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The Importance of Reading Other Comics

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Sept. 7, 2018

At times, you might find yourself struggling to come up with creating new pages and plot lines for your comics. It might but that the structure of page is not as impactful anymore or it could be that a pose that is proving difficult to land. This was the problem I was coming up against in one of my recent projects.

So I decided to do the one thing I had forgotten about that was a daily habit for me when I was younger. And that was finding new comics to read.

Much like an author who reads, it is important for webcomic creators to get outside their bubble and see what is out there. Now the reason one might hesitate to do this, is that it is really hard to not feel intimidated by how good other artists and writers are, particularly when starting out and comparing yourself to them seems nigh impossible to prevent.

But here is where the golden inspiration lies. I began to lose myself in the works of these amazing creators, on all levels of skill, and I have walked away renewed. The double edged sword of creativity is that, the more you practice, the faster you improve. The flip side of that being that you barely see it as it is in increments but I can assure you it is happening. And reading other webcomics shows you how you can do things differently. Taking the time to not just enjoy, but study another’s work, can fast track a lot of skills and allow you test them in your projects.

But more than that, you are supporting a fellow artist who has had to go through all the challenges that you are currently facing and, hopefully one day, a budding artist like yourself will be looking at your work, both inspired and at awe at how far you’ve come.

Do you read many webcomics? In what ways have they inspired you? And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST) where we’ll be talking about this topic!



AmeliaP at 3:50PM, Sept. 8, 2018

"Do you read many webcomics?" Reaching (and commenting) 200 titles, and not counting the print comics I'm reading XDDDDDDDDDDD "In what ways have they inspired you?" I follow only comics that I liked and inspire me (and steal from!).

PaulEberhardt at 9:51AM, Sept. 7, 2018

@bravo: That's not cynical, that's just practical thinking. I don't think many famous print comic artists, even in pre-internet times, would ever have got where they are without having built up some really good personal networks. It's never been just a matter of quality... Ok, Ok, so it IS a bit cynical, maybe. :P

PaulEberhardt at 9:43AM, Sept. 7, 2018

I first started reading webcomics because I just couldn't get my hands on good print comics fast enough, and they inspired me to take up drawing comics again after years of neglect. At the moment I'm struggling to find some time off to draw anything at all, but I'm glad that through webcomics I've got a way to keep in touch with other comic enthusiasts and exchange ideas. Also, ever since I took up comicing myself I read comics differently (print or web, doesn't matter), more consciously you might say, and that lends a whole new quality to old comics I read before, long ago. There is the constant danger that some of them, which I used to love, suddenly seem to suck, but fortunately that doesn't happen all too often. Seems like I instinctively had a good taste to start with.

bravo1102 at 7:37AM, Sept. 7, 2018

And if you really want to get cynical-- an easy way to get readers and comments is to read and comment on other comics. But it's also a great way to expand your horizons and steal -- borrow-- um-- be inspired by other creator's work.

KimLuster at 7:36AM, Sept. 7, 2018

I almost never read printed comics (other than stealing a peek here and there at the bookstores! :)), but I really do enjoy reading webcomics (although mostly here on DD - don't really have time or energy to devote to too many sites). Like UB, I do love the connecting-with-the-creator aspects, but it has to be both ways. If the author NEVER responds to any of my comments, my comments tend to dwindle over time to maybe just smiley or 'great page' (comics with huge followings I can make some exceptions for, as I couldn't expect the author to respond to every comment, but they should every now and then acknowledge, even if just in the author notes, they are checking out their followers' comments at least some times...) I don't think we as creators should expect tit-for-tat (you read my comic, and I'll read yours). There are comics I comment on regularly that don't mine, and vice versa. Even so, it's comments that has gotten me to notice so many other comics I might not have otherwise

JustNoPoint at 6:41AM, Sept. 7, 2018

They-they're not better than me! It's just my STYLE!!! While I may make comics the medium I tend to try to reflect is animation. I only got into comics because there's no way I could ever animate all this at any sufficient rate! As such I tend to only read comics while I'm making comics. On that note I've been trickling back into some comic comment pages lately. For those that I got behind on in the past 3 years I'm trying to decide if I should play catchup or just jump back in on the latest pages so I can get back to giving those supportive comments faster. Nothing is more motivating than seeing people comment. Except seeing people comment that actually read it all and follow ^_^;

KAM at 4:57AM, Sept. 7, 2018

"Now the reason one might hesitate to do this, is that it is really hard to not feel intimidated by how good other artists and writers are" 0_o Bwha? This... this... does not compute! I read to be entertained not to compare myself to others. The idea that there just might, possibly, by a slim margin, be artists who are (slightly) better than me... is a fact not a fear. ;-) There are lots of people who are better than me as an artist and writer. It doesn't intimidate me, why should it? If I admire someone I strive to improve myself.

usedbooks at 4:12AM, Sept. 7, 2018

When it comes to webcomic, I tend to follow creators rather than comics. I like to support engaging artists. The internet is my primary source of social interactions, and I follow webcomic socially. (I don't tend to stick around long to read a work where the creator doesn't engage with the audience.) -- I love exciting printed graphic novels, though. Just not superhero stuff.

bravo1102 at 1:53AM, Sept. 7, 2018

One reason I like webcomics is the relative ease of connecting with another creator and getting inspired.

Abt_Nihil at 1:13AM, Sept. 7, 2018

I must admit I barely read webcomics, but lots of printed ones. I'm staring at screens far too much, and I love books! In the past few months I've gotten back to taking an hour each evening just for reading a good comic book. It's awesome.

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