For all those of you wanting to know how to make a webcomic, there’s a discussion on this very topic going on now; two of them, in fact. Sparked by the very sexy R Stevens at Diesel Sweeties yesterday, the dialogue has now been crossposted to his LiveJournal and discussion board. From Stevens, the rules are (quoting here):
- Set a schedule. Give yourself a month to figure out your characters in your head, then start to PRODUCE on a set schedule. It will build your muscles. If you don’t like the first comics you make, throw them away and keep going.
- Know your characters. There’s nothing worse than a strip that starts out as “Hey! We are characters! Are we in a comic strip? Where is my script? Wow it is the last panel. LOL! GOTTA GO!”
I like these two rules because they make no judgements on content, art style or quality.
Good points all around, especially since they echo something Frank said once about the nature of artistic creation; going from memory here:
You want to be an artist? Okay, first announce your intention to create something. It doesn’t matter what. It helps if you put a frame around it, so people know where the art ends and the real world begins, and then fill that frame with your art. It helps if you finish it at some point (or just declare it a work in progress). Congratulations, you are now a bona-fide artist.
I’m pretty sure I mangled that quote pretty badly, but you get the idea. Other cartoonists (by my calculation, the discussion group creates thousands of webcomics panels per month) have added such helpful hints as Mind the fourth wall, Don’t introduce yourself (the creator) as a godlike figure in the comic, and No sprite comics. Naturally, people have come up with counter-examples for just about every rule, but it’s been a pair of remarkably informative discussions, and given the sometimes prickly nature of creative types, entirely collegial and respectful times two. There have even been respectful digressions on do we need another webcomics that isn’t very good?, with the consensus being love of creation is reason enough (but don’t expect the world to read it).
In other news, the NewsCorp/Rowland Death Watch continues apace, with others chiming in on the Myspace TOS. Could Jeff Rowland have sparked another revolution on the internet? He does seem to average one about every six or seven months. There ought to be a Nobel Prize for things like that.