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15th Mar 2020, 9:30 PM #1
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I work digitally and do a crapton of cutting and pasting. Backgrounds, mostly, but I am not above doing characters, if I can find an already-done image that comes close to what I need in the current page. It's a simple thing to paste a face and then do a quick expression change. I have only ever had one reader notice this, on one image that I admittedly had gotten lazy and not altered enough.

It saves a load of time.

But other than that, it's slow and steady, really. I don't aspire to anything like 100 pages a year. I'm lucky to do 30 in a year. But they're damn good pages. It's taken me three years so far and I anticipate at least one more, maybe two, before it's done.

Obviously this is only possible because it's a hobby and there's no check waiting on my getting done within a time frame. Marathon, not a sprint.
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24th Feb 2020, 9:01 PM #2
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Nailed down my next children's book contract.

I shouldn't be, by now, but I'm always a little bewildered when people want to pay real money for my art skills.

Don't wait as long as I did to learn to sell yourself, kids.
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19th Feb 2020, 2:27 PM #3
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I love it, Kyo. I just pulled the site up and my heart skipped a beat. This is SO much easier!

Apropos of nothing else but something I’ve wanted to mention for a while: I personally so appreciate that you have never added a “like” or “heart” button to comic pages like all other media sites seem to do...probably odd of me, but I have a theory that the existence of such a quick and lazy response button has actually resulted in LESS reader engagement than more. I know that I get far less commentary/feedback on Facebook and deviantart despite many viewers and I honestly believe it is because 90% of people feel like they’ve done their duty by clicking that like.

But here I still get massive reader response and thoughtful, enthusiastic commentary and I thrive on it. I may be wrong in thinking that would take a nosedive if an alternate, quick option were there - all I know is there was correlation between that option becoming available on deviantart and my gallery becoming a ghost town.

So just my vote, in case it’s something you ever considered - please don’t!

But yay for mobile viewing!

Merged Doublepost:

RJDG14:I quite like zooming in on the desktop site on my phone, but it appears that since this was probably done using CSS based on the screen width rather than being a separate interface, I cannot switch back to the desktop view using "request desktop site". Is there a minor change you could make to the code in order to make this possible?

It's a good mobile interface though - one that doesn't "dumb down" the desktop interface.


I just noticed that you can go into your settings and disable mobile site.
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30th Jan 2020, 5:27 PM #4
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Haven't posted here in a while. My heroes are all stuck underground in the Faery realm and dealing with an irate Fae king who is generally pissed with humanity, until the one person in the group with some common sense starts to play the diplomacy game. Turns out the little dude is just as prone to fall for flattery from a pretty girl as the average human.

Site resizes page to the point of illegibility for some reason but you can visit my strip for a better view, obvs.

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10th Jan 2020, 5:24 AM #5
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How do you define popularity? Number of subs? Number of views? Whether you get comments or not? This is all relevant. and yeah of course the standard line is "do it for you, not for anyone else" which we ALL do, but nobody likes screaming into a void and it's ok to admit you want people to see your work and even more: to talk to you about your work. Internet has made art such a cheap commodity we feel entitled to look at people's creations, to enjoy them and even collect them, without ever thanking or even acknowledging the creator. It wasn't like this fifteen years ago, guys. I'm old, I remember. *waves cane* But I digress.

I've been working on comic for something like five years and am up to around 190 subs. But only a handful of those people ever leave any comments or feedback, which is far more important to me than a sub. I average around a hundred fifty hits a day, many of which I'm sure are crawling bots since the number is oddly consistent and I only update every couple weeks. I've hit the "popular now" board once in a blue moon but my comic hits a niche on a small and obscure fanbase, so I don't expect ever to be a top contender for a popularity award, even though my art is good and the story is solid (not patting my back here as I didn't write it.)

But you know what's awesome, is that the handful of engaged fans I have are REALLY engaged. They have entire literary critique essays in the comments. That's amazingly satisfying. That will keep me drawing all day. But yeah, it took a long time to get there and I had to prompt it by bringing up the topics and asking the questions myself. Also, the people who were super vocal five years ago are largely nowhere to be found today. People move on, fandom evolves. If I had given up after not becoming popular in six months or nine months or a year or a year and a half...I wouldn't be having the fun I am now.

