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If your comic isn't popular in one year, it won't ever be

Just something I've been thinking about lately. It seems like all of the giants of the webcomic world reached a decent size (10,000+ readers) within their first year.

So instead of telling newbies to be persistant, should we be telling them to give it a year, then try something else?

Any examples to the contrary?

Jamie Robertson's picture

I quit my day job and COTC in under 10,000. I also have an extra comic as subscription only. Incidently, COTC's uniques continue to rise after nearly six years. Of course, COTC only updates 3 days a week and if you add the uniques per comic, then it is over 10,000. Go figure.

Jamie

Chris Cantrell's picture

[quote:91ea02bff5="J.Jacques"]One final thought: everyone I know who is doing this full-time is getting at LEAST 15,000 readers per day. 95% of them are getting significantly more than that. 10,000 is a nice big round number but it's not some magical threshold that, once crossed, guarantees you a significant income.

By full-time you mean does it as a career?

Haunted Pixel Studios www.hauntedpixelstudios.com

Chris Cantrell's picture

[quote:7034e4fb3a="TylerMartin"]You don't push any specific comics. The organization would just be there to promote "webcomic awareness" in forms beyond the web.

To let people know to check on the internet for some great comics to read as an alternate source of entertainment. Inform them that the Sunday funnies didn't die with the Peanuts, and that comics are a source of entertainment for all ages and types of people.

-Tyler

Well, if you had spare cash I suppose one could accomplish that by taking out a full page ad in the newspaper. That would only be one paper but I'm thinking baby steps.

Haunted Pixel Studios www.hauntedpixelstudios.com

David Wright's picture

As to the topic of this thread, it is false.

My comic wasn't popular for WELL OVER a year. Heck, even 3 years before I saw anything close to what I liked in numbers. Not until the 5th year did I hit KeenSpot. Sure, it's not Penny Arcade or PVP yet, but I have things in the works and I am getting a nice regular audience, and I'm on KeenSpot.

My artwork was horrible for a looooooooong time. I worked my way through it, though. I'm not as good as I would like to be yet, but I do a decent job and the comic looks better than some syndicate artwork. Had I quit after one year, I would not have had all the wonderful interaction I've had with the readers over the years.

Not that their is any sure-fire way to success, nor am I the one to say what works, but some suggestions: practice, get better, work on your stuff before going online with it until it is ready. This will help you refine your stuff and avoid turning people off to bad stuff and never giving you a shot down the road.

Once you are comfortable with your stuff, advertise online. Here at Comixpedia, KeenSpot, Yirmumah, PVP, Penny Arcade, Theater Hopper, Something Positive, Fark.com are all good sites with nice returns.

A newspaper ad is not the best investment of money for readership. If you are trying for syndicate attention, well, maybe... but if you have that kind of money to throw around, you probably aren't trying to get syndicated.

Spend some money on your product, treat it as a business and set real goals for yourself. Find someone who DOES a good job marketing themselves, maybe they can help you figure a strategy.

Most of all, as others have said, don't judge your success on numbers alone. If you are enjoying it, keep at it.

Townie's picture

As someone who's observed webcomics a couple of years, I'd say the hypothesis of this thread is inaccurate. The big names everyone flocks to these days when they think of success didn't start out as big as they are now. Most of them have been doing it for 6-7 years. How many of us even knew webcomics existed before 2000? In the short time I've been reading them, I've seen tiny strips get popular and I've seen huge sites dry up. You can't go judging success by all the PVPs and PAs out there. That's like judging American business by all the McDonalds and the Nikes. It takes time to lay down a framework of achievement and some people are lucky their plans work faster than others. But in so many years, how many webcomics on the scene are even going to be here? What's to keep the popular strips from abandoning the web format all together? Plenty of comics are just using the web as a jumping off point. And who's to say the most historic webcomic of all time has even been hosted yet? Every year we see some comics come and go because of this boom or bust philosophy. They didn't make it rich quick so they feel they've failed. From what I've seen, the longer you stay on the web, the more likely you are to succeed. It makes sense if you think about it. Nobody went to the movies to see Van Wilder as a freshman, they all went to see him as the guy who'd been there awhile and learned how to work things to his advantage.

- Ben

Re: IF your comic isn't popular...

