Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

What have you learned from making a webcomic?
rengori at 8:17PM, April 13, 2007
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Absolutely NOTHING.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:05PM
JillyFoo at 11:17AM, April 14, 2007
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I learned if you want something done always do it yourself.
Mostly for the print making for me. TPCTH print was delayed a year because one of my friends insisted that he do all the page conversions and it ended up he wasn't doing any of it. So during last winter break I did all the work and nearly went crazy ,but it was worth it.

I also learned you can make much more money by simply having a low paying job than selling anything related to your webcomic, BUT you get a lot more fame from making a webcomic. Internet fame that is.

You get better over time.

-You will become more confident in your work. Less hiding it whenever someone walks by if you draw in public. Less hiding it from the people you know.

-Less feeling like your work is crap after you read really skillful pro comics like CLAMP manga.

-You will also get in that “drawing mood” easier after you do it so much.

If your real life friends/family weren't interested from the beginning in your comic, don't expect them to become interested.
I got into webcomics through some IRL friends. I originally made a webcomic to impress them. Even though they loved webcomics dearly doesn't mean they liked my comics.

When writing a story go with what interests you. Half of it's instinct really. If the plot (or an added scenario) makes you excited there's a good chance your readers will think it's exciting too. And it keeps you interested in continuing the comic.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:08PM
reconjsh at 3:26PM, April 14, 2007
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I did my comic to learn how to do comics in the first place… so I guess I learned that. ;)

One thing I learned is how easy it is to underestimate how long something will take. Also, I've acquired a richer appreciation for what goes in to making a comic page. Geez… how are comics ever made when they take this long? lol

~Jerome~
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 10:33PM, April 14, 2007
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What have I learned?

That when you draw anything, the background is as important as the character. It's a hell full of work, but in the end, it's awesome.

Man… backgrounds are such a pain…

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
Priceman at 2:25PM, April 15, 2007
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Always use another set of eyes.

My wife is basically my “editor”. Before I upload anything, I show it to her and get her opinion on it. I can't begin to recall the number of times she's seen something that was “off”; something that would have made a page look really messed up. Basically, others will see mistakes or discrencies that you'll often miss, so make sure to get the opinions of others before you take a pic/page online.

Drawing at 3am sux!

There's no other way to say it. I've spent many a few days finishing pages the day before they're due; many times not finishing until the next morning. I've also found out that going through a military day with only 3 hours of sleep makes you want to punch yourself.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
strong414bad at 8:05PM, April 15, 2007
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If people keep saying your work is bad, give them all a swift FU and make Whatever Dude. IE Don't take criticism seriously. Do what you want, when you want it. Follow your dreams, and all that other disneymoral stuff.
Why hello there.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:59PM
Zac at 1:27PM, April 16, 2007
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I disagree with the above. I think you should listen to the criticisms from other people. Even if they don't share the same artistic style as yourself, criticism can definitely drive someone to improve. I mean, when it's to the point of being obnoxious, I suppose you can ignore them. But no one is the best, and everyone can change towards the better.
You can play the do what you want game, I mean, really you should draw the comic for yourself, but listen to other people. If more than one person says you should change something, you should listen and at least consider it.
Nothing makes me more motivated than someone saying, “You suck”. It makes me want to try harder and prove them wrong in the future.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:53PM
strong414bad at 7:57AM, April 17, 2007
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No, I mean the anonymous people who keep giving you 1's while not actually giving you advice.
Why hello there.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:59PM
strong414bad at 7:58AM, April 17, 2007
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No, I mean the anonymous people who keep giving you 1's while not actually giving you advice.
Why hello there.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:59PM
wyldflowa at 4:36PM, April 17, 2007
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Kristen Gudsnuk
how, how HOW could you do 5 pages of awesome genius in one day???
*jealous!*
Well, my average is about 3 pages (that's what I'm doing right now) but if I go crazy and ignore shoulder pain, hunger, thirst and fatigue I can do five… ^///^ Plus I have no job and no social life… basically this comic is all I do right now while I'm trying to sort out some, lets say, health issues. ^n^;

JillyFoo
If your real life friends/family weren't interested from the beginning in your comic, don't expect them to become interested.
Very true! My mother still considers my artwork “stupid cartoons”. ^^; When people are like that you need to be very self-motivated - especially when you're starting out. Set yourself little goals and work towards bigger things and never forget to pat yourself on the back for completing them. *nodnod*
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:52PM
rengori at 5:35PM, April 17, 2007
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strong414bad
No, I mean the anonymous people who keep giving you 1's while not actually giving you advice.
That's not criticism, that's just flaming.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:05PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 7:00PM, April 17, 2007
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wyldflowa
Plus I have no job and no social life…

Hey, that's me!!! :D

If I were social, I wouldn't be here.

