Forum Replies Created
OK, folks, let’s use this calendar to promote comic conventions that we like, events that take place in a physical location (as opposed to online “events”) and the like.
I won’t be loading the calendar up with low-level promotion (XYZ Comic posts it’s 100th strip), but do consider adding a comic convention you’ll be appearing at and mentioning your booth number in the post. We can always add other members (and their booth numbers) who are attending the same convention.March 14, 2014 at 6:59 am in reply to: is there a way to bulk post comics using comic easel? #6838
Yes, there is. And it works the same for both Comic Easel and ComicsPress. I’ll post this here and do a site post next week with images, etc.
- Make sure the image files for your comics feature the date (first) and then a couple of keywords. For example: 2014-03-15-ides-of-march.tif
- FTP into your site, create a directory off of the root of your WordPress installation and name it ‘import.’
- FTP the comics you want to import into that directory.
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to Comics -> Chapters and create the chapter (or make sure the appropriate chapter is already there).
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to Comics -> Import.
- Select chapter in the import section, modify any other values as needed. If you do not know what they are, do not modify them.
- Press the Import button.
Try not to do too many at once. I had hundreds of Evil Inc strips to move when I switched to Comic Easel. I pushed it, and sometimes paid the price with comics that uploaded incorrectly or not at all. I’d recommend about 30 at a time — maybe 50 if you have a great Internet connection and snazzy hosting.
Terry Moore was creating a book.
You’re doing a comic on the Web, and although it may end up in book form, it’s going to live or die by how it performs on the Web.
Sadly, those old episodes where by a different writer (me), and the new ones are by another writer. I’ve done what I can with them. If I had my way, I would’ve ended the comic at the end of the last story arc. Frankly, my current situation with it, and my inability to inject any of my ideas into it, has been a real low point for me.
I’m sorry to hear that, Scott. Keep your chin up. It gets better.
Zaki, if you don’t have a webcomic, I don’t see how you can quit your job to do webcomics.
No I don’t have a webcomic yet, as my art isn’t up to par right now, but I do come here hoping for some advice.
Here it is: Don’t quit your day job.
OK. Maybe you’re the .001 %. Maybe the job you’re leaving is a job that has given you the skill set that you’d need to do a for-profit webcomic. Maybe you’re lightning-in-a-bottle.
But the odds are overwhelmingly against that.
Quitting a job to start a comic is no way to make a living. Quitting your job to spend more time on a comic you’ve been developing for years is the much more sane option.
I’m in my mid-30s still living with my parents for accommodation.
I’ll add a little footnote here and add that I understand you might be living with your parents for a number of reasons. Perhaps they’re unable to take care of themselves and you need to be around in a caregiver role. If that’s the case, feel free to disregard what comes next.
Woof. Even more reason not to leave your day job. Listen, my friend… you are nearing your peak earning years. You are taking a serious gamble with your life — and it has real-life consequences. A person in his or her thirties is very likely to be near the apex of whatever job he or she has been pursuing since adulthood. The expectation is that you’ve entered the workforce in your twenties, you’ve been building up valuable skills and experience, and now you’re able to command a higher wage.
You’re at a crucial time in your life. You’re in one of two places. If you fit the model I described above, you’d have to weigh leaving what you’ve built very carefully. If you don’t fit the model described above, I would argue that it’s not too late to start.
Think the economics don’t apply to you? That’s fair. I mean, what I know about Malaysian economics could fill a thimble. So let’s talk art.
It’s not that I have a problem with an adult who finds themselves living with their parents. I get it. What I’m going to say has nothing to do with a value judgement. I’m talking about creativity. Part of what you’re trading on — as any kind of an artist (and especially as a cartoonist) — is your ability to tap into your life experience to tell compelling stories.
And if you’re living with your parents (unless you fall into a situation similar to the one I described above), I’m going to argue that you’re denying yourself valuable life experiences.
This is what I would say to a thirty-year-old living with their parents (without mitigating circumstances)… and maybe it applies to you: You need to sweat rent for a few months consecutively. You need to go grocery shopping. You need to start a relationship. End a relationship. Build a new relationship.
You need to live. As an adult. On your own.
My concern would be for someone like that would be that his or her comics are doomed to reflect a limited life experience.
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by Brad Guigar.
I can’t express to you more passionately that you’re on a fruitless quest.
Numbers mean nothing. It’s the community that matters. I’ve seen webcomics thrive with a relatively small number of readers — because those readers were passionate and invested. As a result, they supported their favorite cartoonist well. And I’ve seen webcomics that generated huge numbers but only monetized a small percentage of them.
This post from the archives sums up my thoughts a little more completely.
The time you spend obsessing over numbers is time you should be obsessing over the readers you do have.
While you’re at it, did you read this piece from the archives in which I posed an entirely different business model for longform comics? It’s kind of an offshoot from the line of thinking from this post.
Today’s comic on your site is an excellent example of what I’m talking about. That update has almost zero potential to entice a reader who is arriving at your site for the first time. A person coming to your site today for the first time is probably not going to stay. In fact, I’d argue that few of your updates accomplish this goal. That’s a crucial problem with how you’re presenting your work on the Web.