It's a crap shoot though. You can work your ass off and still remain unseen and unsung. Trying to get that next comment can become its own little addiction and when that starts to happen it's time to reevaluate how you want to value yourself and your work, as an extension of you. I'm rambling now and should go to bed. :P
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8th Dec 2019, 2:10 AM #6
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Fantasy is a broad genre.

My comic is medieval fantasy. It's based on the same book series that Disney adapted to make their animated movie The Black Cauldron. The difference being that Disney's version sucked and mine is faithful to the original story.

As such it is really more of a coming-of-age morality tale that happens to be set in a fantasy world, but it has all the standard thematic elements. Brash orphan farmboy, wizard mentor, great quest, sassy princess, motley cast of ancillary characters, swords and sorcery in a proto-Britain vaguely celtic society. Come check it out.
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20th Jul 2019, 1:50 AM #7
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straker:When Disney did attempt to break out of its own mold, it then chickened out and retracted those works. The Black Cauldron, for instance is one that Disney wants you to forget about. It seemed like it was something that should have worked but didn't. The viewer reaction seemed to be more discomfort such as "this is way too dark for a Disney film." and may be what caused Disney to retreat into formulaic musicals that brought on the Disney Renaissance of the 90s. Treasure Planet also failed because it tried to go outside of the mold that Disney created for itself and thus failed to connect with the formula-acclimated audience.


The Black Cauldron was a terrible movie. Oddly enough, they announced back in 2016 that they were reoptioning the rights to the books it was based on for a LA series, but they don’t seem to be developing it at all. Ironic that the one movie that desperately NEEDS a remake is the one they aren’t touching. But I can’t complain too much, since that series is what my comic is about, and as long as they are ignoring the property, they won’t be coming after me. Hopefully.
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Result in thread: Why do we need a cast page?
7th Feb 2019, 8:37 PM #8
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I've never even thought of having a cast page. I didn't even know it was a Thing Many Comics Do.

But I'm going to go make one now just for FUN.
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6th Feb 2019, 1:32 PM #9
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Good suggestions here already; lemme throw Robin Mckinley and Madeleine L'Engle into the mix. L'Engle's time quartet is a good mix of both fantasy and sci-fi; they're a little dated, but classics. Don't judge by that horrible recent adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. As usual, Hollywood completely missed the point.

Mckinley is pure sword and sorcery so I almost hesitated to mention, but her wordsmithing is masterful and her storytelling original (or at least it was twenty years ago when I first picked up her books; Girls With Swords (TM) are a pretty standard trope now). She can be a little hit-or-miss; start with The Hero and the Crown if you try her out.
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4th Feb 2019, 4:57 PM #10
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Almost all my crushes were fictional starting with Peter Pan when I was six. I narrowly escaped becoming a furry when I outgrew my 8-year-old obsession with the Disney animated Robin Hood. I'm told he's still considered quite the dish in that community.

My husband still has to compete with my last. Who is, contrary to rules, the hero of my comic, BUT I didn't create him so I'm going to use that as a loophole. To make it truly fair I'll use an image from a different artist though:

Taran Wanderer,
cover, artist: Jody Lee

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2nd Feb 2019, 2:41 PM #11
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Haven't posted here in a while, but I have a new project that gives me all the feels - short and sweet, using characters from my main big project, but a few years later, allowing me to play with the nascent romantic tension that is frustratingly absent from The Book of Three...waaaah.

Fans of the Chronicles of Prydain (sadly rare these days, go read them, people, keep the classics alive): this is the infamous "apple tree" scenario referenced in Eilonwy's brainwashed state in The Castle of Llyr.

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Result in thread: Your Best Comic Page
8th Jan 2019, 10:45 AM #12
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Some excellent pages! I see several comics here I want to check out.

I've got several faves, but this one still stands out. The colors, the landscape, and the drama in the expressions all came together exactly as I wanted them to, and it was the first in an action sequence that was really satisfying and exciting to do. It was one of those pages that became a little annoying later because it raised the quality bar up to a level I can't always (or even usually) hit consistently. But I always come back to it when I need to remind myself of what I can do when I push myself.

