far darker than anything that had occurred in his comic previously.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
usedbooks at 11:02AM, May 20, 2008
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smkinoshita
Have you ever had one of your comics generate a strong reaction from your audience? Why do you think it did?
Some of my pages seem to generate more of a reaction. Usually it's the ones I expect will but sometimes I have no idea why they do. The most reaction comes from the “twist” or climactic pages (usually one in the same ;) ) or pages that I feel have stronger art or more interesting angles or layouts. Also, people always tend to react when a likable character is in a bad spot or injured. – I feel practically giddy when my readers start threatening me. >:)

Cuteness can bring a reaction too. If the cat that's in my story puts in an appearance, he tends to get reactions.

smkinoshita
Have you ever reacted strongly to a comic, and why did you do that?
I'm such an emotional reader, and I empathize with most characters (though usually one or two stronger than others). I react to any intense emotional scenes. – But that doesn't always mean more or longer comments from me. An exceptional page can leave me speechless. Just a “Wow…” or “Ouch” A less intense page is more likely to bring a long comment. (Especially if it's something mundane that I can relate to.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
smkinoshita at 11:07AM, May 20, 2008
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Nobody ever threatens me… *sigh*
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
lba at 11:27AM, May 20, 2008
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I tend to respond with comments to those comics I like more. Not just because I like the person writing it or because they comment on mine. It seems to me that a lot of creators in different places seem to treat the comments like a “I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine” deal. I don't like the idea of doing that.

As a creator I don't like replying to comments in the comments section. To me, since the number of comments seems to affect your ranking that seems a bit like cheating. On top of that, with a full time job and my own business I just don't have the time to sit down and reply a lot of days. I honestly do notice that I have readers and I love it when they comment with questions or suggestions, so I usually try to reply to those sorts of things in PQs or with an edit to the authors notes. And I try to make a habit of at least flipping through the comics of people who comment on my comic. In most cases I'll leave a comment or two throughout their archive at the very least. But again, the whole time things is really an issue. Plus I can tend to be a little long-winded, and four page long replies are more a chore than a interest I think. I'm still struggling to find a good way to respond to comments that people give me.

I'd rather most of my comments, unless they're constructive criticism of the art or something that I'm not telling the author to flat out change it, not seriously affect the flow of the comic.

Most of the comics I've gotten a strong reaction from had a very strong irony to them ( In the dictionary sense, not the understood context of the word. ) Usually it's because there's a big juxtaposition between two elements, whether it's cute and violent or embarrassment and publicity. I could go on and on about that factor since it's what makes up the greater part of what we classify as humor and I'm a serious student of humor, but I've already written a novel here.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
mlai at 7:35AM, May 21, 2008
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Have you ever had one of your comics generate a strong reaction from your audience? Why do you think it did?
Yes, some pages. And I have no idea why.
I can more easily predict this when it's my co-artist's pages. Either because his sense of humor is better (which is why I stick to the drama pages), or because I can be more objective when evaluating the page.

One of the few times I was able to predict a good reaction was the intro pages of my Fight 2, because of the prose writing and the dramatic landscape renderings. It's not as good as say, the writing and landscapes of the intro pages of Erol Intangibles or the intro monologue of Signifikat. Nonetheless I was inspired when I did it.

Have you ever reacted strongly to a comic, and why did you do that?
Yeah. I absolutely hate the male main character of Ethos. The dude who's the dragon-man's friend. I pretty much bashed him in every single comment I left there, to the point that I was worried that the author may get offended.
I didn't hate him because he's poorly written. I hated him because he's so self-righteous, patronizing, sanctimonious. It's funny how if this writer had any offensive qualities in real life, it all came out in this one (and only this one) character! You know what I'm talking about, how sometimes the writer has self-inserted more of himself in a particular character, and you notice it.

Seriously, when someone else's entire village just got wiped out by your country, you STFU. But this boy wouldn't stop! When the catwoman finally had enough and strung him up by his neck, I was sincerely hoping for him to suffer some permanent damage. Maybe if his larynx was bruised so he wouldn't be able to speak for the next 50 pages.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
kyupol at 8:12AM, May 21, 2008
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Have you ever had one of your comics generate a strong reaction from your audience? Why do you think it did?

