Comic Talk and General Discussion *

The pacing of webcomics vs print comics.
Furwerk studio at 8:25PM, April 28, 2021
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Just a weird thought when I was making a buffer and uploading it when I realized I kind of did over the rough equivalent of three monthly issues and just thought I bring up the subject of pacing of a weekly webcomics vs a monthly floppy issue.

For example to cover a basic year of fifty-two or more pages could maybe fill three months worth of material.

I bring this up because it is kind of affecting how I create the story, because if I was doing this like a monthly I could build up to a reveal, like having a vampire who was defeated in the first issue show up down the line in the seventh issue. Assuming each issue has 22 pages, that would be 154 pages later and in webcomic pacing that could take a long time to reach where the long term audience long forgot about Baron Vult Fang.

Because of this I am thinking how to balance out the single adventures and the down time storylines (which run from five to twenty pages) and trying to bring out the heavy hitting villains and events.

I don't know what else to say about the subject except that timing can really wreck havoc on the story development.
theRedDeath at 7:35AM, April 29, 2021
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I struggle with this a lot. Webcomic pacing is much slower than traditional monthly print comic pacing unless you update 5 times a week. In print comics all the various art and publishing duties are usually shared so they're able to hit these deadlines, for most of us we're just not capable of producing that kind of output.

And if you're a writer/artist who is deliberately trying to create something comparable in style and pacing to print comics, then this delay in output can become very very frustrating.

You can either just accept that this delay is inevitable and try to just focus on making the best quality of work you can make at a rate that's comfortable for you.

Or you can purposefully shorted or abridge your writing, and compress your story-arcs or beats so as to ultimately tell a shorter story but one that more closely mirrors a print release schedule.

Or you can attempt to simplify or streamline your art process so that you can produce pages quick enough that you match 20-ish pages a month.

Or some combination of all three.
bravo1102 at 9:02AM, April 29, 2021
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Think of it as doing a daily adventure comic strip like Terry and the Pirates or Flash Gordon All told it usually ended up that a whole week of strips was one page and including Sunday two pages?

So it would take two or more months for a full “comic book” length and arcs went on for years.

Sunday only like Prince Valiant takes two weeks to do one page or so. So the storyline takes a long time practically guaranteeing that when an important character reappears he is all but forgotten. One did last Sunday and I have no idea why he was important.

So forget about trying to match some other timetable and do the best you can on your schedule. When it goes to print then you can worry about issue length and coherence.

Don't overthink and stress yourself over what should be fun. Set goals and develop good habits including scheduling but comparing the media shouldn't be a concern. Just create.
last edited on April 29, 2021 9:06AM
Ironscarf at 2:19PM, April 29, 2021
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bravo1102 wrote:
Think of it as doing a daily adventure comic strip like Terry and the Pirates or Flash Gordon All told it usually ended up that a whole week of strips was one page and including Sunday two pages?

So it would take two or more months for a full “comic book” length and arcs went on for years.

It's worth noting those daily strips always had a plot point or posed a question in the last panel of each strip, giving you a reason to come back tomorrow. Not necessarily a cliffhanger, but enough to draw you in. I think it's worth trying to achieve that, whatever the size and frequency of your updates.
 
hushicho at 3:16PM, April 29, 2021
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The classic adventure strips often did try to hook you from day to day or week to week, but they didn't always have a hook as such. I was looking at Clare Dwiggins's strips about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, and a lot of their adventures were very “my pace”, but they were whimsical and fun and made you want to read the next one. Brenda Starr would often make readers want to tune in for the next stylish visual or gorgeous, breathtaking fashion.

Honestly, there's nothing wrong in pacing yourself like a monthly print comic, but they weren't always monthly, and even now, not all of them are. There are plenty of ones that only come out occasionally, or every couple of months, or even quarterly; Marvel and DC made monthly and sometimes bimonthly comics more of a thing consistently, but a lot of the pacing for several stretches was much more irregular. It's a situation, as has been mentioned, where they have multiple professionals working efficiently as possible on a single story, so of course they can afford to put out a ridiculous amount of work in a month. It's the same as if you were the creative director and main creator on a project and had a few assistants. Potato, potahto.

It's also worth mentioning that, for many periods of time in the comics like Marvel and DC, there were multiple, shorter stories in comics, and looking at some icons of the medium, like The Spirit for example, those were almost all shorter than what we now consider the length of an issue…because the big companies try to promote that 20-something page length, because they want you to get drawn in and have to buy the next one. They don't even finish the story in the same issue. But they used to, much more often, in days where comics were more enjoyed by a wider range of people. I think we're seeing more of that today, with webcomics and so forth.

