bit o web comic philosophy talk, for those minded

Postby Hatsuma on Fri Apr 19, 2002 9:24 am

I just posted over in my own forum about my concerns about how my comic is going, and, since I don't expect much response there, I'll bring the larger, universal question over here where the smart people are :wink:

Basically, I'm pondering how to best 'do' a comic. The easy solution is a simple, disconnected joke-a-day kind of thing. It works well; people click in, read the comic, laugh, and check back tommorow for more good times. But there are those of us who aren't satisfied with that. I can't personally be satisfied with that because it goes against the theme of my comic. Somehow, we are certain that a comic can exist and be succesful /with/ a distinct story that flows from day to day. It's been done before.

But there are problems with plot. I began a revamped version of my comic, going entirely by plot, and after a week or so I realized that each strip, by itself, was no longer worth reading. Some may feel it is neccessary for the occasional period in such 'more serious' comics to have a slightly boring plot-advancement-day. But there shouldn't. I don't want someone to read a day of my comic and get absolutely nothing from it. If a comic is only going to be good when read a month at a time, it should be posted in large chunks, once a month.

So the challenge is to create multiple comics a week, each one short enough to preserve sanity of the creator but good enough for the readers to await each one. I certainly haven't gotten it down yet. So remember when creating for your audience that each piece of work is seperate to at least some degree from the others. Don't make the mistake of breaking a coherent work up into smaller chunks for its own sake.

-Hatsuma
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Postby Wraith0019 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 9:54 am

Um...Hatsuma...about the part of "preserving the sanity of the creator". When you start making a comic the sanity of the creator leaves, Dennis and Ian of http://www.rpgworldcomic.com are prime examples of this.
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Postby The_Master_of_Mages on Tue Apr 23, 2002 6:39 pm

I think what your problem is that you need to figure out how to maintain a happy medium between a comic that is humor filled and one with a plot. In truth a comic can have both at the same time, with out becoming disjointed or resorting alternating comics.

All comics that have been successful vary greatly between how much humor is in it: from the spoofiness of <a href = "http://www.rpgworld.com">RPGWorld</a> and 8-Bit Theater, to usually quite serious, yet still enjoyable <a href = "http://www.clanofthecas.com">Clan of the Cats</a> and all points in between like such strips as <a href = "http://www.itswalky.com">It's Walky (formerly Roomies)</a>, <a href = "http://www.faans.com">Fans!</a>, College Roomies From Hell, and even FOGClub/FOGADV.

The plot problems can be handled if you, or someone who's opinion you trust, look at the overall plot and/or writing of the comic why it is that the comic is not worth reading. Sometimes it's because you are trying to start with a story arc that is too big or are trying to jump to far into the plot too soon. If the latter is true then perhaps a sort of "testing the water" series of strips that gives the audiance a feel for the characters and their environment, and also it lets you lead to the setup of the first story arc. If the former statement is true, then perhaps you should split the first arc into a few smaller sub-arcs.

That's probably the best help I can give. However, if I totally missed the point of your question, then feel free to smack me.
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