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Leftovers

As the week draws to a close, I thought I'd wrap my guest blogging stint up with some assorted things I've learned over the years, that didn't quite fit into the other articles. Maybe you'll find them useful, too.

Characteristics of the Wild Cartoonist

 

  • When it comes to drawing, only the first 10% and last 10% are any fun. The rest is just getting from point A to B.
  • Layout the words first, then come up with the artwork. Don't cross the tails on your word balloons; it's confusing and pulls the reader out of the comic. Rework the scene, if you have to.
  • Word-balloon tails should point towards the speaker's mouth, as though to say “This is where the words are coming from.” Close enough isn't.
  • If you're using a comics font for your lettering, note the difference between the capital and lowercase “I.” Act accordingly.
  • The stuff you're proud of now will make you cringe in six months.
  • Sometimes you're having a bad day, or you're mad busy or you're just feeling worn out and can't seem to get something to look right. Cut-and-paste is fine, in these situations. Just remember that the only way your skills will improve is by producing original art.
  • Think carefully before selecting your comic's dimensions. It's one of the most important decisions you'll make.
  • If you're spending more time working on the art for your banner ad than you do on an average panel, reexamine your priorities.
  • Sincerity trumps irony nine times out of ten.
  • The dramatic monologue is rarely found in the wild.
  • Trust in your audience. Don't over-explain the joke. Make the obscure reference, if you want. Worst case, they make a quick detour to Google.
  • Be modest, but go easy on the self-deprecation. You're expected to be dissatisfied with your work sometimes; it doesn't mean that everyone else will be. And if it's really that bad, maybe you shouldn't be uploading it.
  • If your update schedule is too rigorous, you'll always be focused on just getting the next comic out there. If it's too lax, you'll try to make the comic perfect, to justify the wait. Pick a schedule that'll keep you productive while allowing you to spend some time improving your skills.
  • Writing scripts ahead of time takes away a huge amount of stress and allows you to mull over different approaches to the artwork before you start drawing. But, there's something to be said for the last-minute product of frenzied panic.
  • Make comics like nobody's watching. Which they probably won't be, for a while.

That's it, gang! Hope you enjoyed my time here, or at least found it tolerable. Thanks again to Xerexes for the invitation, and feel free to check out my comics at tweep.com!