Townie's picture

[quote:0202bb9720="bigcheesepress"]We all know how few paintings Van Gogh sold in his life.

Um, that would be one

- Ben

Townie's picture

You can try to calculate a hit but there's never any guarantee. It's better just to work to produce good work, worry about making money off of a hit after you actually have a hit

- Ben

Townie's picture

[quote:6002d5f2dc="TylerMartin"]
I believe in the entertainment industry, everyone is competing with everyone, there is only so much time for entertainment. If I have a half hour a day I can sit and read comics, I'm going to read my favorites in that time, and if I find some new favorites, some might have to fall by the wayside.

Your logic is a little skewed. When you compete for attention in general, like when you're on a toplist or sarting out, sure, you could be competing with everyone. But realistically that's almost never the case. Audiences aren't the same all over the web. People can have varying tastes and it really depends on who you're aiming the material for and what they like. Take MegaTokyo, for example. There are people who will read it simply because it's manga. Will they ever read any other webcomics? You can't guarantee it. And there are also people who will never read it simply because it's manga. Do they not count now? Same goes for gamer comics. The hardcore gamers who read Penny Arcade religiously might not be inclined to read something like Bruno. Would it be accurate to say Sexy Losers competes for the same readers as something more general like Count Your Sheep? Some strips will just never have a chance with certain readers . Likewise, some eclectic people will read all kinds of unrelated strips. This is why there are strips some of us never heard of with readerships in the thousands.

- Ben

Townie's picture

[quote:5635469cbe="anywherebut"]So what IS a good number to have by the end of your first year?

500 a day? 1,000 a day? 10,000?

Just curious, I've hit my one year and have felt pretty good about hitting 450 unique visitors per day.

It all depends on what you want to do with it. If you sit back at the end of the day and say, "No, I want to have a bigger audience," then practically any number isn't going to be good enough unless it's the one you see in your head. But if you're doing it as a hobby and don't care if it sinks or floats, then barely having any visitors at all is good

- Ben

Townie's picture

[quote:b8b01db92e="Anonymous"]Um....Isn't Ctrl+Alt+Del pretty damn close to HUGE? Didn't he start in 2002 or 2003?
Depends on your idea of huge. It's certainly bigger than alot of us, but then you compare it to PA or PVP... http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?&range=6m&size=medium&y=r&url=cad-comic.com#top

- Ben

Townie's picture

I don't use Alexa myself, but I've heard it toted for it's accuracy the higher up your traffic is. It would certainly be nice to see a public traffic comparison tool that doesn't have a rep with some people as spyware, but so far it's the best I've seen

- Ben

I think that you should create the comic you want to read and love drawing and writing. That's the best path to success. If you write it for yourself and you like it, there's a good chance that your strip will have a truth and honesty to it that will appeal to others.

That being said, if after a year, your comic isn't generating the attention you want it to, there are some things to consider.

Is your work getting out there? Are you getting linked, reviewed, mentioned? If you just aren't positioning yourself to get potential new readers, you might want to rethink what you're currently doing...or try to come up with new ways to get people to see your work for the first time.

If you've done all that already, and these new readers aren't sticking, it's time to review the work and see what's working and what's failing. Maybe it's time to try something new. If for no other reason than to stir up the old creative juicies.

I think a lot of people are still clinging to the strips they created when they were kids and not giving new ideas a shot with readers. You can really get attached to your characters and it's hard to divorce yourself from the little guys you've been drawing since you were in grade school.

But giving up entirely after one year may not be the best idea.

In my opinion.

LGraf's picture

Defined or not, the bottom line seems to be that if you're not known in a year's time, you pretty much have no chance to be popular. Some can beat that, but not everyone does.

If you read the editorials and blogs of the ones who have made it, it's within a year or two of their being online that their popularity hit and has been going up ever since. So there seems to be some confirmation.

--L.G.Twilight Agency: my frustration, my insanity... http://twilightagency.com

Man, so not true. There is no "okay, it's a success nnnnnnNOW" delimiter. And 10,000 readers won't pay your bills if they aren't buying a ton of merchandise.

If you are doing comics because you like to do them, then you may or may not be "successful" in a year. But if you start out worried about your readership and your ads and your merchandise and your pageviews, you'll fail. Your heart isn't in the right place.

