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Author Topic: Webcomic startup  (Read 29360 times)

Bubbleob

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Webcomic startup
« on: 05 Oct 2005, 16:55 »

Howdy! I'm new to the forum and this seems to be where i can find out. Can someone fill me in on the process to start up a webcomic?
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Valrus

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #1 on: 05 Oct 2005, 18:05 »

1. Don't ask the yahoos around here for advice
2. ?????
3. Profit?

No, seriously, I'm sure you'll get some helpful advice from someone around here. But it sure ain't gonna be me.

And just so you don't get your hopes up, it probably won't be Jeph either.

For starters, though, I can recommend as a first step that you make sure your comic is decent. Either the art has to be good or the writing has to be compelling; preferably both. If you haven't workshopped it or shown it to your friends and gotten satisfied murmurs of approval at the very least, get your ass back to the drawing board. God knows there are enough mediocre web comics out there already, and while yours doesn't have to be a masterpiece, we've had enough people come in here showing off comics which had basically nothing to recommend them that I think I can safely say you'd be a fool to trust your own judgment.

Okay, so that turned out to be a little longer than I expected. Anyway, good luck!
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Quote from: Johnny C
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Bubbleob

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #2 on: 05 Oct 2005, 20:03 »

Thanks, i think.
The idea of showing it to my friends is helpful. But i was referring more to the web side of the situation. How do i get the webspace and upload the comic etc?
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twentyfour

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #3 on: 05 Oct 2005, 20:13 »

http://www.comicgenesis.com or http://www.drunkduck.com

TADA! Free webspaces!

All you really need after that is an FTP program. I use 'FTP Commander' becaus it was free and it had 4 stars next to it's name which made me believe I'd see Kevin Spacey in the file menu. Sadly this wasn't so.

I can answer more questions if you are more specific.... but you can also just google search for info. There's about 300 tutorials out there telling you how to do everything from drawing and pasting sprites to site design and all that techy crap I'll never understand

Good luck![/url]
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Luke

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #4 on: 05 Oct 2005, 20:14 »

Screw fancy programs, all you need is MSPaint!
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Bubbleob

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #5 on: 05 Oct 2005, 20:29 »

Quote from: Luke
Screw fancy programs, all you need is MSPaint!


MSPaint?
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Levi-chan

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #6 on: 05 Oct 2005, 21:17 »

Please god no MS Paint. Oh god no. I think the internet has seen enough of the scourge of it. ;)
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Sonet

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #7 on: 05 Oct 2005, 22:44 »

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MondaysCadence

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #8 on: 05 Oct 2005, 23:28 »

I was just about to come in here and ask the same kind of thing. Since I don't feel like plugging up the board with the same question over and over, what kind of webcomic would you like to see? And what is the best way to get them on the net? I have no skills when it comes to drawing with the mouse, so would it work it i just scanned them in and posted them?

And Sonet, can I "steal" your Punk Arm and put it on my website? It kicks ass lol.
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Sonet

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #9 on: 05 Oct 2005, 23:53 »

Be my guest... Just leave me your e-mail so I can forward you the necessary forms. You should receive a response in six to eight weeks.

... Or just go ahead and take it. Whichever you prefer.
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Levi-chan

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #10 on: 06 Oct 2005, 00:10 »

Okay, I admit. That is pretty damned AWESOME.
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MondaysCadence

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #11 on: 06 Oct 2005, 00:17 »

Quote from: Sonet
Be my guest... Just leave me your e-mail so I can forward you the necessary forms. You should receive a response in six to eight weeks.

... Or just go ahead and take it. Whichever you prefer.


lol. I'll be sure to give you credit....If you give me the info to use for it. :)
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Sonet

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #12 on: 06 Oct 2005, 00:47 »

Eh, just go with Sonet - [email protected].
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AsthmaBoy77

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #13 on: 06 Oct 2005, 02:25 »

Quote from: MondaysCadence
I was just about to come in here and ask the same kind of thing. Since I don't feel like plugging up the board with the same question over and over, what kind of webcomic would you like to see? And what is the best way to get them on the net? I have no skills when it comes to drawing with the mouse, so would it work it i just scanned them in and posted them?

And Sonet, can I "steal" your Punk Arm and put it on my website? It kicks ass lol.


