General Discussion

Quackcast 66 needs contributions: WHY do you do webcomics?
Banes at 9:45AM, Feb. 20, 2012
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ozone cannot get online and has apparently passed out somewhere…so here's the next quackcast call for contributions!

Quackcast 66 - Whys and Wherefores

Why do we do comics? What motivates us to kneel before that harsh mistress?
What draws you to do this?

What do you
hope to get out of it? What DO you get out of it? Do you want it to
take you anywhere? And if so, where?

EDIT:  I don't want this to get too esoteric. Let's expand this conversation into reality a little more. How did you get started with your comic (or your first, or your current, or your best comic)? How did it come about for you, art-wise, ideas-wise, writing-wise, editing-wise, and web-wise?

Why'd you choose comics as opposed to some other medium, like dance or archery?

How/where did your initial sparks come from for your comic? Where do you draw ideas from?
last edited on Feb. 20, 2012 8:52PM
Genejoke at 2:44PM, Feb. 20, 2012
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I do it for the chicks!
rokulily at 3:42PM, Feb. 20, 2012
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i'm a story junkie and an artist. it's like combining ocd with addictive substances weeee~
 
hopefully i do a good job and will get even better
 
Banes at 5:11PM, Feb. 20, 2012
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hahaha, genejoke. sounds good!

makes sense, rokulily…it makes me happy too.

maybe that's what it comes down to. Maybe it's not something we need to or should try and describe. What can I say? I do enjoy a little navel gazing from time to time…

Maybe the reasons don't matter. There is a certain magic to it, in a way…we do it because we WANT to. 


Anybody doing this for reasons they can articulate? What does comic creation do for you? Make you happy? Make you feel more connected, or fulfilled or whatever?

Any surprises that came to you since you began comicking?
rokulily at 7:00PM, Feb. 20, 2012
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as far as reaction goes i'm always happily suprised when someone like what i'm doing- its not very expected. at a certain point making comics becomes as much for the sake of others as it is for myself
 
Macattack at 8:05PM, Feb. 20, 2012
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I think for me it's because I'm a visual thinker so when I have a story idea come into my head it plays out like a movie and comics are a great way to get that visualization onto paper.
.
I've also written novels but being dyslexic it's hard with so much text. With comics it's just so much easier as the blocks of text are so small and concise.
.
Finally though I'm no real artist my art changes at a really rapid rate and it's fun to look back at where I was a year ago or more and then laugh and be amazed watching it improve. It's a really rewarding thing to see :)
.
Yes it is fun when people get excited for your comic too ;) Especially when you write that character that people REALLY start to relate to.
last edited on Feb. 20, 2012 8:06PM
Banes at 8:48PM, Feb. 20, 2012
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     thanks again rokulily…I totally relate to what you're saying. It's a thrill and a surprise to have people like/respond to the stuff I do, too!

macattack, that's awesome stuff, thanks!
       You made me remember that along with this more philosophical “why” question, it'd be great to talk “how”.

     As in “how'd you get going as a webcomic artist. Where did the idea/ideas for your comic (or your most recent comic, or most satisfying or whatever) come from? Where do the ideas CONTINUE to come from? Is it working? Not working? Bit of each?
     How'd you get started, ideas-wise, art-wise, or web-wise?

     I want you to talk YOU, especially in the ”getting started“ as well as the ”whys" of it all.

     Why did you go with webcomics (as opposed to novels, poems, short stories or puppet mime acts?
Genejoke at 11:36PM, Feb. 20, 2012
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A serious (ish) asnswer.
Why webcomics, becouse I'm not good enough to go pro and get a job for marvel or DC.
Why comics, I've always loved drawing and I'm very visual in general.  I used to do a few film projects but it was hard getting reliable people involved when I wasn't paying them anything. It's a creative outlet, which is something i need, I tend to get very stressed without some sort of creative outlet, can't really explain why.  Ihave other past times, martial arts etc but they don't fill that need.
What do I get out of it? Adoration.  Oookay maybe not.  i get to have created something, but peoples reactions and comments make it easier to keep going when things start to feel like a chore.
bravo1102 at 12:44AM, Feb. 21, 2012
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Way back before I met my wife a friend who was a comic book writer for independents tried to get me to illustrate some stories.  At the time I was too wrapped up in being a novelist and filling a filing cabinet notes and drafts of something I still haven't finished.
 
