Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Speed Vs Quality: What's your choice?
ozoneocean at 7:09PM, May 12, 2008
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smkinoshita
Speaking of frequency, I really think the minimum frequency is once a week. Any less and it just falls off the radar.
We differ here a lot. But for the longer term updates it helps to have some sort of facility where you can check them, like DD faves. But I still have a look at the LJ for Sexy Losers even though the comic's finished, just to see if there are any extra updates afterwards. And sometimes there are, though it's months between them :)

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:31PM
Skullbie at 7:24PM, May 12, 2008
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I used to update once per day actually- the pages were terrible. Now that I've slowed down they get nicer looking with each update.

Also unless it's some humor comic; I won't read a story comic with poor rushed art. The only comic I can think that i do it with is misfile- all the rest no.

It depends on the person as this thread shows. Though it seems like the speedier people prefer fast updating comics, and the ones who take time on it prefer quality comics. ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
Daiconv at 7:39AM, May 13, 2008
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mlai
Heheh… don't knock photo-pasted backgrounds. This page of mine has photo-pasted backgrounds:
http://www.drunkduck.com/FIGHT_2/index.php?p=388711
I know there's a huge stigma against it, but I feel I'm getting good results. I just hope I'm not fooling myself simply because I have an amateur's blind spot.

Wow, that looks really good. I have to read your comic now, haha…

I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with photo pasted backgrounds, especially when they're executed as nicely as that, I just don't like them when they're half-assed and in every single panel.
without buttcheecks, it's just a hole.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
mlai at 8:31PM, May 14, 2008
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Thanks, Daiconv, Ozone. If it seems my photo-pasting is passing the reader test, then I'll keep doing it (within moderation) and refining it. Anything that saves me time and preserves a threshold of quality is fine by me.

In terms of quality, I would forgo color (as a reader) anytime in preference for faster updates. But I really can't tolerate strict B&W comics unless it's extremely well done; I much prefer grayscales/tones to some degree. This comes from my diet of manga while growing up.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Aurora Borealis at 3:47AM, May 15, 2008
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As a reader: I think it depends on whether I'm reading it for the art or the story.

If it's because of the art (pretty pictures to look at) I'd rather have it stay at the current updating frequency and not destroy the only reason that makes it worthwile.
But if it is about reading a good story, then if more frequent updates could be achieved without loosing too much quality, I'm all for it.

As a creator: I'm struggling right now with the ideas of switching to pencilled b&w with digitally filled black areas (and perhaps some greyscale shading here and there). That would help to bring out more quality (since I already started to spend a lot more time on pencils) and perhaps even start updating four times a week. On the other hand coloring seems to be the only thing (other than page layouts) that seems to receive some good feedback… Well, I still have about two weeks before I run out of preuploaded pages, and I already have seven pages pencilled and edited :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
Daiconv at 8:28AM, May 15, 2008
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As a reader I don't have a preference when it comes to color or b/w comics, as long as it looks finished. I kind of don't like pencil comics, because they never look quite finished enough to me (except for adam warren's empowered)

I've found that mainstream audiences seem to prefer color as opposed to b/w with tones, though.

I do have to admit that for me not doing color is definately a speed thing, because I can do fairly decent digital colors, it just takes me forever. Plus, I really hate coloring on the cpu. It's no fun at all (at least, compared to using markers or watercolor). I would color with markers if i had a good set of copics to work with.
without buttcheecks, it's just a hole.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ccs1989 at 6:07PM, May 15, 2008
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Chances are your first web comic will be a learning experience. So go for quality.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:39AM
Titch at 4:26AM, May 16, 2008
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If you are looking to keep an audiance, I would say being regular is more important than either speed or quality. Although rate of growth tends to be dictated more by frequancy of updates. If you have a super high quality comic that you only post once a week you are going to get a fairly small devoted fanbase that will grow slowly. If you go for a 3-5 times a week schedual, chances are your fan base will grow faster, but be less dedicated.

To be honest I would be less worried about that and stay focused on making sure you only do as much as you can manage. Having a comic that ALWAYS updates one day a week is a LOT better than having a comic that sometimes updates twice a week and sometimes doesn't update at all.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
smkinoshita at 9:36AM, May 16, 2008
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Hey Ozoneocean – I do check in with Sexy Losers from time to time too. But as a general rule of thumb, long periods without updates tends make me forget.

Skullbie's got a really good point too – humour comics can get away with poor artwork easier; just take a look at syndicated comics in the newspapers for evidence of that.