The best advice I've ever heard about starting a webcomic is to do one that you would enjoy. Don't try to pander to what other people would like. If you make a comic that you find funny, there's a pretty good chance that there are people out there that like the same kinds of things you do.

I draw Asthma is Sexy by hand in a sketch pad, scan it in, and use Adobe Photoshop to add in the borders and dialog. Then, I edit the HTML files and upload the whole shebang to my site via FTPExplorer.
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fenmere

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #14 on: 06 Oct 2005, 09:01 »

Well, it looks like you got the advice you were looking for, but just in case someone else looks in here or if my own advice might help you in the months to come, I'm going to throw in my two cents.

First off, I strongly believe that no one should ever, for any reason, be discouraged from doing a web comic, ever.  There's no good reason for it.  There is, however, a bit of etiquette involved in sharing it.  Once you decide you're creating a work of art instead of just a personal experiment, you may start culling out the "bad" comics, or start over, but don't get hung up on that first thing, or you'll probably never get anywhere.

I've seen too many fantastic artists and writers stall on perfectionism.  It is your enemy!  The whole point of webcomics is that they are an extremely forgiving medium.  Just get started.

If you don't have webspace yet, start by just doing comics in your sketchbooks.

It's good to have a bit of a plan, or a set of guidelines or standards you can work towards, though.

Start by doing whatever comes to your mind.  Shoot for what is most entertaining and thrilling for you to produce.  Go for the high!

And keep in mind that you can always improve your comic in later strips.  Shoot for the goal, but don't look back.  Keep producing!  Your main goal is to figure out how much you can produce a week at a given quality of work, and how to fit that into your daily life!

Your second goal is to learn how to produce a good comic.  That comes with time and practice, and if you don't get started how will you practice?

Finally, read a lot of Scott McCloud and Will Eisner.

Give yourself a whole year before you start pimping your comic widely.  Think of it as a fun hobby you can show off to your friends and family until then.  That way, you give yourself time to learn how to keep it going and how to get over the bumps and hard times, and how to push yourself artistically.  After a year, you should have enough work to show off the best stuff.

And welcome aboard!
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Rone

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #15 on: 06 Oct 2005, 09:22 »

Quote
If you don't have webspace yet, start by just doing comics in your sketchbooks.


Especially if it allows you to have a back up.  If you could start with ten or twenty pages already completed it makes keeping a schedule a lot easier.  Set an update schedule and keep it.  Regardless of whether it's daily, MWF, or weekly.  Set it and then keep it.  People are willing to accept once-a-week updates, but only if it's regular.  People get tired of checking for comics that aren't there when they were supposed to be.
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fenmere

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #16 on: 06 Oct 2005, 09:32 »

But I wouldn't worry about a schedule until you know you're serious.

For the first month, season, or year, whatever time span is right for you, I'd just post your comics when you finish them.  That way you get an imediate response from the few readers you start with.  Your first readers will be friends and family, and you'll be informing them of your updates through email or by putting the comic right in front of them.  So you don't need to worry about a schedule until you actually start trying to get a public readership.  Then yes, getting a backlog is an awesomely good thing to do.

I've been striving for a backlog for ages.  These days I usually work three weeks ahead, when I'm in a groove.  But then, I end up waiting until those three weeks are up and find myself up against a deadline again.  That's not supposed to be the way it works.  

Either way, don't beat yourself up over anything.
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GregC

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #17 on: 06 Oct 2005, 11:48 »

I know I'm repeating a bit here, but these are important to me.

First ask yourself why you want to do a webcomic. Want to tell a story? tell jokes? What? And start off trying to entertain your friends, then you can learn to take on the world.

Get Will Eisner's Comics & Sequential Art and learn why the pictures work. And like Nike sez, "just do it". It's the only way to get better. In spite of what teachers say, there is no wrong way to do art. Actually the half-assed way is closest to the wrong way. Put in some real effort and that will put you ahead of most webcomics out there.

Others have said it, and I can't stress enough that you should do the comic YOU want to do. It's the only way it can possibly succeed. There are no guarantees that it will achieve popularity no matter how good it is. That's why you have to do it to make yourself happy, and then hope people find it and like it. And work at it. But if it feels like work, you're doing something wrong, probably pressuring yourself too much.

