That Buzzing Noise
Submitted by The Gneech on February 16, 2007 - 11:08
As I'm sure people who know me will attest, I am always fretting about wanting to create "buzz". I don't know if it's my inner attention whore or what, but I'm always fighting off the vague suspicion that all the work I pour into my comics generates little more than a shrug from the world at large.
From a philosophical point of view, my basic opinion is that the best way to generate buzz is by making comics so good that people will naturally want to talk about them. The problem with that is that a) the public is fickle, and b) what I consider really good comics and what the general public consider to be really good comics, only rarely overlap.
That was one of the big things that struck me about ComicCon -- there were rows and rows and rows of people trying desperately to make an impression. Of course, fandom being what it is, the usual cheese certainly drew an easy crowd, but that's also a fickle crowd. The next booth over, with a variation on the usual cheese, drew the same crowd five minutes later.
So knowing that the fanlemmings are not really worth pursuing ('cause they'll forget you as fast as they adopted you), I tend to concentrate on building a more stable if noticeably smaller core audience. But it sometimes feels like even they have wandered off. The Suburban Jungle forum has only a handful of regular posters, and they spend a lot of their time in the OT threads rather than discussing the strip. Fanmail tends to be light on analysis, just a cheerful "I enjoy your strip." Don't get me wrong, I'm glad people enjoy it -- but there doesn't seem to be much depth to that enjoyment. It doesn't seem to mean much to people.
I'm not sure what to do about it, or even if there's really anything to be done really. It might just me being neurotic (A neurotic artist? There's a novelty!). I don't expect SJ to ever be as big as, say, Omaha the Cat Dancer -- although I'd love for it to be. But NN I think has the potential to be a popular mainstream work, if we can just get it out there somehow.
Speaking of which, NN will be 10 years old next year -- the prospect is mind-boggling. Have I really been doing webcomics for a decade? And I'm still fretting about creating buzz?
I must be a loony! 0.o