The first thing to consider when making a webcomic is how you will create the art. There are two main ways to make art: traditionally or digitally. A lot of artists blend the styles in some way, but for this post I will focus on talking about art software and tools that can help with making webcomics.
- Manga Studio 5: This costs $48 and is software made specifically for comic artists. It has an incredible range of features available, everything a comic artist would need. It’s my number one recommendation for those that are planning to make webcomics for the long haul.
- Photoshop CC: This costs $20 a month, and can handle pretty much everything, from making webcomics to making standalone pieces of art. It has a massive user base and multitudes of tutorial videos, so learning how to use it is easy.
- GIMP: This is free and has most of the capabilities that Photoshop CC has. It is a bit harder to master than Photoshop, but there are tutorials online, and they should help you learn it easily.
The next thing to consider is how to host your webcomic. When it comes to hosting your webcomic, you have two choices: hosting your own webcomic, or finding someone to host it for you.
Hosting Your Own Website:
- Can fully customize your website to your heart’s content
- Can market and advertise your comic without limitations
- You can make money off of your webcomic if you want to by selling a print version of it or whatever without worry
- Administration can be a nightmare at times, especially if you have no experience in making and maintaining your own website
- It’s a bit harder to advertise your webcomic since no one is going to automatically do it for you
Finding a Hosting Website:
- You won’t have to worry about security or issues with the bandwidth of the website
- Hosting websites offer free publicity and advertising
- They’re good for figuring out if you want to commit to making comics long term, since all you have to do is upload your comic, and you can take down your comic whenever you want as well
- Most hosting websites don’t allow you to customize your page
- If the website crashes, or if the host of the website decides not to host your webcomic, there’s nothing you can do about it
If you decide to find a host website, I recommend The Duck and Comic Genesis. The Duck offers art and writing tutorials for comics, is one of the biggest hubs for webcomics ever, and offers free publicity for different webcomics just for meeting certain criteria. Comic Genesis allows you to customize your own web page, has built in content management, and a subdomain, all in exchange for a single banner ad on your site.
The last thing you have to consider is publicity. There are a few ways to get foot traffic on your website, and here are some of the most true and tried ways:
- Submit your comic to webcomic lists/directories. These are websites that list webcomics from everywhere, and people can find your webcomic by using the search engine the website uses.
- Be active on social media. Make a page for your comic on Facebook or Tumblr or other online platforms. It helps to have a presence on multiple social media sites. Be very active on these websites, and try to interact with fans. Being friendly can go a long way.
- Become friends with other webcomic creators. It will take a while, but other webcomic creators will advertise for you in exchange for you advertising them, whether it’s putting a banner ad on their website or them doing plugin for you on social media.
- Become a part of the webcomic community. Spread your knowledge of making comics and connect with people in the community without expecting anything in return. Being kind and generous helps immensely with finding an audience for your comic.
- Maintain a consistent update schedule for your comic. Updating on specific days without fail keeps readers engaged in your work. If you can’t keep up the schedule once or twice, be sure to make the readers know why. Keeping a schedule and keeping readers in the loop makes them feel engaged and like they matter, which will seriously help with keeping an audience.
I am a huge advocator for webcomics and webcomic artists, and I want to help everyone who aspires to join the webcomic community. You won’t become a famous, money making webcomic creator overnight, so remember to hang in there and work hard.