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While doing research for the new SYAC, I actually stumbled upon something truthful on Usually I take everything from that site with a grain of salt, but this one bit actually was surprisingly honest and truthful about webcomics:

Webcomics work on a very different set of standards than other fiction. Almost all webcomic authors are working pretty much entirely alone as they both draw and script their comics and most do not plan any further along than to the end of their current story — sometimes not even that far.

Many of them try to adhere to a schedule they aren't really capable of meeting, resulting in them rushing to meet their deadline and making mistakes that should be avoidable. So many of the good 10% lack qualities standard in traditionally professional works. This can be because of the lack of editorial input as well as the lack of lead time. Not all webcomics suffer from this, though, and even the ones that do can still be interesting. Arguably, some strips benefit from their rawness.

Being a webcomic artist is surprisingly demanding. We can't get critiques on every new strip we produce, and often mistakes slip under our radars. I'm not a bad artist, but I do make mistakes... Many more than I probably should were I employed in a position which had regular quality checks and hours. I don't have friends or family who can critique them, so the sad truth is that I am completely alone when I make my comics.

Your schedule is one of the most important aspects you must maintain. Fans plan their lives around your comic releases. If you say you're gonna release a comic on Monday and Wednesday, you'd better do your damnedest to release your comics on Monday and Wednesday. BUT... not at the loss of quality of your work. In the early days of SYAC (when I was literally doing them once a day) I cut corners, I used copy/paste, I ignored background details, and I relied on cheap jokes just to get through my absolutely demanding schedule. It was quantity over quality, which in the end hurt me more than I could've ever imagined. It was a lesson I learned too late.

So please take this article to heart and don't bite off more than you can chew. It's tempting if and when your comic starts becoming popular to update more often to appease the demand, but do your best to resist it. Maintain a release schedule that works to your pace. It's better to turn out a quality product once a week, than a shoddy product every day.
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Legojack261 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
TVTropes really isn't a bad website you know. I'm not sure why you'd think it's that unreliable.
DragonRex1 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012
Out of curiosity, what's with the dislike of TV Tropes? If you said something about FOX NEWS it's understandable... except to my family but no one's perfect, but why TV Tropes?
Avarifina Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Sarafan206 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Student General Artist
this is good advice.
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Student General Artist
Nice. I guess I'll resist the urge to update my comic more often.
Neo-Zander Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Passin Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012
I agree, that's why I don't do my own. (Among other reasons)
Empyu Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist
I once considered doing a webcomic. My mentality was, "Newspaper comics come out almost every day, and most of the jokes in them are lame! They get paid to do this, but I'm pretty sure I can do a better job for free."

I learned pretty fast that you can't get good at something just by wanting talent. Even if you were already talented, you still need to have discipline and willpower.

A lot of the webcomics I used to read suddenly ended because the creator found he or she simply couldn't find the will to keep going. It takes some serious - sometimes life changing - commitment to do it.

Several years ago, I think in '07 or '08, I went to a comicon panel for webcomics. Before they started, Greg Dean asked the crowd if any of them were interested in starting a comic. About half the room raised their hands. His response, somewhat jokingly, was something like, "Don't do it! It'll ruin your life!"
Pheonx23 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
Yes I completely agree with you Tom, one such person comes to mind is fellow who goes by "LoadingArtist"
Every time he puts out a comic, it's pretty damn awesome, but he only does it once every week and a half, but his drawings for the most part are very simple seeming, but with a great amount of detail in them.
Chialupa Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
thank you for sharing!
Digi-fish Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I once read a tutorial about starting a webcomic and the guy who wrote it suggested completing 4 or 5 comics before even uploading one to the internet. He called this "buffer" time because it gives you more time to make more comics and release them on time.

Unfortunately I can't tell you whether it's worked for me because I haven't even gotten that far along with comic production.
Mifune013 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
TV Tropes is actually a pretty good site if you want information about tropes or anything related to tropes. It's not like Encyclopedia Dramatica which is solely about stereotypes and exaggeration.
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student Digital Artist
You really should not take everything on that website with a grain of salt. 90% of it is the god's honest truth dude.