Kristofer Straub www.starslip.com

LGraf's picture

[quote:598afce895="anywherebut"]So what IS a good number to have by the end of your first year?

500 a day? 1,000 a day? 10,000?

Just curious, I've hit my one year and have felt pretty good about hitting 450 unique visitors per day.

If you're all about numbers and what sort of profit you can make on your numbers, then no. If you're all about sharing and don't much care about numbers, then yes.

I've been at it since 2001. 455 was the highest we've hit, but that was a bit ago and our numbers are down currently. The artist tends to be slow and been on hiatus too many times.

--L.G.Twilight Agency: my frustration, my insanity... http://twilightagency.com

Quote:
Webcomic success stories are so seldom, you know, and maybe they happened to those guys because they didn't care about it at all, and did what they do primarily for fun and love.

It's a nice sentiment, but I doubt that played any big role. Many many artists make their comics because they enjoy what they're doing. Even the people that make comics that we think are uncreative, unfunny, or whatever are probably being created by someone that isn't very creative and isn't very funny, but still wants to make comics. And on the other end of the spectrum: Garfield.

Quote:
(When was the last time a gamer comic brought something new to the table? :Wink).

I don't know, but I've never performed a survey of gamer comics and probably couldn't name more than 3. Though I honestly wouldn't be surprised to find a gamer comic that was kicking ass and not being recognized for it because it used games as its primary topic.

Anyways: not popular in a year = not popular ever is pretty likely. It's basic probability really =\ The longer it takes for something to happen for someone, the longer it will take for things to get in motion and the longer it will take for it to ultimately come to fruition. That final point is one most people won't meet. Someone milling about with a small audience(like myself!) for several years shouldn't expect to be able to reproduce the huge success another comic had in a few months, because if they could, they probably would have already.

<a xhref="http://www.kiwisbybeat.com" target=blank>Kiwis by beat!</a>

Garfield.

There's no reason to think someone has to enjoy what they do in order to become popular with it. Plenty of actors have seen great success as duos even though they hated working with each other(Cybil Sheppard and Bruce Willis, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey). Musicians that have no creative control over their music have people working behind them to make that special mix of bland and simple music that sells millions. Movies like Triple X are developped conceptually, apparently, by committee with the goal being adding whatever they can to appeal to their target demographic in the most banal ways and not for the joy of creation. Some stand up comics have mentioned their genuine distaste for performing in front of audiences.

So how much do they have to enjoy it, exactly, to be successful? Producing comics is a skill, just like acting or composing or whatever. In the end, what makes something a quality product is how skilled the person working on it is, and how much effort they put into it. It is possible to put the effort in even if you don't have fun doing it. That's what work is for most people. Earning money can be motivation as easily as "making the best comic ever!" can be, and just because someone doesn't enjoy themselves doesn't mean they have to phone it in. People that hate each other can have great chemistry on stage, because they know that it's their job to have that chemistry, and they're capable of doing that job. If you're creative enough to have a strong concept for a comic, and talented enough to pull it off, then I don't see why you can't be in a position to have a popular comic. There's the question of why bother with it at all, if you don't like it... but you know, whatever. I'm not them. It could be as simple as making use of the skills you have instead of just doing whatever.

Audiences review the finished work. How that work comes to be doesn't matter so long as it is worth their time, and I don't see how enjoying what you do is a requirement for that. Other than the fact that it sounds nice.

A more interesting thing to do would be to find the webcomic artists that aren't into making their comics at all. I've not come across them. They are a quiet bunch and I suspect they lie in order to infiltrate the "I enjoy my work!" club as part of their masochistic tendencies.

<a xhref="http://www.kiwisbybeat.com" target=blank>Kiwis by beat!</a>

Keenspot should do it. Someone tell them "hey, buy an ad in the NYtimes".

<a xhref="http://www.kiwisbybeat.com" target=blank>Kiwis by beat!</a>

Don't be a Sour Grape :roll:

RE: these guys may be too busy getting laid to read webcomic

Stepping past the huge superiority complex, I'd just like to point out Real Life, RPGWorld, Sluggy, Mac Hal, and CAD were not sucesses in thier first year. Neither was MT if the first manga volume's forward is any indication.

