How to create an invoice
Getting paid for a project is always great — except for the first time you get asked to submit an invoice. If you’ve ever been embarrassed to admit that you didn’t know how to do this routine business task, here’s […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
“I want that on a T-shirt!”
The accusation was puzzling. An artist tweeted that bots had been developed to seek comments like “I want that on a shirt.” Then, they would swipe the art and — of course — slap it on all sorts of print-on-demand […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
How to manage commissions
Offering commissions can be a great way to add an income stream to your business. It can also be an effective Patreon reward. But managing expectations and communicating clearly with clients and backers can be a delicate dance. Here’s how […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
December To-Do List
It’s already December. It’s a month dominated by holidays — both preparing for and celebrating them — and it’s the end of the year. It’s probably the most challenging months for a webcartoonist, so let’s get organized.Read more
Patreon Pro Tip: Setting links to expire
Here’s a handy pro tip for people running Patreon campaigns. If you’re like many of us, you love Patreon, but many aspects of navigating the Creator Feed are… lacking. And you want better for your backers. So — once their […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
Clip Studio Paint — 50% off
Clip Studio Paint — software I strongly endorse for comics production — is on sale for 50% off until Tuesday, Dec. 3. If you’re making the leap from Photoshop to CSP — or if you’re just embarking on digital art for […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
Blambot Cyber Monday sale
Blambot is one of my favorite places to discover new fonts. Next Monday, they’ll be launching a 30% off sale — Dec. 2-6. It will definitely be worth setting aside some money for. Here’s some good bets:Read more
Patreon CEO Jack Conte has announced an independent million-dollar endowment to fund Super Patron. It funds a single $50,000-per-year grant for artists. Creators should submit an application using whatever medium they prefer, as long as the experience lasts no more than three minutes. The deadline is Nov. 22, so get crackin’.
The applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges that includes comedians Hannibal Buress and Grace Helbig, cartoonist Danielle Corsetto, YouTube star Molly Burke, and True Crime Obsessed podcast hosts Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle. Whoever wins will get a monthly stipend throughout 2020. From the site:
- There are no instructions.
- This is not a traditional application.
- There are no multiple choice questions, no downloadable PDFs, no boxes to check, no processes, or any other bureaucratic crap.
- There’s only one rule: it must take us no longer than three minutes to review your application. Whether it’s a video, a song, a podcast, a piece of writing, or something else, it’s gotta be consumable in three minutes or less. Not a second longer… not a second.
- Submissions are due by 11:59pm PST on Nov 21st.
- The selected creator of the grant will be announced on December 19, 7:00am PST / 10:00am EST.
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Sometimes simple boldface lettering just isn’t enough. Sometimes I want a character to shout so loud it pops out of the word balloon itself. Using Clip Studio Paint, I can make that happen.
Here’s a video tutorial with step-by-step instructions…
Exploding text word balloons
- First, type the word(s) you want to emphasize. I like using a sound-effect font for this. In the example above, it’s Ratatatat by ComicCraft.
- Using the Magic Wand tool, select the area outside the type, and then use Shift-Command-i (Selection -> Invert Selected Area) to invert the selection.
- Expand the selection (Selection -> Expand Selected Area) by about 24 pixels
- Create a new layer (below the text), and fill the selection with white
- Expand the selection by another 12 pixels
- Create a new layer and…
- Fill the selection with black
- Create a folder and put all of these elements into it. It will make this so much easier to move around later!
- Create the rest of the word balloon
- Drag the word-balloon layer into the folder — between the white layer and the black layer!
Now you’ve got an “exploding type” word balloon that really delivers on expressiveness!
This episode of ComicLab is sponsored by Wacom! In this week’s show, the ComicLab guys discuss pandering. Is it pandering to create comics that your readers are more likely to respond to? Then, a listener asks if Dave’s aware that Clip Studio Paint doesn’t have a CMYK mode? And does it matter? Finally, Dave receives a tweet from one of his readers explaining why he couldn’t possibly become one if Dave’s Patreon backers, touching off an epic rant on fan behavior.
BUT FIRST… Dave tells Brad about the time he met Paul Rudd… and sparks flew.
- To what extent do you pander to your audience?
- Clip Studio Paint doesn’t have a CKMYK mode. Is that a problem?
- The agonizing eyeroll when a reader explains why they couldn’t possibly become a Patreon backer.
Listen to ComicLab on…
Originally, a non-backer coming to your Patreon page would be greeted with your video in a prominent position. Under that was your written solicitation, and along the right-hand corner, a column of reward tiers. Patreon is rolling out a change to that. In the new format, the video and the written outreach are downplayed under a prominent display of the reward tiers. Here’s why they did it — and how you can use the new landing page to full effect.The content you are trying to access is only available to members.