Anyways, a very nice journal for comic artists. Although I'd wish some people on here would actually stick to theirs, update regularly and stop re-doing their whole story from the beginning.
MooImmaPiggy Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is reason number one I have not started a constant project. I always wish I could, but I'm never consistent and I feel like I'm forcing myself instead of supposedly having fun. I do hope I can get a schedule going because I'd love to start a webcomic someday.
godmaschine Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
well, it's about time. this is what people have been saying for a while.

but this here:
Fans plan their lives around your comic releases.

no no no no no.

let me put it into perspective here. i am the biggest fan of blacklightattack, a youtube let's play commentator who has a very, should i say, 'soothing' voice and keeps his commentary about the game to 'since you prolly know this shit, i'm just going to talk about random crap'. essentially, this 'random crap' is usually mini-rants and whatnot, while detailing what he's doing/why he's doing it.
he has a pokemon platinum nuzlocke lp run coming out eventually. i'm dying to see it.

but i have a life, and so does he, and i'm not going to badger him about it. that, up there, is an arrogant statement. no one is planning their life, they just check by everyday. if your webcomic/let's play is supposed to be 'daily', but shit happens, people tend to understand and go on: look at haydunn who just got two slashes on his account, had to contact youtube admins for about two weeks, until they finally pulled the marks and let him go. they might say 'hey, uh, what happened?' but once you say 'i'm sick, can't do it' or whatever, they'll go on with their lives until you're able to do it.

web comic artist give themselves this 'strict' regulation, but even web comic artists are barely doing shit compared to a japanese comic artist:

"The most successful and wealthy manga artist in Japan right now is Eichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece. He produced a weekly manga, the collective volumes of which are always the best selling book in the history of Japan. Every new one.

Oda sees his family once a week for like a few hours, basically. And that's his wife and kids coming to his studio to visit while he's working basically. poo poo seems tough as hell. 18-20 pages a week, with assistants helping. "

"The crazy thing is that it used to be ever worse than that. Yoshihiro Tatsumi wrote about how in the 1960s, it wasn't uncommon for he and his associates to be expected to put out a hundred pages a week at times. And then there's the grand master himself, Osamu Tezuka, who averaged 20 pages a day for his entire career. He also did this while both earning his medical degree and starting Japan's first television animation studio at the same time at one point."

two pages of tatsumi's work, photo: [link]
page of tezuka's work, photo: [link]
page of eiichiro oda's work, photo: [link]

keep in mind that, in japan, a 'weekly manga' is usually a single chapter, which can be 30+ pages, on average, i believe. those chapters are often compiled into a three-chapter volume. i'm sure you know this, but other people may not.

while web comic artists might push a page/day, actual manga artists work their fucking asses off, and, no offence but, you have a while to go before your pages have quite that much quality. this isn't to piss you off, but to debunk some shit. yes, tvtropes is correct: they're usually alone. but there again, so were these manga artists who did work in the 1960s when manga was relatively niche. take note that i didn't mention BIG mangas of today, such as bleach, as 1) the quality is garbage and 2) there are teams of workers on the backgrounds and whatnot. that said, i believe rumiko takahashi also works on her work alone, as is the way of elder manga artists. and i have no clue how western comic publishing works, but these are actual, mandated publishing deadlines set by publishers in the manga field.

it's about learning speed and quality. it's an exercise of practice, of course. one day work on speed, one day on quality, back and forth, until they converge and you make quality pieces in a short timeframe. that's all there is to it.

and on top of that, manga artists have an ending in mind, and have to storyboard and plan, as well. considering your full-time job is web comics, from what i understand, you, sir, have a wee bit less of an excuse compared to other big-time web comic artists who have a full time job, or are full time students. sorry.
Dualmask Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
My attempt at a webcomic died for numerous reasons, but not having my schedule worked out was probably the biggest one. That and not making enough of a buffer. I started in the middle of my first chapter when I shouldn't even put page one online until I had maybe six months of comics ready. This speaking as someone who was going to do an online graphic novel (the entire story already written) rather than one shot funny strips.

I know now...don't underestimate the importance of your schedule.
LicianDragon Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I'm finding that out now. Sticking to a schedule is why I want my entire story done first, before I upload any of it. Sadly though, even with much of it being text based I'm only getting started with illustrations for chapter 3(out of almost 50 chap) when had originally thought I would be able to start uploading this damned thing by July.........
MouseDenton Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
Honestly, it's the internet. I found it here, I really don't have high expectations. That said, your comic has been a welcomed surprise!
Captain-Supreme Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I've fallen into these problems before. Took over a year for me to finish a series that was supposed to take 3 months.

