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Comic Updating

In printed comics, the sticking to a deadline or schedule makes sense. It would be disastrous to not have a book ready, by the time you need to print a book and sell it. Is this a practice carried over to the web? Out of all the comics you read, can anyone recall (without checking) what days they actually update?

With webcomics, I belive it's becoming accepted that deadlines or schedules, such as updating on a M-W-F, do not apply. What if you miss a day, or change the updating schedule? I've seen many authors needing to apologize for missing an update. Instead of making the user come to you, the trend is reversing with RSS feeds. People join your feed, and when you publish/update something, they're automatically notified.

I update rather inconsistently, because there's no guarantee I'll get X number of hours a day to make a comic. One challenge in a comic that doesn't update frequently, when you organize things by date, it only highlights the fact you don't update often, or are sporadic at best. Visiting a page repeatedly with no update under those circumstances is certainly frustrating.

I don't believe visitors find comics or blog entries by date, and they only do so, because it was set up that way by default. When you search google, your results aren't displayed or organized by monthly archives. How often do you know the date what you're looking for was posted? Probably zero, so using that as the basis for navigating a site does not make sense.

What seems more appropriate is a website that functions more like a hyperlinked set of posts and topics rather than a journal of monthly archives. For webcomics, browsing by topics of interest makes more sense. Even if those topics are somewhat arbitrary or unclear. It'll still make for a better experience for fans to browse.

The group-by-topic idea may

The group-by-topic idea may work for comics that are strictly gag-oriented and have no continuity, but for the many, many webcomics that hae continuing story arcs, linear makes more sense.

I'm finding that the deeper

Fabricari's picture

I'm finding that the deeper my archive gets (larger story), the more useful it would be to have a previous next scenes button.

So instead of traditional:
Start Prev Next Last

It makes more sense for:
Start Prev-Scene Prev-Page Next-Page Next-Scene Last

I'm not aware of any existing softare that does this, anyone have recommendations?

Fabricari - Sexy Robots and Violent Cyberpunk Comics

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Long linear stories

Long linear stories do raise issues for webcomics. My graphic novel Shades is scripted at 16 chapters (plus prologue and epilogue!) To ease navigation, as well as the usual "next page/last page" options and the obvious chapter divisions, I've also grouped the chapters into "Volumes" of approx. 5 chapters each.

It's a bit of a juggling act, trying to devise a structure that caters for both the regular "returning" visitors who might only want to see the latest page (and perhaps re-cap on the immediately preceding 2 or 3) while at the same time making it easy for a newcomer to read through from the beginning. As long as the reader can't "see the joins", the more you can subdivide and cross-reference it, the better.

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids


Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

With RSS and similar

Greg Carter's picture

With RSS and similar features, the update grind has become much less stressful. I certainly don't worry about being a day late. I always apologize though, because I'm polite. When I update a notice goes up in my RSS feed and to several update services:, The Web Comic List, Comic Alert, Comic Nation. I can tell by watching my site stats that people are finding them.

Greg Carter
UpDown Studio

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel