The webcomics blog about webcomics

Building The Perfect Webcomic

Hey, look at that! Server all migrated and we’re back in business, just in time for me to write an entry before things consume my evening (none of which, sadly, involve the drinking of beer). A quick scan of the internets reveals that Goats, megaGAMERZ, Real Life, and Oh No Robot! have also made the transition safely.
(Edit: Slight delay getting graphics to load. Picture to be added up there shortly Added.)

So, something PJ wrote got me to thinking about what makes for a good webcomic — archives that you can easily (and freely) navigate are the key advantage of webcomics over their print brethren, despite certain business models to the contrary. Jeff once remarked on the importance of infrastructure, including navigation, forum, and blurb space. And I’ve written about the importance of legibility in artwork. But what else is necessary for a really good webcomic?

A quick scan of popular comics reveals that, much like there are essential elements to country/western songs (booze, death, adultery, Jesus, a train, and/or a truck), certain themes may be considered critical for webcomickin’ success; they appear to include:

  • pixels
  • pretty people talking
  • ninjas
  • cute fuzzy animals
  • video games

Think of it! All of your big-time webcomics feature at least one of these. We may logically infer that a pixel comic of a fuzzy animal ninja that talks about videogames with its pretty friends is destined for megasuccess … it’s scientific! Dinosaurs would be good too, but that’s closed territory, my friend. Try to encroach, and you’ll get stomped. Even now, highly trained Disney™ Fungineers© are reading this, plotting to extend their dominance, coming for your children. In the meantime, Fleen welcomes your suggestions for comics that fulfill at least three of the Criteria of Wonderfulness.

So *that’s* my problem. No pixels, no pretty people, no cute fuzzy animals, only occasional mention of video games and not one goddamned ninja.

I’m going to have to re-think my entire approach.

Yeah, Chris, you’d think that in ten years of pulling in readers you’d’ve seen this for yourself.

Next week Help Desk introduces an ultra-sexy female tech support employee with a highly-trained but absolutely adorable ninja polar bear who is addicted to World of Warcraft.

Can I substitute a pirate for a ninja and still be successful in webcomics?

I’ll never be big-time. I like vampire stories.

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