Comic Talk and General Discussion

Why do you make a webcomic?
maskdt at 2:56PM, April 29, 2015
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Yes, this topic has been discussed before, but I feel it's absolutely worth bringing up time and time again because it's such an important question: why do we go through the effort of making a webcomic? What motivates you to sit down and draw/write something that will, in all likeliness, never be known outside of a very small group? And for that matter, why choose the medium of comics, and why publish it to the web?
Myself, I'm working on my own comic partly because I'm just not seeing quite enough of the kind of stories I like being published, so I want to do something about that. I'm also blessed/cursed with a vivid imagination, so when I'm writing any sort of fiction, I have a strong mental image of what's going on. However, I sometimes find it difficult to describe certain actions, so I find that some of my stories work better as comics where I can just show you what I'm thinking. The downside, of course, is that it's harder to translate non-visual descriptions into comics, while words can paint a strong image of what something smells or feels like. We can use captions and dialogue to try and convey that, sure, but then you run into the issue of having too many words to too few pictures in a comic. Even trying to illustrate other senses becomes difficult; you can draw stink lines on a pile of garbage, but that's still pretty vague. Sure, garbage stinks, but its smell varies based on what's actually in it. Even if you show the reader what's in your garbage, they might not get an idea of what it smells like if they're never encountered the thing before; words, on the other hand, can help pinpoint exactly what kind of smell they're supposed to imagine.
Thankfully, scent and touch don't factor too much into my story, but the visuals are important enough that making it into a comic makes a lot of sense. So, why did you guys get into making webcomics?
MagickLorelai at 12:40AM, May 3, 2015
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When I was a (very young) kid, my brother drew a series of really clumsy and silly comics, and that made me want to draw comics. So I did a lot of drawing, and then turning them into silly and stupid comics that sprawled over sketchbooks. I shared these comics with friends, invented universes with them, and then we drew comics back and forth.
When I graduated high school, though, I wanted to expand my audience to more than just me and my friends. By this point, I'd been reading a lot of webcomics, too- largely Fans!, It's Walky!, and a handful of others- and wanted to try my hand at that. After a few posts to my deviantArt, someone recommended Drunk Duck to me.
This was in 2006. My first few fumbled attempts at webcomics are really best kinda kicked under the rug. But I learned a lot both about visual storytelling and refining my writing, both with feedback and encouragement. I also burned out trying to keep up with making comics, and got frustrated because I hated my art.
I'm still not super fond of my art.
But after a few years hiatus, I rediscovered my love of storytelling in visual format while working on a semi-animated series. I eventually decided to reboot the story as a webcomic, hence The Golden Binding. So, that's the outward path as to ‘why’ I make a webcomic now; I have a story I want to tell, and while I'm not the most qualified artist to tell it, I'm not in a position where I can have someone else do the art. So I'm pouring what I can into doing this.
But I enjoy the process. There's a lot of work involved, even if I'm not particularly skilled. There's a lot of concentration, and lining up the plot and dialogue in such a way that it works in a visual format (as opposed to a purely written one). But as opposed to other work I've done, where it's empty and not the best exercise of my skills or personal interests, it's a lot more fulfilling.
I'm happier making webcomics. And there's a lot of power in being able to tell a story, especially if it engages people. I'm not seeking God Tier status in comicking- god knows I don't have the talent or engagement to get there- but it's fun making something for the sake of making it.
Especially because I've met some of the best people I know because of it. <3
 
ozoneocean at 8:31PM, May 3, 2015
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I keep making Pinky TA in hopes that the spark will catch fire and I'll make lots of pages again instead of just once every 6 months. :)
 
I do comics instead of other types of art because you get to show images as part of a story.
If you look at classical paintings you'll see that almost always there's a story being depicted there, but you almost never get to see what happened before or after (sometimes, but it's rare). Comics allow me to tell the whole story.
 
I do comics instead of just writing because you can be a lot more flamboyant with comicing. Writing about a guy in a blue skintight suit, with red undies, cape, hussar boots, and a big “S” on his chest saving people is just moronic, but in comic form that's perfectly normal.
 
