This is the final installment of the Lettering Hot Seat. Same rules as always; I’ll make a few remarks and then open the discussion to the membership at large. Please feel free to join the conversation with your thoughts.
Lettering Hot Seat: Biblenauts, Crowded Void and Melonpool
This is the final installment of the Lettering Hot Seat. Same rules as always; I’ll make a few remarks and then open the discussion to the membership at large. Please feel free to join the conversation with your thoughts.Read more
The UPS Store
Let me tell you why I love the UPS Store. They made my life easier. And they’re saving me hundreds. Hundreds. Here’s how…Read more
Mailbag: How many people read my comic?
This was originally posted in the forum, but I’d like to bring it out front to open it up to a wider discussion. Q: I’m curious as to what the best way of determining how many readers on one’s comic website. […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
The crossbar I
I had an epiphany today. Teaching the lettering segment of my Sequential Arts class at Hussian School of Art, I covered some of the basics of lettering — both hand-lettering and digital lettering. During the course of the lecture, I […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
Wizard World buys Pittsburgh Comicon
Pittsburgh Comicon is announcing that they have been bought by Wizard World. From their e-mail:Read more
Domain registrars compared
Google has entered the domain-registry field in a move that many have called a game-changer. Here’s a look at their service and how it stacks up against other domain registrars. To make things a little easier, I’ve decided to compare […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
USPS: No Rate Hike for Jan. 2015
And now for a little good news. Every year around this time, the US Postal Service typically announces rate hikes. But, for now, at least, the USPS is not changing their prices for the new year. Coupled with the reduction […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
Once again, I’m trying something new with the Friday Archive Dive. If you’re new to the site, you can read the entire post, which originally ran on Jan. 31, 2013, in its entirely. If you’ve ever been curious about the kind of information, tutorials and advice that you’ll get as part of your subscription to Webcomics.com, this is a good sample.
You probably already know about the Great Website Outage of 2013. So let’s talk about backing up our Web sites.
It’s not enough to assume that your Web host couldn’t fall victim to this sort of thing, too. If your Web site is important to your livlihood, you’d better take a few moments every month and make sure you have your own back-up just in case.
Of course, there’s the obvious answer. Download all the files from your Web site to your own computer and whisk it off to an independent drive.* Heck, you may be able to delegate this to one of those little Flash drive you can get for about $20 at Target. As long as you do it somewhat routinely, you should be able to mitigate any damage that could be done by a hacker.
*Note: Member AndyL notes, “Woa, slow down. It’s not this easy, of course. You need to also back up your database!” Read the comments for more information. Thanks, Andy!
Of course, the problem with the DIY option is that you have to remember to do it on a regular basis. And then you have to actually do it when you remember to do it — and not put it off because there’s a more pressing issue at hand. For that, you could us a service like CodeGuard that offers to do your back-ups for you for a monthly fee. You may be able to get away with the Personal Web Site plan, which offers a daily back-up for only five bucks a month and covers 5 GB. There are others — like Backup Machine and DropMySite — which offer similar services.
I love Dropbox.com. And it’s feasible that you could use it to back-up your Web site. WordPress-users can use this handy third-party app to get the job done painlessly.
If you’ve been hacked and your site is down, the first thing you need to do is get the bare bones of the site up and running again. You may not be able to get the archive running immediately, but you can at least post today’s comic along with a blog post explaining the situation to your readers. And you’ll probably want to get you ads running as well. To that end, don’t overlook the usefulness of the Wayback Machine, which may have a recent crawl of your site that you can swipe the page code from. In a pinch, it’s a quick way to get something posted fast.
What about you?
You you have a back-up method that’s not listed above? Wanna share a back-up experience with our members? Please add your comment under the original thread.
This was originally posted in the forum, but I’d like to bring it out front to open it up to a wider discussion.
Q: I’m curious as to what the best way of determining how many readers on one’s comic website. I have Google Analytics enabled on my page and my web host provides its own statistics, but is there a certain way to define how many “readers” I have? I’d like to find a specific number or average of people who return each update to read.
The short answer: No.
Look for the statistic “unique readers.” That’s the best estimate you’re going to get. And it’s just that. An estimate.
I had an epiphany today.
