Three Things To Do When You’re Having A Bad Day With Your Webcomic

2016 Artwork  Webcomics bad days  Article sketch

As regular readers of this site probably know, I’ve been making a webcomic mini series called “Damania Returns” recently (you can see my previous two mini series here and here).

Although I’d been making this series at a fairly fast pace, if you were reading the comic back when it was originally posted, you probably noticed a slight dip in the quality of the writing and/or art near the end of May and early this month when these three comics were posted:

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Returns - Old Guitar" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Returns – Old Guitar” By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Returns - Treasure" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Returns – Treasure” By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Returns - Like Magic" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Returns – Like Magic” By C. A. Brown

In short, I was having a bad day when I made those webcomic updates. If you make webcomic updates regularly (even just for relatively short periods of time), then there are going to be days when you don’t have the enthusiasm or creative spark that you had when you started out. It can be annoying and it can be slightly depressing, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of your webcomic.

Still, I made three comics on that day – but how did I get over this creative slump? Here are two things I did (that might come in handy if you find yourself in the same situation).

1) Look At Your Old Comics: One of the easiest ways to stop yourself feeling bad when you’re having an uninspired day is just to take a look at some of your older attempts at making webcomics. This tends to work best if you’ve been making the same webcomic series for a while ( eg: I’ve been making “Damania” comics intermittently since about 2011 or 2012).

Although some of my old 2012-2013 “Damania” comics were well-written, many of them were terribly-written and had art that was nowhere near as good as my current art is. Like this one:

"Damania - Mysterious Building" By C.A.Brown (2013)

“Damania – Mysterious Building” By C.A.Brown (2013)

Looking back at your old comics can remind you just how much you’ve improved since then. It can remind you that a “bad” comic by your current standards is an “excellent” comic by the standards of your past self. In other words, it can be a good way to get out of the miserable mood that often accompanies an uninspired time.

If you’re new to webcomics and don’t have any old comics, then try imagining how much your webcomics will improve in the future. Then remember that you won’t get to make these great comics in the future if you don’t put in the practice (and make the occasional terrible comic) right now. Virtually every webcomic starts out with much lower-quality art and writing than it eventually has.

2) Keep Going: This may sound counterintuitive, but there was a good reason why I still pushed myself to make three comic updates when I was having a terribly uninspired day. If there’s one thing worse -for both you and your audience- than producing a few low-quality updates for your webcomic, it’s not producing any updates at all.

If you keep going with your webcomic during a bad day, then you’ll also keep up momentum too. One of the hardest things with comics can be getting back into making them if you haven’t made any for quite a while. So, don’t give up.

So, even if you’re having a bad day, just keep going. There’s a good chance that your comic might improve eventually. After all, a bad day is just that -a bad day. It isn’t the end of the world and it probably isn’t the end of your webcomic either – if you keep going with it.

3) Look At Your Notes: If you’re making a webcomic regularly, then you’ve probably got at least a few unused comic ideas in your notes. This is the time to plunder your stock of abandoned ideas for inspiration. You might need to change a few things to get your old ideas to work, but they can work.

Interestingly, this was the thing that both started and stopped this uninspired phase. Basically, I’d come up with an idea for a comic (about Hollywood studios changing movies in order to sell them to China more easily) but I thought that it was “too cynical”. So, I abandoned it and tried to make something else. Then the uninspiration began.

In the end, the only way I was able to get back into the swing of things was to re-visit my old idea and change it slightly. And, in a fraction of the time it took me to make the previous comics, I’d made another one:

"Damania Returns - Hollywood" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Returns – Hollywood” By C. A. Brown

Yes, it wasn’t exactly great, but it was better. And, one or two comics later, the series had finally got back into it’s stride again. Although you’ll have to wait until tonight for one of the better comics in this mini series.


Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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