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Improvement over time

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, April 9, 2021

I’ve seen some poorly drawn artwork out there but if they persevere I also see a dramatic improvement after a few hundred pages. Sometimes even 20ish pages like my Growlution show improvement, but that can be attributed to a change of program. I went from photoshop to illustrator, which uses vector art so it’s easy to adjust lines and other stuff. Heck, most of my wobble automatically smooths out and — whoops, back on track Xade!

Sometimes it’s the story that gets me to keep hitting that next button. You can have terrible artwork but if the story is good then I’ll stay and read it. However, the reverse is true too. I’ve seen some eye-watering, gorgeous artwork but the story was flat and dry like a flapjack (pancake for city folk) that landed in the sand at a beach party.

Gag comics can be interesting too. Most of these make me smile or even laugh if it’s a really good joke. This one (non-duck so I won’t say the name) I read almost always amuses me. It’s about a little girl and her adventures with a spider and his friends. Often there is a one-line zinger or even a little fourth wall peeking done so well that it's funny.

So, if it’s a gag comic or a story comic give it a chance. It just might surprise you. And don’t forget to leave a comment. Even if it’s a “lol” or “great comic” or even a full comment will make the creator’s day and give them the incentive to keep on making comics, for in the webcomic world no news is terrible news.

- Guest post by Xade



Corruption at 3:50AM, April 10, 2021

I like seeing how an artist grows and develops their own style. Sometimes the style can change from one comic to the next as they kept the original style in the first comic to keep it constant. One thing I don't like is when artists figure to redo the old pages to fix the bad art, and while there tweek the plot a bit, effectively changing the story. They often find it toohard toredo the comic while keeping things constant and drop the originaland try to redo the entire comic over, before giving up (possibly in part because they can't remember which story bits went to which version of the comic) Develop your style, just don't try to touch up the old strips.

Banes at 7:57AM, April 9, 2021

great post, and well said!

fallopiancrusader at 7:00AM, April 9, 2021

One big reason why I started doing webcomics in the first place was to give myself an arena in which to improve my drawing and design skills. The unfortunate side effect of that has been that some of my earlier pages are far below my current standards. I have gone back and re-done some of those early pages for strategic reasons: If a first time reader lands at the beginning, their first impression might not be a good one, and they'll stop after a few pages. @PaulEberhardt's point is well taken. In my ongoing quest to streamline my techniques in the name of maximum efficiency, I'm always scared that the art will become so hackneyed and formulaic that readers will (rightfully) abandon the comic. I also think the art should be consistently good, but not necessarily consistent. It's OK to experiment with new techniques in the name of improvement.

PaulEberhardt at 6:34AM, April 9, 2021

Well said! Webcomics are all about artistic growth, and an artist can only grow when given a chance to. Sometimes seeing the artwork evolve and the experimentation done in the process is just as fascinating as the comic itself. This said, I've seen webcomics that have changed for the worse, as well. There's one comic I used to like (non-Duck) that was really beautifully drawn, but at some point the artist seems to have figured that posting more pages more often will get you more clicks, no matter how badly drawn they are, as long as there are enough naked women on the page. This is not about naked women, mind - they've always been part of the story and in places where it makes sense - but it's sad to see someone who could do much better forget everything about e.g. what size a head should be in proportion to the rest of the body (as in: not alternating between balloon-size to hazelnut-size from panel to panel) or colouring that isn't lacklustre and flat.

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