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The Power of Comments

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Dec. 11, 2021

It's common knowledge that whoever has gone into making webcomics is doing it primarily because they like telling stories, they like drawing characters, and sequential art is just fun, approachable, and inclusive for many audiences.

It's also common knowledge that making webcomics can be a pretty tough ride that creators need to power through, especially if they can't fall on a team to help out with the different stages of creation. And there are many, of course, and we usually do it all by ourselves!

With the workload being as it is, the pressure of constant (or at least consistent) updating, and the marathon it is to complete a webcomic (often it takes years), it's quite easy to burn out or simply lose interest.

Here is where comments may come in.

Not everyone is motivated by comments to keep going, but everyone likes looking forward to some with each update. Knowing that there are people who follow your work, waiting to read the next installment and add their own thoughts on the new development is at least an endorphin fix.

A comment means a person has taken the time to read, think, and add these thoughts so that you can share in the experience of that reader as the creator. It's a privilege and a courtesy, which is why, in my opinion, comments are so cherished by everyone who's ever made a single page of comics.

Comments absolutely can help a creator push through tiredness, overcome self-doubt, feel seen and validated, and even feel challenged by their audience. In that sense, webcomics are a powerful artistic medium of a special type of interaction which isn't easily found elsewhere. Novels, print comics, even games are completed before they reach their audience and any feedback comes after the fact of creation.

Webcomics receive feedback, with the creator(s) and the audience interacting while the comic is being made. This can potentially lead to finetuning plot, making better art, covering for potential plot holes or adding scenes that would have otherwise been omitted. Or it may make side characters take center stage as they draw more attention. Webcomics have the charm of being 90% the creator (especially if they are not pantsing the story) but 10% the audience, if a page is added here and there to clarify things, or if a comment leads to an idea that completely changes the course of action that leads to where the creator intended.

Even when there are comments left with more malicious content, this experience impacts the creative process as well. Sometimes it can be detrimental to the creator, but others it may galvanize them to press on, especially if others keep with the encouragement or the constructive criticism.

I don't think any other artistic medium has such an intimate connection between creator and audience while everything is still being forged.

And for that, webcomics are, to me, unique, precious, and wondrous. And yes, every comment is cherished and appreciated, whenever it occurs!

How about you?

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TheDeeMan at 10:49PM, Dec. 13, 2021

I absolutely LOVE comments. The fact that DD readers are interested enough to engage with the creator(s) is part of DD's charm and appeal. - TheDeeMan, writer/creator of GAAK, HIT GIRLZ, The Continentals, Chevalier, and Sky Commander.

PaulEberhardt at 12:59PM, Dec. 13, 2021

How could I start a comment on this in any other way than saying that I love comments? I really do. It's always great to see the same people come back even if pages are one or two years apart, which especially on the internet is really special. Comments make me feel that my scribblings are appreciated, just by being there, but also because you get to know regular commenters, and when posting pages I often caught myself thinking things like: "Can't wait to see what ... is going to say about this". It's another reason why one fine day I will come out of my hiatus. I love doing comics, and I still have lots of Gundi & Tiger scenes itching to be drawn, but I also feel that I've been letting some very cool people down and I'm set on making amends if I can.

TheJagged at 8:59AM, Dec. 13, 2021

Yeah... for sure i'm most motivated to work when i get a lot of feedback on that work. The less comments i get, the slower my output tends to be. It can spiral into outright creative depression... Drawing, writing, editing, uploading... it's an insane amount of effort and when you're not getting any validation, it makes you question why bother going through that effort. Why work today, might as well play some videogames instead. Oops haven't uploaded anything in a month. So yeah, comments are incredibly important. Validation is important. Validation feels nice.

cdmalcolm1 at 6:56AM, Dec. 13, 2021

I love comments. I try to answer everyone who leave one behind. Normally if I get a comment I make an effort to go check out their comic, if they have one. Give find back on the characters actions. I also take time to read the Authors Notes and give feed back if something is happening in the authors life. Here I feel like it’s part of our Duck Family. Support each other. It’s like a hug. (Okay I might be reaching here)

paneltastic at 5:28AM, Dec. 13, 2021

I too enjoy sequential letter strings at the bottom of my creations.