Flash-forward to the early 1990s and all the cool action figures and dolls I hadn't had in my childhood were being released.  So I started collecting them and then they started doing figures called Cy Girls and numerous other fem-figures and I was hooked.  I customized them, repainting faces and torsos and designing custom outfits.  Collecting and customizing the figures grew out of another hobby of mine which is building and painting miniatures.  Acessories for dolls are made from the same materials as plastic model kits and I have decades of experience working with various plastics, resin and vinyl. These action figures are posable large scale miniatures.  At one point I considered using fashion dolls but they had hopelesly bad anatomy and no poseability so I don't use Barbie and her clones
 
I decided to make a figure of a character from my unfinished novel and saw some work online featuring these figures in photostories. I had photoshop, a digital camera and these figures and accessories. So I started turning my writing into a graphic novel illustrated with the figures.  So things came together and I started making comics about the figures rather than drawing, even though I had just finished a year in school learning graphic design in an attempt to change careers.
 
And there it is.  If you want me to narrate this drop me a line.
Abt_Nihil at 3:06AM, Feb. 21, 2012
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Today I can say I do it because it's something I'm fairly good at (at least compared to other things :P). But it took me more than 20 years to get to where I am now, so the question would be why I've been sticking with it for so long.

I started making comics as a wee kid; my mother is a librarian and used to bring me comics, so I got used to this form of art as a natural way of expression. Also, I think comics are a fairly natural way of expression anyway - I guess most kids have a tendency to be artistic, and to tell stories that way. It wasn't any different for me, except that I had a more favorable environment, I guess. I was never discouraged along the way, I've always been making comics, at any age. I guess it helps that I'm a bit shy and introvert (but not as much as I used to :3).

So, the remaining question is: why did I put my comics on the web? Actually, I wasn't much of a fan of the idea; it was first suggested to me around the year 2000 by a good friend. It took me a few years to warm up to the thought of displaying my intimate thoughts to an anonymous public :D I had my comics on my own website for a while (which no one ever saw), and I think it was in 2006 when I came across a webcomic site and spontaneously joined. I got some great response, and it made my comic output steadier. Then I found dd in 2007, and the response was even greater. I think that releasing my comics as webcomics has made a huge difference in my artistic development. I've become much more efficient (better & faster) over time; it made me start a comic in full color (something I'd always dreaded); and overall, it just fueled my enthusiasm about making comics. Artistically, webcomics are possibly the best thing that happened to me.

On a more abstract level, I'd say I still do comics mainly as a means of expression. My comics can carry messages which speech or music (etc.) can't. It seems to be a more direct window to my soul… and an outlet which I psychologically depend on. It's pretty similar to what Genejoke said, except that I don't feel there is any clear or direct pay-off, or that there even has to be. The fact that my comics have been met with favorable response is great, and as I wrote, it has greatly contributed to my artistic evolution - but it's not what I'm ultimately making my comics for.

(Oh, and I could also send you a recording of this if you'd like :P)
last edited on Feb. 21, 2012 3:26AM
Banes at 6:59AM, Feb. 21, 2012
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This is great!

Adoration! Heh! The adoration and boatloads of cash! Why ELSE would we do this?

It would be really great to get your recordings of this stuff, thanks…

Any recordings can be sent over to typicalstrange((at)) gmail dott com anytime by saturday night, feb 25 (by the North American clock n' calendar)

Great insights and tales from all of you so far, and the whys, whences and wherefores.

I kinda came to it from other places too…though I'd always cartooned for fun, I spent more time with music, writing, and eventually tried some film before coming back to comics, and now online comics. Agreed that the comments definitely give some energy/good feelings to continue forward. I have lots of procrastinated on/abandoned projects, too, but my comic is going strong (in terms of continuing forward regularly)!
Macattack at 7:58AM, Feb. 21, 2012
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Well in answer to your second question there's two ways I've made webcomics before. My first webcomic on here Surviving Older Schools the ideas came to me by finding stuff that really frustrated me about the school system and then SOS was a way I could just sort of laugh it off. It was pretty therapeutic actually. The only problem is that the comic is then at risk as I found out when my school started really frustrating me. I ended up stopping it because SOS had always meant to be a light hearted satire full of movie quotes and inside jokes and it was instead becoming the ramblings of my bitterness which I didn't want.
.
Wireless on the other hand was a little different. What made me start to take Wireless seriously (As it just started as a short little script for me to practice a new art style with) was that I thought about how Canada hadn't had any real super hero to call our own since WWII and how everywhere else in the world they seem to have someone. I mean America has Superman as well as a plethural of others, Britain has the doctor, Japan has a heap of them, so on and so forth. I could have just made Canada a history of superheroes but I found it more interesting to ask how would Canada react if they suddenly got thrown back into the super hero universe after near 80 years of just standing by? Then once I had a reaction I just made some strong personalities with back stories, from Kailee the drama nerd from Quebec who has a heart of gold though she's suffered some discrimination, to Jordan the videogame loving super genius with a african mother and Silicon Valley father, to Chet the rich kid with some issues that made him obsess over power, to Wireless himself, just your average kid who got thrown into this and wants to do what's right. I think I have about a novel's worth of info on each and every character in the story, even the background ones. Once you have their personalities set in stone the story just seems to write itself thinking of “How would ____ react if ____ did this??”
bravo1102 at 8:16AM, Feb. 21, 2012
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As far as meaning and the like for myself I quote Mark Twain:
 
PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR, Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.
I could go on about what I want out of doing a comic but it would quickly degenerate into self-pity because with one exception it hasn't been very fulfilling for me as far as readership or recognition goes for my comics.  Though my comic has a Facebook fan page in Korea.  It is just a hobby and finishing any project has become its own reward.  Being able to post the last page of a completed comic is really cool.  Just wish what came before that last page was worth reading but one thing at a time. ;)
 
 
 
Niccea at 9:14AM, Feb. 21, 2012
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Not going to be able to say much on this. I just get a creative outlet out of making comics. I've had several creative outlets before this, so webcomics is just the most recent. Before this, I made cartoons with Spiderman Cartoon Maker and wrote fanfiction.
Kroatz at 10:09AM, Feb. 21, 2012
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Well. I do not do webcomics. I do comics and sometimes I upload them.
Comidion.deviantart.com
ayesinback at 12:34PM, Feb. 21, 2012
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I started a web comic to tell a story about a cat that is special to
me.  Primarily, this story is for myself
– about a series of moments that I want to remember a certain way and not merely
to record a sequence of facts or events. 
And since moments can be tricky things, easily crushed by those 1000
words of articulation that the nuance of an image can replace, I decided to
make it a visual piece with few words rather than straight prose. 
 
I was also inspired to try my hand at visual because I was already a
member of Drunk Duck.  Reading the work
of others and the comments of other readers, it was obvious that DD is a very supportive
community.  I saw that I probably wasn’t
going to be ripped to shreds for being a rank, self-taught amateur, and might
get some encouragement instead.  And so I
uploaded, and that’s what’s happened. 
 
Although I have been “working through” a significant stall on this
story for some time, I hope to finish it this year.  Again, completing it is mostly for myself and
to do justice to what I have in my head about it, but it’s been wonderful to
share those few pages I have posted and read the comments that have come along.
 
Adulation?   Not really (uh, that’s a no actually), but definitely
encouragement, and that’s inspired me to try some other visual pieces.  For Drunk Duck.  I think I’m getting a little better with what
I can do (although still as slow as molasses) and I enjoy contributing to some
of the projects the community offers, but I have no ambition for creating
pieces of AWESOMENESS.  You’ll need to
look to others for that.
 
READ HARKOVAST!
under new management
Call Me Tom at 12:52PM, Feb. 21, 2012
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I have stores in my head hundreds of thousands of them all flashing on the inside of my eyes and I need to get them out! My fingers twitch when I stand still I need to drain the stores thru them! To bad I'm hyper critical of myself and throw most of them away.
Banes at 4:29PM, Feb. 21, 2012
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These are great posts. It's cool to see where people are coming from.
 
 
 
 
I like the thoughts about encouragement vs. adulation and praise…good distinction. There are some phenomenal pieces of craft and super talented artists on this site, which is great, but there are also many of us who don't fall into the “professional” category. There's still worthwhile stuff there, and I appreciate some of the ‘self taught’ or ‘amateur’ or whatever-you-call-it-works greatly!
 
 
 
 
It's a pretty special thing to feel that connection with a moment, or a story or character, or when you get readers who feel what you're going for in your own comic. That “yeah, I get that,” kind of thing, whether it's a funny moment, or something they relate to. Definitely a reward of doing this kind of thing.
 
 
 
 
Call Me Tom, I hear you….sometimes it seems like there's not going to be enough time to do all the stories you want to do. ‘Course, other times it feels like “I got nothing!”
 
 
 
 
Ah, Kroatz. Always up for “some antics” I see.
 
