An important, but often overlooked aspect of creating a webcomic is what rating it will have, ie whether your comic is adult, young adult, children or x-rated. This question, whilst not always thought about at the conceptual stage, is by no means any less important. It is a critical way in which a work of fiction is categorised and thus, which audience it is ultimately targeting and, in turn, reaching.
The children category focuses on lighter topics and is angled at an audience from 5-12 years of age. That’s not say there can’t be a slight amount of angst but, in general, a story aimed at this rating category is more innocent and has a greater weight placed on exploration and imagination.
The young adult category focuses on teens aged from 14-17 years of age. This category sets up the expectations that you’ll be writing about characters in a similar age bracket as well the issues that they face; namely the transition of a child into the beginnings of an adult. Generally speaking, this category doesn’t have explicit violence, sexual themes and/or substance abuse. Moreover, it focuses on the emotional angst that one experiences growing into an adult and the challenges one face as they begin to form a solid identity.
An X-rated is what it says on the box, namely, this is going to be much, much more eXplicit. There’s more violence, more gore, more sexual themes and outward nudity and it is usually described in detail. The themes are potentially darker too as a result of the material that’s explored. Essentially, if you don’t think anyone under the age of 18 should be seeing it then chance are you’re looking at an X-rating.
An adult rating tends to encompass everything else. Whilst this can be broken down into further rating categories such as “new adult”, the adult category is a nice coverall for any other story you wish to write or draw about. It’s not as explicit as X-rated but more mature than young adult; it’s a flexible rating for most comics on the web.
What rating is your comic? Did you think about it before you started or was it more of an afterthought? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!
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Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, March 22, 2019
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