- In MAG-ISA, I get strong reactions every now and then. Why? Because of the religious, social, and political issues that it touches on sometimes.

- In Brood Knight, I've got a few emails from people who told me they can relate to the character of Cedrick. You know, bullied kid and all that negative stuff that keeps getting thrown at him.

Have you ever reacted strongly to a comic, and why did you do that?

Before, I remember being offended to a comic that showed Jesus being pissed on by a camel. It was supposedly a reaction to those controversial mohammed cartoons. And also an online manga that showed the Pope getting sniped.

Why? Because it went against my then hardcore Christian beliefs. And also because I was just annoyed at how people can be so ignorant.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
MagickLorelai at 12:50PM, May 21, 2008
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I love when I get comics. Oftentimes, if a page gets less of a response, I wonder what it is I've done wrong, or if it's update timing, or whatever the problem is. The thing is, getting feedback really helps me feel in-the-groove for getting the next page done on time, whereas if I'm not getting ANY feedback, I pray to God that I'm not making people lose interest!

I try to reply if there's a comment that begs a response of some kind(A specific question or if someone seems confused), but I feel bad for not replying to everyone. I'm always scared I'll say something that hurts someone else's feelings, or say something stupid(Which I'm very prone to).

I don't comment on a lot of other people's pages, but again, that's a matter of being afraid of putting my foot in my mouth.

I don't know if “Making an impact” on a page really changes whether or not I'll comment, to be honest. I don't think so, but depending on the comic, it might.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
amanda at 8:41AM, May 22, 2008
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Aww, I'd be really sad if people were reading my comic/commenting only because I'm vaguely pleasant. That being said, I appreciate the comments people leave - I like to know if my point is getting across and how people react to the characters, and it's enjoyable commenting back (even if I have very little of import to say - it's sort of like a really slow version of instant messaging). Plus, through some advice in comments, I've been able to improve artistically - and that's been a goal of mine for YEARS.

I'm more likely to leave a lengthier, more interesting comment if the author replies, but 90% of the time, I'll leave *something* because I like people to know their work and effort is worthwhile/appreciated.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:51AM
Scheiden at 8:24AM, Sept. 23, 2008
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Umm… I don't particularly feel forced to reply to the people who commented my work. Actually, I kind of enjoy chatting with them along with my usual ‘thanks’ and such.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:24PM
Brogan at 9:49PM, Sept. 23, 2008
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I think most people appreciate comments on their comic pages. As for leaving comments, sometimes I think it can be a challenging thing to do - or at least it is for me. I'm not a big talker, so sometimes I feel that I may be leaving some variation of the same comment because for me there is only so many ways to say ‘nice page’. And because of that, sometimes I do leave a blank 5. But I think that is also better than leaving nothing at all…
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:35AM
Jellomix at 10:53AM, Sept. 28, 2008
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Not necessarily. There's comics that I love that I don't really comment at all while there are comics that I like less but comment more on. It depends more on who the artist is or if I have anything to say/ask. But if I'm commenting at all, I probably am interested in the comic.

As for my comic, I'm always happy to read comments- even if they're blank. O_o
It lets me know who's reading my comic and sometimes what they like about it. I try to reply to let them know I'm reading/appreciating their comments but I don't always reply because I dislike saying just “thank you” over and over again.
Sig? Yeah, I'll get to it. >_<
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
KingRidley at 6:37PM, Sept. 28, 2008
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I really don't think that replies mean much. From what I've seen, alot of replies are stupid things like “lol first reply” or “lol so funny XD!!!!” or general stuff like that. But if someone leaves me a real reply with a relevant comic, it makes me feel great.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
SeriousQuiche at 8:48AM, Sept. 29, 2008
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I really don't reply to comments and now I feel like a bad person…because I do in fact love my readers. I believe I shall turn over a new leaf!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:28PM

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