Teaching the lettering segment of my Sequential Arts class at Hussian School of Art, I covered some of the basics of lettering — both hand-lettering and digital lettering.
During the course of the lecture, I described how letters have “push” and “pull” that affects their kerning. Letters that trap a lot of white space (O, Q, D, for example) push other letters away a little bit. And letters that are skinny (I, J, T and L, for example) tend to pull their neighbors in a little.
I pushed further by saying that the main mistake novice letterers make with letters such as T, J and L is that they make the horizontal aspects of those letters too wide.
Google has entered the domain-registry field in a move that many have called a game-changer. Here’s a look at their service and how it stacks up against other domain registrars. To make things a little easier, I’ve decided to compare simple domain registration of a dot-com domain across the board.
Please realize that certain add-ons — like keeping your registration information private — is considered optional by some registrars, and it comes at an extra cost. Since you’re required to give personal information such as your address and phone number, I like to keep that information guarded from a simple “WhoIs” search. But, for most registrars, that’s an additional cost. Likewise for services such as e-mail forwarding and domain forwarding.
Also, although many of these companies offer hosting, too, I’m not including those figures. It’s my opinion that you can often find much better deals if you shop for these two services separately.
Click on the headers of each registrar to get more information.
I’d like to try something new in today’s Archive Dive. I’m going to release the entire post. If you’re wondering about some of the subscription content that you’ll get as a member of Webcomics.com, this is a good example. If you know someone who is considering a membership, please point them in this direction!
As always, you can sign up for an entire year or you can get a Trial Membership for $5. That trial lasts for 30 days — with no strings attached. You will not be re-billed unless you choose to subscribe!
In the Private Forum, a member asked the following:
If you’ve been following a webcomic and you don’t like the direction it is taking and eventually it gets to the point where you’re not enjoying it and decide to stop reading it, as a good fan should you politely just forget the comic exists or should you tell the creator why you have decided to stop following his/her’s work?
I’d like to address this subject from the standpoint of a comics creator, and from that perspective, the answer is clear. The fan is more than welcomed to send the e-mail, but any cartoonist worth his or her salt is going to promptly ignore it.
As a creator, you have to learn to tell your story… the story that you want to tell. That means writing humor that you find funny… or horror that scares you… or drama that compels you.
In my opinion, it’s the best way to get great results.
And you can’t harness your best creativity if you allow yourself to be run in circles by listening to individual voices.
Because each of those voices is going to give you conflicting feedback.
You cannot possibly take each of the comments to heart.
So, how do you tell if you’re on the right track? One suggestion is to stop listening to each of your readers and listen to all of them instead. You do this through your Web site analytics — your traffic statistics.
Are you steadily building traffic? Is your work being shared on social media? Do you have a steady supply of new visitors to your site? These are all indications that your writing is striking a chord with readers.
Will some of them fall away? Absolutely. And for a plethora of reasons — some of which have nothing to do with your comic.
But if you start to see your numbers flag, then it’s time to start asking why. Comic conventions are great for this kind of market research because you can talk to existing and potential fans alike — and really interview them about how they’re reacting to your comic. Surveys are also useful.
Keep in mind that the real reason may be that your work is simply not reaching the target demographic that best suits it. Ot it may be that your site doesn’t do a good job of promoting social-media sharing.
Or it could be little bits of all of these variables (and a few others).
At the heart of it all, though, you have to tell your story — and tell it unashamedly and confidently. If your comic is a anthropomorphic steampunk novella that parodies he works of Kafka, then you should be The Definitive Kafkaesque furry steampunk novella — leaving no room for someone else to be “that thing... only moreso.”
One thing the Web has showed us is that there’s an audience for every niche. Stop worrying about pleasing individuals and focus instead on telling your Best Story.
Everything after that is academic.
And now for a little good news. Every year around this time, the US Postal Service typically announces rate hikes. But, for now, at least, the USPS is not changing their prices for the new year. Coupled with the reduction in Priority Mail pricing announced last September, and it’s very good news for businesses that ship packages.
This is the first installment of the Lettering Hot Seat. I’m going to leave the call for participants open for a while longer in case anyone else wants to participate. And I really encourage you to do so. I’ve often said that improving in this area can make a “Meh” comic look great overnight.