How does this webcomic thing work, again?

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How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby Mo on Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:54 am

So while doodling at work I suddenly had an idea for a webcomic that's obviously going to make me rich and famous yadda yadda. Now it's kind of got me wondering how I would go about it, in theory, if I wanted to start another comic. Apart from the obvious stuff (drawing a buffer first, selling soul to McDuffies, trying not to suck, then giving up on the whole thing by page 2).

It's been well over five years since I worked on a webcomic (and that one ended on a poop joke). So how has the world of webcomics changed since then? Obviously most of you host your comics on CG. Has the updating system changed at all in all this time? Would it be best to just use a Tumblr account nowadays, or to do your own website? Do you find being on CG helps increase traffic to the comic? If not then I might as well host it myself, right? (It's not like I'll have any readers.)

So basically, can anyone bring me up to speed? I know there seems to have been a huge decline in webcomics in general (with a few popular ones doing remarkably well), or maybe it's because I'm no longer involved in the webcomic community much...

I also was in discussions of co-working with two writers like a year ago but I tend to not have time to commit to doing anything regular, so I'd feel bad for holding them back. At the same time, it would probably be easier if I didn't have to worry about both drawing and writing...

Any thoughts or pointers?
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby spoonyliger on Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:48 am

Well, with CG you just have your basic/starter webpage hosted for your comic, and then you start modifying it with whatever HTML/CSS/PHP skills you have. When your pages are ready, you get yourself an FTP program to access your CG creator account and you place your pages in the workspace>comics folder and the site's engine uploads them to your new site by creating separate webpages for each of your comic pages.

Having CG host my comic helps me a huge amount in terms of coding - it would take forever to code an engine that updates my webcomic by just having me throw the comic pages in a folder. I would've gone solo otherwise, but recently I've noticed I've been getting views/readers from other comics on CG, I don't even know how, I mean, I don't remember giving anyone an ad or anything. But whatever it is, I'm thankful for that.

I have a Tumblr, but I doubt I'd ever use it for people to read my comic. I'm pretty happy with CG.

The only thing that would improve CG's engine is to make it so that people can navigate through comic pages by using the arrow keys, left and right. And that's some mean Javascript that I don't have time to learn nor code right now.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby Mo on Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:05 am

So the CG updating process is basically still the same it was 5+ years ago then? Bummer.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:27 am

Mo wrote:So the CG updating process is basically still the same it was 5+ years ago then? Bummer.

Yeah, it's pretty much the same. At least for the whole time I've been here which was late 2008 into 2009.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby spoonyliger on Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:30 am

lol, I feel like I started when everyone kinda died down the whole webcomic thing.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby IVstudios on Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:43 am

I had been doing manual updates on my own website until recently. A few months ago I switched to WordPress with the Webcomic theme which has been a big improvement. A lot of webcomics these days use something similar, WordPress with some added on theme specifically for webcomics (I've heard good things about Comic Easel). WordPress somewhat limits your site design options (unless you know CSS, which I don't) but is very flexible so with a little work you can customize it pretty well.

You can use Tumblr, I've see a bunch of people do it, thought I've never seen one with good navigation. It mixes the comics in with all your other posts. And even if you only post comic it presents them newest on top and oldest on bottom, making reading from old to new awkward.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby Phact0rri on Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:07 am

I think you just draw and tell everyone you have a fabulous webcomic. start a fan page on facebook and continue to spam people to like it. Rinse, repeat.

Seriously I have no idea.
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Postby Cope on Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:12 am

Mo wrote:So the CG updating process is basically still the same it was 5+ years ago then? Bummer.

On the bright side, the queue rarely gets stuck nowadays. Still, this old ship has gotten a bit rickety.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby CMikeNIke on Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:35 pm

While I've never seen one to work great, Tumblr probably be pretty good, provided you find a theme that works really well with it.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby K-Dawg on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:18 pm

IVstudios wrote:I had been doing manual updates on my own website until recently. A few months ago I switched to WordPress with the Webcomic theme which has been a big improvement. A lot of webcomics these days use something similar, WordPress with some added on theme specifically for webcomics (I've heard good things about Comic Easel). WordPress somewhat limits your site design options (unless you know CSS, which I don't) but is very flexible so with a little work you can customize it pretty well.

You can use Tumblr, I've see a bunch of people do it, thought I've never seen one with good navigation. It mixes the comics in with all your other posts. And even if you only post comic it presents them newest on top and oldest on bottom, making reading from old to new awkward.


Wordpress with webcomic theme brother!

