Four Reasons Why Shorter And/Or Segmented Webcomics Are Awesome To Make

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When you hear the word “webcomic”, it can be easy to think of gigantic long-running webcomics with literally thousands of comic updates featuring the same characters. It can be easy to think that all webcomics should ideally look like this. After all, the most famous webcomics tend to follow this pattern – and there are certainly advantages to it.

However, it’s certainly not the only way to make webcomics. There are, of course, webcomics where virtually every update is a self-contained thing containing new characters (although this requires a lot more imagination and it can limit the stories you tell).

But, in this article, I’ll be talking about webcomics that consist of lots of short stories and/or separate groups of self-contained updates which all contain the same characters. After all, with several variations , this is the main type of webcomic that I make these days and it’s somewhere in the middle of the two approaches to making webcomics that I’ve mentioned so far.

So, why is this short story/ segmented longer story approach to making webcomics so awesome?

1) It’s a GOOD way to make occasional webcomics: If you only have the time, energy or enthusiasm to make 7-21 webcomic updates per month, then one cool way to deal with this is to make your 7-21 updates and then release them as one or more short “mini series” containing several daily updates ( but which only last for 1-3 weeks).

Although this lacks the constant regularity of, say, releasing 1-3 updates per week, it also means that you don’t have to worry about having to produce a new update every 3-7 days (which can be great if, like me, you like to make comics in short, intense “bursts”. Or, if you want more flexibility in the number of comic updates you make each month).

As long as you actually tell your audience that you are only posting a short daily series, it is considerably better than releasing individual updates sporadically or whenever you feel like it.

After all, updating to a regular schedule (even if you’re only posting comic updates for 7-21 days at a time) is one of the things that helps a webcomic keep it’s audience. Unless your webcomic is as excellent as Winston Rowntree’s Subnormality, your audience probably isn’t going to like checking back regularly with only a vague chance that new content might be waiting for them.

So, it’s a good way to make an occasional “whenever I feel like it” webcomic without the risk of your audience fearing that your webcomic could never be updated again. One thing that can help with this is if you release regular non-webcomic content (eg: art, writing, small sketches, photos etc..) when you aren’t posting webcomics – this helps to reassure your audience that you are still making new content and haven’t abandoned them.

2) It keeps things fresh:
If, like me, you have a short creative attention span then the idea of working on a traditional long-running webcomic will probably seem virtually impossible. After all, you’d run out of enthusiasm for the characters and settings after a while.

But, splitting your webcomic up into small groups of self-contained daily updates or short stories (containing 6-14 daily updates) featuring the same characters means that you finish each “comic” before you run out of creative energy.

Not only that, since you’ll have to come up with a new story or theme for each segment of your webcomic, it means that you’ll always have something excitingly new to write and it means that your audience is less likely to get bored.

If the premise of your webcomic is “open” enough – then you can also include stories from several different genres within the same webcomic series too.

3) It’s traditional: Traditionally, this was what a lot of comics looked like. Whether it was weekly 1-2 page stories featuring the same characters in The Beano or totally new and self-contained 6-10 page stories in old American horror comics, this format goes back a long way.

Yes, the superhero genre – with it’s giant story arcs and confusingly dense mythology- may be the dominant type of print comics in popular culture these days but, before that, comics on both sides of the pond often tended to prefer shorter stories that sometimes featured a common cast of characters.

At the time, comics were a mass medium which was intended to entertain. Since the internet didn’t exist, the people making the comics couldn’t rely on their readers having found and read every previous comic in order to keep up with the story – so, shorter stories were preferred for the simple reason that they were more “accessible” to new and infrequent members of the audience.

So, if you want to give your webcomic a slightly “old-school print comic” atmosphere, then using this format can be a good way to do it.

4) It gives your comic structure: One of the problems with traditional long-running webcomics is the feeling that they’re never finished. If you’re making one, then it can be easy to feel like you’re that character from Greek mythology who is condemned to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity. You’ll never really get the satisfaction of actually completing something.

However, if you make small groups of webcomic updates, then each one is a separate project with a beginning, middle and end. Once you’ve finished posting a short webcomic, you can copy all of the daily updates into a single post like this one and put it online for your audience’s convenience.

