Friday, January 22, 2010

My Webcomic Sucks... Yet I Keep Going

Okay, I don't know if I should really say it sucks, it's just not that good. When I started it I was naive. I didn't really know what I was doing or just what it takes to make a good comic. But then again, I wasn't looking to make a living off it or become some sort of comicbook superstar. I just wanted to make a comic and I thought I had a decent idea for a story or at least a story I wanted to tell even if I didn't know who I wanted to tell it to. So given my opinion of my work, why do I keep going?

Over the years (yes, "years") I've been working on it I've had ups and downs both in my personal life and in doing the comic. I've learned a lot about making a comic, either through trial and error or through very constructive criticism I've gotten or through reading some really great advice (either online or in various books). I know I still have lots to learn, and I really have to do a better job of applying what I've already learned, but I like to think I've improved. And despite some depressing times, times where nobody seemed to be reading it and yet I was spending so much of my free time doing it, I kept pushing through (other than one break after chapter 1).

So I guess in the end I continue to do webcomics because I have ideas, ideas I think would make for good stories (whether others agree with this remains to be seen). And I want to get better so they get told in a way that does them justice. Why I continue to work on my current webcomic instead of starting over (either on it or on a different story), it mostly comes down to wanting to finish it. I started it believing this was a story I wanted to tell and I still feel that way. I want to see it through to the end despite it's very shakey beginnings (can't stress that enough, I sometimes go back and cringe at some of the art and storytelling). There will be no money for me (I'll definitely be in the minus on this one with the stuff I've bought to do the comic) and I'll never have the readership of a successful webcomic but it will be something I can say I did.

Plus, if I just stop and start over it's just one more step to never being satisfied with my work to the point where I'll never put any of it out. I've always had issues with not being satisfied with my work (which you can probably tell from this post) so if I wait until I'm happy with my own work, it'll never happen.

And so Divine Leap continues. Just wanted to get some of this off my chest.


metsuke said...

Keep at it. If nothing else hard work is its own reward.

mpd57 said...

My advice - keep keeping on, but you should let readers into your comic by telling them them what it is about - and I don't mean by explaining it slowly either. I mean where's the header - that gives readers the hook they need? Divine Leap - the webcomic about ... an epic story of ... a thriller about ...

Don't expect anyone to sit down and say I must read 100 pages of that and then I'll decide for myself what it means and whether I like it or not etc. Tell them what it is about every single post! No one likes being obvious but you have to be bold!

See the faux intstructions on Stripper Rippers - I have to tell people what it is ALL the time EVERY time - web readers don't have any patience - click and click somewhere else if they don't get it first time. The story can be as subtle as you like but - don't be too subtle about the 'selling' part - it doesn't work.

Be up front and give people the choice to stay or go and some will stay, but if you don't give them the choice they'll all go.

I had to read too much to get a sense of what it was about. Tell them and they will come :-)

Darrell said...

metsuke: I don't know if I'd call it "hard work" ;) but thanks.

mpd57: Great advice. I've been putting off doing some web work that would probably help like a list/quick description of the characters and quick synopsis updates (maybe similar to what I did at the start of chapter 3 but putting it more in the forefront on every page). I'm really not trying to sell it to anyone and if nobody reads it then that's fine. But I think I've been using that as an excuse not to do the work and I should put some effort into making it a bit more new reader friendly. Thank you for the advice and for taking the time to read it.

Walter Ostlie said...

I think it is better to finish something, no matter how good or bad it may be. It is a great feeling to say 'I made this' even if it is a horrible lump of clay.