19 February 2012

The Art of Doooooom!

After a week of reading, I've finally read all the way through the archives of Questionable Content... and yes, I do realize I'm probably about the last person in the entire frakkin' universe to realize how cool QC is.  Which leads into my next journal / comic development topic: monitization.

A number of years ago, I wrote a serial on the web.  It was niche fiction... okay, okay, it was Furry Slice-of-Life... don't judge me! Anyway, it was very popular among its niche.  (At the time, I was a regular on FurryMuck and FurToonia, and I knew that I would have an audience among my mucking friends.  Some people have noted that there wasn't any real reason why the serial had to be furry, and they're right... it could have been _any_ college kids in _any_ college town.  I just happened to make it furry to appeal to _my_ college friends). And though it was popular enough to get me invited to be on a panel at a convention, I never made a single cent off it.

That's not strictly accurate.  During the time it was in publication, I tried to do the merchandising thing, and got coffee mugs printed up with a logo an artist friend of mine was kind enough to design for me.  I eventually made enough money to pay back the investment I'd made in getting the mugs in the first place.  These days, as I understand it, there are places where one can offer merchandise without a massive opening investment, and they'll even handle the shipping for you.  Win.

I know there are web cartoonists making their comic their sole source of income... and I also know that for every one who does, there are probably a thousand who only do it for love.  And that's fine.  I want to do a web-published graphic novel because I want to share my creation with the world, and have other people read it and enjoy it, and maybe occasionally send me an email saying how much they enjoyed it.

Now, based on the number of comments I've received on this journal, in comparison to how many page views I've received, I'm guessing that last one isn't very likely to happen, either, but... you know... it could. In a world where magical unicorns sprinkle dust from their horns....

Anyway, as I was saying, I'm doing this because I want to do it, and maybe that's enough.  I mean, all I really want out of it is a gazillion dollars and groupies... but it's okay if I don't get that, too.  I mean.  I guess. If I gotta do without, I gotta.  That's life.

When I first started doing my serial, I was over-ambitious, and promised three updates each week.  By the second week, I realized that was just not possible, and I dropped to updating every Friday.  Now I look at what I want to do with art, the Ukiyo-e style in which I'd like to do it, and I wonder.  If I promise once-weekly updates, will I be able to keep up with the schedule?  And if I do, will that be updating often enough to keep an audience?

Okay, I know that I read once-weekly webcomics such as Three Panel Soul and Absolutely True Tales of Lesbian Drama, but I have also observed that these comics are less likely to be written by someone who is making any kind of money off them than strips like Girls With Slingshots which publish weekdaily.

I know, I know, I'm putting the cart before the horse, but these are things that go through my mind.  I should just shut up and write, and practice drawing, or start building my sets and characters to do it in LightWave.  I guess I'm just trying to argue myself out of the thought that no one's going to read it, and no one's going to care whether I do it or not.

So.  To sum up.  Webcomic good.  Making money from webcomic, better.  Know how to write.  Working on art.  No Earthly idea how to make money.

1 comment:

cq4fun said...

Hopefully, someone will know more about merchandizing, but that someone would not be me, sadly for you. However, I was thinking earlier today that I'd like to see some of your attempts at drawing what you want. You don't have to show every line or mistake that you toss in the garbage, but once in a while, I'd like to see how your concept is looking, so I can see how the characters grow and change in looks, because I like that sort of thing. So I hope you'll update once in a while with what the current rendition is, even if you think it's awful. Everything takes practice to become what it will be, and I'd like to see some along-the-way steps.