Even if you’re using the same characters in each of your small webcomics, then this still gives your comic series a sense of structure. It turns into something like a TV show, which has lots of different “episodes” or “seasons”. As well as allowing you to feel the satisfaction of making something like a TV show, it also means that it’s a lot easier for your audience to find and reference specific comics too – especially if you make an index page like this one that contains links to your comics.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting πŸ™‚

Three Sneaky Ways To Cram More Stuff Into A Webcomic Update

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Well, although it won’t be posted here until late June, I finished making a short webcomic mini series a few hours before writing this article (which tells a short detective story in just six comic updates). So, I thought that I’d talk about compact storytelling in webcomics today. But, first, here’s another preview of the upcoming mini series:

The full mini series will start appearing here on the 25th June, but stay tuned for more mini series in the meantime

The full mini series will start appearing here on the 25th June, but stay tuned for more mini series in the meantime

1) Plan it first!: One of the best ways to tell a lot of story in a relatively small space is to make a full plan of the comic first (eg: make very rough sketches of each update, including dialogue). If you plan out your comic before you make it, then it’s easier to see what can be changed, cut or moved around in order to free up more space.

For example, with the upcoming mini series, my original plans ended up looking fairly different from the finished comic. Some of this was because I’d come up with a better idea for the ending whilst making the comic but, mostly, it was because I was looking for ways to save space.

One example of this was that, in my original plan, one of the updates would have consisted of four dialogue-based panels. But, when I was making the comic, I realised that I could reduce the dialogue slightly and cram four small panels into the top half of one of my comic updates. This essentially allowed me to squeeze two comics into just one comic. Here’s a shrunken preview of the finished update, which shows the panel layout:

Thanks to looking at my plan and revising it, I was able to reduce the size of one planned update by half whilst only losing a minimal amount of dialogue.

Thanks to looking at my plan and revising it, I was able to reduce the size of one planned update by half whilst only losing a minimal amount of dialogue.

If you can get a general overview of your comic before you start making it, then these kinds of changes are both considerably easier to make and easier to think of.

2) Panel size, formatting and layout: One of the easiest ways to cram more story into the same amount of comic space is to use a larger number of smaller panels. However, if you do this in the wrong way, it can ruin the look of your comic.

Generally, you should also try to include some larger panels too in order to avoid visual monotony (and to show off some interesting art too). For example, my current format for webcomic updates is to use an 18 x 18cm square that is divided into two horizontal “rows”. Usually, there are two panels on the top row and two on the bottom – like this:

"Damania Repressed - Analytical Engine" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Repressed – Analytical Engine” By C. A. Brown

But, when I was trying to cram an entire detective story into just six of these “standard” comic updates, I followed slightly different rules. In order to avoid the comic updates looking too “squashed”, most of them have three panels in one row and two in the other. Like this:

This is how to sneakily add an extra panel to your updates, whilst keeping them the same physical size.

This is how to sneakily add an extra panel to your updates, whilst keeping them the same physical size.

This also made them look fairly similar to a “standard” comic update, whilst also allowing me to add an extra panel. These extra panels can add up fairly quickly too πŸ™‚

3) Know what not to show: This one can take a bit of practice and research (eg: read lots of comics, look at the editing in scripted TV shows etc..) to get right, but you can increase the amount of story in each webcomic update by knowing what not to show. In other words, you need to know when to let the audience’s imaginations “fill in the gaps” and when to actually show something to the audience.

For example, in the penultimate update of my detective comic, I included a small panel showing a police car driving towards the house that the comic is set in. In the final update, there’s another small panel showing a policeman arresting the culprit (after Harvey, the detective, has concluded the case). Yet, there are no pictures of the policeman entering the house or introducing himself to everyone.

Because the audience has seen the police car driving towards the house, the sudden appearance of a policeman several “minutes” later isn’t too surprising. And, yet, this whole part of the plot only takes up two small panels.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful πŸ™‚

Three Things You Can Learn From Failed Comic Plans

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Well, the afternoon before I originally wrote this article, I’d been planning yet another webcomic mini series for mid-late June. This mini series would have been part of my occasional “Damania” webcomic series (which seems to be the only webcomic series I’m making these days) and it would have been called “Damania Review”.

