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why are your comics online?

This question prolly comes up often, but I'm just wondering what made some of you decide to put your work online.

My disillusionment with comic publishing drove me online (a bad publishing experience and several rejections). Is this the case others, too? Just wondering what some of your stories were.

Steve Ince's picture

I get a real buzz from creating them and hope that people who read it also get something back. I love creating them and without an audience I may as well be burying them in the woods. :)

Bryan Prindiville's picture

My "real" job is good for a solid buck, in my field and not always very much of a creative outlet. About a year and a half ago they started having me do little illustrations now and again. I found I enjoyed it and decided to try comic-ing. My first attempt was really forced but a good exercise online.

Now my recent attempt (I feel) is better, more me and available for other people to read. Since its not my "real" job that it doesn't really make any money doesn't bother me and I really enjoy watching my readership grow online. I'd be drawing whether I was online or not but knowing there are people out there who keep coming back to see my work makes it more fun.


I originally posted online

I originally posted online because I wanted to have a sample for
Modern Tales to see. I thought, slightly more than a year ago, that
there couldn't possibly be many online comics. Boy, was I wrong!

Now that I've been posting GoA for more than a year, I can't think
of a better format to get my stuff read. That was the biggest hurdle
when I was using the old copy machine method. Even if 3 or 4 folks at
the local comic shop bought my comic, I never got any feedback.

It's not like I'm writing to become a millionaire, I just feel I
HAVE to get my story out. And I feel it's a good story. It just feels
so good to have folks read my comic after ten years of being ignored.

Now there are probably about a hundred fans who read my comic and
about a dozen or so who instantly tell me what they like and don't
like. I would have paid for that sort of attention, but I've been very
lucky and have spent very little for my web presence.

Also, my comic's drawing style is sort of cartoony and sort of not,
and I don't think there are any publishers who would take a chance on
it for a printed version. I figure I'll do it myself and see what

"Anonymous" wrote: I'm

Anonymous wrote:
I'm still learning, and while what I do might no t be good enough for being published, it may be good enough to some people, so now they're able to see it, and maybe even give some feedback in return...

Pretty much the same here. I'm not good enough to get published, and I can't think who would publish me here in the UK even if I was. If anything I approached things backwards - instead of doing a comic because I was good enough to do it, I did it because I wasn't. I hoped that eventually the pressures of doing a regular comic strip would force me to become a decent artist, but after a year I pretty much stink as much as I ever did. :(
But seriously, assuming I didn't want to do an online comic, what's the alternative for someone like me who's just starting out? I could take on the task of printing, publishing and distributing StarStrikers myself, probably at a significant cost... Lord knows who I'd distribute it to, because there isn't even a comic store within 90 miles here in the Highlands of Scotland. Mainstream newsagents wouldn't give me the time of day since my comic isn't called Bob the Builder, or aimed at 3-year olds, and it doesn't have a free slide whistle taped to the cover.
Hypothetically speaking though, let's assume that somehow I do manage to convince some distant comic stores to carry my stuff. How many people are going to bypass the mountains of Marvel/DC/other mainstream stuff in order to read my shoddy little comic? Two or three, tops, I'd imagine. So after all that trouble and expense, I've managed to snag three readers. Let's hope they'll be able to find my next issue, otherwise I'm back where I started. Actually, let's just hope I can afford to *print* a second issue. o_0
By comparison, on the web I can do this at next to no cost. I renew my domain names once a year, same with my hosting, and that's about it. Occasionally I have to shell out for other things like my tablet, drawing board or stationary, but all of those things are either one-off deals or relatively minor obstacles. My work can be seen in color, it's legible, and looks presentable. If I was popular obviously I'd have to worry bandwidth and the cost of hosting a lot more, but I doubt I'll ever have to cross that bridge, so to speak. In fact, after all that, I have two or three readers, just like I would have through the print method, but it's much less time consuming, frustrating or expensive. For me, online distribution wins easily.

ObWhy (although it's a goal, not a going concern; right now it's all just planning materials under lock and filter): hell, I stick everything else online; why not this too?

kittykatya's picture

I can't make people stay still long enough to tattoo the latest comics on their foreheads where others can read it.

Well, not really, but being on the web does give you a bit more immediate feedback on ideas and art style.

I like to use gobs of color.


That was me, apparently the auto-login didn't wanted me to autolog...

I started "It Could Have Happened" because I was broke, bored, and it was cathartic. It's one thing to rant about the injustices of the world from the comfort of your own home. It's something else all together if other people can hear you rant about the injustices of the world from the comfort of your own home. Coming straight out of college to a stagnant economy left me with time to kill. The webcomic became a way for me to express what I was going through in a tangible form. I never set out to do a webcomic. It just sort of happened.

Why Online?

story determines layout - not vice versa: Infinite Canvas
One of the things that I always struggled with was fitting the story to the layout of the page. Now I let the layout come from the story. Yes, there's still constraints (screen resolution, monitor size, file size, etc etc) but I find I'm no longer as concerned with bending or twisting the story in order to fill the empty corner at the bottom right of page 17.

fighting Newtonian physics: Distribution
An object at rest tends to stay at rest. Even moreso if the object at rest is a comics reader.

