Probably my biggest shortcut is drawing on paper. My comics are done mainly on Paint Tool Sai via Cintiq 12wx, but it takes me at all the free time I have in one weekend just to ink one page. Meanwhile, I drew a 4-page sidecomic on my sketchbook and managed to get three of those pages inked in that same amount of time.
1. Even with a felt nib, the Cintiq is still kind of lacking in friction. I have little control over my pen strokes because I've always had an impatient hand. My inks look sketchy and I have to clean them up (for hiex, I leave them be for Immortal Fool)
2. Ctrl+Z exists, as do digital erasers that can erase everything, so much time is spent erasing and correcting. sometimes Redrawing. I have digital arting software and people have used that fact to make me feel like it's an obligation to perfect my lineart as much as possible because I can keep editing until I get it right.
3. What actually bothers me more than anything is having to constantly zoom and pan a print-quality comic page on a dinky 1280x800-pixel screen. Working on a sketchbook allows me to rotate the book and work on tiny details with the whole page easy to view. It has to be a spiral-bound book, though. I can't work too comfortably with single sheets on a table or a book that can't be folded back.
Some cleanup/corrections have to be done, but by the time the page is scanned in, I just adjust the really really bad mistakes with a patterned pencil tool in SAI to match the jagged lines of digitally-scanned traditional inks, and shrug off the lesser mistakes. The curves are off but the lines are clean enough, so okay.
Mine would have been done tonight but while I was coloring, I really began to hate it and I can't change it. Because it's pen on paper so I drew something else which will be done thursday. https://db.tt/k9zSFlDj
Tibbittz:Although, if you're gonna "cheat", do it well.
I couldn't say it better. As far as "cheat" methods go, I only dislike Comipo (is that still a thing?) because just about all comics that used it look exactly the same. I've no beef with templates, copypaste or really, anything else. Unless it's used terribly.
I designed these characters pretty early on and couldn't get myself to significantly vary their bodytypes, so I had put my focus on their preference in outfits and accessories. Riley likes expensive department store sweaters because they make him feel sophisticated and it usually coordinates with the beanie on his head and he wears the beanie because wealthy upstucks don't wear beanies. Audrie likes very drapey stuff and accessorizes muchly. She's often called the plant witch but she sees herself as goddess of the gardens. Mary, I cant explain but you will see lots of long skirts and poofy sleeves and sometimes lolita fashion on her casual days. the toonish bow... just works, but her sheep looks just as ridiculous, anyway. Terrie mixes skirts with pants and wears low-saturated colors, but when she's in the pink uniform, she still has her hiking boots. Geno is a plain polo (or t-shirt) and slim jeans person. He has other appearance issues to worry about makes clothing on the bottom of his priorities, and Gary layers tops.
I don't have time to go on??? but here's something i found on how to tell Gary apart from his identical siblings! I-i have yet to introduce the fourth one.
I... don't subscribe to my own comics. it feels kind of arrogant. ;)
Getting subs is a whole bunch of factors, as already said by other c-furians. What I found helpful in community engagement is participating in webcomic/art discussions where you can talk about your characters or show off some artwork. The Work in Progress thread is the best place to promote visually. You post up a partially completed sample of the next page or something that you're working on, and that may bring people into your comic's page anticipating it's completion. I also had gotten a moderate surge in subscribers when I entered two of my characters in the CF Battle Royale some time back.
I've said these things elsewhere before but they haven't happened in the comic yet.
[spoiler].Both Terrie and Gary like Genova
.Genova currently wants to be with Terrie romantically, and had a sexual past with Gary (There's no sex in this comic)
.The groundskeeper is an engaged lesbian
.One of Terrie's parents is a FtM transgender.
The idea of Gary/Genova stemmed from me joking on Twitter about how my comic would be popular on Smackjeeves if I drew those two having sex, and then it developed into a thing I really wanted to use in the comic. I like Gary and I love all the interactions he and Genova have, and I have some interesting plans on what to do with this triangle of main characters. It eventually just became about how the characters go together rather than what gender was involved. If Gary was a female or if Geno was genderless, i would have still done it. [/spoiler]
Some of my fans have been lesbian-shipping the girls in this story. I feel so honored knowing people do this with my characters!