Just host it yourself Momo. A bit more work but you are the champion of your own domain.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby spoonyliger on Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:32 pm

CG gives you a lot of freedom with your website too, y'know. Despite a few small bothers here and there, which I can put up with, no problem, I've been having quite a pretty good experience with it.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby Mo on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:00 am

K-Dawg wrote:
IVstudios wrote:I had been doing manual updates on my own website until recently. A few months ago I switched to WordPress with the Webcomic theme which has been a big improvement. A lot of webcomics these days use something similar, WordPress with some added on theme specifically for webcomics (I've heard good things about Comic Easel). WordPress somewhat limits your site design options (unless you know CSS, which I don't) but is very flexible so with a little work you can customize it pretty well.

You can use Tumblr, I've see a bunch of people do it, thought I've never seen one with good navigation. It mixes the comics in with all your other posts. And even if you only post comic it presents them newest on top and oldest on bottom, making reading from old to new awkward.


Wordpress with webcomic theme brother!

Just host it yourself Momo. A bit more work but you are the champion of your own domain.

I like the idea of using wordpress as that will make updates easy and also allow for commenting. Will be looking into the webcomic themes. I can do some CSS and HTML so personalising it shouldn't be an issue.

Any advice or experiences on how to advertise your comic and getting readers without, you know, spending a fortune?

Edit: Is Project Wonderful any good?
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby K-Dawg on Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:19 am

Mo wrote:
K-Dawg wrote:
IVstudios wrote:I had been doing manual updates on my own website until recently. A few months ago I switched to WordPress with the Webcomic theme which has been a big improvement. A lot of webcomics these days use something similar, WordPress with some added on theme specifically for webcomics (I've heard good things about Comic Easel). WordPress somewhat limits your site design options (unless you know CSS, which I don't) but is very flexible so with a little work you can customize it pretty well.

You can use Tumblr, I've see a bunch of people do it, thought I've never seen one with good navigation. It mixes the comics in with all your other posts. And even if you only post comic it presents them newest on top and oldest on bottom, making reading from old to new awkward.


Wordpress with webcomic theme brother!

Just host it yourself Momo. A bit more work but you are the champion of your own domain.

I like the idea of using wordpress as that will make updates easy and also allow for commenting. Will be looking into the webcomic themes. I can do some CSS and HTML so personalising it shouldn't be an issue.

Any advice or experiences on how to advertise your comic and getting readers without, you know, spending a fortune?

Edit: Is Project Wonderful any good?


hobknob with some well known comic creators. Do some fanart for other comics, actually get yourself into the scene again.

Also I'd recommend signing up on belfry and the webcomiclist when you've build up a decent amount of updates.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby Mo on Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:07 am

I'm not sure I know how to hobnob. Isn't that a biscuit? I could bake cookies for the big webcomics peoples. :D
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby IVstudios on Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:16 am

Project wonderful is decent. I've had some modest success with it. You can use it to get a lot of super cheep & free ads with a little bit of bid spamming.

And although a Tumblr account isn't useful for publishing, it is pretty great for attracting some hits. You can set up your queue to publish updates at the same time a new comic goes up so all your followers are alerted to new updates.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby Yeahduff on Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:37 pm

I've abandoned the scheduled update and just throw up a bunch of pages when I feel like it. No ideas on whether this is something anyone should copy, but it works for me. One page at a time never made sense for my work.

Still trying to figure out the whole "finding an audience" thing.
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby Mo on Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:39 am

Pff, audiences are for insecure sell-out bastards. Amiright?

I think some kind of schedule would be good for me - to make sure I get off my arse and draw instead of, say, re-play Skyrim when I have time to waste. :shifty:

Mind you, with my full-time job and part-time study I've no idea why I'd be so crazy as to take on another project anyway, but there you go... :D
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby Phact0rri on Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:47 am

If you build it... they will come.
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Here's my tip: MAKE A PORN COMIC.

Postby Cope on Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:48 am

If by "it", you mean "porn"...
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Re: How does this webcomic thing work, again?

Postby Komiyan on Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:48 am

Schedules are basically the only way to build an audience. If you're just having fun drawing comics as a hobby, don't worry too much about it. If you really want to get the numbers in though, you've got to invest a ton of time, effort and probably money into it.

I do love Project Wonderful, if you put up some ads on your own site, the few dollars you get from that tends to pay for your own advertising. And as someone's already said, a guest comic is a lot like a free ad, with a little more goodwill and the chance to show appreciation for your favourite comics, too.

Basically just knock out a rudimentary site and draw and worry about the rest later, honestly.
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