KimLuster at 6:41AM, May 4, 2015
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True that it’s good to touch base with why we’re doing this…
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I’ve always loved stories, both reading and writing them.  And I’ve always loved to create art.  I reached a point in my life where I realized I’d let both of these ‘loves’ slip away a bit, so I just got to thinking about how to combine them…  I knew about comics and graphic novels, so I just decided to try to create a story using that format…
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Very rough going at first!  I’ve created some decent paintings and drawings over the years but I always took my time, painstakingly redrawing, painting over where there were mistakes, but with a comic you really can’t do that too much – it’ll take forever…  You have to learn to go fast (which was a skill I really wanted to learn as well).  That, and you have to learn to draw from images you create in your mind, as you can’t readily expect to have a model or picture for every panel…
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Initially, I was just creating a story as an experiment to get better at these skills.  I thought if I ever actually published it in any way, it’d be as a real novel (no pics), but then one day, when looking up graphic novel tips, I ran across some webcomics.  I knew these things existed, but the idea to make one myself never really occurred, but then I thought, why not…
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So, my story, initially just an exercise to get better at creating art quickly and spontaneously, certainly never meant to be a webcomic, became a webcomic!  And now, interacting with the community here has really become the paramount reason I still do it…  But I’m still experimenting all the time, as my patient and understanding readers know too well 
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(clarification: I crafted the entire story for the Godstrain while on a ‘power-hike’ a few years back - but my first notion was to make it a written work…  Only a bit later did the idea to make it a graphic novel, and subsequently, a webcomic come about…)
 
last edited on May 4, 2015 10:46AM
El Cid at 10:32AM, May 4, 2015
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I've always been doing comics; it's really the only steady hobby I've ever had. That's about the simplest I can break it down to: it's a hobby. It's something I enjoy doing in my spare time. Other people play video games or follow TV programs or stalk people on social media; I do art. For as long as I can remember, whenever I had nothing else to do, I was doing some kind of art, and personally I've never found doing individual standalone works of art very satisfying. I always want to explore the worlds I create at a greater depth, and comics for me are the perfect marriage between my compulsive doodling and mental wandering.
 
I think it's great that the internet is here so that I and people like myself can share our creations with others. But I'd still be doing comics with or without the web. I'd like to try my hand at traditional writing someday as well, but I'll always need to find some outlet to exorcise my artistic impulses, so I imagine I'll always be webcomicking in some way, shape, or form, at least so long as I'm able.
tupapayon at 12:27PM, May 4, 2015
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I have a job that consumes most of my time… I used to make copies of my drawings, staple them and distributed them all over town… distributing a webcomic is just a click away… and, most importantly, I love the DD community… DD means Dare Devil, right?…
Banes at 10:57AM, May 6, 2015
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This is a very worthy question to revisit! Considering the ‘why’ of it all can rejuvenate us and keep us going!

I've made up stories and characters and tried to be entertaining for as long as i can remember. I used to create long, involved stories ( or at least BEGIN them) on a big chalkboard as a kid; I'd literally draw out a couple panels, dialogue and all, then erase the whole thing to do the next page.

My areas of interest are comedy and horror; I had an early love of TV sitcoms. Pre-web, I drew some stories here and there…never much. It was after a couple years of doing an animated Typical Strange that I became frustrated at how long it took to do. Switching to a comic allowed me to go much faster.

It also led me to the DD community. That's what keeps me doing this even when life is hectic. The comic, and the people on DD, got me through the most stressful year of my life. I was so grateful to have this going on!

