ComicLab Ep 323 — Can you make a living in comics?
Every once in a while, someone asks if it’s possible actually to make a living in comics. It’s a fair question, and it deserves an honest answer. SPONSORED BY… ComicLab is brought to you this week by the book “How Comics […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
How to launch a new comic
So you’ve decided to start a webcomic. Or maybe you’re launching a new chapter in your ongoing webcomic. The question eventually arises: What’s the best way to launch? There are a few things you should keep in mind to maximize […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
Nobody wants to support you on Patreon
If you do one thing in the new year, let it be this: eradicate “Support me on Patreon” from your vocabulary. It’s a marketing pitch that just doesn’t work.Read more
Humor writing — One step at a time
I like writing about the writing process — especially humor writing. It’s a topic that I find many people who write cartooning tutorials shy away from because it’s so difficult to quantify. But it’s something that’s essential to what we […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
ComicLab Ep 322 — Shopping for Success
A listener asks if they should write one big, successful comic or several mediocre ones. We have a bigger question: What makes you think you have a choice?! Also, it turns out the whole “Substack nazi” thing was yet another case of […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
How to do a Profit-Loss Statement
As we head into tax season, let’s take a look at one of the most useful tools for running a small business — the Profit & Loss Statement.Read more
Should you re-draw old comics?
It’s an inevitable part of getting better at comics. You look back on your earlier work and cringe. (And the better you’ve gotten, the more intense your regret!) Then, perhaps as you’re considering your first printed collection, the thought crosses […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
As last year came to a close, it was becoming frustratingly clear that social media has been failing to deliver what we traditionally relied on it for — reaching our current readers and finding new ones. So this year Brad is trying out a new platform — Subsack. But that comes with a whole new learning curve — and more than a few ethical issues to wrestle with!
SHOW NOTES: Two points of clarification. First, the question is raised whether a user can export an email list from Substack. This is, indeed, a feature. Secondly, Dave asked Brad which of his social media platforms has the biggest user base. Brad’s answer was Twitter, but upon further review, it’s TikTok. That fact puts the ensuing discussion into a slightly different framework.
ON THIS WEEK’S SHOW…
- Steamboat Willie in the public domain
Many cartoonists are familiar with Wally Wood’s indelible contribution to comics theory: The 22 Panels That Always Work!
I was thinking about Wally over breakfast — a morning Wood, if you please. And I started wondering… is it possible to add to this axiom that has stood the test of decades? Not to knock on Wood, but surely there’s at least one more Panel That Always Works by now! Can we improve on Wood panelling?!
Here’s my challenge to you: Can you add a 23rd Panel That Always Works? Maybe it’s your own personal go-to. Maybe it’s something you saw someone do that you’d love to see emulated. Post an image and show off your panel prowess!
Watch me draw a cartoon while Dave Kellett and I talk shop in this ComicLab clip from episode 316. During that episode, I issued a challenge to comic artists using social media: Try — just TRY — to find something on social media worth sharing! If you do, you’ll learn volumes about why people aren’t sharing *your* posts!The content you are trying to access is only available to members.
The National Cartoonists Society has released its call for entries. Here’s what you need to know:
DEADLINE: February 7
The National Cartoonists Society is starting its annual call for entries for consideration for their NCS Divisional Awards, recognizing excellence in professional cartooning. As always, you DO NOT have to be a member of the NCS to have your work considered for a divisional award… all that is required is that the work be eligible, as detailed below.
- You do not have to be a member of the NCS to enter.
- There is no fee for submissions.
- All submissions must complete the online entry form and comply with division requirements.
- A sample of work may only be submitted to ONE division – no duplicates.
- The Divisional Reuben Awards recognize individuals for their artistic excellence in cartoon arts.
- Only work published between the dates of January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023 can be considered. Submitted work must be accompanied by verification of the date of first publication or it will be disqualified.
- If you are unable to submit via the online form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Submission process (general)
All submissions and entry forms will be submitted digitally this year.
- Review division-specific instructions below.
- Complete the online entry form. On the entry form, provide:
- Your Name
- Which division you are entering
- Email and Contact Information
- Short Bio (optional)
- Upload work samples using the entry form. Please follow division-specific guidelines provided below.