Under the print distribution system, I had to convince a reader to give my book a try. They had to get out of their comfy chair. Travel quite a distance to a comic retailer. Nine times out of ten, the retailer wasn't carrying my book. Now - if this hadn't already dissuaded my potential reader, we'd have to contend with the retailer at rest. Too many times I'd hear about retailers who recieved requests for my book but who wouldn't order my book because it was too much of a hassle to do a reorder for a single book for a single customer. Lets face it - that's just way way too much work and hassle for fifteen minutes of entertainment.

Online - I tell you about my comics and you're a click away. You don't have to travel. You don't have to argue with your ISP to carry my site. I don't have to contend with a store full of Spiderman and Batman comics to crowd out and hide my comics. I don't have to contend with retailers who scare away potential readers of mine.

Online, to tell is to deliver.

Money money money: Low Overhead
Hosting. Bandwidth. Relatively speaking, they're cheap as dirt.
For a print run of 2000 b&w comics with colour cover, I'd likely pay about $1500 US in printing and shipping. Online, I can deliver the same amount of comics in full colour for a fraction the cost.

comics updated, now talk to me people: instant gratification and feedback
Print comics have about a lag time of several weeks between completion and delivery. When I finish a comic online I post it and budda bing budda boom it's delivered. Within seconds I can start recieving feedback on my work. that's why I'm working online.

Isn't being offensive a beautiful thing? I completly agree that the web provides a degree of freedom that print currently doesn't offer.

m_estrugo's picture

I post my comic on the Internet because it lets me be totally free and do whatever I want without having to consider any of the problems of printing on paper.

Besides, Internet is easy and simple to access for the creator and the reader. No need to go to the published and annoy the editor until he/she publishes you, IF he/she publishes you. Internet makes the contact between the creator and the reader instantaneous, no matter if you're catering for 4 people or for millions.

Or the stuff. :)

For Marketing Reasons

When my artist and I were deciding what format to do our comic (The Nice Guy) in, it was originally going straight to print. Along the way, we got the idea that maybe we start with it online. That evolved into a simple idea of marketing.

We're just getting started, but our plan goes like this. We start with the web page--which we did. We provide, on the 1st and 15th of every month, a new self-contained comic (anywhere from 1-5 pages). People can enjoy them (we hope!) for free. No problem. But we're still going to publication (this summer). The site then becomes sort of a marketing tool to sell the comic. We'll be selling issues, and merchandise, off the site. The site will hopefully, thereafter, become a central hub, where we can keep in touch with fans (assuming we get any) and make announcements, etc. And there will always be free comics available, too.

That's pretty much why we're online. But I must tell you...even if the book doesn't take off? We're having a hell of a fun time doing it this way for free. As other people have mentioned, its very freeing getting around all the restrictions and roadblocks of publishers. It's total artistic freedom...and a great way for people all over the world to see your stuff. I'm a big believer in the online comics revolution (I was converted at a panel by Scott McCloud at San Diego Comic-Con one year), and I'm having a great time being a part of it. Does it make you money? Hell, no. But since when did comics make anyone money anyway who didn't work for Image? It's all about the joy of creating and sharing, and there's no better forum to accomplish both these things than online comics.

Because today's newspaper comics have become lobotomized into mind-numbing gerbil-vomit. I wanted to write about real people with real problems, like what to do if your girlfriend finds your porn, or your geeky friend rigs a Teddy Ruxpin into a virtual sex doll to cure the world's ills. These are important storylines that your average Family Circus soccer mom would probably have a coronary over.

It's a hobby. And I like praise.

hah. my friend and I moved to different cities. so we couldn't pass them out in school anymore. so we moved online.
so exciting..
minus the exciting part..

I'm still learning, and while what I do might no t be good enough for being published, it may be good enough to some people, so now they're able to see it, and maybe even give some feedback in return...

I do it because its fun. And takes little effort. What could be better?

I post my comics online for an entirely egotistical reason: I think I am good. I think I have SOME talent, and like to share it with people. Is that a bad thing? AM I A BAD PERSON FOR WANTING TO BE LOVED?!

Too bad I get no hits. :)


My therapist sugegsted I put them online in order to get rid of this dementd belief that people care about comics.

Quote: But since when did

But since when did comics make anyone money anyway who didn't work for Image? It's all about the joy of creating and sharing, and there's no better forum to accomplish both these things than online comics.

I see that as a problem, though. And even if you work with bigger publishers, you're still not making that much money. Online is definitely great for sharing your comic and gaining an audience, but I want comics to be my career, not just a hobby. I can't have it as a career if I can't dedicate myself to it full time, and I can't dedicate it to myself full time if I have to work outside of comics in order to get by. So many artists have this problem, so I'm not alone. I'm just not going to give up until I've exhausted all of my options, and working online while self publishing is one of them~ :oops:

Because the market is overwhelmed with superheroes? Actually, I just didn't care. I saw it as a medium I could share my work over and build an audience, because to me, an audience BEFORE publishing seemed much more logical than just putting out a book.