The summer work packets have hit, and the Arch Bros are none too pleased!

Patreon update

Thank you to everyone who joined our group so far! There’s more great stuff coming up in Patreon! Later this week, a new full-page NSFW Evil Inc After Dark. In the meantime, here’s a look at a part of one of the EiAD pages from June.

summer work

Not so interested in NSFW comics? That’s cool, too! If you pledge at the $1 and $5 levels, you gets lots of great rewards — and you’ll be a part of keeping the ads off all of my websites — including Evil Inc, Guigar.com and Courting Disaster! I have nearly 100 people supporting my comics at these levels — partly because it’s really the perfect arrangement. They never notice such a small amount of money on their credit- or debit cards, but it makes a huge difference to me when it’s combined with all of the other contributions!

Best of all… if you decide to leave at any time for any reason, it’s super easy. There are — quite literally — no strings attached to your monthly pledge.

Evil Inc mock-up

Best of the Best of Webcomics.com

You can read the entire “Best Of” list on Webcomics.com. But below are a few standouts that I think really showcase what amazing things are happening at Webcomics.com every month:

Webcomics-dot-com_white-WWebcomics.com is my subscription-only resource for independent cartoonists. June was an excellent example of the tremendous value offered by a one-year subscription to Webcomics.com ($2.50 a month). My readers got early alerts on issues that would impact their businesses, helpful tutorials, insightful analysis, and meaningful feedback on their work.

If you’re curious about joining, we’ve made it easier than ever with a $5 trial membership. You’ll get full access to the site for thirty days so you can see what you’ve been missing. At the end of the trial, you can choose to re-subscribe ($30 for 12 months of access) or walk away with no strings attached. You will not be re-billed unless you choose to subscribe.

Hitch It / Ditch It Critique — and a little “summer work” of your own!

In June, we launched another round of the popular “Hitch It / Ditch It” critique series. The rules are simple: I go to your site and point of one thing you’re doing well, and one thing that might stand some improvement. The discussion goes on from there as the members join in with their thoughts. I always tell people to read the critiques of others’ comics — because it all applies to them as well. One good idea… this summer work on all of the issues I raise in the Hitch It / Ditch It critique series. Chances are, there’s a lot for you to learn in them!

Manga Studio Lettering Tutorial — Video

I’m convinced that the way Manga Studio (aka Clip Studio Paint) handles lettering is one in a long list of features that makes it a superior comics-creation software package.

  • It breaks you out of the text-box approach (see below).
  • It treats the text and the word balloon (and the word-balloon tails) as a single entity
  • The enables you to group all of your word balloons in a folder — and adjust the opacity of that folder to better integrate the word balloons into the panels
  • It enables you to create complex — yet easily manipulated — compound word balloons

I posted a video showing all of the above points in action.

Mailbag: Do I have enough pageviews to launch merchandise?

Q.: I have a webcomic that gets around 1500 pageviews a day. I’d thought of that as a small number, but I work in an online marketing company, and my boss and co-workers were telling me that I should be thinking of monetization. I’m not sure if I want to be focusing on that yet (I’ve been reading a lot of the articles here on writing and sitcom structure, and improving the actual comic is my short-term goal), but I’m wondering if this is something I should be thinking about in the medium term.

A.: Take those pageview stats and Facebook Likes and throw them out the window. Here’s why…

Mailbag: Should a first-time cartoonist “keep it short”?

Q.: I was reading an article about some things new comic creators should do, and avoid. For the most part the article gave really good advice, however, one piece of advice struck me as odd and I was curious what others thought. It said that for new creators, a long episodic comic should be avoided, and in its place the creator should do something shorter. The reasoning was that new creators need experience in crafting comics and shorter story (maybe something over the course of a year) would help them build the tools necessary to do a long, episodic comic. I also want to be clear that I respect and love the creator who gave the advice. Just wanted to get others to weigh in and share some thoughts.

A.: I think that’s pretty smart advice — especially considering s/he’s talking specifically to people who are new to creating comics. And here’s why…

Reinventing Webcomics

In May, I posted 12 Ways You’re Doing Patreon Wrong. In it, I advocated moving away from an ad-supported business model, and into a subscription-supported model. After one member read the piece, they asked:

Q. I have a question about this: Do you EVER provide the paid material to the general population? For example, if Patreon subscribers get your NSFW work, will the visitors to your [public website] … see the archives one day? And if so, how?

A. A few days ago, I posted this under the Webcomics.com Twitter account:

…And this is a perfect example.

Video tutorial: Draw complex perspective quickly in Manga Studio (Clip Studio Paint)

One of the strengths of Manga Studio (Clip Studio Paint) is its perspective rulers. I posted a video tutorial about using those perspective rulers wisely to speed up (and improve) your drawing process.

Facebook: Less content from Pages

Facebook just announced a change that makes it more difficult to promote your comic through your Page. Here’s how that change will affect you — and some thoughts on how to address the situation. A similar crackdown on posts from Facebook Pages happened in 2014. My thoughts now are similar to my thoughts then.

In short: If this is troubling news to you, then you’re doing social media wrong (and lazy).