And Titch is dead on: Regular updates will keep readers better than anything, because it shows commitment on the author's part. “I care about this comic enough to always put SOMETHING up at its appointed time” also translates to “I care about the readers enough to always put SOMETHING up at its appointed time”.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
Megawacky_Max at 5:52PM, May 16, 2008
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I've been reading your replies. What a lot of truths! Thanks a lot to everyone who replied on this thread, you all gave me a lot to think about for my own comics.

Balance! That's the word, alright. I'll try to give it a serious try. :-)

There's more to do in the Net of Nets!
(Megawacky Max)
Other comics by me: Nagaly | Pixie Pals | NOOBS | Metal Skeleton
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
Pixie at 6:21PM, May 16, 2008
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I have a huge problem with this. I really want to tell a good story, and feel horribly guilty when I don't update at least once a week, but I can't stand my own art being crappy. It's gotta look like I imagined it and anything less just isn't good enough. I constantly set myself impossible goals, and as a result am constantly frustrated with my own art. (Curse of all artists, I think).

So… my current theory is this. I want to make a bunch of short comics - like maybe 50 pages, 100 pages max. And I'll make all the pages before I even start uploading, so I can upload it rapidly and keep people interested without having to sacrifice quality. It's not ideal, but it's all I can do, I think.

This'll happen with October, btw, but that's a secret. You're not supposed to know until I'm done and uploading. :P

As for things I read, I love good art in a comic, but I really can't wait more than a week for an update, because I forget what's going on in the story and sometimes forget about the comic altogether. I'm a bit of a crap commenter because my reading habits are silly; I kinda prefer to ignore all my watched comics for months at a time, and then go and catch up on them all in one go - they flow better that way, and I get a lovely chunk of comic to read at once! :D
Alaka-bwee-oop! Old school.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
Megawacky_Max at 8:25PM, May 17, 2008
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Pixie
So… my current theory is this. I want to make a bunch of short comics - like maybe 50 pages, 100 pages max. And I'll make all the pages before I even start uploading, so I can upload it rapidly and keep people interested without having to sacrifice quality. It's not ideal, but it's all I can do, I think.
Yeah, I kinda did that when I first came to DD. I already had several pages for my comics, but I commited the mistake of posting one per day, so they were soon gone. :-P

The BIG problem with your theory is going to be to resist the urge to post it all as soon as you can. Believe me, it's horrible.

Still, good luck with it. :-)

There's more to do in the Net of Nets!
(Megawacky Max)
Other comics by me: Nagaly | Pixie Pals | NOOBS | Metal Skeleton
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
Pixie at 9:15PM, May 17, 2008
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Megawacky_Max
Pixie
So… my current theory is this. I want to make a bunch of short comics - like maybe 50 pages, 100 pages max. And I'll make all the pages before I even start uploading, so I can upload it rapidly and keep people interested without having to sacrifice quality. It's not ideal, but it's all I can do, I think.
Yeah, I kinda did that when I first came to DD. I already had several pages for my comics, but I commited the mistake of posting one per day, so they were soon gone. :-P

The BIG problem with your theory is going to be to resist the urge to post it all as soon as you can. Believe me, it's horrible.

Still, good luck with it. :-)

There's more to do in the Net of Nets!
(Megawacky Max)


Haha! Yes, you're right. A small buffer is soon gone! I've done that before, too. Which is why I figure I'll make ALL the pages. All of them, right to the end… before I even post one! That way I can set it going one a day for like, three months, and not have to worry about keeping up! :D

That's the plan, anyway. If it'll happen, I have no idea…
Alaka-bwee-oop! Old school.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
Titch at 2:13AM, May 19, 2008
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Pixie
I have a huge problem with this. I really want to tell a good story, and feel horribly guilty when I don't update at least once a week, but I can't stand my own art being crappy. It's gotta look like I imagined it and anything less just isn't good enough. I constantly set myself impossible goals, and as a result am constantly frustrated with my own art. (Curse of all artists, I think).

So… my current theory is this. I want to make a bunch of short comics - like maybe 50 pages, 100 pages max. And I'll make all the pages before I even start uploading, so I can upload it rapidly and keep people interested without having to sacrifice quality. It's not ideal, but it's all I can do, I think.

This'll happen with October, btw, but that's a secret. You're not supposed to know until I'm done and uploading. :P

As for things I read, I love good art in a comic, but I really can't wait more than a week for an update, because I forget what's going on in the story and sometimes forget about the comic altogether. I'm a bit of a crap commenter because my reading habits are silly; I kinda prefer to ignore all my watched comics for months at a time, and then go and catch up on them all in one go - they flow better that way, and I get a lovely chunk of comic to read at once! :D

You have to be carefull with this, even if they've read 100 pages of your comic being updated regularly, then you run out of buffer and find you are in a sticky situation where you have to change the update schedual, which is confusing to everyone. It's kind of like your favourite store suddenly changing their buisness hours. It's funny, but you annoy people even more when they are addicted to your comic and can't get a regular fix when they thought they would.