And my biggest piece of advice: ignore anyone who says you should quit.

You've taken your first steps into a much larger world.
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Valrus

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #18 on: 06 Oct 2005, 12:44 »

Quote from: Sonet
http://stu.aii.edu/~adp301/guitar3.jpg (8 consecutive hours of MS Paint insanity)


Man, that is shit hot.
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Quote from: Johnny C
Whatever you give up for Lent, it better not be your day job.

MondaysCadence

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #19 on: 06 Oct 2005, 13:51 »

Quote from: AsthmaBoy77
Quote from: MondaysCadence
I was just about to come in here and ask the same kind of thing. Since I don't feel like plugging up the board with the same question over and over, what kind of webcomic would you like to see? And what is the best way to get them on the net? I have no skills when it comes to drawing with the mouse, so would it work it i just scanned them in and posted them?

And Sonet, can I "steal" your Punk Arm and put it on my website? It kicks ass lol.


The best advice I've ever heard about starting a webcomic is to do one that you would enjoy. Don't try to pander to what other people would like. If you make a comic that you find funny, there's a pretty good chance that there are people out there that like the same kinds of things you do.

I draw Asthma is Sexy by hand in a sketch pad, scan it in, and use Adobe Photoshop to add in the borders and dialog. Then, I edit the HTML files and upload the whole shebang to my site via FTPExplorer.


lmao.... great comic.


And thanks for the tips everybody.
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Mollinda

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #20 on: 14 Oct 2005, 16:35 »

Well I've been comicking about three months in all, as a serious venture anyway. I've always doodled but my mate Will made me put it up on the interweb. I've only done two weeks so far but already my art work has improved.

Mine is http://www.teaforthree.co.uk
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tasteslikeevil

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #21 on: 14 Oct 2005, 16:49 »

Heh. Apparently this has become the secondary comic pimping thread. Oh well.

The only advice about making comics (or really anything in general) that I've found really helpful is, above all else, MAKE SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO READ.

Stay true to that, and you're bound to fly pretty straight.
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Rone

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #22 on: 14 Oct 2005, 21:14 »

Along with that, if you're planning to put a lot of time into drawing, make a comic of something you would want to draw, because you are going to be doing a LOT of it.  So if that happens to be giant robots or dinosaurs or random blobs of man-eating goo or whatever design a story where you can draw those things.  

For me it was things with claws and wings.  So I settled on a story with angels and demons.  It's worked so far, and I've been doing mine for...Three years?  Four?  Yeah...suffice to say, a long time.  May yours be just as long, if not longer...
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Luke

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #23 on: 15 Oct 2005, 00:44 »

Quote from: Levi-chan
Please god no MS Paint. Oh god no. I think the internet has seen enough of the scourge of it. ;)

I was only half-kidding when I said MSPaint. Thing is, as Sonet gloriously proved, you can make some real quality work in Paint if you know what you're doing. The program has such a bad reputation only because everybody tries drawing everything free-hand with the pencil tool. I draw a webcomic (linked in sig) entirely in MSPaint, and I use the pencil tool only for correcting - all the base work is done with the line tool. If you feel like it, you can look through the more recent comics (not the first ones, good God) that I've drawn and tell them if they look good for the program I use.

But, yeah.
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dingosatemybaby

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #24 on: 18 Oct 2005, 09:53 »

Quote from: fenmere
First off, I strongly believe that no one should ever, for any reason, be discouraged from doing a web comic, ever...


Thanks for the inevitably more eloquent rendition, Fenmere.  The one thing that frustrates me so far in this community (at large, not this board) is the "oh you suck don't bother" attitude.  It's the Web.  It's free.  That's the point.  I'm well aware of the limitations of my art, how much I need to learn the intricacies of the medium, etc, etc.  I wouldn't be learning anything if I was keeping these in a box under the bed.  Hell, learning to create good comics is the easy part; learning to fall on your face in public and keep going is harder.  Constructive criticism is a lost art form, and that's a shame.