In the early days of webcomics, a preferred method of promotion was the ol’ link exchange. “I’ll link to your comic if you link to mine.” Today’s crowdfunded business model requires a little twist on that old axiom.
The content trade
Exposing your patrons to someone else’s Patreon campaign isn’t only a good idea, it’s great content!
Here’s what I mean. I found one thing to be unquestionably true for me: The more content I post, the more pledges I get.
This is especially true for exclusive posts (as I discussed in my piece on scarcity).
So, every once in a while, I search Patreon for people who are doing something similar to what I’m doing.
Then I approach the person about a content trade. I’ll post something of theirs exclusively to my patrons. (Something they’ve already offered to their patrons.) And they can post something from my Patreon archive for their patrons.
It’s a win-win.
We both get content that we think our patrons will enjoy. We both get an opportunity to expose our work to the people pledging to the other person.
And, of course, when both of you promote the exchange on your own social-media networks, it’s twice the promotion.
I know the fear. “They’ll like the other person better, and ditch me in favor of them.”
I can tell you from experience, I get a lot of new pledges who are continuing their pledge to the other person. (I know, because I always click that button to see who else they’re supporting.) For me, it has been a “rising tide lifts all boats” situation.
This episode of ComicLab is sponsored by Wacom! In this week’s show, the ComicLab guys discuss “The Webcomics Business Model.” What is it, anyway?? Also, social media has evolved, but many independent creators haven’t kept up. And finally, should an aspiring cartoonist go to art school?
BUT FIRST… Brad’s son asks the Big Question: “Why is Brad talking to his wife as if she’s Dave Kellett?”
- What is THE Webcomics Business Model?
- Social media has evolved. Have you?
- What has 40k Instagram followers brought to Dave Kellett? Very little, it seems…
- Facebook’s alleged lies about video stats is accused of ruining some online publishers…
- …but why did those publishers stay the course even AFTER they realized they’d made a wrong turn??
- Organic reach vs inorganic reach, and why Brad is a Big Believer of organic
- Brad and Dave discover that they are about five years ahead of the curve on podcasting, and it’s all because of webcomics.
- Should a person interested in comics go to art school — and if so, where and when?
The vast majority of us use digital lettering for our comics — and it looks great in word balloons and thought bubbles. But what about using it for other lettering inside your comic? For example, take a newspaper headline. Should that be lettered digitally? Should a sign in a store window? What about a roadside billboard.
All too often, in these instances, digital lettering sticks out like a sore thumb. This is especially true for artists who employ a loose drawing style. I think I’ve found a useful solution.The content you are trying to access is only available to members.
Clip Studio Paint presents a tremendous working environment for a cartoonist. Most your work is done in panels that neatly crops your lines inside the panel borders. And, overall, that’s great. Except when you want to break that border. Then, you have to plan ahead. This three-minute video tutorial walks you through an excellent strategy for taking your composition game to the next level.
Clip Studio Paint — The ‘Blocker Layer’ Method… and a couple of its uses
As the video states, it’s a good idea to set up your layers in advance to facilitate this strategy on the fly. My standard comics-page template has all of these layers pre-formatted and in position, so I’m ready to go every time I start a new page. Here’s a look at how my layers are positioned…
Please note: The first part of the video is left silent intentionally.
This episode of ComicLab is sponsored by Wacom! In this week’s show, the ComicLab guys discuss Kickstarter’s decision to fire workers who tried to unionize. Also on today’s show, the USPS has decided to remain in the Global Postal Union — much to the relief of small-businesspersons everywhere, and a question-asker wants to know how far Dave and Brad write in advance. Next, eBook-publishing is hot, but are Amazon and ComiXology delivering for independent creators? Then — how do you maintain satisfaction after achieving a goal, and how much should creators engage with fans when they misinterpret the story?
BUT FIRST… Dave has a case of the post-Kickstarter blues
- News update: USPS stays in the Global Postal Union
- Kickstarter fired workers for trying to unionize — what (if anything) should creators do about that?
- How far do you write in advance?
- Do ComiXology and Amazon Kindle Direct deliver sales for indie comics publishers?
- In praise of Gumroad and DriveThruComics
- How do you maintain satisfaction *after* achieving a goal?
- When readers misinterpret a story, should you step in and correct them?
Limited-edition ComicLab enamel pins are now available at newevilbook.com and sheldonstore.com!