I’m torn between appreciatively chuckling and wanting to throttle you. (not really. I'm not torn at all, actually. heh :-))
 
last edited on Feb. 21, 2012 4:31PM
RPGgrenade at 4:04AM, Feb. 22, 2012
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Why do i draw webcomics… that's a tough question for me to answer. I don't truly see it as a form of personal expression in my case, it's more like the idea of creating something, something that can have life. And all the webcomics i've ever drawn (most of which have died) were all created for the sake of others, not myself.
Some were for my friends, others were for the general public. I hope to get a larger fan-base, because at the moment it is incredibly small. What i DO get out of it is the occasional reader saying how fascinated they are by a comic surroundd by the premise of alcohol and bartenders, which gets me happy. I would hope it would take me somewhere high up. A place where I can influence people's lives by the subtle message I try to show through my comic.
I have explained in another quackcast how i got the idea to start my current comic “Nectar of the Gods”. But i can explain it again .
During a time of depression and drawing down-time. Me and my family went on a vacation. Before that i had read a specific japanese comic called “Bartender” and it got insanely interested in liquor and the art of mixology (for all you who don't know what that is, it's Mixing drinks). I had bought cocktail books for me and would read through them fascinated. i have my sister to thank for getting this comic started.
She saw something strange in the newspaper. A wine distributer company was hosting an international Wine comics contest. Yes, that's exactly what it was. It was inspired off the rousing success of the japanese Comic called “The Drops of God”, a comic about the intricate and complex world of wine. Anyway, i wanted to enter, i drew up some characters, but i realized i didn't know jack about wine. Soon after i was about to start the comic in sketch form i learned i was too young to enter the contest to begin with and i would've had to give them character rights. So i decided to make it into a webcomic, a webcomic about something i knew about, the forgotten beauty of liquor, surrounded by the prejudice of being a drug or by the over-abuse that causes so many accidents.
I didn't really have a reason to choose the medium of webcomics, i'd just already been doing some before it and it was something i was used to.
You might not believe me, but my ideas are stemmed from the cocktails themselves and how they are made. these aspects branch ou tinto possible ideas, what happens to create the cocktail, what techniques are used, how can i make that interesting? I don't really know… i just draw it as it come to me. Cocktails and mixology is an art-form, not just the drink, but also the way it is presented to the customers, and i thought that would be a good thing to present in a comic. With the premise that liquor isn't the bad-guy, but the people who abuse it.
i would definitely work in a bar if it meant it would give me ideas for the future of the comic, not to mention i'm sick of all the webcomics out there about the premise that being a bartender sucks in general because of under appreciation or something. anything else i should add?

The liquid creations of Gods passed down to man, but sometimes an object of the gods' realm can cause chaos in the mortal realm.
Read Nectar of the Gods!
Kroatz at 6:30AM, Feb. 22, 2012
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Let me clarify then, before you digi-choke me.
 
The reason I write comics is because I believe that my stories need to be told, heard and remembered. This sounds very arrogant but is in no way meant as such. I started writing stories back in primary school, I even won a few prizes for them. After a few years I started getting more interested in telling a story visually than telling one in words. This led me to drawing comics, since then I have been creating a few small comics, mostly parodies of what happened in my life. I got bullied a lot and was not very happy. By hurting those I hated in my comics it helped me cope with them hurting me in real life. And for some, by reading about how my characters cope with problems they can get the strength to cope themselves.
 
My (sadly unfinished) story No Heroes, about a man escaping a tower full of people that hated him, was a rather raw twist on my life in highschool.
 
My other (sadly unfinished) story Kodi, about a young man trying to survive in hell, was a thinly disguised story with many of the same themes.
 
No Room For Squares is about a world that is rotten and melting and the people living in it trying to cope. I wrote the complete story at a time in my life when I started to work on getting myself out of the dark place I had been living in, I was coping.
 
The story i am working on right now, Sand, is about a country full of normal people and some with extraordinary abilities. It is a lot like my current life, where I feel (And in a lot of ways are) superior to many of the people from my age group.
 
I do not do webcomics. I write stories and often translate those stories into a comic. It helps me cope with my life and gives me the strength to overcome any problem I come across. The reason I chose comics is because it is the medium that has the most potential. Any kind of story can be told in comics. You do not have to choose between writing and drawing. You are not restricted by camera placement and the laws of nature. The only thing that holds you back in comics is your own imagination. It is even possible to use sound in today's comics. So why would anyone choose anything other than comics?
Comidion.deviantart.com
bravo1102 at 6:43AM, Feb. 22, 2012
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ayesinback wrote:
 
Adulation?   Not really (uh, that’s a no actually), but definitely
encouragement, and that’s inspired me to try some other visual pieces.  For Drunk Duck.  I think I’m getting a little better with what
I can do (although still as slow as molasses) and I enjoy contributing to some
of the projects the community offers, but I have no ambition for creating
pieces of AWESOMENESS.  You’ll need to
look to others for that.
 
