Thank you so much! This is insanely wonderful, and it's SUPER helpful knowing what things come across as confusing to people who are just reading through. It's hard to tell sometimes when you're so entrenched in your own story lol.
(also thank you for the fanart catch, need to fix that, and reminding me I need to fix the text in the prologue, because I absolutely agree it's got some weird issues)
A lot of the things you asked about in the plot do get explained, or should have already been explained, so I'll definitely work on clarifying that. Thank you again for the super thoughtful critique! :D
My point is that it's tucked away enough that it's not the first thing anyone new to the site sees.
It's literally on the front page. The first tab most people go to is the popular overall tab. Just because you personally don't use it doesn't mean other people don't, and this is a comic host, not a memorial. The entire point of having comics on the front page is to advertise them, to draw people into the site, and the comics on it, and it seems counterproductive to have one of the most looked at tabs act as a graveyard. As I've pointed out it actively deters readers, most people don't care to look at something that never updates, and that isn't finished, and that's a disservice to the comics that are here, and active now.
Honestly it's not even as a creator that I care, it's just super obnoxious as a reader. Trying to find a comic on here that's actually active is a nightmare, and, as mentioned, having a front page graveyard looks really bad to readers. There are a lot of people who will disregard the entire site as dead, and that's actively hindering the comics still here trying to garner an audience.
Alicia the Bard:Then, there's the issue for people who have an account to just strictly read comics. They may not be active as far as forums, commenting, or creating goes, but they may just use an account to keep up with some comics that they enjoy to read. I know I have a hard time remembering to check comics I like unless they are on a site like this that tells me, "Yo, that comic you like updated."
I don't think the accounts themselves should be messed with.
You'd show up as active by logging in if you were reading comics and using the sub system. You can see on peoples profiles when they were last seen, regardless of their actual activity in forums and such.
Or we could actually make the reader and creator accounts different things, and mess with stuff that way lol.
So this came up in conversation recently, and I know it's been talked about before but can't remember any good reason it was dismissed. (and tried to go back and find the super old thread, was not successful)
Cf is kind of suffering a problem of having been around for a while with a rotating user-base. We have a TON of dead accounts, and dead comics on here, which wouldn't be the end of the world if it didn't affect the front page. (and RIP server space but that's kind of a side issue)
I know pop now accounts for active use, and I feel like it's been explained that even pop overall only counts active subs (though I'm hazy on that one) but we still see vastly inflated sub counts (hell, I wouldn't be surprised if my own sub count is inflated) filled to the brim with long dead and gone users, and we see comics sticking to the front page just because they're already there. I guess my best example of that being an issue would be Seed. It hasn't updated in forever, and it's constantly gaining subs from people not checking that time-stamp because it's literally the very first thing on the popular overall tab.
This is kind of a problem for several reasons. The first is that it's blatantly unfair to anyone actually actively updating their comic. Good, active works that could be on the front page are being bumped off by stuff that's long dead. I'd honestly suggest an "aging out" feature so that any comic that hasn't updated in the last six months gets kicked off the front page. Coming from someone who's gone longer than that between updates it seems like a totally fair amount of time, and if they update again, hey, awesome, they no longer hit the age filter and they can end up back on the front page. If a comic is completed it could go under a specific "completed" section (maybe replace the incredibly useless random tag that's an aging hellhole all its own? no idea how many completed comics are actually on the site, but throwing out ideas), or just get a special designation to stop it from getting age-filtered.
Second issue is how it looks to people coming on the site as newer users. I know half the reason my husband doesn't check this site at all despite being into webcomics is he looked through the front pages for a while and decided the site looked dead. Same can be said for several other friends into webcomics. Combine an old site layout, and a dead comic sitting in first place and you get a site that most new people, readers especially, will skip over in a heartbeat.
On kind of a similar tangent, I'd like to see old accounts maybe faded out. Like, after several years of no activity wipe them. Not only would it probably free up a good deal of server space, but it would stop older comics from getting weird, inflated sub counts. We legitimately do have comics showing up super high in searches for no other reason than they've been around forever. That's kind of an issue, and, again, is unfair to anyone who hasn't had a comic site on here since the site practically came into existence.