Sometimes, comics hit a bloom deep into thier run. For example, only now do I see Shifters or Errant Story getting quick mentions on webcomic threads on the forums I skulk.

Actually, I think that if someone sat down and planned it out, they could formulate a hit. ITs a function of knowing the moneymaking part of the sudience, targeting them, and reaching them.

IMO, that's not a good thing, but when you have people building bands and movies specifically for the shakedown and suceeding, it probably is possible.

Aaaaaand that joke has officially reached the 'not funny for the ten millionth time' congratulations, gentlemen. *handshakes all around*

You hate the creators, you hate the fans, you hate the pioneers of the medium.

Tell me, why the hell do you even bother tr.. er talking to us then?

Now that's an image I didn't need... *pours himself a glass of brainbleach*

Quote:
saying that he hates his work and doesn't know why he keeps doing it would be just a big fat liar to me.

Obviously, there'd be a reason to do something if he didn't enjoy the comic making. And I thought Davis had gone on record saying that the comic was something he started with a calculated mind to marketing and that he stepped away from making it himself when he didn't need to anymore. It's the closest example I could think of to what we're talking about. I don't have a list of artists that didn't particularly enjoy their craft and still succeeded at it handy.

But the improbability of a webcomic artist not being interested in making comics is an entirely seperate point from saying someone needs to enjoy what they're doing in order to for it to be popular.

But if what you really meant is that "for someone to make a popular comic, they have to be interested in some aspect related to making a popular comic at some level- be it fans, money or crushing your enemies -- Seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentation of their women!" then I would say that's not particular to popular comics at all. But doing anything at all, ever.

<a xhref="http://www.kiwisbybeat.com" target=blank>Kiwis by beat!</a>

One thing the internet gives artists is time. If you were to try to go into print, unless you had a nice amount of expendable income, you'd need to be turning a decent profit after a few months in order to succeed or you'd be forced to stop/fall into the "bi-yearly because I can't afford to put it out quicker" mire of self-publishing.

Online, taking a year to be get a decent return is seen as being quick. Advice is even geared around this, with people asking what they can do to help their increase their audience often being, basically, to wait and see what happens. People can take this casual approach because the cost of a webcomic is almost non-existent(basically the price of supplies plus a few bucks each month for enough space to handle thousands of people daily). Someone could run a webcomic with a few resources and an allowance of $5 a week,and even a comic with absolutely no readers could be made to completion and presented to the public online on the creators willpower alone. Something taken for granted, but certainly much better than the old days of needing several thousand dollars to get a comic off of the ground with almost no advertising where it can be put in stores where no one knows anything about it.

<a xhref="http://www.kiwisbybeat.com" target=blank>Kiwis by beat!</a>

Edit: Eep! At first I thought Jamie had started this discussion, not KrazyKrow! :D

I'm not sure that's true. I mean, comics grow and improve over the years. Take a look at first year College Roomies, or CotC and then take a look at either comic now.

The longer you draw, the better you get. I can't see CRfH being the success it is now if the artwork had never changed. Unfortunately, image is everything. A well-drawn comic is a bigger draw than a poorly-drawn comic, even if the poorly-drawn comic has a good storyline. There are exceptions, of course, but they are exceptions, not fact.

We've been talking about this on the Keenspace General Board, and one of the ways to build up readership is, amusingly enough, being active on forum boards while having a link to your comic in your .sig file. It's weird, but true. I've noticed that since I've reduced my posting habits on the CRfH forums, my hits have gone down. However, my hits from the Keenspace boards have gone up, because I've become quite active on those boards.

Likewise my readership has gone up, because people see the link and they follow it. They associate you the poster as someone they talk to and thus your comic is no longer a mystery, but something of an internet friend. So they're more likely to visit and see what you've got.

Anyone can become a success, with enough hard work and time. It's just when you watch those numbers and realize they're not growing as fast as you want that you sometimes feel like giving up hope.

Not to mention that putting out a comic is hard work! :D

Oh! And there is this:

Update regularly. Seriously. The quickest way to lose readers is to not update regularly.