I'm still figuring out what my passion or calling is…but making comics is connected; I'm quite sure of that!

last edited on May 6, 2015 10:58AM
Genejoke at 2:27PM, May 7, 2015
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I've always been doing comics; it's really the only steady hobby I've ever had. That's about the simplest I can break it down to: it's a hobby. It's something I enjoy doing in my spare time. Other people play video games or follow TV programs or stalk people on social media; I do art. For as long as I can remember, whenever I had nothing else to do, I was doing some kind of art, and personally I've never found doing individual standalone works of art very satisfying. I always want to explore the worlds I create at a greater depth, and comics for me are the perfect marriage between my compulsive doodling and mental wandering. I think it's great that the internet is here so that I and people like myself can share our creations with others. But I'd still be doing comics with or without the web. I'd like to try my hand at traditional writing someday as well, but I'll always need to find some outlet to exorcise my artistic impulses, so I imagine I'll always be webcomicking in some way, shape, or form, at least so long as I'm able.
This.  
bravo1102 at 7:51AM, May 10, 2015
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It's much less presonally damaging than drinking and womanizing. It's also easier with my poor social skills and insecuriites to create pitiful excuses for stories as opposed to illegimate children. Feeling the sting of the non-reaction to my work is so much more preferable to waking up in the gutter reeking of vomit.

Though I come to believe that both are forms of self-torture.
maskdt at 9:31AM, May 10, 2015
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bravo1102 wrote:
It's much less presonally damaging than drinking and womanizing. It's also easier with my poor social skills and insecuriites to create pitiful excuses for stories as opposed to illegimate children. Feeling the sting of the non-reaction to my work is so much more preferable to waking up in the gutter reeking of vomit.

Though I come to believe that both are forms of self-torture.
This is true, but at least the police don't come knocking nearly as often when you're just doing a webcomic.
ozoneocean at 9:34PM, May 11, 2015
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I do a webcomic too meet chicks and influence people… Surprisingly that actually works. -not very well, but it does work.
 
binaryfaye at 9:03AM, May 15, 2015
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When I was a kid I was a total bookworm and would make illustrations for everything I read. Drawing is kinda how I process things. If I stare at a teacher while they talk I can't really understand any of it but if I draw while they talk I remember everything. So, (this is so embarrassing) when I got a bit older, due to moving a lot and my aforementioned bookworminess, I had pretty much no friends. So I made my own… much older than you should really be having imaginary friends…. And I just started illustrating everything I imagined them doing. And it's basically evolved and snowballed into prodigium. They're the exact same kids I made up in sixth grade, with some tweaks.

I can't imagine not working on it. I even get a little high strung in I haven't worked on it in a while. lol I take it on vacations to work on.
Anyway, I assume my comic will never really be seen by anyone, which is kinda freeing. It's really all for me anyway. I only publish it online because it's a way of saying “This part is finished. I'm not changing it anymore.” (I had drawn chapter 1 about 20 times in all before I finally said enough and moved on. Nothing was ever perfect enough and that's not a good mindset to have in comics!) And I guess it's just human nature to want to share things with others that you like.

KimLuster at 4:18PM, May 15, 2015
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@binaryfaye: all that sounds rather fascinating to me…! 
Lupi at 9:48AM, May 18, 2015
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Like a lot of artists, I always liked making up characters and stories, and can't not do it. I started doing my current webcomic for fun and practice, and because my kid likes it.
binaryfaye at 3:09PM, May 18, 2015
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KimLuster wrote:
@binaryfaye: all that sounds rather fascinating to me…! 
Thanks!  I was worried it was sad and pathetic so fascinating is way better! Lol!

sevenherestien at 4:16AM, May 23, 2015
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well. I used to spend time playing games, but I am never satisfied.. Something is wrong, I feel that inside me.. I want something that is my own, my own creation, I want to stop being absorbed into other people's creation, you know.. a consumer.. I don't want my life to be like that, so I started to hone my drawing skill I have back then, to make my own story, and I didn't know.. It ended up REALLY WELL^^
KimLuster at 11:11AM, May 26, 2015
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sevenherestien wrote:
well. I used to spend time playing games, but I am never satisfied.. Something is wrong, I feel that inside me.. I want something that is my own, my own creation, I want to stop being absorbed into other people's creation, you know.. a consumer.. I don't want my life to be like that, so I started to hone my drawing skill I have back then, to make my own story, and I didn't know.. It ended up REALLY WELL^^
Absolutely, that's sorta become my attitude…  Like, if I'm gonna have a hobby, it'll be one where I'm creating something and/or honing a skill…  Still, I don't have a problem with also partaking in other's art, viewing their paintings/drawings, listening to their music, etc…  Art must have a creator AND and audience - nothing wrong with being both! :D
Whirlwynd at 5:41PM, May 26, 2015
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I've drawn comics since I was a kid – though I started online with written fiction. As I recall, I switched to a comic format because it was a lot easier to get people to read the story in pictures rather than words, even though my artwork wasn't that great. It turned out that I liked drawing comics better than writing anyway. It's addictive!
Since I've gone into animation, I also use the comic format to help me storyboard. I can develop the visual aspect of the scenes and tell the story at the same time.

