There are basically two kinds of support webcomics creators need: moral/emotional and financial. Making webcomics can be a tough slog. It can seem, especially in the early years of a comic, that we're working in a vacuum and that maybe no one's reading. But, when you do get that occasional email from a fan – whoa, what a feeling! But when traffic stats are low or merchandise isn't selling or we get a terrible review, we need support and encouragement that keep us going.
I'm sure for many of us it comes from loved ones and friends. I suspect many of us find other sources, too (for instance, just re-reading Split Lip stories that I haven't looked at in a while can get me excited again; so can seeing a published comic that I think is no good).
So, the first of a trio of questions in this post: webcomic creators, besides family and friends, where do you get support and get re-invigorated when you're having a tough day?
The second kind of support that's pretty important to making a webcomic go is financial support. Not every webcomic is created with the idea that it will become an institution, a merchandise machine, or a cultural phenomenom. Some people simply create their comic for the joy of it and that's enough. Many others, though, would at least like to break even, if not start making money from their comics.
Revenue is generated from ads or shirts, books or commissions. Sometimes readers will even just donate (I'm looking forward to meeting my first patron of that type!).
But sometimes we don't just sell product; sometime we straight out ask for donations – a recent Achewood appeal is a good example of this. And that's what I'm curious about. How does that work? Print comics publishers have had to do that periodically over the years to stay afloat and it's worked, though it also seems to generate some backlash.
Creators, have you ever directly asked readers for support? Did you offer a premium in returnt? How did it go over?
Readers: have you run into these kinds of appeals from webcomics creators? How did they strike you? Did you donate?
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