READ HARKOVAST!
NO! A thousand times NO! 
 
Read about Topless, laser-wielding, nearly indestructible robots created by wisecracking aliens instead.  Sure it's not worth a bucket of warm spit, but it sure beats a cat doing a Falstaff impersonation. 
 
Okay so maybe it doesn't.  Read it anyway.
Banes at 8:19AM, Feb. 22, 2012
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Thanks so much you guys - that's great stuff - insight into what you think about the “whys” of it all as well as where you're coming from personally. I for one find it VERY interesting to hear where people are coming from, why they do what they do.


Kroatz, I worried about this topic as far as the “sounding arrogant” thing, too. I dont' think it's arrogant when you're just answering somebody's questions, so thank you! And thanks for the insights. There is something about creating stuff and…pain that go hand in hand it seems. You've won me back over. I no longer want to strangle you!


RPG, thanks! That's a great exploration of your very specific interests! I absolutely love that! Who would've thought there was a subgenre of comics centered specifically on wine? Wow!

That was great! You all could record yourselves reading your posts, if you like, that would be great. Otherwise I greatly look forward to reading them!


Anybody else? What brought you to comics? Why comics specifically? If you're not entirely sure, guesses are fine! How did you go about starting? Any bumps in the road, with motivation, etc? How do you deal?


Oceans of ozone and monkeys in school, your fans surely want to hear more about you!

Really great stuff, here - anybody else? Further thoughts/stories?
the_beav at 11:40AM, Feb. 22, 2012
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My earliest comics were mostly dialogue driven, and I passed those around class and everybody loved them so that encouraged me to stay with the medium. Then I moved on to stream of consciousness writing and that has actually given me some bad habits so far as writing plot, but i'm working out the kinks in my system and i'm thinking in a more critical manner about storytelling. It's difficult working on a comic that I feel i've fudged by not planning enough, but it's more important to me to soldier on, work past the pain, and finish as strong as I possibly can. When I do well at it and I hit all the right beats there's a satisfaction that outllives any type of disappointment.
I don't really have anybody in my life right now that reads comics or likes fantasy so i've moved my work onto the web.
skoolmunkee at 10:16AM, Feb. 23, 2012
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I dunno! When I first started it was because I wanted an artistic exercise, reasons to practice drawing certain things or working with ongoing characters. Then it became more of a creative outlet, and I had a lot of ideas. At some point though I just got out of the habit, didn't have ideas, time, whatever. So now when I do one, which isn't too often, it's usually either out of a mix of creative outlet and mild obligation or guilt at not telling the few stories I DO still have, or very fast/simple things based on a couple of jokes. I don't think I'll end up getting back into making comics like I used to until I recapture that sense of creative drive and desire for improvement.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
Banes at 12:19PM, Feb. 23, 2012
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Thanks you guys! This is shaping up well. It certainly is interesting to me, at least! Much appreciated!
lenadventures at 8:08AM, Feb. 25, 2012
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Well I've always loved telling stories and I feel like I've been looking for the right medium to do it for all my life.
I had made some attempts at drawing comics in the past, but my drawings never convinced me and I couldn't even get past the first page. But then, one night almost two months ago  I felt a sudden surge of inspiration and started drawing my comic “Lena”. Somehow I managed to stop critizicing my work so much and finished like 3 pages in a row. It's all blurry now and I don't really remember the details but that's more or less how it all started. XD
Now why do I do it? Uhm… because I really enjoy it. I love creating new worlds and characters, telling stories, drawing… I spend my entire day making up stuff in my head, if I'm not doing that then I'm probably sleeping or dead. And webcomics I think are one of the best possible ways to download all that stuff into reality and actually make something real and permanent out of it, at least for me. And now that I discovered that some people actually like my stuff, well I just got one more extra reason to keep working on it. :)


Banes at 11:44AM, Feb. 25, 2012
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Thanks, lenadventures! Wow…I love the magic of inspiration in your story. It's certainly working out for you creatively!

The final recording from skookmunkee and your post sum things up so nicely, and came in right at the perfect time, as I'm assembling this exploration of “whys and wherefores.”

Thanks to everyone for your stories and thoughts on the “Whys and Wherefores”! I'm lockin' up the Quackcast and I guess it'll reach you early next week as usual.
It was a treat reading all of your posts.
Much appreciated!

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