Getting An Audience

I found this article quite helpful in breaking down the steps of building an audience on a web comic, because in all honestly social media and online communities are things that I’m just not that familiar with, so this was essential for walking through it.

I’ll just write down the four main steps but I’d definitely recommend going and reading the article in full. Thats the four main phases but in each phase it breaks it down further into the various steps and questions you should be asking when working out your own webcomic.

Four Main Steps

1. CREATE YOUR BRAND

2. BUILD A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE

3. BECOME ACTIVE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

4. PRACTICE CONTENT MARKETING

Harvard Citations

Peterson, J.R.. (2012). Build a Strong Online Presence for Artists in Four Phases. Available: https://www.indiemade.com/resource/build-strong-online-presence-artists-four-phases. Last accessed 25th Apr 2017.

Comic Research

Jennie sent me some helpful links to a comic book artist she follows.

Which was tremendously helpful because I have absolutely no idea about any of this internet art world stuff. I just like to make diagrams.

This is an artist’s book that she is hoping to emulate by selling her own book (Holly that is) in the same way:
https://ironcircus.com/shop/ebooks/27-let-s-kickstart-a-comic-pdf-ebook.html

This is her website:
http://endallgraphics.com

This is her tumblr:
http://hollycbrown.com

This is her instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/h.c.brown/

This is her store:
http://endallstore.storenvy.com

So a common thread is that they either are eponymous or they go under the brand End All Graphics. Personally, I think it would have been better if she stayed with the eponymous angle, because then all artwork would be synonymous with her, rather than slightly confusing things with the alternative brand she has. Simply as a point of having a strong unified brand, but that’s just my opinion.

What is very apparent through her various social media and stores, is that she has a very distinct and consistent style, which is what we should take away from this. Everything links together nicely, it’s easy to find the links to her other channels, and the work is clearly displayed when you navigate the various links leaving no doubt as to what her style is.

 

Substance and Alphas

Creating alphas for substance

  1. I created an alpha in Photoshop to create the teeth on the red part of the hand drill
  2. Saved it as a .tif file for best quality
  3. Open Substance
  4. File > Import image > Select your Alpha
  5. Your new alpha should be in the brush list

Harvard Citation

Ronn, J. ( 2016). Substance Painter – Adding Custom Alpha. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OanyrA9onh8. Last accessed 24th Apr 2017.

 

Substance and Normal Maps

Both James and Rachel showed me how to do this, but I didn’t write it down and subsequently forgot.

Thankfully, there was a tutorial on the subject and I only needed the first two minutes to get the answer to my question.

Adding detail with Normal Maps

  1. Add empty layer
  2. Turn off every channel except normal
  3. Add normal stamp of your choosing to the normal channel
  4. Turn off alpha (prevents softening of the edges)
  5. Make sure flow is at 100%
  6. Click away

TIP: Hold cmd and click to create a line of detail.

Source:

Courses Planet [Graphics & Animation & others]. (2017). substance painter __ Adding Details – Stamping Normal Maps. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KHHs41jzwM. Last accessed 12th Apr 2017.

Research

Comic Research

Tips on Beginning:

  • Make it for the right reasons – you want to
  • Read a lot of comics
  • Carry a notebook in case you have any ideas
  • Set an update schedule and stick to it
  • Start it right now – don’t keep putting it off

Planning:

  • Create a compelling concept
  • Create your characters e.g. backstories and personalities
  • Keep your style & schedule doable
  • Get feedback
  • Plan out your schedule so you get into a habit
  • Have a buffer- in case your sick or fall behind so that you can still update regularly
  • Promote your comic as much as you can and engage with the community

Additional Notes:

  • Share your comic on the hosting sites forum
  • Promote it as much as possible with social media
  • Engage as much as possible with other content creators e.g. on Tapastic interact with other webcomic artists – Fleen is also geared towards networking the web comic creators as is Webcomic Alliance
  • Make sure your text is legible
  • Make sure you actually enjoy the process
  • Consider future printing possibilities so save 300dpi and consider colours so converting RGB to CYMK
  • Choose the name carefully
  • Strive to keep improving your art

Some free hosting site for comics, that we hadn’t known about, mentioned are www.smackjeeves.com. Need to look into them more. A free resource is  Making Comics for helping get your started.

