Thursday, November 29, 2012

Five Reasons Why Webcomics Fail

Just recently I read this blog post on Webcomic Alliance entitled: Five Reasons Why Your Comics Fail.

The article overall is just really great, but here are a few points from this blog post that I really like, and from my own experience, really do make the difference between making a comic with loyal readers, and creating a comic that goes under after only one or two pages.
“Your Comic Is Focused On Trying To Exploit A Niche And Not About Passion”
Basically, this is about keeping the story original and avoid remaking storylines that have been done a billion times already. I think sometimes it’s a little scary for comic artists to do something really original. There’s the desire to get a lot of readers and the fear that if your comic doesn’t contain a “popular” storyline that readers are used to, that’s just not going to happen. And then there’s that inner critic that harasses you and tries to convince you that there is no way that readers could like your original idea, because people are into this and that and vampires and whatever.
But that kind of thinking just goes totally against why comic artists enjoy creating comics anyways.  For myself personally, I like drawing what I love, and I think if I focused on drawing things to please other people, I would be very unhappy. I’ve found that following my inner feelings and doing what I like has lead to the loyal reader base that I have now.

“You Spend Too Much Time On The Look Of The Site Instead Of The Look Of The Comic”
I have too much of a desire to draw pages and get them out there to focus extensively on the look of my website, so I try to keep my site as simple as possible without looking tacky. But some comic artists really go all out with getting their site to match the scheme of their comic, putting in the custom favicons and everything. Sites like that are really cool, and I wish mine could be that cool. However, every once and awhile I’ve run across a webcomic with an awesome website, but while reading the contents it’s easy to see that the artist hasn’t worked much on developing characters or even a meaningful plot. Having a nice website is great, but it won’t attract readers if the story is non-existent. People go there to read a comic, not marvel at the beauty of a website.

“Giving Up Too Early”

I have seen countless numbers of comics with just one or two pages. And that’s it. And that one page has been there for months. A webcomic absolutely does not create an instant reader base with the first page. It takes time, and ultimately the artist has to build a relationship with readers. That does not happen overnight. So giving up after the first chapter or even after the first five chapters can lead the failure, simply because the artist didn’t stick it out long enough to attract people.
And if a comic artist stops on a comic because it doesn’t appeal to them, it could be because they didn’t apply the first point in this blog post.
I love that article on Webcomic’s Alliance. I think I should post it on the fridge.