Friday, April 1, 2016

Last Post

At least here, anyways...

The day has finally arrived. I will no longer be updating this blog.

Now you can find me at:

Arcadiacomics.blogspot.com

There are no blog posts there yet. I will be making my first blog post next week.

This new blog is super exciting to me because it's very focused on what I like to make. I don't feel like I'm doing double duty, making a comic and writing blog posts. I can update my blog with comic pages, art, and blog posts.

Speaking of comics, Mandy & Molly is now live.

Start reading it now on my new blog, arcadiacomics.blogspot.com, Tapastic, or Smackjeeves.

So this really isn't an end, but a new beginning. Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you over at my new site.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Free Ways to Promote a Webcomic


I have the date March 26th highlighted on my calendar. That's when I'll start posting pages of my new comic, Mandy & Molly.

Webcomic artists are not known for having money. In fact, I work and make comics on the side. So that being the case, any advice on how to do effective promotion for free is totally appreciated.

The other day when I was reading through the Tapastic forums, I came across this thread called Building a Social Media Presence With No Budget. You can read it here.

I have already tried most of what's on the list. Twitter is great. I like using it to keep up with what other artists are doing. I'm not as vocal as some are--I post sketches here and there, but I don't often get into discussions. However, it's a great way of seeing what's going on with the webcomic community.

I also like Project Wonderful.(Note: This site does not show correctly in Chrome. Use Firefox or Internet Explorer) I've used it for Mascara and Couture, and it works. Most webcomic sites have Project Wonderful ads on their pages, so webcomic readers are exposed to new comics. When I was working on Mascara, it wasn't unusual for me to see an interesting ad for a comic via Project Wonderful while waiting for comic pages to upload. Sometimes I would click on it to check it out.

I am a loyal ad-blocker user, but I do allow ads on webcomic sites because I don't know what I might miss. Also, that's how many artists make revenue.

I will be using Project Wonderful to get the word out about Mandy & Molly before I start posting it. Also, I'm simplifying the whole ad creating process by using ad templates on Canva instead of firing up Photoshop.

There are other tips in that forum thread that I would like to try, such as submitting my comic to webcomic lists. If you're working on a comic and are planning on sharing it with the world, I hope you find some of the tips as helpful as I did.


And if you know of any other free methods of webcomic promotion, feel free to comment on what you have found to work.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Moving to a New Blog




For awhile now I've been dreaming of a site where I can gather all of my comics and stories in one place.

Finally, it looks like I've made it happen. Over the next few months, I will be shifting to my new blog at arcadiacomics.blogspot.com. If you follow me via google+ or email, no changes need to be made. You will know where I am. But if you have my blog bookmarked, be prepared to update it.

Although I know that this move will be for the best, leaving Manga and Mascara behind makes me a bit sad. I've been updating this blog for over three years! When I started, I seriously didn't think I would keep up with it for that long.

My new comic Mandy & Molly will be posted on the new site, as well as Smackjeeves and Tapastic. A little bit at a time, I'm also posting Mascara and Wings to the new site. On the front page, they are listed as "in progress" because I'm still updating the pages to those comics. It will be awhile before all of the pages are posted. Some of the links, such as the ones in the "prose" section, are not live yet, so I have some work to do there.

I like how this new site focuses more on the comics, art, and stories. Since I will be regularly updating with new comic pages, I will be under less pressure to make written posts. It's not that I mind writing regularly for my blog. It's that I know I'm entering a project that will require that I spend more time creating comic pages than posts.

As for the future of Manga & Mascara, I have no plans of deleting it. I believe some will still find the past posts useful.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Page 12 Start and Finish

Page 12 Sketch


Page 12 Finished



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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Comic Page Progress Tracker




Lately I've been seeing the comic progress sheets of other artists going around, and everytime I see one, I'm like,  "I really need one of those!"

Beyond keeping organized, having a comic page progress sheet is motivating. With every page crossed out and marked as done, that's another step towards finishing a chapter.

So I took some time and created a sheet of my own on Canva. I really like it and I'm looking forward to using it to keep motivated.

And if you would like a copy of the Comic Page Progress Tracker, you can download the PDF here from my Google drive. For some reason it looks a little weird in Adobe Reader, but it prints perfectly.

In the PDF is a link to a version of the sheet that can be edited with Canva. There you can change the colors and even the workflow to fit the way you operate.

One note about Canva, when moving the squares from one page from another, they may show up without dividing lines. Simply move the square back a layer and the lines will reappear.

I think something like this would be great for novel and stories too.




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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mandy & Molly Three Page Sneak Peak!


I've posted images of these pages before, but they were all half-done and out of order. So here are the first three pages of Mandy & Molly for the first time ever, in the correct page order:



Remember that "Amy and the Scene" poster. 

The band will actually be part of the plot later in the comic. Sadly, because of the way webcomics are, they probably won't appear until like next year or the year after. So there's the challenge of keeping Mandy's admiration of them in the story until that time comes. 

I had to do something very similar in Mascara. I had to constantly weave football into the story so when it was time to do that major scene with the football game, it wasn't like, "Where did that come from?"

But it does give me something exciting to look forward to because they are an awesome band. 

Another sneak peak of completed pages will be coming soon!  

So what do you think about these pages? How do you think they compare to my older comics? 

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"That's Not You!"

How I almost got totally side-tracked by looking at other people's work...


Once again I found myself on the receiving end of my husband's sage advice. 

I had been doing some research on digital coloring because I believe it's an area where I can improve--especially when it comes to coloring entire comic pages. After looking at all the tutorials I could find, I felt like I needed to try much harder on everything.

While my husband was driving us home from work, I expressed how I wanted to do more detailed manga-style color artwork--super polished and no outlines. I have the skills to create digital art like that. The only problem is that it would take me forever to create a finished piece. 

After I verbally mulled over how great it would be if I created more art like that, my husband was like, "That's not you."

At first, I didn't know how to take it. 

"What do you mean? I could totally do that. And there is so much anime art like that online. It's like, really popular."

"But it's not you," he said. "You create manga."

"Yes, I do."

"But people who put time into making a lot of art like that aren't working on a manga. If you started doing that, it would take away time from creating your comic."

I sighed. He was right. But I still tried to get what I wanted by saying, "Well, some comic artists create covers like that."

"That's true," he said. "But your covers are fine the way they are. Besides, I wouldn't enjoy a comic with a super fancy cover, but a lame story."

Once again, he was right. It was okay for me to want to improve my technique, but my mistake was wanting dive into a more complicated style that wasn't mine. I already have a style, and taking on something "grander" would take me away from working on the story. And the story could suffer because I would be so busy trying to dazzle everyone. 

As I looked back on our conversation, I realized that it's good that my art is a little different from what's popular. Just to confirm my feelings, this week I read a book called Art, Inc. by Lisa Congdon. It's a wonderful read, and I would recommend it to anyone who's thinking about going into the business of creating art. 

In there is a section about how it's good for artists to unplug from the Internet once in awhile. One of the main benefits mentioned is that taking a break from the Internet allows the artist to unplug from unnecessary comparisons. Then they can analyze and explore their own creative process free of studying the work of others. 

That's what I needed to do!

I needed to detach myself from images of what "good manga-style art" looks like. It's okay if what I do is a little different. My art is still beautiful. I was saved from taking on a style that is not me.

And as a side-note: Seriously, my husband needs to get a job as a therapist for artists or something. It's like I go to him with my issues, and he has this fantastic stuff to say to get me back on track. It is amazing.
 


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