Matt Comics at 4:29AM, Dec. 13, 2021

very good article. You've explained the whole relationship between comments and webcomics (and thus, readers and authors) very well. I don't depend on comments to post my stories, just sharing what I like to do is an acceptable minimum. But like everyone else, I truly appreciate comments! They're cool! Knowing that my page made someone smile or laugh, or impressed them, makes me happy. I really like leaving comments, but mine tend to be more elaborate than "great page!" so it doesn't happen every day. I'm someone who thoroughly reads stuff before sharing my thoughts...

hushicho at 3:39PM, Dec. 12, 2021

It is wonderful to have comments. I wish there would be more! It has felt like, in the past few years, it's been extremely difficult to get any comments at all. They used to come sparingly, but in greater supply, I feel. Nowadays, though, unfortunately not so much. I really am glad to see so many comments on the article though! Let's hope all our work gets more in general.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 5:54AM, Dec. 12, 2021

@davidxolukoga - You're welcome:) Just take care and don't go and have an actual heart attack on us please^^

skyangel at 5:36AM, Dec. 12, 2021

I can totally agree and relate to everything you have written in this article and I don't think the majority of readers realise the power they have with the ability to leave a comment, especially those that have never attempted a comic themselves. A single passionate comment is often enough to really lift my spirits when I've lost the enthusiasm to continue and the interaction certainly shows me where I'm going right or wrong!

davidxolukoga at 5:32AM, Dec. 12, 2021

OMG!!! Thank you to everyone who checked out my comic yesterday 😭❤️❤️❤️. You all made my day. And to those who commented you almost gave me a heart attack❤️❤️❤️

plymayer at 5:19PM, Dec. 11, 2021

After the initial thrill of creating and posting a page, the thing I look forward to is reading the comments.

plymayer at 5:11PM, Dec. 11, 2021

We have a wide range of creators here on Drunk Duck too. Beginners who need every encouragement you can give them. Folks who just want to post and don't care if you comment or not. Most of us like the feedback and interaction.

plymayer at 5:08PM, Dec. 11, 2021

Comments on webcomics are unique to the medium. A printed comic only has sales as feed back. Webcomics are interactive. At least on sites like Drunk Duck or ComicFury. I try to always comment something, even if its just a 6 or a :) or a good page. I don't always have something to say. But I want to tell the artist/writer that I read it and enjoyed it.

Genejoke at 2:42PM, Dec. 11, 2021

Yep comments definitely help me stay focused. Although I'm not great at leaving comments and end up lurking.

Wildcat Arren at 8:09AM, Dec. 11, 2021

Yeah, that's the sad reality of the internet - unless you're alredy big, you have very limited time to get anyone looking and commenting under your work.

Dave Mire at 7:53AM, Dec. 11, 2021

Artists live or die by the feedback of their readers. unfortunately, unless you are a featured comic on the front page (Thanks muchly for that honor by the way.) you are only relevant for the 20 or 30 minutes that you appear on the "recently updated" list. After you scroll off, you are lost with time.

bravo1102 at 6:30AM, Dec. 11, 2021

Maybe one day there'll be a patreon or something, maybe Kofi. But I've actually lost my most loyal commenting readers because people find other interests and leave the site. I think I also creeped one of my commenting readers out a bit too much and he dropped off the radar. But I have a cadre of readers who comment every page. Keeps me going. It'd be wonderful if more people commented just so you know they are there, see stats and like one comment for every twenty-five page views. That is about right. Stats have been crunched that there are between ten to twenty lurkers for every active participant online. With bots and AI, the numbers can only be expected to go up. And did I mention I just started a new comic? Shameless plug. Lol. Nothing wrong with that, you start something and excited about it, you want to scream it from the rooftops and all there are is crickets. Well here it's winter, do get migrating geese and the ever watchful murder of crows.

davidxolukoga at 5:56AM, Dec. 11, 2021

I barely get any comments, and I've been posting since May. I don't have any money for ads. All my resources go into producing my comic. That's the link to the comic. Please if anyone is reading this check it out, and "leave a comment".

KAM at 2:28AM, Dec. 11, 2021

Yeah, comments from fans are great! Almost as great as getting money from fans... or so I've heard.

bravo1102 at 1:41AM, Dec. 11, 2021

I know what it's like not getting comments. Look at the comment less wastelands of my archived comics. If I read something, I'll say something. Unless the creator dumps five pages avday. Then you'll get one comment for the five. Have consideration for your readers if you want comments every page. Put up no more than a page a day and you'll be surprised how many readers can and do leave a comment every page. And if you knew the changes and tweaks I've made because of comments. They matter so much.

jerrie at 12:43AM, Dec. 11, 2021

I always look forward to comments. on some sites I post on, I don't get ANY. Makes me wonder if the stats I read on the comic, are just bots. Or if folks even like what I'm posting.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 12:40AM, Dec. 11, 2021

I feel like, among all the creators here, I'm one of the spoiled ones when it comes to recieving comments, as I've recieved comments for most of the pages I've uploaded over the years I've been active here. I would lie if I said that I didn't eagerly tune in to see a comment after uploading a page, that's how spoiled I am^^ It is very much encouraging and confirming to see people give their time to post a comment, even when it only consists of a single emoji. Knowing what a boost of creator morale recieving comments can be I try to leave uplifting and thoughtful comments whenever I get to reading other peoples comcis. I can be slow getting to it, as I'm half-buried in my own stuff, but getting to it I do.

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