Solid advice.
Sniper-Bait Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student Digital Artist
That is actually really good advice. Knowing me, I'd probably make that same mistake A LOT. Thanks for the heads-up!
MagpieFreak Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Blehh I've always been alone when it comes to creating things. Well I do have other artist friends who I like to show my work to so I'm not *really* alone, but in terms of influences I'm quite an outcast. The others have come from a manga-influenced background while I, in comparison, barely touched upon it, so it's not always easy to see things from the same perspective. I want Discworld stuff and they want Manga stuff. While contrasting opinions help bring out new aspects, it's sad when you don't have anybody who you can easily bounce ideas back and forth with.

Somebody mentioned earlier that you could pass your comics through Fresh Epics for feedback - I think that's a cool idea :> If not, you can run some stuff by me. I think I'm capable of giving reasonable critiques, plus I think it is a good idea to make sure that your next comic won't be anything that could offend. It's common for me at least to get really angry about something, and in that passion I write something and not realize exactly what I'm saying. I have to save it and read it the next day just to check that I didn't rush blindly into anything stupid XD Of course there's always somebody who will disagree, but it's always worth being aware of the audience :>

And oh god deadlines... one of the main reasons why I decided not to get started with my web comic yet. I decided to hold back until I had developed the fantasy world into someting more believable, and have some proper background to the characters - and possibly map out a rough story. Personally I like stories with an ending, and an actual message to send out - not something that's churned out meaninglessly. On my last comic I did a daily blog talking about my progress, and it was really exhausting cos it ended up with me stressing not only on the comic deadline but also on what to write in the next update. So I always made sure that I made some topics in advance, but yeah that was hard to think up.
MekkMarcos Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
Wow. Some of that is true for what ~I~ do!
Thalateya Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
Personally I find that deviantART in general seems to be neglecting the whole idea of keeping on schedules. Webcomics are usually very good, but most deviants... not so much. A lot of artists, especially those with bigger comics, just submit when they make a comic, and this means there's a lot of comics at the start, but as they become less interesting they get longer and start to get forgotten about.
Creating a buffer is what they need to do. I couldn't survive if I didn't have a good buffer, In fact I start to get a bit worried if my buffer drops under 10 or eleven.

My schedule's once a week, because sometimes I don't make any comics a week, sometimes I can make up to three in a day (not that I cut corners or anything, my comic style is made to be very quick to draw compared to my usual stuff). On average, it comes to about once a week.
I remember when I first started my webcomic, I was about 20 in (i'd made a lot of comics to make sure I liked what I was doing) and I submitted once a day. I could make them very quickly, but it wasn't long because I started having to take breaks because the comics were getting more complex, detailed and longer to do. I soon shortened it down to thrice a week and eventually twice - after that I found my pattern. I actually stopped taking so many breaks when my brother pointed out that the comic needed to be more consistent, just like this says.

Also, I was wondering, you don't seem to believe TVtropes. Personally, I love that website and use it to help make my work better - such as how not to make it to cliché. Is there any real reason you don't like it?
jonah365 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
nostalgia critic fans, unite
CloakedApprentice Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student General Artist
Interesting information....I've been considering starting a webcomic of my own, so I'm glad to have found this info. I'll definitely keep this advice in mind. ^^
FreckleOnMyPalm Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
This is a good lesson not only for aspiring webcomic artists but also for those that read them. I've known other people to actually get angry when a comic their reading doesn't get updated as frequently as they'd like! That's ridiculous and has a complete lack of empathy to it which I find sad.
Little-Katydid Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
I've really never thought about web comics in that way. It's kinda funny though cause the part where you say "Fans plan their lives around your comic releases" strikes so very true! I know with me I look forward to several comics during the week. For instance every day I look at Drowtales, and then on every Monday and Thursday I read The Zombie Hunters, and on Wednesdays I follow Deadwinter. But there are others that don't have a set scheduled due to the artist's life being super busy, and instances of this is the web comic Trying Human. However, despite that, I still follow and love whatever gets produced no matter how long it takes.