[img]image lexus rc350 0 60[/img]
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Result in thread: Webcomic "Advice"
4th Jan 2019, 9:05 PM #13
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When you're sick of drawing the same faces again and again during a long conversation...what do you think the good creators of your software developed copy-and-paste for?

Also, silhouetting your characters against a gradient works every time.
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4th Jan 2019, 12:52 PM #14
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Even if you ARE worried about appropriation, no culture or ethnicity owns dreads. They've been worn by loads of different groups, some of them even *gasp* white Europeans (germanic tribes, vikings, etc). You can safely use them and ignore anybody who wants to squawk about it. No patience with that nonsense.
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Result in thread: Copyright and Fanart
31st Dec 2018, 12:44 AM #15
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As someone whose entire comic is based on copyrighted work...

Legally you have no leg to stand on. You can make every disclaimer and never turn a penny but the holder of the rights can still sue you if they want to. However, the likelihood of it is so extraordinarily small it is not worth worrying about. The amount of fanart online is impossible to police even for titans like Disney (though they will, certainly, come after anyone who profits excessively from their IP). At most, typically, the IP owner will tell you to take it down from the internet - but going through the process of suing some random plebe who drew their character for a webcomic is not worth their time or money.

You have to live with the possibility, however remote, that you might at some point be served with a cease-and-desist letter and see all your work and effort go to nothing when you have to pull it from display.

If you can handle that, knock yourself out.
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17th May 2018, 5:23 PM #16
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Streaming now, persnickety little things but if anybody is bored...clickety click
ETA: done for the day
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3rd Apr 2018, 3:41 PM #17
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I have mild social anxieties, but I've never found it stressful to respond with a, "thanks for reading!" or "I appreciate your taking the time to comment!" even if I can't think of anything else to say. Obviously if this is all I EVER did that would become trite and annoying, but it serves just fine much of the time, particularly to those minimalist comments of "this is cool!" or whatever. Obviously if somebody is writing some novel it is too simplistic, but I love nothing more than discussing my comic, so comments like that are my lifeblood and hell yes I respond to every one.

I try to respond to most, more or less, and I love that by doing so I have developed some loyal fans. Partially I do it because I'm not a big comic-follower - there are long-time readers whose work I've checked out, unfortunately not been interested in, but wished I could reciprocate in some way for their faithfulness. So I try to always acknowledge them as the least I can do. Also, comments are so rare (in my experience, it's about three out of every hundred visitors) that I want to show my appreciation for them personally. What good is it to say I appreciate every comment? Who's going to know that if I don't express it directly to the commenter? Somebody took the time to type crap on a phone, most likely, and we all know how annoying that is. It takes two words to thank them for it.

And yeah, if I comment faithfully for a while and the artist never responds, I'll usually stop commenting. It just feels like they don't care whether I do or not so why waste my time. I've wondered, in those times, why some creators don't respond (unless it's obvious, like they have hundreds of comments and literally can't, but that's rare). So this thread is eye-opening.

The internet can feel like a lonely place when you've put your heart's work out there and get crickets. But IMO it goes both ways; if you want people to engage with you, you need to make an effort to be engaging in return. That's life.
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11th Feb 2018, 5:26 PM #18
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Miaubol:Image


I’m going to use this from now on whenever I’m accused of excessive verbosity. Just doing my part in the rebellion.
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11th Feb 2018, 3:36 PM #19
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This is a tough place for any creator, the desire for validation, for the assurance that somebody out there appreciates your work. It's hard to get, and I'm going to be old and curmudgeonly and blame smartphones and facebook.

Warning: VAST GENERALIZATION AHEAD.

When I started posting my artwork online, back in the dark ages of elfwood.com, commenting was a huge thing. They were frequent and generous. I don't have any numbers to reference, but I am absolutely certain that the ratio of pageviews/comments was far, far more proportionate than it is now. I was on that site for about a decade, and it was the very early days of smartphone rollout. As tiny pocket computers with impossible-to-type screen keyboards became more and more ubiquitous, the number of people who bothered to comment on anything dropped exponentially. I can't blame them. Typing on a phone is a pain in the butt, and so participation dropped, weeding out all those except the fossilized users still using actual computers and those who really, really had something they wanted to say. It was a very gradual slide, but something I noticed and discussed with contemporaries.