While Avalon was the exception to this rule (because the fans were that insane), when a comic starts missing updates it starts losing readers. Elf Life is struggling to recover its fanbase after its updates became intermittent (and CarsonFire also started doing prose updates to compensate and speed the story along). Fortunately for him, he's found a way to move around the dead weight that was the Marriage Storyline, and start updating fairly regularly again, so he should be doing a little better now. I'd not be surprised if CRfH doesn't lose some of its readership as well, as updates are starting to fluctuate due to Maritza's pregnancy.

If you have a large readership, skipped updates won't hurt as badly. Still, eventually even die-hard fans will start quitting in droves. This happened finally with Avalon, when Josh didn't update for months on end. People just lose heart and faith, and move on. There are other comics that update that you can read instead.

So... if you update regularly, that should in and of itself help keep your core readers. Meanwhile, they'll draw more people to the comic, as would your own advertising, be it through ads in other comics, newsboxes, or even just simple forum posting. Heck, it's how I'm getting people to read my review site. :D

Well, that and the fact I'm talkative. :D

Webcomics Ad in Newspaper

[quote:6668014e24="bobweiner"]How about a fund-raiser similar to what the Mozilla guys did for Firefox in the NY Times. Everyone who wanted to donate chipped in say $10 for a regular listing ($100 or up for a larger listing). We'd get hundreds of webcartoonists with their URLs in print and a catchy tagline advertising the idea that webcomics are out there.

-K

See i foretold the future!
http://comixpedia.org/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&p=8936&highlight=#8936

Erik Melander's picture

Such a study would be very difficult to do. Difficult, but not impossible. It would certainly need the help of many comic creators to work.

Erik Melander's picture

For arguments sake, lets assume that it would be possible to raise the money (something I am doubtful of), is really a full page ad in the NYT the best place to advertise? Is the average NYT reader likely to check out a webcomic?

Webcomics Ad in Newspaper

[quote:60790b7613="Chris_C."]Well, if you had spare cash I suppose one could accomplish that by taking out a full page ad in the newspaper. That would only be one paper but I'm thinking baby steps.

Given the state at which webcomic authors are taken things very seriously now a days, I somehow see this actually happening.
Some guy will go "Hey we should do something like FireFox did and buy and Ad in X newspaper through donations", some one else "yeah, and like everyone who donates gets there name or webcomic or url mentioned", another "man that's a far out idea. I like it. Sign me-up", still another about 20 replies down "can't believe this is actually happening", then another about 20 pages into that discussion "I so saw this coming", and so on and so on.

ALexa works becuase of statistics. While I would not even be close to an expert on this matter, absically peopel are given the option od downloing this toolbar or not. Then they must goto whatever webpage.
This is absiclaly random sampling. you don't need the entire interent to approximate the popularity of a website. If these many "random" people visit your site, than on a larger scale translate into this and that.
So yeah, the larger you traffic is the more accurate Alexa becomes.
Cause you could potientially have all 5 of your daily readers with an Alexa whiel someone with let's say 100-200 daily readers have only 5 of them with the Alexa brower, and you'd both be ranked about the same. but the more users you have the more improbable for this event to happen, so the more accurate it becomes.

blinky's picture

[quote:5895ef3c12="William_G"]

http://www.nytadvertising.com/was/displayads/pages/contentDisplayAds/0,1024,,00.html?l1Id=6&l2Id=1150

Ah... If I'm reading these right, that better be one fucking good fundraiser...

For a full-page ad, in the fine arts section the total comes out to $3,474.00. This is using the National (not global) Weekday rate for the newspaper itself, not the magazine. *

If this number is correct, and it's for a five day run (weekends are extra) then conceivably you could get the cash to do it. If six people pooled their resources to put out an ad, it would cost each of the $579.00 (presumably before tax) at this rate. At ten people, the cost would drop to $347.40. At 20 people, it would be $173.70 per person.

So yeah, it can be done. You just have to find people willing to shell out the cash to do so.

*I have yet to see anything (I am probably mising it) that actually states whether or not this amount would be for one day, or five days.

<a href="http://www.nekkoandjoruba.com"><img src="http://home.comcast.net/~yocchi/njmar07.gif"></a>

m_estrugo's picture

[quote:12b2b1487f="GiantPanda"]For arguments sake, lets assume that it would be possible to raise the money (something I am doubtful of), is really a full page ad in the NYT the best place to advertise? Is the average NYT reader likely to check out a webcomic?