So while yes, it's great to have a set time for the release of a new comic, I rather have a page that looks like effort and love went into the story and art, than one that is rushed just to stay on track with a set schedule.
GoneCrazy-BackIn5 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not popular at all, so the only demand (even threats) I get are from people I know n the outside world. Like my friends. :)
Estherella Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist
I think the thing that happens to me when I'm drawing is that I get more excited to share it, that I don't realize the mistakes until after it's on the computer screen.
Now it's all about pacing myself. I don't have to do a schedule yet like you do, but I do try to work on something every day, despite it not having a set final date.
DizzyHellfire Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
thanks for the tip! I think you are doing great. and to think I stumbled on you perchance and laughed and had been smart to bookmark your site. keep up the great work! dont let the trolls get you.
mariamukaji Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student General Artist
thanks for sharing :aww:
Folk-dude-Philip Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks for sharing this with us. I myself, am working on my webcomic too, and I gotta say it's a pretty hard job!
Even though it's updated once a week! After all, and doing this job alone XD
Libby-Mouse Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for posting this @~@ I script mine with friends and then I draw and color them myself T^T
tsurugikage Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
Thank you for posting that bit up, was that the whole article, or just the part you wanted to share?
hotcheeto89 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012   General Artist
Thanks for sharing this. That bit about web comics kind of describes me now with the current comic series I'm working on. I really don't have a set schedule as to when a new strip is put up, since I only put it up here on dA, but I do try to get them up as soon as they're done.
Also, I prefer drawing and inking by hand, adding digital color later, and I don't have a scanner on hand - I usually have to make a trip somewhere to get the drawings scanned.
altearithe Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Already happened to me a few years back when I tried to spin out a comic. XD I realized that I'm not quite there yet with meeting deadlines and pretty much slowly dropped it and picked up something else.

But as for critiques, even if friends and family around you can't give them, ask them if something seems "off" or "wrong" anyway. They tend to see something we artistic types miss.
At least that's in my experience. :shrug:
lifth Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
Just a thought but what about having your fellow Fresh Epics' artists providing feedback on the preliminary stages of your comics? I imagine they would have fairly good insight being great comic artists as well.

I don't know if it is possible or what kind of arrangement you all have but it could be mutually beneficial, unless they are also fans of your comics and don't want to spoil the punchline before seeing the finished piece.

Overall I think you are doing a great job, especially considering you do it all alone without the extra feedback before posting your comics. I find your comics incredbily entertaining and they always bring a smile to my face. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. :)
TAILS-FAN1 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
This is good advice that I will take to heart. Thanks, man.
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
:iconyeyfaceplz: Hooray for TVTropes!
ApocalypticAya Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Advice to take to heart ^^. Thank you for this :3.
ZippyDSMlee Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
Looking at retail comics they do it too, just takes like 20-50 issues to find the screw ups.
ashesonfire Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So glad for the optimism in this! Thanks for sharing this with everyone :D
Incertus984 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
My cousin emphasized the importance of a schedule and sticking to it or people would take your time and run with it. This seems true with webcomics as well. I always wish they updated (on any webcomic) more, but if that decreases quality of the content, then less often is completely tolerable.
UmbreonGal Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I have to agree. Schedules can be the death of you, especially with a somewhat unpredictable work schedule like mine. I'm going a Pokemon nuzlocke comic currently and have been working on it for over a year with only 14ish pages to show for it. I originally started with wanting to do a page a week, but my pages made it difficult since they're longer than standard comic pages and I like to use color in them. Up until really recently most of my pages were black and white with only color for effects and special text. However, I finally found a system that works for me. Everything is drawn out in my sketch book, scanned in, arranged into panels on Photoshop, and sent to Paint Tool Sai for a majority of the work that remains. It's a long process (colors taking the longest) so I decided to aim for a monthly update and if I can manage two in a month it's even better.
I'm planning on doing a more serious web-comic after the story concludes and this nuzlocke is helping me figure out what I need to do in order to make it work other than having at least 6 months worth of work done before I start uploading.
shanna66 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
im making a ebcomic, im not even bothering with having the art look up to my usual standards, and im not giving myself deadlines, i would just ignore them anyways. mine isnt something i ever plan on becoming popular or me making money off of though, just something to pass the time and an excuse for me to do some digital coloring
Elvenwyn Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student Digital Artist
That's very good advice.
Shaed-Knightwing Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't make deadlines. Deadlines squash my motivation, even if I'm the one making them. :/
Zorgulon Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
I never thought your old SYAC was shoddy. I really liked them, more so than your new one tbh, even though they are also good ^^
Rollinlol95 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Agreed U.U
Stitchpunk0 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
True, much true
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Submitted on
August 29, 2012


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