Odds are you’ve thought about starting your own web comic if you’re a fan here. You’ve browsed through your favourites, but you’ve got that one idea you really want to get out there. But why? What’s your motivation? There are lots of reasons for getting into drawing a web comic, so this week in Friday Artist Talk we’re looking into some ideas that may just suit you. After all, you obviously want to do something, maybe you just need that extra inspiration to get you going.
5. To get your idea out there.
Sure, any artist has fears of their idea being dragged through the mud and borrowed by everyone under the sun. What I’ve learned over the years is that I’d rather have fans who are enjoying my work and know where it came from than to hide the idea and never have it come to life. After all, if nothing else you could get more support for your idea by gaining fans who appreciate what you’ve created. It’s much easier to do more with your ideas if you’re able to say that you have an established audience.
It’s exciting to see who all reads your story too. You shouldn’t force it on anyone of course, but you may be surprised which friends join in and enjoy your comic as well. I personally love fan feedback and I find it to be so rewarding to read what others think after releasing even just a drawing on deviantART.
The digital age is a fantastic time to be an artist because you can get your work out there without having to be published. After all, isn’t that what web comics are all about? Being all indie and getting your concept to readers who will enjoy it? That leads us to our next point.
4. Because free content gathers more attention.
It may be daunting to post up your work and say, “Hey, here’s my comic that took a big investment of time. Enjoy it for free,” but it can be very beneficial as well. This of course is a split road and I’d very much like to see feedback about it below in the comments especially. The fact of having your content for free removes the pay wall that keeps people from becoming fans of your content. While there is no pay off, besides ad revenue or donations, giving your comic away in the web comic sense allows it to be consumed by many many people. What if that one fan who would fall in love with your comic is just sitting at their computer monitor, twirling their credit card, and then instead decides that the asking price is too high? You’ve lost that connection.
That isn’t to say there isn’t a merit to paid content, but that isn’t the medium of web comics. In general the concept of a web comic is to give away your content for free, and then offer a paid print version later, or include ads and donation buttons. If you have a decent sized venue to sell your product, all the better! However, unfortunately you still need to get the word out there that you have a product for sale. Meanwhile, when your content can be shared for free among friends, it can spread like crazy and with no request for payment blocking those potential fans from seeing your production.
3. Being able to tell your story, your way.
Usually anywhere you go, you may end up being told that your idea needs to be changed. It may even be something “small” like a request to change the title of your comic. However, that’s your title. You picked it for a reason. Maybe you’ve been calling it that forever. If you introduced your son to someone and they said, “I don’t like his name, you should change it,” that would feel pretty much like telling an artist or writer to change a stories name.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when you’re talking about the freedom web comics give you. Being able to tell your own story allows you to be unhindered usually by the opinion of others. Sure fans will have feedback too, but it all depends on what you want to do with their advice. I personally enjoy crafting my stories along with fan input, but that isn’t the way it has to be. Obviously I’m not talking about illegal content, just the fact that you don’t have to change your comic for an editor or such. It’s your story and you’re free to express yourself.
2. Keeping the rights to your comic.
Maybe someday you’ll want to sell the creative rights to your comic. Regardless of that, your web comic is your spotlight here and now. Doing your own thing means that you do indeed own all the rights to it. Obviously it is unless you’re doing some sort of fan made comic with copyrighted characters that aren’t owned by you. But otherwise your own original creation is your property. Sure, not every place wants you to sign away the rights to your characters, but you know for sure that you’ll keep all rights if you’re making a web comic.
1. Being a part of a respectful community.
It may surprise some, but in general as far as I’ve seen the web comic community is a group that is easy to get along with and relate to. These are people the same as you, making a production and sharing it with the world. It may sound funny coming from a blog on a top list site like Top Web Comics but really you’re not in competition with your other creators. The content is free. If someone likes your comic and someone else’s, odds are they’ll read both.
This creates a wonderful group to share promotion with. You could do art trades with your fellow favourite creators or even do guest comics for each other. There are lots of possibilities and all you need to do to join in is to make your own comic and share it online.
Sure, there is a lot to consider about starting a web comic, or if this is the right venue for your creation. Hopefully these points give you some concepts to consider. Do you have any concerns or questions? Don’t forget, all you need to comment below is to log into your TWC account on Top Web Comics front page and you’re automatically logged in here and ready to comment.