Best of Webcomics.com — February 2016
It’s the best daily briefing in webcomics. If you’ve ever been curious about subscribing to Webcomics.com, this post is for you.
Here’s a wrap-up that highlights some of the best posts from last month.
Best of the site
Have I been hacked? With Wordfence’s announcement today of a WordPress “attack platform,” many site owners are stepping up their attention to security issues. But, unless a hacker does something blatant to your site — like change the home page — how would you even know that you’ve been hacked. After all, you could be hacked — and distributing malware to your users — without even knowing it!
NCS Divisional Awards: The National Cartoonists Society is starting it’s annual call for entries for consideration for their NCS Divisional Awards recognizing excellence in professional cartooning. As always, you DO NOT have to be a member of the NCS to have your work considered for a divisional award… all that is required is that the work be eligible as detailed below.
We’re Reaching Another Tipping Point — In Unlicensed Merchandise: I’m seeing this story from last year is making the rounds on Facebook. From an account of London’s MCM Expo: Cosplay was not the centre of attention for once at the recent MCM Expo in London, when the copyright licensors of Tokyo Ghoul and Attack on Titan toured the dealers’ room in a carnival of garbage collection, rooting out and confiscating an estimated £20,000 worth of unlicensed merchandise. The unexpected entourage included reps from a Japanese company, the UK’s Anime Limited, a lawyer with a Powers of Attorney notice, and a trio of minions to cart away the swag. By the time the sweep was over, several dealers were shown the door with the full approval of MCM’s management, and the enforcers actually ran out of bin bags, leading to the delicious irony of a bootleg Tokyo Ghoul carry-all being commandeered to lug illegal Tokyo Ghoul merchandise. You can read the entire story here.
Longform — Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is: I’ve been sharing my philosophy on longform comics for a while now. There have been a few consistent thoughts. The first is that I’ve always rejected the notion that longform comics somehow had a more difficult time attracting readers. Rather, I’ve argued, longform creators have been going about it all wrong. Take this piece from way back in 2010:
Security Alert: The following three plugins contain severe vulnerabilities that have all been fixed within the past 24 hours. Details of these vulnerabilities have been released to the public so they are likely already being exploited. If you use any of these plugins, upgrade immediately. Please share with the larger WordPress community.
Manga Studio: How To Build a Template: [No subscription needed!] They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. In switching from Photoshop to Manga Studio 5 EX, that first step (for me) was building a template. It took me all weekend, and I rage-quit the darned thing three times. But once I was past that, the rest of my transition was relatively smooth. To that end, here’s a quick-and-easy guide to creating your own Manga Studio template.
Patreon’s new dashboard: Patreon has upgraded its service with a suite of analytics that, frankly, many of have been anxiously awaiting for a long time. Let’s give it a spin, shall we?
Patreon’s Exit Interview — Good News / Bad News: Part of the new dashboard that Patreon has rolled out is the Exit Interview. When a patron discontinues his or her pledge, they are offered an exit interview. This gives them a chance to explain why they’re leaving. Patreon has long told us that the primary factor in a patron ending a pledge is that their financial situation has changed. And the statistics back this up pretty clearly. Just glancing down the page, makes it clear that an ended pledge is more about the patron than it is about the content being offered. (And, yes, I realize that this assumes that the ex-patron is telling the truth.)
Webcomics.com Poll: The results of the most recent Webcomics.com poll are in, and it seems that most of us are most worried about money, readers and time. Here are the breakdowns, and a few thoughts:
The question on the new Webcomics.com poll is simple:
Hot Seat Critique: This is an open call for an “One The Spot” Hot Seat critique. Here’s how it works, if you sign up, I will go to your site on a random day and talk about the site on that day. No archive dives. No “you had to read yesterday’s comic to understand today’s.” We talk about your comic and Web site from the standpoint of the newcomer who just arrived on that day. Was your work strong enough to retain that newcomer — and possibly convert him or her to a reader? Or did you lose your opportunity?
Google DFP: Setting the Correct “Value CPM” for House Ads: Here’s a quick pro-tip on running house ads in Google DFP that will help you optimize your ad revenue. When you set up a house ad, you should never use the Rate field to set a price. Since your house ad is not technically earning an income, setting a price will skew your results.
Tax Help! With April 15th getting closer and closer, here’s a handy guide to some valuable tax help to ease your suffering.
Patreon Adds VAT MOSS Info to Dashboard: As reported here last week, crowdfunding mega-player Patreon has added an incredibly useful dashboard for creators. This expanded feature gives creators crucial stats on payments, patrons and engagement. And the improvements just keep coming! Recently, Patreon has included reporting on a feature that has earned it an A-rating from Webcomics.com’s review of third-party providers in this regard.
Humor Writing — One Step At A Time:[No subscription needed!] I like writing about the writing process — especially humor writing. It’s a topic that I find many people who write cartooning tutorials shy away from because it’s so difficult to quantify. But it’s something that’s essential to what we do. So even though I know I’ll never be able to write a step-by-step guide to writing the perfect joke, I like sharing little moments in which I think I’ve gotten a greater understanding of the process.