PART 1 (here) - intro, goals, when you should start, comic length
first of all THANK YOU SO MUCH for 1100 patrons!!!! that's.. fucking wild. i'm so incredibly grateful for all the support! yall literally keep me paying rent and eating so i really cannot thank you enough!!!
AS PROMISED for my 1100 patron reward, i'm going to go through my personal experience making several webcomics over the years. take with a grain of salt of course, there's tons of different methods to get similar results. this is just what I've learned going into webcomics!
this guide is going to update periodically rather than posting everything all at once because i want to go as in-depth as i can and it might.. take a while. these posts will also be public, so feel free to share with friends thinking of making their own webcomic or whatever!
AGAIN, THESE TIPS ARE NOT THE "CORRECT" OR ONLY WAY TO MAKE A WEBCOMIC! I'M JUST SHARING MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE! IT MIGHT HELP YOU, MIGHT NOT ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (but i hope it does!)
why should you listen to me?
i mean, you don't have to. in fact, if any of this advice doesn't apply or doesn't work for you for whatever reason, feel free to disregard! i've completed one webcomic, started but didn't finish a second, and am like 98% done with my third! the third/current webcomic (Long Exposure) is doing pretty well in terms of readership, at least a LOT better than i ever thought it would. so i guess those are my credentials? and now i want to share what i've learned from my experience!
what's your goal for making a webcomic?
fame and fortune?? there's lots of good reasons to make a webcomic! but i'll tell you right now it might not be for you if you think it's just going to be cruise control for internet popularity and money. webcomics CAN make money (hi patrons) but going into a project just for that reason is probably gonna make you burnout really fast if you don't get immediate results.
some better reasons for starting your webcomic:
- honing your art skills (you'll learn a LOT making a comic)
- beef up your portfolio
- the need to get the story in your head OUT
- just want a project to work on
- being better than your enemies who don't make comics
i definitely learned a WHOLE LOT art-wise while working on my first webcomic through high school and early college. i also learned that if you want to finish a full webcomic, especially one with like 100+ pages, you gotta really love that shit. otherwise getting through it will just feel like a chore.
when should you start?
most people will tell you to start your webcomic yesterday. i say it depends on the reason you're waiting or what's stopping you. if you're not in a good place financially and maybe can't afford the tools or the time needed for a webcomic, the added stress might be rough. but maybe making comics and telling your story is cathartic and it turns into something to keep you going! if you're anything like me you have to have some kind of project to be thinking about and slowly chipping away at to feel sane.
or maybe your story isn't developed much yet and you want to solidify it first! my second attempted webcomic i ended up dropping because i realized the story needed a lot more work than i was willing to put in at the time, and just decided to scrap it. THAT SAID, some people like the challenge of figuring out their comic's story as they're making pages so if that's your thing, go nuts
if you're waiting to start your comic because you want your art to be "better" first... you're gonna be waiting for a long time because most artists i talk to (myself included) never feel like their art is "GOOD ENOUGH" yet. you might always find something to be unsatisfied with over it. making a comic forces you to draw characters and backgrounds and all kinds of weird shit that you might not have tried otherwise. you'll improve as you go.
how long should your comic be?
this is entirely up to you. if it's your first webcomic i recommend making something on the shorter side, not just because it's a shorter commitment, but also because just FINISHING something will give you a confidence boost to be able to take on a longer project next time. starting with a huge project is definitely possible, but if you don't complete your 400 page saga, don't be hard on yourself either! that's why shorter is better in the beginning -- lower chance of feeling down for not completing something.
if you have any questions, ask away below and i'll do my best to answer when i can!