So to hell with them.  Go nuts, do what you want, don't be afraid to experiment and (yes) fail miserably a few times.  If you put real effort into it, perservere through the tough patches, listen earnestly to criticism (even if you dismiss it, which is an equally important lesson to learn) and stay true to whatever made you want to pick up a pen/mouse in the first place you'll also occasionally succeed.  More importantly you'll learn.

As for the Web part, there's free hosting aplenty.  If you know your way around PHP there are a few "ready-made" products for Webcomics like iStrip and CUSP.  I use a set of scripts from Snafu but will probably make my own or switch to iStrip (which has the advantage over CUSP of being supported, plus a few features like RSS that are nice).  

There are also full-service places like SmackJeeves.  Just search Google for free webcomic hosting and you'll get...161,000 hits.  I know nothing about them, don't endorse them and I'm sure you'll get an earful from this gang about the pros and cons of using them.  It's not my area of expertise.
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_____________
http://www.dingosatemybaby.com">Nice Guy But, the webcomic that just doesn't think about you that way

Thalass

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #25 on: 19 Oct 2005, 05:01 »

I'm not yet started my strip, I'm still planning it at the moment, but what I can say, like others have, is that if you aren't having fun then there's something wrong.

Also, your art will improve over time.  Take a look at the artwork from some of the older comics' first strips compared to current ones. (CRFH!!! comes to mind)

Try to ignore your angst, too. :P That's probably the hardest thing.





Quote from: Valrus
Quote from: Sonet
http://stu.aii.edu/~adp301/guitar3.jpg (8 consecutive hours of MS Paint insanity)


Man, that is shit hot.



What he said. Holy crap that's good! *faints*
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Lunchbox

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #26 on: 20 Oct 2005, 01:39 »

I'm using Blogger to host my cartoons. I felt a bit cheap to begin with, but it's so easy to update compared to my old HTML site. They have their own image hosting, but I prefer to use ImageShack.us and direct link.
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Hoverthrone

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #27 on: 20 Oct 2005, 19:43 »

Someone already said it, but set a schedule as soon as you know how fast you can spew these things out. It's really worked to keep me going.
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Sonet

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #28 on: 20 Oct 2005, 20:38 »

Quote from: Thalass
What he said. Holy crap that's good! *faints*


Truth be told, more than anything, I regard that as 8 hours of my life I'll never get back. Eh. Art for art's sake, I suppose.

I've been thinking about trying my hand at running a webcomic for a few months now... I think I could probably put together something decent. Problem is, between school and my band (I'll wait until we don't suck before I do any shameless plugging), and not to mention my pathological inability to adhere to any sort of schedule, I know I couldn't keep up with it. But come to think of it, I'd rather do a Flash series, anyway.
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*insert silly name here*

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #29 on: 21 Oct 2005, 20:19 »

Don't worry if youre not happy with your artwork at first, As you draw you improve, and you never really notice it until you look back at your old stuff and think "holy shit, I didnt know how much this has changed".  Teh more you draw a charachter the better you get, also, If you draw something randomly, never ever throw it way, save it and look back at it from time to time.  The comic i Draw was started by a random drawing of a toaster with a machine gun.

I've been doing that comic in sketch books for ages, so i've basically got 2 big sketchbooks full of strips of varying quality, and i still have no scanner or funds to buy one.  Suffice to say, when i finally get one (legally or otherwise) Ill have the most updated web comic in history (100 strips every day, booh yah) well..for mabye 2 days.
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Thalass

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #30 on: 25 Oct 2005, 20:53 »

Also don't worry if your script writing skills are a bit iffy. That, too, will improve. Personally I'm more worried about my (lack of) writing skills than the drawing. :P
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Hoverthrone

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Webcomic startup
« Reply #31 on: 29 Oct 2005, 22:49 »

A lot of comics get by completely on either art or writing. Applegeeks and Megatokyo are both about as funny as a kick in the crotch, but the artwork has netted them large fanbases (well, I guess they both have niche appeal also...). Strips like Order or the Stick and to a lesser degree Filthy Lies get by purely on writing.

If you can pull off both you're going to be incredible, but not everybody can be Sinfest.
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Luke C

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« Reply #32 on: 01 Nov 2005, 14:03 »

I used to think my MS Paint were good... that guitar is jaw-droppingly good!

Web comics need to be one thing:
1. Funny
2. Addictive

Ok that was two things...
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