What To Do If You Make A Terrible Webcomic Update

2016 Artwork Terrible webcomic update article sketch

[EDIT: Sorry that this article is about an hour late, I messed up the scheduling time when I originally uploaded it here. For some reason, both today’s article and art post were scheduled to appear later this evening.]
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As I’ve mentioned before, I wrote these articles about making webcomics whilst making a short webcomic mini series (which is a follow up to this one). Anyway, I ran into a problem that all webcomic creators run into every now and then. I made an update that didn’t really go that well.

The art was a bit “meh” in some panels and it was terrible in others. One of the panels barely makes sense in the context of the comic (and that was only after editing the dialogue).

Although I was able to cover up some of the problems with lots of digital editing, it certainly wasn’t the best webcomic update I’ve ever made. See for yourself:

"Damania Resurgence - Nightmares" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurgence – Nightmares” By C. A. Brown

And yet I still posted it online. Why? Because a finished webcomic update, regardless of quality, is a hundred times better than an unfinished one.

I’m sure that I’ve talking about this before but, if you read a lot of long-running webcomics, then it can be very easy to assume that literally every webcomic update has to be perfect before it’s posted online. It’s easy to assume that there are webcomic creators out there who never make mistakes and who never make the occasional crappy update. This is nonsense!

The thing to remember here is that the only reason why long-running webcomics tend to have more good updates than bad ones is because they’re long-running.

In other words, the people making them have had a lot of practice and made a lot of crappy updates in the past. They’ve learnt how to make reasonably good webcomic updates through literal years of daily trial and error (with emphasis on the “error” part).

But, more importantly than that, these webcomics are long-running because their creators understand that regularity is slightly more important than quality is.

Yes, you should obviously try to make each update as good as possible – but, if you make the occasional crappy update, then your audience is much more likely to be forgiving if they know that they won’t have to wait too long for the next update. After all, these comics are free to read.

In other words, sticking to a regular update schedule (whether it’s daily, every three days, weekly etc…) can lessen the problems cause by occasional dips in quality. And, yes, these will happen if you make a webcomic regularly. The important thing is just to keep going and to stick to your update schedule as much as you can.

Remember – a finished webcomic update, regardless of quality, is a hundred times better than an unfinished one.

So, posting the occasional mediocre, repetitive or downright terrible update is still better than posting no updates at all.

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Sorry for another short article, but I hope it was useful 🙂

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2 comments on “What To Do If You Make A Terrible Webcomic Update

  1. apolla13 says:

    You have a point. I don’t make webcomics but I do write and I think this applies to writing as well. I’ve posted some stuff up but I never keep a regular update of any of the stories I start. The most consistent story I did update wasn’t very good but at least I kept at it (till it fizzled out), but I imagine that it was much better than posting something for a while, stopping, and than moving on to something else. If there’s no regularity than what’s the point of reading it and hoping something will come out soon?

    I’ve never thought of it like that before. Thanks for the article 🙂

    • pekoeblaze says:

      Thanks 🙂 Although it’s been a while since I wrote any proper fiction (the closest thing recently was a ‘choose your own adventure’ style story I wrote for Halloween last year), I totally understand what you mean.

      I had a similar experience back in 2013 when I posted a story/ novella online [called ‘Liminal Rites‘] that wasn’t very good – in fact it was terrible- but I was determined to finish it. There was also a series of short sci-fi/comedy novelettes from that same year (which can be read here) which went fairly well but fizzled out after the second one (it’s always annoying when that happens).

      But, yeah, putting out something that isn’t very good regularly is probably better than not finishing or not even starting something that might be better.

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