That was the first wave. Then came facebook and its "like" button.

One megalithic site, in the course of a few years, transformed our cultural consciousness about the way we engage with online material (among other things). You like an image? Want to thank the artist? Just click the like. No need to spend any time composing a coherent remark. You don't have time for that anyway. I do not think it's an accident that deviantArt rolled out its "favorites" button shortly after FB became a cultural phenomenon, and I watched the same thing happen there that had happened at elfwood - a plummeting in comments, critique, and true engagement in favor of an avalanche of "favorites". It's quick and easy. And of course, it's not unpleasant. If somebody likes something enough to fave or like it, that's mildly gratifying to me as an artist. I don't dislike them. But I do miss the days when there was more back-and-forth connection between me and my viewers, a sense of fan community.

The problem with the system is that it creates a certain psychological distance between a creator and the audience. The internet is a visual playground, filled with images that are so easy to view and download that many in the general public mistakenly believe that once something is posted online it is no longer copyright-protected. We can browse artwork so effortlessly that it has become a cheap consumable. And cheap consumables, like processed food, are not made by people (in our perceptions). They are made by factories. Would you write a comment on ConAgra's website telling them what a great job they do on your breakfast cereal?

It has become very easy to ignore the fact that someone poured their skill and time and passion into the images before our eyes. I saw some jerk on DevArt once leave a rant on his front page telling artists to stop thanking him for faving their work. It annoyed him. All he wanted was to collect his favorite images in a convenient, one-click process, without even having to acknowledge that there was a human being involved in their creation. He didn't even want their gratitude. He just wanted to ignore them.

Where am I going with this novel? Only this: to point out the reason it is mostly other artists who comment on comics. You are fighting a consumer culture mindset, and artists are the ones who understand what your work takes out of you. In some ways, it can be seen as an improvement - one thoughtful comment is worth about twenty comments that are just some variant of "wow! cool! love this!" etc. (Not that those are bad by any means; they're about one step up from the like button). To give you an idea of “good” engagement, I get an average of 145 visitors a day, and 5-8 comments on each page. Maybe half a dozen "regulars", and I adore them. If they are fellow artists whose work I follow, I try to reciprocate (this is tough, because my tastes in comics are very limited, and I sometimes feel bad that I just can't get into the work of someone who has faithfully engaged with my comic).

Even wildly popular comics on this site have vastly varying rates of commenting. And the most popular do not ever beg for comments, though now and then you might see an author ask a question. That can backfire, though. Sometimes I see a page like that which still has no comments, and it makes me feel really wretched for that creator, because it looks a little...pathetic. So you must factor that in before you deliberately ask for comments. If you ask, and don't get, that's even worse than not getting in the first place.

Ultimately, you have to be creating because you are driven, not for whether or not anybody else gives you feedback. You won't maintain any momentum otherwise.
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14th Dec 2017, 2:47 PM #20
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Robotwin.com:I agree too. I nominate Travis to make a list of events.



Sorry if I seemed too cavalier about it. I agree it would be a big deal for a small time artist to have go to court and pay damages and fines. But fan artists still aren't thieves and it's not right to treat them that way.

Okay, to drive home the stakes:


from https://www.lib.purdue.edu/uco/CopyrightBasics/penalties.html

Why should a fan artist go to freakin' jail? If fan artists are going to jail, something is really extremely wrong with the law and the culture here. But I think this applies more to counterfeiting, not fan art. Fan art seems more in the grey area of "fair use" to me. But I do implore determined fan artists to proceed with caution, make your fan art as "transformative" as you can.

https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html


I didn't mean to sound accusatory! I just want to make sure anybody reading knew that paying a few fines doesn't necessarily equate to a few bucks and you're scot-free.

And I agree wholeheartedly about your take on fanart. My entire comic is a fanwork, and I can't sell it, have a patreon on it, or profit from it in any way, and it stinks. But it's a labor of love, and I'd rather continue it than be shut down by the copyright holder. Even so, should they one day decide to defend their copyright, I would have no choice but to take it all down or risk the above penalties.

It also sucks the way big corporations can lobby to have copyright laws changed continuously. You can thank Disney for the fact that anything as far back as Steamboat Mickey is not already in public domain. :(
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