Well, since I’m still busy preparing a webcomic mini series for later this month, I thought that I’d write another webcomic-related article. In particular, I’ll be talking about what to do with the comic ideas that you don’t end up using. I’m sure I’ve talked about this topic before, but it seemed like it was worth repeating.
Needless to say, it’s incredibly useful to actually note these ideas down (or, even better, sketch them). And, for the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume that you’ve done this.
1) Make them (when you’re uninspired): A while before writing this article, I had to prepare a comic update for later this month. However, since this mini series seems to be one of my less-inspired ones, I was having trouble coming up with an idea.
Fortunately, since I ended up planning more comics than I actually made during my previous mini series, I was able to directly re-use an idea that I’d rejected whilst planning that webcomic. Although it certainly isn’t the best comic update in the world, it at least allowed me to make a comic update. And, if you’re making a webcomic, then actually making the updates is the most important part.
Here’s a preview of the comic update in question:
Another cool thing about recycling old ideas is that, if you point out that you’re doing this, then you can kind of turn it into a “deleted scenes” kind of thing. After all, it’s always interesting to see things that could have appeared earlier. So, as well as being a quick way to actually make a comic update when you’re uninspired, it can also be a way to give your audience a glimpse “behind the scenes”.
2) Use the basic idea: Whilst writing this article, I took another look at my preparatory notes and plans for my previous mini series and, to my surprise, I noticed an abandoned plan that was very mildly similar (in terms of structure, set up etc..) to one of the comics in my upcoming mini series.
Yet, the comic in my upcoming mini series has absolutely nothing to do with old computer games. Yet, by remembering the basic idea behind this comic (albeit subconsciously), I was able to rework it into something a bit more sophisticated and amusing. Not only that, I could also take inspiration from other sources too.
So, if a planned comic update doesn’t work out, then you can always return to the basic idea behind it and find a new way to use it.
3) Work out where they went wrong: One other useful thing about failed comic update plans is that they can help you to improve your webcomic. Normally, if an idea fails, then there’s usually a reason for it. If you can work out what that reason is, then this will help you to make better comics.
For example, when planning the next update in the upcoming mini series, I was determined to make an update about the band Cradle Of Filth (since I’ve been geeking out about them a bit recently). Yet, every time I tried to plan a comic update about this, it seemed like I was either re-hashing tired old tropes about heavy metal music or making something that looked more like an advert for the band.
I was only able to think of a decent comic idea after I realised that this idea was too narrowly-focused. Instead, I took a step back and, after remembering something that happened earlier that day, I was able to come up with a more generalised comic idea about musical nostalgia and technology.
So, yes, asking yourself why an abandoned webcomic update plan failed can be a good way to come up with better comic ideas.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