Make sure you've read all the previous issues!
I'm at a nice place in my webcomic right now. Well, it's nice as the writer, at least.
The characters have a nice history now, with some adventures behind them, some established relationships, and a stable of supporting characters who can be brought back to create all sorts of havoc for my heroes.
In a way, it's right where I want to be. Enough history is in place, but there's not so much that it's confusing or oppressive.
Or at least it's not to ME. I wonder about the readers, though. A few commenters have photographic memories, I've found, and remember as many details as I do. That's pretty great (Call Me Tom, I'm lookin' at you, buddy!).
One of the goals for my series has been to make each page completely understandable to a newcomer, but to not be overloaded with exposition that would be annoying to people who are reading it regularly, or to those who read the 22-42 page stories all in one go.
I don't think I'm always successful at riding that line, but I do try.
To that end, I structured the series into pretty much standalone “issues”, with each plot complete unto itself. I also make an effort to have a setup and payoff, and hopefully a laugh, on each page. Or I guess more to the point, I try to have a conflict, and a cliffhanger or resolution on each page.
That's not always possible, and having a “standalone page” is the first thing I sacrifice when needed. It seems more important not to annoy regular readers with repetitive exposition.
I annoy them with puerile, hackneyed writing and awful, slapdash artwork instead!
The most important thing in my comic, I thought, was for readers to know who the main characters are, and what their basic relationships are. Well, explaining the relationships on every page was not possible, so I settled for having a top banner that shows (and names) all the main characters.
It's actually one of the things I'm most proud of in my comic; I think it's been structured exactly the way it needs to be as far as keeping a reasonable balance for ongoing readers and new readers.
Is your comic more geared to new readers or, ongoing readers? Do you try to keep it balanced between the two? Have you struggled with this? Do you find jumping into new webcomics challenging? Do you read webcomics backwards for dozens of pages on end sometimes (I know I do)?
Have a good Thursday!
Banes at 12:00AM, Aug. 27, 2015
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