I've been attempting to get moving on a webcomic for a little over a year now. I've got to the point where I would have 3-6 months written out (depending on update schedule). Recently though, I've decided to put this whole story in the background.
Now, this is the beginning of my problem. While I'm hugely interested in what I was doing, there seems to be something throwing up blocks in the way. I think the best thing I can equate it to is stage fright. I'm afraid to put myself out there for the world to see.
Now, this fear has lead me to shelve my original in lue of one that is a little rougher and not as demanding artistically. Perhaps this was done to save myself from having my story being panned universally. While I'm perfectly fine with writing/drawing what I want to do, I can't help but think that it is going to be terrible. Then again, maybe it is just another wall I'm putting up to procrastinate more to put off these feelings I'm having.
As a creator, how do we combat this? Is it wise for me to make my first attempt at comics one that isn't as demanding? Am I doing myself a disservice by testing the waters, perhaps saving my better idea? Being that I have an issue with putting myself out there for fear of it not being acceptable (perhaps not by just my own standard), am I just setting myself up? Or am I breaking myself in? I'm starting to think that if I don't get things posted, I never will. Should I just do it? Help!
Today's Archive Dive is from September 7, 2009, when we discussed putting reader comments into their proper perspective.
Picture it: A group of webcartoonists are all gathered. One of them, slightly more inexperienced than the others, shares an idea he had for a T-shirt design based on one of his comics.
"My readers really seemed to enjoy it when I shared the design with them, " he says, "so I want to get it on my store as soon as possible."
The other webcartoonists agreed that the idea was funny -- just not T-shirt funny.
"It's just not gonna fly as a T-shirt," they tell him.
"But... I posted the design and a bunch of my readers said they'd buy this T-shirt!" he exclaims.
Chances are you've been there (or one day will be). You check your Web traffic stats and you see -- YOWZA! -- you've had a tremendous spike in traffic.
The pageviews settle off after that day, and you're left wondering: "Waitaminute... what just happened? Andhow do I make it happen again?"
If you've installed Google Analytics, you can follow this step-by-step guide to track down the source of your one-day windfall.
How does one discover his or her story? In listening to interviews with some of my favorite creators, I often hear the artist say that he found success by just finally putting everything together that he wanted to draw, or write about, and stopped trying to please an audience. Mike Mignola ["Hellboy"] comes to mind, as does Jeff Smith ["Bone"]; both these guys developed ideas that they loved, despite the current 'hot thing.' But how does one find that concept? How does one discover the story he or she really wants to tell? I find that answering this question is really hard (I'm assuming it's hard for a lot people since there is so much derivative work out there).
This is a difficult question to address because the answer is going to come somewhat differently for each person. However, I think part of the answer is right here:
He found success by just finally putting everything together that he wanted to ... write about, and stopped trying to please an audience.
I often caution people against trying to manufacture success.
This post was kindly submitted by Diana Stoneman.
Design a Papercraft Model
Interested in making an inexpensive and distinctive toy for your comic? In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make a 3D model into a downloadable papercraft toy for your readers to construct at home. We'll use Google Sketchup and Flattery, a plugin my talented husband made.
First some tips for model designing:
- Watch the video tutorials for Sketchup so you'll know your way around the program.
- Set Sketchup's template preferences to work in centimeters or inches, whichever you prefer. You'll need to pay attention to the actual size of your model as you build it.
- Convex shapes are easier to flatten. You will probably need separate cutouts for concave areas.
- Work with components to stay organized and also for easier start overs.
Got a model split into components and ready to go? Let's flatten it!