The idea behind it was that the characters from the series would do humourous “reviews” of various films, games etc… Out of the ten comic updates I’d planned to make, I made the basic plans for about nine of them. The planned comics looked a bit like this rough plan for the sixth or seventh one:

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] This was the rough plan for a 'Resident Evil' themed update, about how the very first "Resident Evil" game is 'so bad that it's good'

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] This was the rough plan for a ‘Resident Evil’ themed update, about how the very first “Resident Evil” game is ‘so bad that it’s good’

Even though I soon realised that this idea wouldn’t “work”, planning this abandoned mini series wasn’t a total waste of time. So, what are some of the things that failed comic plans can teach you?

1) Your humour style: Although the idea of making a mini series that was almost entirely made out of direct parodies of games, films etc.. initially seemed like a good idea, I quickly realised that this is a type of humour that I tend to do best when I only use it occasionally.

In fact, I remembered that I tend to make my best parodies when I try to tell an original story that is a pastiche/parody of an entire genre or sub-genre (probably due to all of the old BBC sitcoms I grew up with, which were forced to do this since UK copyright law didn’t actually contain an American-style exemption for direct parodies until relatively recently – and that was only because the EU told us to make this sensible change).

If your comic plan fails, then there’s a good chance that there was something wrong with the humour (or possibly the narrative, romance and/or horror if you’re making something a bit more serious). In other words, there’s a good chance that the style of humour you’re using in your failed plan is one that isn’t the best one for you.

By looking carefully at the humour in your failed comic plan, you can learn more about which types of humour you are best at writing. Even if you learn which types of jokes don’t work for you, then you’ll at least know a little bit more about your comedy writing style.

2) Comics as a whole: One of the problems with my failed planned mini series was the fact that, although there was a lot of character-based humour in it, the amount of character interaction was fairly low.

In other words, many of the planned comics only contained one of the series’ four main characters – meaning that all of the comedic techniques that can be used with two or more characters couldn’t be used that often in this comic.

By carefully looking at your failed plans as a whole, you can learn a lot of general things about making comics. After all, your plans have failed for a reason. If you can find that reason, then you can learn something new about making comics.

3) Your limits: I had initially thought of this failed mini series as something quick that I could make in a single weekend. After all, I would be making parodies of pre-existing things – what could be easier? That was the theory, at least.

It was only a little while later that I realised that this comic series would mean learning how to draw at least 5-10 celebrities and/or fictional characters. It would mean making numerous practice sketches and looking at numerous reference photos. Not only that, there was a good chance that at least one or two of the celebrities/characters that I would have had to draw would probably be difficult to work out how to draw in my own stylised art style (there’s no rhyme or reason to this, some people are just difficult to draw – I mean, it’s why I barely made any political cartoons when David Cameron was prime minister, because I just couldn’t work out how to draw him).

So, yes, failed comic plans can be a great way to see your own limitations and to either find ways to work around them (by changing your plans) or to find other projects that play to your strengths.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful πŸ™‚

Two Basic Reasons Why Many Webcomics Feature “Frenemy” Relationships Between The Main Characters

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First of all, if you don’t know what the word “frenemy” means, it’s a portmanteau word combining “friend” and “enemy”. It describes an antagonistic friendship. This is a type of character relationship that is also fairly common in webcomics, sitcoms etc…

So, as someone who makes occasional webcomics which have a certain level of these character dynamics, I thought that I’d write an article about why they are so common in webcomics. Here are two of the most basic reasons:

1) Comedic foils: The comedic foil is one of the oldest comedy techniques in the book. This is where you put two characters whose personalities are opposites in some way together and watch as hilarity ensues.

One character could be a detective and the other character could be a criminal. One character could be intelligent, another one could be less intelligent. One character could be serious and the other character could be silly. One character could be a liberal and the other could be a conservative etc.. The idea is that the conflicts between the characters leads to them ending up in a lot of funny situations.

A good example from a classic sitcom would probably be Dave Lister and Arnold Rimmer from “Red Dwarf” – Lister is a laid-back kind of guy who enjoys drinking lager, eating vindaloo, sarcasm and having a laugh. Rimmer, on the other hand, likes to wear a neatly-pressed uniform, gives a new meaning to the word “zealous” when it comes to petty regulations and has the galaxy’s most boring hobbies. When the two get together, funny things like this happen.

However, one side effect of a good comedic foil is that the characters end up often having at least mildly antagonistic, sarcastic etc… friendships with each other. Kind of like in this old comic of mine:

"Damania Reappears - Punk Night (Censored Version)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Reappears – Punk Night (Censored Version)” By C. A. Brown

2) Instant drama: If your webcomic includes any kind of story arcs or storylines, then “frenemy”-style character relationships can add all sorts of drama, in-jokes, running jokes etc.. to your comics.