If that's the real price, I think the money could be easily gathered by a small or medium community of cartoonists.

On the other side, I think the New York Times is the ideal place to put such an ad, should it be restricted to a single newspaper. It may not be the newspaper with the biggest circulation on the USA, but it appeals to a cultured and intellectual audience, perhaps the most indicated to promote an eminently cultural phenomenon like webcomics.

In short, I like the idea, am willing to cooperate on it, if we manage to group and join efforts to achieve this goal.

And I think Comixpedia is the ideal place to do it so.


RE: If your comic isn

Uncle Ghastly's picture

It depends all on how much work you put into promoting it. No matter how good your comic is, if you don't promote it not enough people are going to find it on the internet.

If a big audience is important to you and you haven't gotten one after a year and you create a quality webcomic then instead of giving up the comic it might be better to re-evaluate the methods you employ to promote your strip.

Uncle Ghastly's picture

[quote:6b06d4fcc6="KrazyKrow"]Ghastly: Ghastly (the comic) has definately grown in size over the years, although I hope Ghastly (the you) has stayed the same, trim, shirtless Clark Kent we've grown to know and love..

Ironically, as my comic has grown in popularity I've become more and more svelt.

Perhaps if I break the 1M reader mark (already broke the 100K mark) I'll disappear altogether.

Uncle Ghastly's picture

[quote:61345bca51="William_G"]You'd be a pipe sticking out of a line.

Like an Olsen Twin with a vibrator.

My theory? Balance

All those hopes, dreams, and unrealistic expectations of the medium shared by the newer members of collectives like Keenspace(or Comic Master System or whatever the new name is) have to be counterbalanced by an all encompassing bitterness.
Thats quite the yoke on your shoulders Will! I recommend a bowlful of lemons and salt first thing in the morning, that always helps me get my mean face on before belittling my peers in a decidedly DEstructive manner

:D

(edited for clarity)

I dunno, I have 15 times the audience I had at the end of my first year.

Of course, I joined Keenspot after that, but the point still stands. There are many things you can do to boost your readership.

I also admit that my comic was a lot uglier then.

Maritza
CRFH.net

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Something Positive is pretty big too and it didn't make it until after 2000 (was it even around before 2000)? Depends on how you define big. In terms of readership I'm bigger than the vast bulk of webcomics (not at Penny Arcade / Sluggy levels but I'm up there with the big dogs). In terms of revinue there are comics with smaller readerships than mine pulling in more money. I'm not terribly motivated to fully exploit that aspect yet. I'm more or less just trying to share my stories/gags with as many appreciative people as possible. Of course now with WCN/AWC about to roll out I'll be able to better exploit the revinue potential of my large readership.

Most webcomics will never have more than 1000 people reading them on a regular basis. Fewer still will ever get more than 10000 regular readers. That sounds pretty small-time but if you think about it there are a lot of DC and Marvel comicbooks that don't even reach those levels or don't beat them by much so you're not doing too bad.

Some people do it for fun, you know. Bill has issues addressing his opinions but the core is still there: before advising someone to stop you should first know what their goal in webcomicking is.

If you are in this just for readers and money, I would be one to tell you you shouldn't even wait a year before stopping, but not because I'm Indie Rock Pete. Webcomic success stories are so seldom, you know, and maybe they happened to those guys because they didn't care about it at all, and did what they do primarily for fun and love.

But I understand what your question is, and to answer it in a proper way, I get the feeling some people on Keenspot didn't have 10.000 daily visits during their first year (Sortelli, McBean although he's not on Keenspot but Keentoons). Yet they made it, if you ignore the fact that they can't still make a living on the amount of money they make.

[quote:3b16783b1c="rezo"]

Quote:
Webcomic success stories are so seldom, you know, and maybe they happened to those guys because they didn't care about it at all, and did what they do primarily for fun and love.

It's a nice sentiment, but I doubt that played any big role.

I disagree. Enjoying what you do is the basic premise to make it popular.

It didn't say it was a matter of cause-and-effect, tho. Think of it as a requirement.

I see what you did there.

The examples you listed could be valid if only for one thing: we have no guarantee that Jim Davis didn't like his work when he created it. In fact I get the feeling that he enjoys it very much.

