This weeks Friday Artist Talk is something we can all appreciate, even comic readers who just enjoy the content out there. Reading comics week after week for Web Comic Wednesday has taught me something important. Yes, we all should have a hook to our content, something that draws fans in and keeps them entertained right from the get go. So what about when you’re reading comics though? How should you react as a reader to the content you’re reading? This week we’ll discuss my advice on the topic.
It’s easy, especially as artists, to get caught up falsely thinking everything has the potential to be bland, derivative, and not worth your time. Even reviewing content day after day, you need to keep an open mind and remember that what you’re looking at is someone’s creation and regardless if you’re having a bad day or not, that production deserves respect and an open mind. Especially in the web comic industry it’s important to remember to not be so judgemental. It’s like separating yourself from being too competitive or easily frustrated.
Why this is more important with web comics is because you’re in among your peers here. While friendly competition is good, I’ve also seen how creators coming together can work for the greater good. When you support each other and share with readers what you like, it shows how much you enjoy the industry you participate in. It’s easy to find comics you’ll enjoy too. Browsing through Top Web Comics I was able to come across a list early on of content I thought I would enjoy. Even better, it turned out the owners of said content were some of the nicest creators I’d ever met.
Back to the subject at hand however, what does it matter? Lets say someone approaches you to read their comic. You take a look, the artwork isn’t really your think, and the first couple pages don’t make sense. What do you do? You know yourself what it’s like to create a web comic, or any artwork, and how negative feedback can hurt. Or maybe you’re a reader and it just doesn’t hold your interest. It’s a good idea to take it easy and read more of the content at hand. Most web comics move along quite quickly and getting a larger picture of the comic involved can give you a much better understanding.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not centering any comics specifically out here. It happens occasionally and it’s best to read a web comic like you would watch a TV show. You probably wouldn’t watch five minutes of a TV show and then write off the entire series. Taking a look at only a few pages of a web comic and then giving up is kind of like that. We all need to remember too that all of us have a variety of talent, and just as much so those first pages don’t show the progress the comic has made over it’s life cycle. You’d be surprised just how much charm there is to so many web comics out there.
I get that it’s difficult at times to filter through so many comics and decide what is right for you, but with Top Web Comics new focus on showing banners for all comics, it helps to make it easier. The best place to start is artwork that appeals to you. We all have some kind of style that stands out to us the most, go with that. Then if that doesn’t work out, try looking for time periods or story concepts you enjoy. Even if the art isn’t what you’d normally read, give it a try. You don’t have to do this all in a weekend either, it’s something that can be done as a process over time. This doesn’t mean you need to love every comic you read further into, but you’ll probably be surprised just how many you end up sticking with that you may have dismissed otherwise.
Usually there is a lot of depth to web comics, even if it isn’t intentional from the start. Once you get reading a series you tend to see recurring ideas or themes. You really get to see the charisma of the creator through their work. It really is like watching an actor perform. Take your time and give all web comics a fair chance. You’d be surprised what treasures are out there to discover.