• Tag Archives webcomics
  • Cracking the Webcomics Code – Thoughts

    For what seems like ages, I’ve wanted to get back into webcomics. I briefly had one when I aired the first issues of Axiom-man many years back (along with some Canister X Comix stuff), then took everything down for various reasons. Recently, I’ve been wanting to do a comic again but know it’s a long slog and one that may or may not pay off, whether via viewership or compensation. (Ideally both.)

    As I mentioned in my Patreon reflections article, if I didn’t have bills to pay, I’d gladly give away my work for free. But I can’t. I have myself and a family to take care of.

    I love comics . . . but they take a long time to create. It takes anywhere from approximately eight to twenty-four hours to make a single page depending on your process and how many people you’re working with. Twenty-four hours. A whole day . . . just for the page to be read in a minute or less. And that’s the main hangup with webcomics: Time. Comics take a ton of time and unless you are independently wealthy, a good chunk of that time is taken up by a part- or full-time job so you can fund the basic essentials for life.

    The standard model for webcomics–which typically make money from ads and merchandise while the comic itself is on-line for free–only works for a tiny percentage of webcomikers. All those other webcomics you love have someone behind them who stays up to all hours working on pages and making enough money off it for a few items but not enough to make a full-time living (if they make any money at all).

    And this is the conundrum: How do I make my webcomic monetarily worthwhile so I have the time to make more of the comic on a regular basis?

    I have some ideas, but thus far they all cater to the standard webcomics’ long game. And by “long game” I mean that getting traction can take anywhere from a few months to several years. There is no recipe I can think of that will shrink that time frame, and I’ve done my research.

    This blog post isn’t a complaint, by the way. It’s just getting my thoughts on webcomics out in front of me so I can see them.

    I’d like to be able to share with you my still-formulating webcomic plan–which incorporates old ideas with [hopefully] new ones–but I can’t because it’s still formulating.

    I’ve had a webcomic in my head for coming up on a week–or maybe it has already been a week? I don’t know–that’s slowly being added to every day, my subconscious bringing ideas and notions to my conscious brain and filing them away as both solid form and possibilities. I’m also not overthinking this stuff either because overthinking and painfully analyzing something leads to disaster, if not immediately then inevitably.

    All I know is there is room for innovation in webcomics. I think what happened was webcomics came out under a certain model thus that model became the norm for comic readers. It’s going to take time to break that norm.

    After being in publishing for sixteen years, I know the industry is constantly changing. What worked for book authors ten years ago doesn’t work now so writers made changes. The same holds true for comics: What worked in the old webcomics model doesn’t work now so it needs an upgrade.

    Back to formulating. Will post more thoughts when I have them.


  • My Graphic Novel Collection

    Comics and graphic novels are super important me, and they molded my storytelling and writing-style very early on in my career. There’s so much you can do with comics that you can’t do in any other medium.

    Nowadays, the comic book industry in general is in a state of flux, with eComics and webcomics pushing the standard periodical comic book to the wayside. Graphic novels are a big thing now, with comic companies like DC and Marvel tailoring their story arcs to be collected later. To a point, they’re kind of shooting themselves in the foot in that if the reader knows the periodicals will be collected later for a cheaper price anyway, why buy the more expensive single issues and wait 30 days between each installment? At the same time, graphic novels are a fast-growing market last I checked so if they weren’t profitable, the comic companies wouldn’t do them and only provide one option.

    In Europe, it’s mostly graphic novels in terms of publication, and I personally think this is where the overall comics industry is headed.

    For me, as much as I enjoy the single issues–especially in the world of minicomics–creating book-length comics adds a level of prestige to the literature that their single-issue version can’t offer even though, technically, each single issue is, nowadays, a chapter in a book-length work. At the same time, these “collected editions of story arcs,” aren’t really graphic novels per se, but collections, and there’s a difference. That’s another discussion altogether so perhaps we’ll do it another time.

    I usually have a graphic novel on the go reading-wise and add more to my collection when funds permit. Lately, I’ve been getting more and more into alternative comics as they carry more life, soul and authenticity than the current mainstream comics.

    Anyway, here’s my collection. A couple of them are my wife’s, and some are not in these pics because they are by our bedside or elsewhere in the room (remember I said I usually have one on the go? So does the Mrs.).

    I thought about taking them all out and arranging them for you, or clearing up the mess around them, but since I’ve always advocated writing should be about honesty, so should what I put on this blog so unlike my showcase pics of my own published books and comics, these are true bookshelf pics as per what Fridays on this blog is for.

    Enjoy.

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