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 7:53PM, April 19, 2007
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wyldflowa
Kristen Gudsnuk
how, how HOW could you do 5 pages of awesome genius in one day???
*jealous!*
Well, my average is about 3 pages (that's what I'm doing right now) but if I go crazy and ignore shoulder pain, hunger, thirst and fatigue I can do five… ^///^ Plus I have no job and no social life… basically this comic is all I do right now while I'm trying to sort out some, lets say, health issues. ^n^;

ohh, feel better ;_;
I don't have a social life either (I'm pretty sure it's a rare breed of webcomic artist who actually “socializes”… jk jk) but I am in college so I guess that's why I can't do a lot of pages in a day (papers and stuff…). When I was on spring break, I updated daily, though!!! but that still doesn't meet up with your awesome 3-5 pages a day…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM
endlessbouncing at 3:48AM, April 21, 2007
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I have learned that I can make anything into a four panel comic.
I have learned that I shouldn't.
I have learned that I can get away with using any kind of low-quality stick figure art.
I have learned that I shouldn't.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:22PM
FAL at 5:36PM, April 21, 2007
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What I learned, specially with a webcomic, is how to post a page, call it finished and move on to the next.
If I weren't updating it here, I would probably obsses over each page until the end of time.

As someone once said: An artist never finishes a piece, he only abandons it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
Zenstrive at 2:09AM, April 29, 2007
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that making comics are hard things to do and that webcomics can become your outlet of kinky minds and some people will still love them…
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:55PM
kyupol at 3:29PM, April 29, 2007
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Its a good way of networking with people.

Even people I meet in person, sometimes the discussion of BK comes in. Then I become like an autopilot salesman of my comic. Hey dont get the idea that I'm goin out there peddling my “comic”. lol Its one of those things that just happen in a conversation… or when my officemates see me drawing during breaktime.

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
Modesty at 10:47PM, April 30, 2007
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Took me five years to finish.
Learned some cheap tricks to make pages faster.
Took vacations.
Motivated myself since I had very few fans.
Most fans are fickle.
Advertise!

Printing comics is more fun than online comics, but online IS cheaper.

Learned anatomy…eventually.
Learned that I really couldn't write stories in high school.

I learned that I'm better than most because I FINISHED!!

Online comics do not earn you income.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Phun at 4:19PM, May 2, 2007
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I learned:
-I can't draw as good as I thought
-Perspective is hard
-There will always be users who don't like your comic
-How to take critiques
-How to lure in users
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
patrickdevine at 8:58PM, May 3, 2007
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Before I did a webcomic I made printy comics–the paper kind. Cleanup was less of a concern when printing from a photocopier and file sizes hardly mattered at all. Then I decided to do a webcomic then everything changed. Cleanup and file sizes suddenly mattered a lot! Previously I was saving my work as TIFFs (generally prefered by printers,) Though generally not prefered by webcomic hosting sites. Then I had to change all my comics to JPG just so I could upload them. We'll see what else I'll learn next week.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Sneaky at 6:22PM, May 4, 2007
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I learned to roll with the punches. People who don't like your comic will actually start raving in comments, but you just have to take critiques and ignore people who decide “You suck, comic is unfunnies, suggesion, stop macing comics”. Yep, I had a comment exactly like that on one of my earlier endeavors. People with bad grammar shouldn't be the ones who influence your decisions..

Spell Check helps, and so does someone to edit your comics. Oh yes, people care about correct words in comics or else you look like an idiot. I also learned that quality depends on a lot of things. I can't draw consistently so I use paint, but I always write my comics when I'm in a fun and funny mood with a great one-liner in my head. It was the jokes that got the people coming back, even if the art was barely passable. When I started trying to “draw” the comic, it went downhill because I was stressed out. Paint actually worked better for me than my art skills did. XD.

Deadlines kill when you're tired, so you do need to just take a break sometimes, and there's no need to apologize to an audience for missing an update. It's YOUR comic, your medium. If you disappoint some people, keep going. Counting missed updates just makes you feel worse, and it becomes no fun. People make mistakes.

Finally, if you make fun of a band, people will rate your comic lower, even if the joke is really funny.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
sovietturkey at 10:52PM, May 9, 2007
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Persistence and revision– producing a masterpiece on your first go at script or whatnot is simple idealism and nothing more. Don't scare yourself away with that kind of pressure.

That's something I always used to do, and still fall back to every now and then. I'd sit down to write, expect an instant-classic to come out, get less, then spend the next week in downtrodden discouragement, and, even worse, not writing anything at all.

(I don't technically ‘make’ any comics, but I do contribute to one.)


last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
Darth Mongoose at 3:06AM, May 10, 2007
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Things I learned?

Planning is essential.
Previous efforts at making a comic, which all died, taught me that you need to know where you're going before you start. Now I plan my comic very carefully, just leaving some space open in case I want to make changes later on.