Biggest Mistakes:

  • Expecting too much too soon
  • Business before comic e.g. Merchandising before really establishing a loyal fanbase
  • Overworking/Unsustainable schedule

Recommended Reading

Making Comics and Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Light for Visual Artists by Richard Yot

Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Critical Theory Today by Lois Tyson

The Webcomics Handbook by Brad Gulgar

Logo Research

We found Logo pond to be our favourite site for inspiration as the logos were all fairly minimalistic. We didn’t really like the isometric logos that we looked at but it did push in the direction of incorporating geometric shapes into the design.

Logo Design Tips:

  • 2 pictures wrapped in one (like the Boat logo, one way it’s just a letter another its a picture)
  • Colour is important but it should still work greyscale
  • Avoid repeating the same design style over and over, for example, circular badge divided into segments. Try and make it ageless rather than following a trend.
  • Make it unique/ instantly recognisable
  • Try use custom font
  • Keep it simple stupid!
  • Think about proportion and symmetry
  • Maybe incorporate negative space (see Fedex Arrow)
  • Is it passive e.g. Apple logo or active e.g. Twitter Logo
  • Have a meaning to the design

Danny likes the idea of a jumping wolf design with geometry incorporated into it, which I quite like the thought of doing so I said I would.

Danny got in touch with some comic book related people, I can’t remember the different names so we wrote up a list of questions to ask them, which are in my notebook.

To Do List:

NAT: Costing + research examples + logo
DAN: Concept sketches + write out story +try to do a page
BOTH: Names

Harvard Citations:

bigred22. (2012). Cork & Cow. Available: https://logopond.com/bigred22/showcase/detail/177215. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Carvarel, J. (2009). 20 TIPS for Webcomic Beginners!. Available: https://heylookcomics.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/20-tips-for-webcomic-beginners/. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Corres, S. (2014). 30 Examples Of Marvelous Wolf Logo Designs.Available: http://naldzgraphics.net/inspirations/wolf-logo-designs/. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Davies, L. (2014). The Biggest Mistakes People Make When They Start A Webcomic. Available: http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-they-start-a-webc-1614779817. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Davies, L. (2015). Want To Start A Webcomic? Here’s The Best Advice Around. Available: http://io9.gizmodo.com/want-to-start-a-webcomic-heres-the-best-advice-around-1687769556. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

designtrends. (2017). Unique and Inspiring Isometric Logo Designs.Available: https://www.designtrends.com/graphic-web/logo-designs/isometric-logo-designs.html. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Johnson, J. (2013). 10 Tips for Designing Logos That Don’t Suck.Available: https://designshack.net/articles/inspiration/10-tips-for-designing-logos-that-dont-suck/. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Mundhenke, R. (2013). My Top Ten Tips for Starting a Webcomic.Available: http://webcomicdojo.com/post/28055048872/my-top-ten-tips-for-starting-a-webcomic. Last accessed 11th July 2017.

Pojo. (2016). Webcomic Tips. Available: http://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/not-good/how-to-start-a-webcomic-tips/viewer?title_no=23913&episode_no=14. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Quinn, M. (2011). Advice on Starting a Webcomic. Available: http://goknights.tumblr.com/post/15854328722/advice-on-starting-a-webcomic. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

studywebteam. (2008). 50 Tools & Resources to Start a Webcomic.Available: http://www.studyweb.com/50-tools-and-resources-to-help-you-start-a-webcomic/. Last accessed 11th July 2017.

wikiHow. (2017). How to Make a Webcomic. Available: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Webcomic. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.