As for not being able to stand art you aren't satisified with it… Welcome to being a commercial artist. Yes, I know you aren't getting paid, but you are still providing a product and attempting to ‘sell’ it, just for free. Considering the number of high quality free stuff there is on the net, you've got your work cut out for you :p. Sometimes I think swallowing the pride you have in your own work to get something done on time is much harder than making the darn thing in the first place. One of the reasons I pulled out of the web comicing thing is I had ended up pushing my own quality bar too high, and I didn't have enough time in the week to make a strip meet my expectations.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Deathfire at 11:57AM, May 19, 2008
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I definitely prefer quality.

As satisfying as it is to see what happens next as quick as possible, it yes, kills quality, but also kills the drama of the comic itself. Seriously…as much as I hate cliffhangers, I freakin' love them too. I'd feel better waiting for it in a week or two, instead of knowing it'll upload the next day.

Now it's also important to be consistent with your work as well. I really don't like inactivity, and if there is no reason to be inactive, might as well end or take down the comic. I dunno.

And assuming that most people here have lives lol, I don't think anyone can really keep up with pages daily (esp. if you read more than three a time).
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:09PM
Pixie at 12:36PM, May 19, 2008
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Titch
You have to be carefull with this, even if they've read 100 pages of your comic being updated regularly, then you run out of buffer and find you are in a sticky situation where you have to change the update schedual, which is confusing to everyone. It's kind of like your favourite store suddenly changing their buisness hours. It's funny, but you annoy people even more when they are addicted to your comic and can't get a regular fix when they thought they would.

Pixie
Haha! Yes, you're right. A small buffer is soon gone! I've done that before, too. Which is why I figure I'll make ALL the pages. All of them, right to the end… before I even post one! That way I can set it going one a day for like, three months, and not have to worry about keeping up! :D
Alaka-bwee-oop! Old school.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
Titch at 4:30PM, May 19, 2008
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But wheres the fun in that?

Part of the charm of the whole webcomic thing is it allows you to be a bit more dynamic about how you develop the comic. It always gave me the warm fuzzies when I was able to work a small extra detail in either inspired by, or for the benfite of somone who followed the comic. Not to mention the longer you've been working on something the less seems like fun and the more it seems like a chore. Getting feedback kinda offsets that a bit.

(I missed the previous comment about doing the whole thing when I wrote my last post, my bad)
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Pixie at 9:22PM, May 19, 2008
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The fun in it? I'm willing to bet it's a billion times more fun than having a story webcomic with no discernable end ever… or worse, one that just drops dead halfway through ‘cause you can’t keep up with the updates. More fun for the readers and the creator.

I'm not really sure why you've decided to argue with me about this, since it's… y'know. My decision and my way of working at present. :) I didn't suggest for a second that it was what everyone should do, or anything. Merely that it would help me overcome my own issues with webcomicing - wanting high quality art and rapid update process.

At the end of the day, all I really want to do is tell people stories that, hopefully, they'll enjoy. I suspect it'll be tough to do that unless I update frequently, and I'm not prepared to sacrifice art quality to that end. Stories have a flow that I find, if interrupted, can make them very hard to follow. Hence why I tend to leave the ‘story’ comics I read on DD for at least a month before catching up on my reading. The flow works much better, the way a comic should - like you're reading a story, and not lots of disjointed pieces.

It also works better from a creative point of view, for me at least, to be able to look over the body of work and make sure it reads well - has good timing, scene changes, makes sense, etc - before presenting it to an audience who don't have the same insight to the story as its author, and therefore may not be able to follow things if they're done badly.

I ran a comic before in the traditional make-it-then-upload-it a page at a time way - for around a year and a half, I think, though it was a while ago so I forget exactly how long - so I have experienced both sides of this coin. :) (The comic was on DD, btw, but lost in the great crash of… two or three years ago). And don't get me wrong, I do appreciate feedback. Very much so. In fact, the most important thing is that the readers enjoy the story in the same way one might enjoy reading graphic novels or books, as a sense of escapism with a flow, a thing you can get lost in for a while. That's got to be the highest priority of storytelling, surely?