- Upload PROOF OF 2023 PUBLICATION using the entry form. Failure to provide proof of publication date may result in disqualification.
- Submit the form by Feb. 7, 2024 and receive an email confirmation of your entry.
How to submit a proof of publication
This is required for all divisions. Proof of 2023 publication date for each submitted sample of work MUST be included by uploading a separate proof file using the entry form. Failure to provide proof of publication date may result in disqualification.
Examples of proof:
- if the submitted work itself has the date clearly visible you will also submit the work in the proof section of the entry form
- a scan of magazine table of contents with feature circled
- dated product art or ad scanned from print, screenshot that shows publication date
- documentation or a letter of verification of print date from client, publisher, or syndicate
- a photo or scan of a printed page that shows date and name of publication
- a screenshot showing both URL and date of publication (for example at GoComics, Comics Kingdom, a webcomic site, or New Yorker etc.)
- direct web link that shows both the artwork and date of publication
- tearsheet or copyright page
Upload one proof image for each submitted image file.
- Upload each image as a separate JPEG/JPG or PDF file
- SIZE: no larger than 800×800 pixels or 3MB per file
FILE NAME FORMAT
Please name your files and/or label the proof documentation so that it is clear which piece of submitted work it is for.
Guidelines for all online comics submissions
- Submissions must be web-only publications (any work also syndicated in print should be submitted to the proper print division above)
- Submissions must have shown consistent, timely publication over the course of the 2023 calendar year (weekly, bi-weekly, multiple times a week, daily, etc.)
- Compilations of work published in previous years are not eligible.
- Submissions may be submitted by the artists themselves or by agents or other colleagues on the artist’s behalf.
Online Comics — Short Form
- Submissions can be strip, single panel, single or partial page format
- Submissions must be mainly self-contained gag, story, or narrative in each short comic, even if also part of an ongoing narrative
Online Comics — Long form
- Examples of Long Form Comics: An illustrated daily shouts piece in The New Yorker, a comic sketchbook page in the New York Times Review of Books, a piece published in The Nib, a longform webcomic like this
- Submissions can be posted in single or multiple page format (but please keep in mind that multiple pages will count as multiple SAMPLE IMAGES)
- Submissions must be accompanied by documentation of the date of first posting/release of each episode/page/segment
- Submissions must be ongoing narrative in serial form i.e., continuing comic book/graphic novel storyline
All Online Comics Submission Procedure
Review all instructions, including how to submit Proof of Publication as detailed prior to the division requirements. Incorrect or ineligible entries will be disqualified.
Complete the online entry form
- Upload UP TO 8 TOTAL sample images.
- Upload each image as a separate JPEG/JPG file
- SIZE: no larger than 800x800pixels or 3MB per file
- FILE NAME FORMAT:
- Files will be viewed by jurors in numerical order based on your file names. Please number them in the order you wish them to be viewed.
- Upload proof of 2023 publication (see detailed instructions prior to the division requirements)
- Submit the completed form or or by February 7, 2024
You will receive a confirmation email with your entry details. Division Finalists will be announced in May and winners announced at the annual Reuben Awards in fall of 2024.
- Comic Book
- Book Illustration
- Online Comics: Long Form
- Gag Cartoon
- Newspaper Strip
- Online Comics: Short Form
- Greeting Card
- Newspaper Panel
- Advertising/ Product Illustration
- Graphic Novel
- Variety Entertainment
- Magazine/Newspaper Illustration
- Editorial Cartoon
- Art for Animated Media
All winners will be announced at the 78th Annual Reuben Awards Dinner
Good luck to everyone who submits!
One of our most often-requested topics is “How do I start a webcomic?” We’re going to give you some step-by-step instructions — updated for the new year! Plus… we always stress the importance of doing a good comic. That begs another question: “How do I know if my comic is good?”
ON THIS WEEK’S SHOW…
- How to start a webcomic in 2024
- “How do I know if my comic is good?”
- UPDATE: Kindle Direct Publishing
Let’s talk about the digital drawing process for a typical Evil Inc page. I start with a template I built in Clip Studio Paint. I’ve got a number of layers I can activate or deactivate to change the overall order and layout of the panels. The following video will take you through my process from sketch to final art — and all of the little steps in between!The content you are trying to access is only available to members.