I think it’s time for longform comics creators to re-think how they’re doing things. Right now they’re aping how shortform and gag comics present themselves on the Web— and it’s not working. The digital landscape has changed, and you have tons more tools than we all did in 2002.
Zaki, could you provide a link to your webcomic? I’d love to see it.
Meanwhile… I agree with some of the above comments. I think your idea is risky as heck, and I would want at least 6 months of living expenses covered before I’d recommend quitting your day job.
Andrew, I’m posting this with peace and love. It’s going to “sound” as if I’m yelling at you, but I’m not, OK?
You keep saying that you understand the feedback that you’re getting, but then you go on to make comments that prove that you really don’t.
Here’s where the “focus” comment is coming from: All of your updates (I don’t count the first one) have been loosely related to movies.
So it’s perfectly natural to assume that you want to write about movies.
But it (a) doesn’t fit with what the site itself tells us about the comic and (b) there’s no rhyme or reason to the types of movies you’re talking about. One’s a direct reference (pulling an actual still from the movie), one takes a minor quote and uses it in an unusual way, one’s a Christmas movie, two are horror, one is sci-fi, three are old, one hasn’t been released yet…
So, the natural response is to read that stuff and say, “This needs focus.”
If you want to do Maximumble-level work, you need to stop relying on movie quotes for punchlines and write some solid jokes.
Now, as to the rest of your comments.
Throughout the day, things strike me funny and I make a note about it. It’s honestly no more than, “That’s might make a funny strip.” Can’t that be enough?
Enough for a hobby? Yes.
Enough to make money on? No.
To boil my situation down to my just wanting more readers or money, is missing my original point. I wasn’t saying “I just started a comic and I can’t figure out why I’m not Dave Kellett.” It was more like, “I’ve been pouring art into the Intertubes for years and can’t figure out why I only have 200 followers on Instagram.”
You posted this entire thing — the thread here as well as a much longer piece on your own site — when you tried unsuccessfully to launch a Patreon campaign. The headline on this very thread thread is “Gaining supporters and PATRONS.” In very real terms, you linked it directly to money. You can’t bristle when we respond directly to what you yourself told us.
Furthermore, what you wrote translates exactly to “I just started a comic and I can’t figure out why I’m not Dave Kellett.” And that’s because although you say you’re taking my comments to heart, but you keep missing a very important point:
There’s a world of difference between posting random caricatures on the Web and trying to launch a webcomic.
You posted four comic strips and started complaining that you’re not famous yet.
You haven’t been posting work on the Web for years — not anything that counts (for what we’re talking about here). When it comes to webcomics, you just started a few weeks ago.
If you’re truly taking my comments to heart, then you’ll stop trying to make excuses. Stop trying to rationalize and re-phrase what you said in this thread.
And get to work making better comics!
You need to either learn how to write humor or find a collaborator. If it’s the latter, it’s a long process you’d better get started on. If it’s the former, there’s no shortcut. You’ll be writing gags that Don’t Quite Work for the next several years before you find your voice.
But listen: You’ve got such a wonderful head start! You can draw admirably. You know the basics of how a comic strip works. Panels, word balloons, composition, pacing… you’re leagues ahead of a good 75% of the webcomics being posted today. Perhaps that’s what posting all those standalone art pieces earned you. Take it. Take pride in it. And get back to work.
I agree with Chris and Magic. The newspaper is a revenue stream at best. It’s secondary to the actual comic, which is primary.
I’m noticing you bristle a bit when people point out that you only have a few comics up, but it’s a huge factor in how your Patreon campaign is faring. Please don’t discount what you’re hearing from the members on that point.
Now, some additional thoughts:
You’re at a point where sugar-coating this does you no good. You’ve made a few mistakes, and this is a great time to talk about them in a frank and honest manner.
Take a look at your Facebook promotion. “Support Andrew Jones creating comics.” And a photo of you (with a little tag that say “video coming soon”). Aside from the awkward sentence structure, it’s completely the wrong message on several counts:
- Paying to boost your Facebook post probably hurt you more than it helped — as we discussed on this site recently.
- You don’t have the name recognition to say “Support Andrew Jones.” That message should be “Support my comic, ‘Happy Accidents.'”
- Although you’re very handsome, the art in your comic is better. I respond much more strongly to your crisp linework and subject matter than I do to your photo. I would support the comic. I would not support the guy in the photo
- “Video coming soon”? Weak. Unprepared. Amateur Hour. Here’s what goes through my mind when I see something like that: “I’ll consider giving you money when you get your act together.”
Your humor writing needs serious work. Taking the first four posts of Happy Accidents:
- This is a nothing cartoon. In fact, I’d encourage you to take it down.
- This one has a neat concept, but relies on a minor quote from a move that’s 25 years old. And that quote (or the realization of which movie it references) isn’t strong enough to carry the punchline of a comic.
- This one makes a great point. But it’s a great point that I’ve also seen in about two dozen memes, tweets and Facebook updates.