I think the most important thing is giving people something they like and are willing to come back to see again. You can be the most productive and efficient creator in the world, but it doesn't matter as much if you don't put some passion in there, or think about what your readers are enjoying, or have fun doing it, so that people have fun when they read what you put that emotion into. You could be the slowest mofo out there, but if you put out something that resonates with people, that's the most important thing.

Not to digress too much! I think pacing is something where you do have to think about frequency of updates, but the great thing about online comics is that anyone can just go back to the beginning of the story and refresh their memories, or even just go back a week or two. When it was just newspaper printing or magazines, you didn't always have that option! And that is the readers' responsibility, not yours. If they're easily lost in a story that you've composed coherently and well enough to satisfy your standards, it's on them. The creative process requires something of even them, as readers, to complete the work. So don't feel too bad about it or get too fixated on forcing a pace that doesn't work for you or your story.
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last edited on April 29, 2021 3:19PM
Furwerk studio at 8:08PM, April 29, 2021
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Hey, thank you for the responses.

I want to add in a weird experience I had with a person I used to talk to on a few art sites, and we both were very annoyed with Jollyjack's webcomic Sequential Art.

I was a bit annoyed that he would revisit a pretty boring arc, the Narni-narnia arc along with minor grips like never quiet “ending” his storyline, something I decided to start my own web comics in a “I'll make my own, only with blackjack and hookers” kind of a way.

We both were talking about how we would like to do things differently if we were doing the comic, I kind of took it as a silly game for fun but after a while he took it very seriously and just unloaded about how he spends fives years never bringing back a simple antagonist to tie up some loose ends over and over which I did agree on some level but not that intensely.

It kind of shook me a bit about re-introducing characters as a special event, instead of having said character be gone for a few issues/storylines were the impact would be bigger I worry I have to have bring back a special character right away, one or two pages or else the readers would get mad.

Now after hearing everyone here I figure that guy might have been a bit unstable and just go a head with the original plan of having one villain show up in the fourth or fifth issue, which might take years but I feel it better serves the comic.
bravo1102 at 12:41AM, April 30, 2021
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Ironscarf wrote:
bravo1102 wrote:
Think of it as doing a daily adventure comic strip like Terry and the Pirates or Flash Gordon All told it usually ended up that a whole week of strips was one page and including Sunday two pages?

So it would take two or more months for a full “comic book” length and arcs went on for years.

It's worth noting those daily strips always had a plot point or posed a question in the last panel of each strip, giving you a reason to come back tomorrow. Not necessarily a cliffhanger, but enough to draw you in. I think it's worth trying to achieve that, whatever the size and frequency of your updates.

The “hook” is used in just about any fiction. It could be something as simple as dropping the title of the next exciting episode.

Always leave them wanting more.
rickrudge at 10:08PM, July 6, 2021
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My comix are still stuck in a small comic book layout of twenty 8-1/2” x 11” or so pages that could fit in a 11” x 17” signature sheet, folded in half and saddle-stitched. My web comics can be a totally different layout but I always hold off with the thought of going to print some day.

Like others have said here, I try to leave each page with kind of a cliff-hanger on the Duck. I’m not sure how a cliff-hanger on each page would go over in a printed book.
Socratatus at 1:40PM, July 10, 2021
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Furwerk studio wrote:
Just a weird thought when I was making a buffer and uploading it when I realized I kind of did over the rough equivalent of three monthly issues and just thought I bring up the subject of pacing of a weekly webcomics vs a monthly floppy issue.

For example to cover a basic year of fifty-two or more pages could maybe fill three months worth of material.

I bring this up because it is kind of affecting how I create the story, because if I was doing this like a monthly I could build up to a reveal, like having a vampire who was defeated in the first issue show up down the line in the seventh issue. Assuming each issue has 22 pages, that would be 154 pages later and in webcomic pacing that could take a long time to reach where the long term audience long forgot about Baron Vult Fang.

Because of this I am thinking how to balance out the single adventures and the down time storylines (which run from five to twenty pages) and trying to bring out the heavy hitting villains and events.

I don't know what else to say about the subject except that timing can really wreck havoc on the story development.

Y'know what? I didn't even think about that.

I just start a story and keep going!

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