The side-effects of your characters’ antagonism towards each other and/or their different approaches to similar situations can be a quick and easy source of both story ideas, characterisation and humour.

For example, in any of my comics about time travel (like this one, this one, this one and one that will start appearing here in about a week’s time) it’s usually a pretty safe bet that Derek will either hatch some evil scheme for world domination and/or mess up the timeline in some stupid way. Here’s an example from the upcoming comic:

This is a preview, the full comic update will appear here on the 14th May

This is a preview, the full comic update will appear here on the 14th May

In reality, of course, no-one would go time travelling with someone who keeps doing things like this- but where is the humour in that? Likewise, why would a sensible detective want to hang around with a group of people

“Frenemy” character relationships may be slightly unrealistic, but they can be an excellent source of both stories and jokes.

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Sorry for another short article, but I hope that this was useful πŸ™‚

Four Basic Ways To Give Your Webcomic A Visual Upgrade

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If you’re new to making webcomics, I thought that I’d provide a list of ways to give your webcomic a graphical upgrade. If you’ve been making webcomics for a while, then you probably already know this stuff but it might be useful if you’re starting out.

Some of these things will have an instant effect, and others will take a bit longer – but they will make your webcomic look a lot more distinctive and interesting. So, let’s get started:

1) Basic image editing: If you make your webcomic updates using traditional materials (eg: ink, paint, pencils etc..) then one quick way that you can give your webcomic a visual upgrade is to use some image editing software after you’ve scanned or photographed it. Even if you make your webcomic digitally, then it might benefit from a small amount of image editing.

If you don’t have an image editing program, then you can download a free open source one called “GIMP” (GNU Image Manipulation Program). Like many other image editing programs, this one contains some basic features that you can use to make your webcomic look a lot more professional.

For example, one basic feature in most editing programs is the “Brightness/Contrast” option. You can instantly make the scanned/photographed art in your webcomic look a lot less faded by lowering the brightness level and increasing the contrast level slightly. Seriously, it’s still one of the very first things I do after I scan all of my paintings, comic updates etc… Here’s a chart that shows you what kind of a difference it can make:

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] I used this example in another article, but it shows how changing the brightness and contrast levels can make scanned or photographed artwork look a lot less faded

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] I used this example in another article, but it shows how changing the brightness and contrast levels can make scanned or photographed artwork look a lot less faded

Other common basic features that are worth looking out for include:

-The cropping tool (which can be used to trim your picture to the right size).
– The selection tool (which allows you to select an area of the picture that you want to edit).
– The “pick color”/”color picker” tool (which allows you to change the brush colour to the exact colour of any part of the picture you click on)
– The hue/saturation options (which allow you to control the colour and colour intensity of anything you’re editing).

The best way to learn how to use an image editing program is just to mess about with it and to experiment with it. Yes, this might take a while, but you’ll probably end up learning the basics relatively quickly. And, after a while, you might start discovering some slightly more advanced techniques almost by accident.

2) Backgrounds: You may have to update your webcomic slightly less often if you use this technique, but one way to make your webcomics look better is to focus more on the amount of background detail in each panel.

If you’re new to webcomics and/or if you’re on a tight schedule, then using plain or solid colour backgrounds for many of your comic panels (like in a newspaper cartoon) can be a good way to speed up the comic-making process. However, plain backgrounds can also look slightly boring.

More detailed backgrounds (even if you use illusory detail or impressionistic detail rather than real detail) may take longer to make, but it’ll grab the audience’s attention more quickly and it will make your webcomic a lot more visually interesting. Still, given the extra effort involved, it might be worth slightly reducing your comic length or your update schedule if you take this approach.

For example, many of my webcomic mini series that are being posted here this year are shorter than the ones I posted last year, for the simple reason that I’ve started including more detailed backgrounds. Here’s an example of a comic from last year, which mostly uses plain backgrounds:

"Damania Resurrected - The Other Side" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – The Other Side” By C. A. Brown

And here’s one from the webcomic mini series that is currently appearing here every night- you can see how the increased background detail really helps to make the comic look more interesting:

"Damania Regenerated - Optimism" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Regenerated – Optimism” By C. A. Brown

3) Materials: Although different tools won’t make you any better or worse at making art, you’d be surprised how changing the type of art materials you use can have a dramatic effect on the look of your webcomic.

