Well, I thought that I’d talk about webcomics again, since I can’t really think of a better topic (and because I’m posting a webcomic mini series here at the moment, stay tuned for the next update tonight. In the meantime, you can check out the previous four mini series here, here, here and here if you’re interested).
So, for today, I thought that I’d quickly explain why webcomics are such a great thing. Although webcomics don’t always have the professional polish of print comics, they have many qualities which make them a lot better in some respects.
1) One Person: Unlike many print comics, webcomics are often drawn and written by just one person. Yes, there are obviously exceptions to this rule but, for the most part, the artist and writer of most webcomics are the same person.
What this means is that webcomics can often have a lot more individuality than print comics often can. In addition to this, the art style can often compliment the writing in ways that a comic by a separate writer and artist may not be able to do.
2) Regularity: Unlike traditional print comics that (with the exception of syndicated newspaper cartoons) are released weekly or monthly, webcomics can often be updated far more regularly for the simple reason that all you have to do to publish a webcomic update is to upload it.
Although the update schedule obviously varies from webcomic to webcomic (eg: at the moment, I seem to release mini series of 6-20 daily updates), webcomics are something that people can come back to regularly to check for updates.
As a reader, this is really cool, since it means that there’s always something new waiting for me every day or two. And, as someone who makes webcomics occasionally, it’s also kind of cool since it means that my comics projects are broken down into smaller and more manageable pieces.
3) They’re free (and open to everyone): This one goes without saying, but it doesn’t cost anything to read a webcomic. Yes, many prominent and famous webcomics often sell print collections and other stuff too, but actually reading the comic is totally free.
Not only that, webcomics are – by their very nature – open for everyone with an internet connection to view. So, unlike print comics, you don’t end up with a situation where more obscure comics are only available in a particular country or in a few dedicated comic book shops.
4) There’s (possibly slightly) less censorship: Although I often tend to self-censor way too much when I make webcomics, this isn’t true for a lot of other webcomics. Webcomics can often be more cynical, hilariously crude, weird, opinionated, and just generally rebellious than many (but not all) print comics can.
Don’t get me wrong, print comics have moved on from the puritanical days of the American “comics code” but people who make print comics often still have to pass everything by an editor or two before the comic can be published. Whereas, with a webcomic, the only real restrictions are the content rules of whichever site you’re posting your comic on.
5) Anyone can make one: Unlike print comics, where you have to seek the approval of a publisher before your comic sees print, anyone with an internet connection can start and post a webcomic.
I mean, you can even make them using MS Paint (or whatever other default programs you have on your computer, or your tablet or smartphone). Even if, like me, you prefer to make your comics using traditional materials, then all you need to get your webcomic online is a scanner (or possibly a digital camera), and maybe an image editing program or two too.
In other words, the barrier to entry for webcomics is significantly lower than it is for print comics.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