Best of Webcomics.com – February 2015
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Every Friday, you can read the entire Archive Dive post without a subscription. The Friday Archive Dive is a post from the site’s archive that I pull out front again because it still has relevant information you can use today. This is especially nice for newer subscribers (or anyone else) who may have missed it when it originally ran.
Plus, at the beginning of every month, I do a wrap-up that highlights some of the best posts — from the site as well as the private forum — from the preceding month.
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Please note: The links below will lead you to content that is “subscription-only” content. Why do I do this? Simple. If you see something that intrigues you and decide to subscribe, you can come back here and use this post to jump right to the post that caught your attention. And once you do that, use the other Best Of posts to drill even deeper into the site!
Best of the site
Ten reasons switching to Manga Studio will improve your comic. After 25 solid years of creating digital art on Photoshop, I took the plunge and switched to Manga Studio 5 EX. And I’m never going back. I listed ten reasons that I think the software has improved my comics.
Exclusive Member Benefit: In my evangelical ferver, I reached out to Smith Micro, the company that produces Manga Studio, and they were kind enough to provide two free copies of the software to members of the site, chosen at random.
Custom avatars: This easy-to-follow tutorial shows you how to make custom avatars for your commenters.
Webcomics.com now has a Facebook Fan Page. Please feel free to share topics that you think your friends might be interested in.
Scribd Comics: Scribd — “The Netflix for books” — added a line of comics and graphic novels to their offering. We broke the news and added some thoughts on what this could mean to the average webcomicker.
What happened to my Google Analytics stats? On February 9, several GA users reported their stats fell to zero for the day. We explained what was going on and (correctly) predicted how Google was going to address the situation.
VAT MOSS — Grading the third-party providers: In what may have been the most important post of the month, we graded several digital-publishing providers on how they were handing VAT MOSS (a European sales tax that affects you even if you live in the US). The organizations that handled collection/remittance of the tax on behalf of their publishers got high scores. The ones that passed the buck got low scores. You’ll be surprised at who got passing grades (and which ones you may want to flunk yourself).
How to build a Manga Studio template: The largest hurdle to my own switching from Photoshop top Manga Studio was building a template to use in producing comics with matching specs. It took me an entire weekend of hair-pulling and swearing. My my (hair) loss is your gain. I wrote an easy-peasy step-by-step guide to navigating this headache on your own. After that, there’s nothing left to do but draw.
No Comment? Is it time to re-direct reader comments? Hosting reader comments on a webcomics site is as old as hosting comics on a webcomics site. But are they necessary? Worse still, could they be harming your branding? This discussion takes a badly needed fresh look at something you’ve probably taken for granted.
Fix your broken links: Broken links on your Web site are a surefire way of sandbagging your SEO. And they ensure your site is getting lower-quality ads as well. We show you how you can quickly and easily hunt-and-destroy these pesky errors and get your site back in good working order.
How to fix brush lag: When you’re doing digital art, does your brush sometimes lag behind the motion of your hand? We give you some thoughts on fixing that.
Why would someone send me fake traffic? Have you ever noticed a weird URL pop up in your Web stats’ referral section — like IloveVitaly, Hulfingtonpost and Darodar? There’s never a link to your site when you go to check it out. There’s never any mention of your comic at all, as a matter of fact. It’s fake traffic. We explain the scam, and tell you how to avoid being an unwitting participant.
The FCC approves Net Neutrality: We helped to break the news, and added some information that many of the mainstream news sources missed. For example, the one provision that many of the most ardent Net Neutrality supporters disagree with.
Best of the Private Forum
The private forum is a tremendous resource. Not only can you bounce ideas off other professionally-minded working cartoonists, but you can share thoughts that you wouldn’t want to put on a public messageboard. This is the place to discuss strategies of dealing with an inappropriate commenter — or to vet a business deal that you’ve been negotiating. Got a tech nightmare? I guarantee you that one of our members has been there and dreaded that. Here’s some highlights from last month.