For example, during 2012 and 2013 I preferred to add colour to my art and comics using coloured pencils. These are extremely practical, but they tend to look slightly grainy when scanned, and it’s easier to see any pencil lines or areas that you’ve missed.

However, in early 2014/late 2013, I switched over to using watercolour pencils instead. Although these are a little bit less practical (eg: they require watercolour paper, waterproof ink, a paintbrush, drying time etc..), they give the colours in my artwork a considerably smoother and more vivid look. Not to mention that blending colours was a lot easier and smoother too. Plus, since they were still pencil-based, it wasn’t too hard to make the switch from coloured pencils either.

However, different art materials are no substitute for skill or practice. Still, if you switch to something similar-but-different, then you might be able to use your pre-existing skills in order to create better-looking art.

4) Art practice: Finally, although there are a couple of tricks that will quickly make your webcomic look better, the only way that the art is really going to improve is if you either keep practicing making webcomics regularly, or do another type of regular art practice when you aren’t making webcomics.

Seriously, there’s nothing as effective at improving the look of your webcomic than regular practice. Yes, you’ll only notice improvements when you look at your old artwork after several months or years of regular practice, but the improvement will happen.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful πŸ™‚

Top Ten Articles – April 2017

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Well, it’s the end of the month and that means that it’s time for me to create my usual list of links to my ten favourite articles about making webcomics, making art and/or writing fiction that I’ve posted here over the past month. As usual, I’ll also include a couple of honourable mentions too.

Surprisingly, there were a lot more writing-related articles in this month’s group of articles than normal, mostly because I was preparing last year’s Halloween stories at the same time as I was writing the articles that were scheduled for this month.

Likewise, this blog also celebrated it’s fourth anniversary this month too πŸ™‚

Anyway, let’s get started:

Top Ten Articles – April 2017:

– “Four Things I’ve Learnt From Running A Blog For Four Years
– “Two Very Basic Ways To Give Your Webcomic A Consistent Look (Without Being Boring)
– “Three Ways To Deal With The Downsides Of Getting Better At Making Webcomics
– “Three Causes Of Weak Endings In Comics, Webcomics etc…
– “Four Important Things To Remember Before You Start Your First Webcomic
– “What Does The Expression “Kill Your Darlings” Mean ? (Plus, An Exclusive “Deleted Scene” From One Of My Short Stories!)
– “Four Reasons Why Stories, Comics, Films Etc… Can Have Alternate Endings. (Plus, An Alternate Ending To One Of My Short Stories πŸ™‚ )
– “Four Quick Tips For Writing Fast
– “How To Take Inspiration From Other Things (Whilst Writing Fiction)
– “Four Quick Tips For Writing Very Short Horror Stories

Honourable Mentions:

– “Four Basic Ways To Recycle A Webcomic Story Arc
– “Three Ways To Know When To Finish A Comic Or Story Project

Four Important Things To Remember Before You Start Your First Webcomic

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Webcomics! If you’ve read a few of them, then you might possibly want to start your own one. In fact, you might actually even try making one. This is, of course, how many people who make webcomics get into making webcomics. It’s how I got into making webcomics, even if I only make occasional mini series of 6-17 daily comic updates these days.

Still, there are a few things that are worth bearing in mind before you start your first webcomic. If you’ve read this blog before, then you’ve probably heard all of this advice already, but I thought that it might be useful to put the most important parts of it into one long-winded article.

1) Your first webcomic won’t be great (and that’s alright!): There’s a very good reason why the page I linked to earlier in this article only showcases the webcomics I made from 2015 onwards. The very first time I posted a webcomic online was in 2010 and I won’t even link to that one – even thinking about it makes me cringe at how badly-written and badly-drawn it was.

But, do I regret making that abysmal first webcomic? No! If I hadn’t made that terrible first webcomic to prove to myself that I could make webcomics, I wouldn’t have made the mildly less crappy ones that I made in 2011-2013. I wouldn’t have got back into making webcomics in 2015, after a year-long hiatus where I just made daily paintings instead (caused by making too many webcomics in 2012-13). I wouldn’t be making occasional mini series to this day.

That one terrible early webcomic is responsible for all of the webcomics I’ve made ever since. Without it, the better ones I’ve made would never exist!