Bite the bullet.
Don't avoid putting something in your comic because it will be hard to draw or write. If your imagination tells you that for this story to work, you NEED to have a chase scene mounted on horseback, don't decide not to ‘cause you’ve never drawn a horse. Go and learn to draw one. It's only by facing up to your weaknesses that you can really improve!
If you need to CG something, learn to CG. If your anatomy isn't good enough to depict a certain action, work at it. Give it your best shot. It's better to try and not get it perfect than to go stale just drawing the same things.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Kinuchio at 6:12PM, May 10, 2007
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I've learned alot. For example, alot of the advice people just gave. (I just read this entire topic) More recent advice would be the ones people gave on a previous topic I started. Mongoose's comment, “you can't please everyone” has helped me alot, and I'm going to start applying it.

I've learned alot from spriting, too. It may be useless and retarded in some people's eyes, but I probably wouldn't be here if not for its influence. I see sprite comics now for “growing kids.” When I first started making sprite comics, it was fun! I had no restrictions, no rules, and it was awesome. But, the more I learned, the less fun it became. And, while my taste for sprites lowered, the interest of using my own art builded. That's when it hit me, that the sprites were holding my artistic talent back, because it limited so much. I hope all the authors eventually learn that lesson, too.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Rick Blackheart at 5:32AM, May 13, 2007
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What i've learned from making webcomics:

1. Take your time with creating comics, your comic will blow if you rush it. Also, if you make one while you don't feel like it, your comic will suffer because of it. After all, you're not a slave to your own comics. (Usually your comic characters are your slaves)
2. You have to like making your comics and reading your own comics. If you don't like doing it at all, it's time for you to find a new hobby. Like i said before, you're not a slave to your own comics.
3. Only make comics when you've actually got good ideas. If you make them while you have actually no ideas for anything funny, adventurous, etc, don't expect to get any good quality comics.
4. (This one is important to me, but it's optional) Advertising. If you're making a comic while you already know that no one is going to read it anyways, you'll quickly start to dislike making them.
Comics:
Rick's Sticks
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:07PM
LIZARD_B1TE at 3:47PM, May 13, 2007
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I learned to respect the power of MS Paint as a tool for drawing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:37PM
CharleyHorse at 3:51PM, May 21, 2007
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I'm not ready to see this one scroll off the front page yet and so here's a bump.

What I have learned so far is that I really do have two important reasons for doing a webcomic. The one that I have always admitted to is that it's the best way I have found to make myself improve my art skills. During the past year - since I decided that I would try to produce a webcomic - I have done art work very nearly every day. Mind you, this was well before actually uploading the first page.

You see, I seldom do things just because I should. I usually need the spur of a ‘must do’ goal to drive myself to do and to improve. A webcomic serves as this spur. Once begun you have to keep up with the announced update schedule and - if one exists - any plot line. So, I AM improving my art skills by working on this comic book.

All very fine and good, but now I recognize that I also had all along a second important reason for doing this, one that until this past week I had failed to acknowledge to myself. I am doing this to scratch that old Creative Itch. In this case, not only to produce good graphic art but a good story; one with a meaty story line and good plotting. I kid you not in that I honestly hadn't recognized this motivation until the artwork came into conflict with the storytelling process this past week.

I realized that I could either complete and upload three pages per week or I could make each page look as PRETTY as possible. To my surprise it wasn't even a contest. After about ten seconds of contemplation I decided that production consistency was more important to me than looks. Thus I stopped adding color to my pages.

So I have learned that the story is even a bit more important to me than the artwork – and this comes as a total surprise.

All that aside, I have learned that I work best when I do a scene by scene rough out on a yellow legal pad, drawing full sized - not thumbnails. I also rough in the dialog and exposition – if any. Then I look over this again and see if I need to delete or add a panel. Next I re-sketch on 110LB card stock, use a light table if necessary, ink - if there is time - and then scan, add dialog bubbles, tweak the art work to a minor extent, and then upload. Oh yeah, and if there's no time to ink by brush then I use the software application to ‘cheat ink’ using blurring and light levels tweaking techniques.

Small-scale thumbnailing does not work for me. I need even the rough work to be full scale. So that's also a surprise. I've also learned since starting my webcomic that I do like inking with a brush. I just wish I had time enough to always do so.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
woolleycomix at 4:29PM, May 21, 2007
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Keeping to a deadline.

After a couple of weeks of starting my comic I said I'd update twice a week because of college and whatnot.

And for a month or so, I was drawing the strip the night before the comic was due to be updated and this was fine until I started adding in more detail and it ended up eating the night before.

So I had a new plan, draw the comics on Mondays and if they are complicated or have a lot of detail I have a day or so in hand to get them finished.

Also, Other people are impressed by drawing skills.

I'm not sure why, but because it's something different.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:51PM
ledpusha at 6:04PM, May 21, 2007
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Nothing really.
Inking is getting better and that is about it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:30PM
Lukas Kirkby at 9:26AM, May 22, 2007
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The hardest part is getting people to read the damn thing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM

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