Three Ways To Add Some “Special Features” To Your Webcomic (Plus an exclusive unfinished “Damania Returns” comic!)

2016 Artwork webcomic bonus content article sketch

Although I’ve mentioned before how thinking of your webcomic like a TV show can be a good way to get motivated, I thought that I’d continue this metaphor today by taking a quick look at three of the many ways that you can add DVD-like “special features” to your webcomic.

1) Line art (and “work in progress” art): If you were reading this site yesterday, you probably saw that I posted a gallery of “work in progress” line art scans from one of my recent webcomic mini series. Basically, before I added paint to each webcomic update, I scanned the original line art- allowing me to create this gallery once the mini series was finished.

The other interesting thing about showing off the line art (or any earlier version of your webcomic updates) is that eagle-eyed readers can look for major differences between earlier and later versions of your work.

For example, I often end up digitally editing the dialogue in my comics after I’ve scanned the final artwork – so there are countless small dialogue differences between the “work in progress” line art and the finished comics.

In addition to this, showing off “work in progress” versions of your webcomic updates can be a good way to get aspiring webcomic creators interested in your webcomic for the simple reason that it gives them some clues about your art style and techniques.

2) Show what could have been: One easy way to add some intriguing bonus content to your webcomic is to, quite simply, show off some of your failures – like this “never seen before” failed comic strip that would have originally been part of my recent “Damania Returns” webcomic mini series:

I've made more digital adjustments to the brightness/contrast levels than usual, so that the pencil lines in the third and fourth panels are actually visible

I’ve made more digital adjustments to the brightness/contrast levels than usual, so that the pencil lines in the third and fourth panels are actually visible

Showing off webcomic updates that didn’t work out well, or which were never finished, is a great way to intrigue your audience by giving them tantalising hints about alternative directions that your comic could have gone in.

Likewise, showing off your failures also means that you won’t feel like the time you spent on your failed webcomic updates was totally wasted.

In addition to this, showing off your failures reminds any would-be webcomic makers who are reading your comic that every artist fails from time to time. It also shows your audience that you’re only human and that even people with some experience of making webcomics can still fail every now and then.

3) Character sketches: One way to make some bonus content for your webcomic fairly quickly is to just draw a few quick sketches of your characters.

These don’t have to be as good as the artwork in your usual webcomic updates. But, a few quick sketches of your characters in amusing situations, in alternative outfits etc.. can be a good way to make some bonus content fairly easily.

Although I haven’t really done this that much with my own webcomics, I’ve certainly seen it used in other webcomics – especially as a way to produce quick filler material when the writer and/or artist can’t make a full update.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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