Actually gonna start this off with a layout issue, because it's something that would be insanely easy to fix. In pretty much any website you want to avoid horizontal scroll, especially on a comic site where a reader would be forced to scroll horizontally to read every single strip. Doesn't matter how good your comic is, this will quickly drive people nuts. The comic could honestly easily be resized to be a good deal smaller, most panels have a lot of extra room, and the style is simplistic enough to be shrunk a ton and still be perfectly legible. Moving the navigation bar to the top of the screen would also help immensely with freeing up precious screen real-estate to prevent the dreaded hell that is scrolling horizontally for each and every comic page.
(and I read it on a laptop, but a friend has informed me that the layout is pretty broken on mobile. A lot of people read comics on their phones and tablets, and I feel like you've mentioned posting on tapastic before. Maybe find something a bit more phone-friendly layout wise?)
Onto the actual comic the art is, well, lazy MsPaint. From what I've seen in other threads you seem to be well aware of this, and don't care so I'm not going to harp on it. Even with it being what it is you can still improve the base readability. You have pretty frequent pages where the colors make it super hard to read the text and distinguish between characters hair and the background. Just being careful to use more dissimilar colors would help a ton. Maybe put text in actual speech bubbles. A thicker font would also help a lot in the readability department, as the super thin text can get a little harsh on the eyes, and doesn't match with the super thick lines used to draw the rest of the comic.
With the writing, I'll admit, this could very well just not be my cup of tea. The writing is very "lol randum", mostly focusing on how 'quirky' a character is in a way that's often less playing on stereotypes than just obsessively harping on them. It's not so much humorous as it is mocking. What jokes aren't just random humor about hamsters often come across as mean spirited, and overall it's just kind of weird that in a gag comic you don't really have any punchlines. The "jokes" fall flat, and it just isn't funny.
Overall this needs a lot of work. Don't know how I can really sugar coat that. I'm not sure if you're just doing this for laughs, in which case have fun and do whatever you want, but if you want this to be even mildly enjoyable for anyone else to read the entire comic needs a massive overhaul from the ground up.
Typically you want your villain to be human. Unless you're going out of your way to cheese it, or writing something literally inhuman (like a blob monster or something), a human villain is way more interesting, believable, and makes for a much better story.
My own villains are pretty human, and most are morally more gray than black. After all, unless you're Garou from OPM, a villain does not typically see themselves as the villain of the story. (and even Garou wasn't pure evil) People aren't evil just for shits and giggles typically, and even if someone is just straight up evil people still do people things. Hitler was a subhuman monster, one of the most evil people to ever live, and he still was apparently great with children, and loved dogs.
People are complex, and weird, and contradictory, and, if anything, that's a pretty good opening for some interesting writing.
Plus a villain really only has to be an opposition to the protagonist. No need to write every villain as CAPTAIN DOOM LORD OF DEATH AND SUFFERING.
Honestly in America if you can't afford to tip you can't afford to eat out. Fuck people who don't tip.
Servers are literally paid less than minimum wage because tips are assumed, if someone doesn't tip they're forcing a server to literally work for free. They're scum just as bad as blatant thieves, if not worse.
You should treat hair as if it's actually on someones head, so, basically, don't mirror it if it goes one direction. Ever. It's amateurish. (unless you're doing a gag comic and blatantly don't give a shit)
Basically if a persons bangs sweep right they will always sweep right. If their hair parts to the left it's always going to have the part on the left side of the head. Think of it like looking at a real person, their hair doesn't suddenly change entirely because you're looking at them from the other side, you're just seeing it from a different angle.
Is it kind of a pain in the butt to draw some hairstyles from different angles? Yeah. My comics main character's bangs annoy the hell out of me lol, and it might take looking at references for a while to really get a feel for how certain hairstyles look at different angles, but it's worth it to make your art look nice and consistent.
Asking in here because it seems relevant to the topic, but does anyone using paypal have a decent resource for handling digital commissions through it? I know there's some weird legality surrounding it when there isn't a physical object being sent out, and I'd like to avoid that if at all possible when I can get an account set up.
Can confirm that's not true actually. My work actually has a page for shift trading, and you have to be invited into it. I remember it being a pretty big pain in the ass to get into it actually. We're getting off topic, though.
Point stands that when you post your stuff to a public site, with no privacy settings you kind of get to live with that. I mean, hell, even if you could forcibly unsub someone they could just resub or view your shit from an alt or no account at all. The act of forcing someone to unsub is just kind of a pointless hostile gesture.