Monday, June 11, 2007

Not with a Bang or a Whimper

So how does a webcomic become successful, anyway?

. . . the truth of the matter is that I don't have a clue any more than the people who have successful webcomics. The people who don't have successful ones don't have much of a clue either, but the point is in seeking that part out, writing it down so other people can take advantage of it, and making both of us more informed (as readers and as a potential artists), and possibly convincing you that I know what I'm talking about.

A lot of what I'm going to say will involve thinking NOT about webcomics, but about how various tricks and techniques from other fields can be applied to webcomics and how they can make you better at what you do. We are, after all, talking about a medium that is still in the 'gooey, sticky mess' phase of its inception; a lot about what makes one comic great and another comic fail isn't always clear, and by the same token, what made a great webcomic five years ago isn't necessarily what makes a great comic now.

This is expected, after all; this is the internet, where sites come and go, people get burnt out, new artists take their place, and fortunes are made in ways that make the old content models cringe. Unfortunately, thanks to that same structure that allows a brand new artist to break out and become an overnight sensation, there's also a lot more 'slush' that needs to be waded through because it's also been made just as easy for everyone else to try and do the same. The goal of anyone trying to make it is now no longer impressing just a few (carefully chosen people), but finding ways to stand out and become the next big thing.

Simply put, that involves a little education.

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