fallopiancrusader at 2:26PM, May 31, 2015
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My entry into comics was rather methodical. After college, I was pursuing a career as a “fine artist”, with the intent of showing paintings on a gallery wall. After a few years of immersion in the New York art world, I realized that art collectors were an incestuous clique of ultra-wealthy speculators who viewed art strictly as a financial investments, who couldn't give two craps about the content of the work. I found I had nothing in common with this audience, and had nothing to say to any of them as an artist. I was always interested in a direct dialogue with culture and society, without the mediation of the myopic and narcissistic art gallery scene. I needed to find a medium that could take my ideas (which are admittedly quite juvenile and picayune) to the world directly. Comics seemed the way to go. In the early 90's I started making printed comics, and loved the idea that they would get sent out to hundreds of strangers who would read them, and love or hate them, and I would never meet any of those people. Webcomics give the possibility of creating an immediate and unmediated dialogue (or argument) between creators and viewers. And the conversation can extend to potentially thousands of web-viewers all over the world, rather than just the tiny segment of society that might wander into a comic book store. 
last edited on June 1, 2015 6:59AM
toondoctor at 3:20AM, June 9, 2015
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I've always done them until the last 10 yrars when I focused professionally on animation instead. Comics are just fun and I find a lot of stress relief making them. Plus, I had an original story to tell with Johnny Bullet.
irrevenant at 10:50PM, July 10, 2015
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For the riches and fame, obviously. :D
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Why write/draw something that will likely never be known beyond a small group? Because getting better at something is profoundly satisfying. No matter how many people do or don't read my work, *I* can see that I'm getting better (as well as the massive scope for improvement). 
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I think I ended up gravitating to comics in particular because I'm the sort of person who has trouble settling down with just one hobby. Webcomics lets you express yourself in a variety of ways: producing a comic requires not just the ability to draw, but the ability to design characters, script stories, write dialogue, layout page composition - and probably at least dabble in things like graphic design and maybe Web design.  How many mediums can say that? 
bravo1102 at 1:01PM, July 11, 2015
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irrevenant wrote:
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I think I ended up gravitating to comics in particular because I'm the sort of person who has trouble settling down with just one hobby. Webcomics lets you express yourself in a variety of ways: producing a comic requires not just the ability to draw, but the ability to design characters, script stories, write dialogue, layout page composition - and probably at least dabble in things like graphic design and maybe Web design.  How many mediums can say that? 
That.  For someone with many interests and  ideas webcomics can be exercise for a large and diverse skill set.  So the small-minded impatient hack like myself can do all kinds of stuff.  I know I can't do any one thing well so just do a whole lot sort of decently.  
ozoneocean at 7:44PM, July 12, 2015
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There's something great about drawing one pic after another and have them being related through a story. :)
 
irrevenant at 10:46PM, July 12, 2015
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LoL, sometimes that drives me insane. When I'm drawing some guy with a complex costume for the fourth time that page, I'm like “Aaaaaargh! /o\”. 
Mind you, I plan to inflict Chaos ( http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/176073/ ) on the HUniverse, so I can hardly talk. xD
ozoneocean wrote:
There's something great about drawing one pic after another and have them being related through a story. :)
 
