Thursday, April 11, 2013

Getting into Webcomics

Creating a webcomic is kind of scary because you’re basically giving away your work for free. But technically, a lot is gained by creating a webcomic, especially if you’re a graphic novelist who’s just starting out.
Creating that first graphic novel is like starting a building from ground zero. No one knows who you are. Your art may not be all that great, and you’re just taking the first steps into developing a creative rhythm. It can be a struggle.
The best thing about sharing your work as a webcomic is that it can make you a more proficient artist. Here are some of the good things that come out of creating a webcomic:
Building an Audience: You will gain readers if you post your comic on the web. It maybe only one or two at first, but they still count.
When you create your first pages, no one knows you as an artist. You won’t start gaining a following until those pages are posted online, and you share that link to your comic with everyone you know. Having an audience is important because readers can be very supportive and even motivating.
And eventually when the day comes where your comic goes from the web to print, you won’t have to work extra hard to find readers for it. You’ll already have a loyal fan base from your webcomic.
Getting Readers’ Feedback: Whenever your work is on public display, you will have no choice but to get used to hearing the opinions of others. When you post your graphic novel on the web, you will have to get used to that very quickly.
Good comments from readers are so encouraging. When I get positive comments, I feel like I drawing more pages, because I know they’re being enjoyed. When it comes to criticism, it can hurt--but when the criticism is right, it’s eye-opening, and it makes you work twice as hard to be better. I used to receive a lot of criticism about my artwork (because it was reeeeally bad), but as I improved, some people actually took the time to say, “Hey, you’re improving. Good job!” and that felt great!
And then there are the trolls…ignore them. It’s best to not even respond. (Check out #5 from Lessons from My First Webcomic)
Learning Perseverance: Posting your graphic novel as a webcomic is work. It’s fun too, but it takes dedication to post your comic regularly and to finish your pages at a consistent rate so readers don’t forget about you. Setting deadlines will help you to finish pages on time, and eventually you’ll figure out what schedule and methods work the best for you, which is great if your first graphic novel isn’t going to be your only one.
If you’re just staring to create graphic novels and you're thinking about posting your comic online, here are a few places to start:
Smackjeeves
Comicfury
Dream Manga
The Duck Webcomics
Manga Magazine