One of the more challenging things when creating a traditional “newspaper comic”-style webcomic can sometimes be coming up with titles for each update.
Although you can leave your updates untitled, or you can just give each one a number, traditional-style webcomics (that don’t tell a continuous story) often work best if every individual update also has a unique title (in addition to the title of the series, of course).
1) The subject matter: This is the easiest, laziest and most obvious way of coming up with a title for your webcomic update. Just name your update after whatever the dialogue/action in it happens to be about. For example, if your latest update contains a joke about bees, then you could just called your update “[Series title] – Bees”.
However, this is kind of boring and it doesn’t always grab everyone’s attention, so a better way of doing the same thing is to come up with a title that is either loosely-related to the thing that your update is about, or is another word for it (just use a thesaurus). So, for your hypothetical bee-related comic, you could call it “[Series title] – Apiary” if there are lots of bees in it.
After all, an apiary is another word for somewhere that contains lots of bees. And, yet, it’s an obscure enough word to make people more curious about your comic update than they would be if you’ve just called it “[Series title] – Bees”. This brings me on to…
2) Puns: These take a bit more imagination, but even the cheesiest and most obvious forms of wordplay can work well in a webcomic update title. After all, the main joke is in the comic itself, so the title is nothing more than the icing on the cake.
Going back to our bee-related example comic, the word “apiary” comes from the Latin word for “bee”, which is “apis”. It doesn’t take a comedic genius to see the potential for wordplay here. You could come up with titles like “[Series Title] – Apis Sting Contest”, “[Series Title] – Apis Poor Title” etc…
Remember, even the cheesiest and most groan-inducing pun will make your update sound more interesting. Even if your update title makes people chuckle or roll their eyes, then they’re more likely to notice or remember your comic for the simple reason that it has provoked an emotional reaction in them.
3) Ask a question: One of the easiest ways to come up with a title for your update is to just ask an amusing and/or sarcastic question in the title. As long as your question is relevant to the subject matter of your comic, then this can work really well because it intrigues the reader.
Since the title is asking a question, the obvious place for the answer to be is in your comic update. So, there’s a reason for people to actually read your latest update.
Going back to our bee-related example, you could title your update something like “[Series title] – But, does a bee sting really hurt less?”, “[Series Title] – ?” etc…
4) References: One of the easiest ways to come up with a title for your update is to just reference something from popular culture and/or nerd culture. As long as your title is still relevant to what your comic is about, then this can work fairly well.
After all, people who don’t get the reference might find the title intriguingly mysterious and people who do get the reference will subconsciously notice that the comic has been written by someone with similar interests as them (and is therefore worth looking at).
For example, your hypothetical update about bees could be called “[Series Title] – All Your Bees Are Belong To Us”, “[Series Title] – Covered In Bees!”, “[Series Title] – Number Of The Bee-st”, “[Series Title] – Cowboy Bee-bop” etc… I’m sure you get the idea.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