These are my reasons for making comics, and my intentions from the finished product. I'm sure we all have different intentions and techniques for creating that.
Alaka-bwee-oop! Old school.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
Priest_Revan at 12:26AM, May 20, 2008
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I prefer quality to speed, but I like to balance the two. I like to finish a comic fast while making sure everything looks to what I want.
Updates Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday's (depends).

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Offering Project Wonderful Ad space on my website.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:49PM
Titch at 2:24AM, May 20, 2008
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Hold it there gumshoe, my intention wasn't to have some kind of arguement. I just want to show my own take on “do the whole thing” vs “make it then upload it”. I've talked to pleanty of people about it before I met comic authors who burned out because they tried to do everything first and comic authors that couldn't keep the update schedual. It should go without saying that how you choose to make your webcomic is up to you. On account of this being a public forum and all, I thought I would share my oppinion on the subject.

Perhaps for you the highest priority for you is achiving a sense of escapism. For me it's having fun and sharing a sense of emjoyment through the process of creating a comic. It makes sense, I've read the comic you have posted, you make grand (and incidently, really pretty) graphic novel; I used to make a silly funny one pagers with a bit of long running story weaved in with it. Unsupringly, my personal preference is fun, rather than escapism. Perhaps thats why I'm stressing over trying to weave a now much more fleshed out story into the same template whilst still fitting something funny in there.

For me, if I hadn't done post it as you do it, with a small buffer, my art wouldn't have made the massive jump it did. Even though I burned out 100 pages in. Personaly, that was better than having all planned 300 pages with no space for development untill I started a whole new project. So thats why I feel compelled to make a case for post as you go, in what I believed to be open debate.

Anyway, I can see this is drifting OT from Speed or Quality, so I'm gonna shut up now :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Pixie at 9:01AM, May 20, 2008
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Titch
Perhaps for you the highest priority for you is achiving a sense of escapism. For me it's having fun and sharing a sense of emjoyment through the process of creating a comic. It makes sense, I've read the comic you have posted, you make grand (and incidently, really pretty) graphic novel; I used to make a silly funny one pagers with a bit of long running story weaved in with it. Unsupringly, my personal preference is fun, rather than escapism. Perhaps thats why I'm stressing over trying to weave a now much more fleshed out story into the same template whilst still fitting something funny in there.

I agree with this completely - all of us have different reasons for wanting to make webcomics, different ways of going about it, and different end goals in mind. And the most important bit is surely that we all enjoy our own creative processes and grow and improve as artists (and writers too!).

Sorry if I was a bit touchy - I was pretty tired when I typed that reply… which is a poor excuse. Apologies. :)
Alaka-bwee-oop! Old school.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
spacehamster at 3:18PM, May 20, 2008
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I'll toss in another vote for finding the right balance between the two, for two reasons.

a) While it's certainly no good to rush pages, there's also such a thing as overworking something. At some point you just have leave well enough alone and move on to the next page. There's no such thing as a “perfect” piece, and if that's what we were trying to accomplish, we'd be spending the rest of our lives working on the same panel.

b) This affects some comics more than others depending on the subject matter/genre, but it's a bit hard to tell a story if you're feeding it to your audience one page at a time. The pretty pictures are one thing, but they don't really mean anything if your story falls apart because you don't have a steady enough output. How steady is steady enough depends on the individual comic, of course.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
Jabali at 5:20AM, June 3, 2008
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Interesting question, for me it's always been doing the page the best I can, now, that doesn't necessarily means that other people might like it. Quality or a great drawing it's more a matter of opinion. In the other hand investing a lot of time on a drawing doesn't make it a great artwork, I know of people who can make a great comic page in minutes and others who can take a whole day doing a ‘crappy’ one.

Time spent in a page doesn't translate to good art… talent does, but talent is also in the “eye of the beholder”. So my best advice, if any, is that always do the best you can, do it with love, have fun and people will notice.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
SomaX at 5:07PM, June 15, 2008
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Oh deffinately quallity in everything. I have a couple readers that are always telling me that even if I'm late they'll still come back. And, even though more updates will make you appear on the front page more often, that'll just get random people's quick clicks if they like your thumbnail/description. But, if you do quallity work, then you'll probably see them next update too. I also prefer quallity over quantity in what I read. If it's one of those one pannel gag strips, then I can deal with a pretty low quallity of art, but if you're trying to tell a “real” story with stick figures on a white background, it kinda throws me off. A good example of quallity of quantity is Melaines Choles. It updates about once every 6 months, but the page is always magnificent. Of course, Pictures of you is lucky because it updates every other day and still puts to shame most of the comics on this site that take nearly a month to update with a page of that quallity.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM

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