last edited on July 12, 2015 11:00PM
KimLuster at 1:40PM, July 13, 2015
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irrevenant wrote:
Why write/draw something that will likely never be known beyond a small group? Because getting better at something is profoundly satisfying. No matter how many people do or don't read my work, *I* can see that I'm getting better (as well as the massive scope for improvement)… 
This was my primary motivation.  I've done acryllic paintings over the years that look pretty good, but I had to go Slooooooooowww and have something (a picture, model…) as a constant reference.   But anytime I tried to draw fast and/or without a reference…  Well, it always looked very amateurish, as if a different person did it…  
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I've always liked stories, so I thought, what better way to get better at fast art than to attempt a comic (the Godstrain was initially going to be a written work…).  My early pages clearly display my limitations at fast (and referencence-less) art, but I can see myself gradually getting better…   very gradually haha…  
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The comic has taken on a life of its own now, and even though I still see lots of room for art improvement, improving is no longer my prime motivation!  Still probably second or third though :D
bravo1102 at 3:22AM, July 14, 2015
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irrevenant wrote:
LoL, sometimes that drives me insane. When I'm drawing some guy with a complex costume for the fourth time that page, I'm like “Aaaaaargh! /o\”. 
Now you know why my comic “Hussar” was still born. All that braid in every panel just killed it after six panels.

Conversly a comic can die because you get bored drawing simplistic characters every panel.  Or at least for me.  I have to have variety but not too much.  And doing figures helps. I don't have to draw them, just dress them once and fix malfunctions.  There are a lot of those. Stuff breaks. And then I wish I was drawing them.  I might experiment with figures dressed with artwork on drawn backgrounds.
usedbooks at 4:47PM, July 15, 2015
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ozoneocean wrote:
There's something great about drawing one pic after another and have them being related through a story. :)
That's an interesting view, definitely can tell it's an artist's view. XD 
 
Miy approach was from the other direction entirely. I've never been able to “do art.” It was something a played at but not a real hobby and definitely not a talent. I've written stories since grade school. In high school, I even had a “fan” who read my work as I finished pages. It was exciting. But for the most part, no one ever wanted to read my stories. They were a private venture. I was comfortable with writing for the audience of me most of the time. But as afraid as I was to share, there was no better feeling on earth than being able to do so with the one or two people who were interested. I came up with new ways to present my stories. My brother and I made an audio production out of a series I wrote in high school. We took the casette tapes for a big debut on a road trip, and I don't think I was ever prouder than to hear my granddad laugh at my witty dialogue.
 
Webcomics started as a gimmick to create stories my roommates would read – by turning them into rough storyboards.  With just that crude bit of visual aspect, I could get my friends to read my stories. I uploaded them only as a form of backup, but it is kind of addictive to have people read your work. (Learning how to draw is fun too, even if I'm clumsy at it.)
KimLuster at 6:18AM, July 18, 2015
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After my mini-conversation with Bravo in the ‘conflict’ thread, I'm starting to wonder how much working on my comic is therapeutic! :D
bravo1102 at 6:40AM, July 22, 2015
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It was suggested to me on a writing site as a way to present myour stories. At the same time it seemed like a cool way to display my figures. After some real trials I stuck with it as it was a great medium of expression both in wtiring and exploring different visual techniques.
Smilocide at 7:37PM, Aug. 2, 2015
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Rather than give my own reasons, I'll summarize our reasons collectively and enumerate the common themes; it seems we're all of a certain type.
Yes, we've been doing this since we were old enough to hold a pencil. We're interested in visual storytelling. Maybe we'd rather be making movies or cartoons (an some of us do), but comics are an easy one-creator way to get your narrative ideas together in a visuall appealing way.
We want our own world to get lost in. We probably lift a lot from the movies and books we like, but none of them are EXACTLY the kind of thing we're looking for so we make it ourselves. Tolkien said no one was writing the kind of fantasy he was interested in and that's why he started writing himself.
Now speaking personally, animation is my real passion. i've made a few cartoons, but a 5 minute short takes me many years. I can tell a comparable story in a couple weeks with comics!
And maybe it's to network. Many of us do find like-minded individuals on sites like this one. And yes, it does feel really really good to see the view count tick up or to find another subscriber.

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