The committee that draws it, on the other hand, could hate Garfield with their guts and still put effort in it. Bruce Willis could hate working on Moonlight. Myers could hate working on SNL too. But one thing they all have in common: they are professionals. They are paid to do what they do. It's either you do it or you go look for something else. Some people would quit in the name of artistic integrity, but they didn't and these are all valid choices.

But the average webcomic artist is a hobbist doing what they do for fun on their free time. Even those pointed as the biggies of the webcomics world were at some point. What reason would those people have to spend their precious free time on something they didn't enjoy what they were doing at some level?

You say maybe they are driven by a will to put the best effort in what they do, even if they don't care for their work. I'm inclined to believe that there is no such difference. Because even if they don't care for the outcome, they enjoyed the trill.

I'm not going to drag this on, it is not the subject of this thread. And I agree that people can make great things they end up hating because they have to put food on their table or similar excuses. But a webcomic artist, with no obligations to deliver his work whatsoever, saying that he hates his work and doesn't know why he keeps doing it would be just a big fat liar to me.

[quote:a3ecd7ee31="KrazyKrow"]BTW, Charles Bronson is on record saying that he's not a fan of his own movies.

And I have an old Wizard where Jim Lee says he's not a fan of his comics either. He explained that if he felt he venerated his works, he would lose a critical view on it.

Maybe there's the chance Bronson said it for the same reason. And maybe although he didn't like his movies, he enjoyed acting. I hope you realize the difference between a job and a hobby, because those examples do nothing to contest my point.

Point taken. You wanted business advice and that's something I can't exactly give. But there were examples that deemed your theory wrong. How further this discussion can keep going is up to you now.

[quote:2d2d536648="KrazyKrow"]Isnt' there a QC banner ad in the Comixpedia rotation right now?

He didn't buy it, tho. It's there because he made the cover for Comixpedia this month.

[quote:9e77af38ce="Anonymous"]And discussing those things is nothing but reasonable.

I don't think business discussions aren't valid. I think I said the opposite in my last message. The problem is when being financially successful and popular is seen as the ultimate goal in webcomic-making (or any other kind of art).

I say problem, but that is no problem at all. People are free to pursuit that ideal. Even if they come to realize there is no straight answer to what they are looking for.

[quote:e3cd794369="rezo"]But if what you really meant is that "for someone to make a popular comic, they have to be interested in some aspect related to making a popular comic at some level- be it fans, money or crushing your enemies -- Seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentation of their women!" then I would say that's not particular to popular comics at all.

No, I meant he has to LIKE what he does. Gosh...

But there you have it. What the hell. If you want to believe someone would spend their free time, on their own volition, in doing something that doesn't pleases them, whatever. Keenspace is full of comics like that. Only they stopped updating after one or two pages. But they prove your point.

[quote:d77b67c67e="J.Jacques"]If you do good work, eventually people will find it and respond to it.

The one thing this kind of thread taught me is to be ashamed of using this argument ever again. May be just my impression, but somehow doing something that you enjoy has become less important than doing something to achieve fortune and popularity.

Yes, people are free to consider that less important. I agree with Ping's overall asset on webcomics.

But that is exactly the problem. Threads about popularity keep popping up and despite what anyone thinks there is never going to be a proper answer to those. There is never going to be a concise link between quality and popularity, and there is never going to be a failproof internet popularity for dummies. The only real answer is that there is no answer.

But that is not what people want to hear. They want models to follow. They want something they can hold on to. They want to be told what to do. They want to believe that if their comics aren't popular within their first year then they should scrap it and start a new one. They want to believe in a causality between quality and popularity.

That is ultimately why Donald Trump writes books and people buy them, and why I think a book by Gabe and Tycho on how they got there would sell quite well.

The reason why I think it's better to do a comic for self-enjoyment is because that is the only real thing one can aspire to and will be an inevitable outcome of your work: that good feeling that is product of doing something that you enjoy and doing it well. But this argument has become less important, specially when people are discussing business models or ways to measure popularity. Do I think it's important to consider webcomics from a business point of view and try to make your main source of income? Indeed, unless that is not your thing. Do I think you should worry about popularity? Less so.

But the last and most important question: do I think someday people will stop seeking this kind of advice? No, unless they took the risk to redefine what success means. And I don't think they ever will.