When you make your first webcomic, you will probably be inexperienced at both comic writing and/or making art. This is ok! Everyone is inexperienced when they start out.

Even the very first update of the very best webcomic ever made will look awful when compared to the most recent one. The true test of a webcomic creator is if they’re willing to keep practicing even though they know that their earlier comic updates aren’t as good as the ones they’ve seen online.

If you truly love the medium of webcomics, then the fact that your first few hundred comic updates won’t be great will not bother you! The fact that your comic updates might only get a few views on a good day won’t bother you!

After all, not only are you having fun making your comic, but you’re also gaining the practice, experience and skills that you need in order to make better webcomics. Also, you’re actually making webcomics! How cool is that?

2) Make ten or more updates before you post anything online!: This is the most useful thing that you can do if you’re starting your first webcomic. Make at least ten comic updates before you post any of them online. This is useful for two reasons.

Firstly, it allows you to test out your webcomic. It allows you to see if the characters are interesting enough, if the humour is good enough and if you can think of enough good comic ideas for the premise you’re using.

It also allows you to judge how much time it takes you to make a webcomic update, so that you can come up with a realistic update schedule (that you’ll actually stick to).

Secondly, it means that you’ll already have a comic buffer before you post anything online.

If you don’t know what a comic buffer is, it’s the most useful thing any webcomic creator can have. Basically, it’s where you stay several comics ahead of the ones you post online because you’ve already made the next 1-1000 updates in advance. If you’re using a blog to post your webcomic online, then you can often automatically schedule your updates to be posted at any time or date you want.

Having a comic buffer takes a lot of the stress out of making webcomics since, although you still need to make comics regularly to maintain your buffer, if you aren’t able to make a comic update one time then it means that your audience won’t miss out. It means that you won’t constantly be rushing to meet deadlines in the way that you would be if you posted your webcomics immediately after you made them.

3) Let it change!: If you keep making a single webcomic (even occasionally) for a long time, then it’s going to change. This is ok! For example, my current occasional “Damania” webcomic series was originally supposed to be a dramatic “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”-style urban fantasy comic when I started planning it in 2011-12.

Then, it was mostly supposed to be a slightly surreal “newspaper comic” style webcomic in 2012-16. These days, it’s a silly comic about a gang of miscreants (and a detective) who go on all sorts of stupid adventures. It couldn’t be further from the serious “magic, ghosts and vampires” comic that I’d originally set out to make in 2011-12!

Your webcomic will change from the thing that you’re just about to start making, and this is good! Often, a webcomic will change because you find that it’s easier to stay inspired if you do something different (eg: switching from self-contained updates to short story-based comics). It’ll change because you get to know the characters better. It’ll change because the things that inspire you will change. I could go on all day, but it’ll change.

Let this change happen! Not only will this mean that you’ll end up ditching the parts of your comic that don’t work, but it also means that you’ll be able to stay motivated and inspired.

4) A crappy update is better than no update!: It’s probably worth writing that down. When you make webcomics, there will be days when you will be uninspired. There will be days when you don’t feel as motivated as usual. You still need to make webcomics on those days! Even if the things you make are badly-written or badly-drawn, you still need to make them and post them (or add them to your buffer)! But, why?

If you are following any kind of update schedule, then your audience will expect to see something at the appointed times. Give them something! Even if it’s just a quick sketch of one of your characters with a sarcastic caption about writer’s block underneath it, it’s something! It’s something that shows the audience that you’re still making your comic and that they should keep reading it.

No matter how awful, unfunny, clichΓ©d, uninspired or crappy your next webcomic update is, it’s still better than an empty page! Even if people online moan loudly about how terrible your comic update is, that is still better than the ominous silence of people leaving your comic because they don’t think that it’s still being updated.

Likewise, although forcing yourself to make comics when you don’t feel up to it might seem difficult, it gets easier with practice. Plus, it will give you practice too! It’ll also allow you to stay in the “rhythm” of making comics regularly.

If you’re worried that this might give you webcomic burnout (which was something that happened to me in 2014), then make changes to your webcomic. Release it in occasional mini series (like I do now). Reduce your update schedule if you have to. But, whatever you do, if you tell your audience that you’re going to post a webcomic at a particular time, then do all you can to keep that promise – even if it means posting a sub-standard update.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful πŸ™‚