- This one references a movie quote from 1975 and relies on an image for the punchline, the relevance of which comes from a different movie that’s 35 years old. And the fact that both Jaws and the Amityville Horror share an “Amity” connection isn’t an especially strong joke. It might be the start of something funny, but as a standalone, it’s not particularly clever. If the first person who translated “Amity” as “Friendship” had some sort of a weird lisp that caused him to put “Rs” into words… (or if the R was mistakenly added when he was writing it) that might be the start of something that might become funny…
You need focus. If your comic is going to be able old movies then you need to do something to frame it for the reader… either a first-panel indicator “Andrew watches old movies…” or change the name of the comic. But you need something to tip the reader that you’re referencing old movies or the point is going to be lost on them.
And you need more practice writing humor. Right now, you’re not bringing the funny.
Your art however is tremendous. Gorgeous! At this point, you might want to strongly consider working in collaboration with a writer. That’s not an insult. Everyone has things they’re stronger at and things they’re not as strong. You might be a creator who works well with a collaborator.
Your Twitter feed is good. Facebook is, too. DeviantArt… I’m not exactly sold on that as a way to generate useful traffic. Using it to network with other artists — fine. But beyond that, I’m not sure. You’re free to disagree, of course.
But the social media isn’t broken here. Your social-media presence (and the effectiveness of your social-media messaging) is exactly at the level that I would expect it to be.
I feel as if you would get a better benefit from your social-media presence if there were a stronger comic to rally around. But right now, you have about the appropriate social-media presence of a guy who draws really well. If you were pointing to a strong comic, there’d be something for people to get “social” about. Right now, most of your comments are: “Gee, you’re a very good artist.” But there’s not a lot for people to get interactive with after that.
And your social-media effectiveness reflects exactly that.
This says it all:
I’ve been posting artwork and trying to grow followers for years. It’s just not happening and I’m baffled as to why.
OK… I’m going to go by what I see on your site and what I’m gathering from Google and your social media. If there’s more of your comics work out there that I’m missing, then we have a bigger problem to discuss.
Most of what you’ve been posting has been just that — art. Not comics per se, but caricatures and standalone illustrations and so forth.
In generally, people don’t follow artists — unless the art is superb or hits an underfilled niche. You can post artwork between now and doomsday, and never get a significant following. Why? It’s like going to a museum. You look at the art. You’re moved by it or you’re not. And you leave. You might think about the art from time to time, but, for the most part, the transaction is finished.
People usually don’t follow artists. They follow performers — and in that category, I include webcartoonists (among others). Think about it: Webcomics are much more interactive than merely posting comics for people to read. And everything that we discuss on this site is a reflection of that.
You’ve been posting as an artist for years. And you have exactly the appropriate results for your efforts.
You’ve been posting as a webcartoonist — as a “performer” — for exactly four updates.
Let that sink in.
If you’re like the majority of webcartoonists, you’re not going to see significant results for another couple years — and that’s assuming you can produce about three darned-good updates a week without missing for that amount of time. Comics like this comic and this one … consistently… for a few years.
You’ve just started a marathon. It’s a little too soon to complain that you’re not at the finish line yet.
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by Brad Guigar.
Are you talking about for every page as in where the comics or other composition elements sit, or for special items and exceptions like a logo or a page that usually would house 2 strips, but instead has one strip and a bonus issue? Different answer depending on the specifics of the question. ^_^
Your script put a comic on the page. My eye tells me it needs to be moved a half-inch down. How do I do that?
….however for the table of contents, the program does that on its own. It can even differentiate the difference between content and incidentals i.e. it’s not going to add your copyright page or such. The index is a feature in beta right now, so I shouldn’t really get into it, but it’s either going to work automatically and easily or won’t exist at all.
For the sake of comparison, it’s important to note that InDesign does this as well. It can generate a Table of Contents as well as an index.
Believe me, I’m very much in favor of finding alternatives to InDesign. But the other side of that argument is this: If you’re only doing a project like this once a year, you could “rent” InDesign for about $70/month, write it off on your taxes, and have complete control over your final product. If you’re using InDesign (as well as the other Adobe software packages) more often, then it’s to your advantage to purchase the software or buy a subscription to Creative Cloud. — And if you don’t want to do that, you can use an alternative, but the flip side of that coin is that you *might* give up some functionality.
In the end, there’s no *right* answer… rather, there’s just finding the best fit for *you.*
Marjorie: Well, items 3 and 4 are pretty easily addressed in InDesign’s Master pages, and 5 isn’t automatic — you still have to create those pages. Placing them becomes automatic, but you still have to physically write a dedication. It’s no different than using InDesign.
Cut there’s something else I wanted to ask: Once I use the script you’re talking about to lay out my pages, how do I move elements around on that page? In other words, how do I fine-tune the design after I get the images on the pages?
I’m currently working very hard on doing exactly that — and offering the monthly comics as backer rewards was first on the list — as well as digital versions of any books that I produce from that point on.
As for milestones, I don’t have many ideas, but one I’ve been toying with would be launching a new, weekly single-panel comic completely unrelated to Evil Inc. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but haven’t been able to justify spending the time on.
Aside from that, I’m open to ideas. 🙂