How I Read Webcomics

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Russly
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How I Read Webcomics

Post by Russly » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:54 pm

As many of you may or may not had read, I've mentioned various characters that may end up on a profile here. But what does this tendency come from? Join me, and let's explore a bit of my comic experience.

See, I've seen every Simpsons. I've read every One Piece. I've been current with Sinfest for years. So what do I do with my day? Well, I wake up, do an hour of meditation, have some tea, and then eat my meal for the day. After that is where it gets interesting-- what I call the "ray of hope" in an otherwise bleak and dreary day (even if the sun is shining). I check every update on any cartoon I'm current with.

While not an exact practice, I currently check, respectively, Sinfest, Bittersweet Candy Bowl, One Piece, and South Park. For the written mediums, I make a specific point to 'select' a character I am in the end panel as I move on to the next comic. For example, today I might be Nique watching 2020 fade away, or Zoro at the end of One Piece 1000.5. I maintain my gaze upon that character as the webpage switches out. If there's no characters, it's a mulligan.

But something happened with Sinfest. I joined its forum. As a stipulation of that, I'm suddenly allowed to exit after whatever included commentary. I literally click "More Resistance" and the link the second post as a sort of backdoor. And I'm certainly glad not to 'be' these guys going "attack!"

Go figure this happens during the first non fireworks year. (I'm assuming?) 2019 was female and she went out with a bang like every other year. So we can determine gender at least isn't in absolute in this past year's decision. In any event, my point is that this is only part of my routine. From there I check photos and notes and move on to the rest of the day's plans. Such plans no longer exist at the moment. I simply let the tides carry me.

-Russly

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Z6IIAB
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Re: How I Read Webcomics

Post by Z6IIAB » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:38 pm

Russly wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:54 pm
In any event, my point is that this is only part of my routine. From there I check photos and notes and move on to the rest of the day's plans. Such plans no longer exist at the moment. I simply let the tides carry me.

-Russly
Happy winter break! (I'm guessing).

I hope you can find something else to keep you busy the rest of the day. Ever tried online poker? There's free iterations of it, it's fun as long as you're not a sore loser, haha. I'm enjoying my summer vacations right now, because you know, I live in the south hemisphere. It's pretty chill. Anyways, have a good one, dude.
Call me Celina. This forum still have a long way to go until it gets filled with its intended public. And I'll do my best to help us reach that goal. I'm a battleaxe, and when you hear my voice it'll be as loud as a thunder and as clear as a blue sky.

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RikkiTikkiTavi
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Re: How I Read Webcomics

Post by RikkiTikkiTavi » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:46 am

Hi Russly - we seem to share a bit of a routine.

I too have been a devoted comic fan for quite a while. Simpsons - check - although not every episode like you, Family Guy as well. Every cartoon in the newspaper read first, back when newspapers were still a thing.

I managed to amass quite a collection of comic books -B.C., The Wizard of Id, Far Side, Dilbert, Pearls Before Swine, Cathy, Zits, Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County... and many more.

The internet era added so many more for me to check daily. In fact my routine meant I had to get up extra early so I could get through the one hundred or more that I looked at each day. It took me about one to two hours to go through all the updates. I think that qualifies as an obsession.

What I learned in this internet phase is that many comic creators were being held back in the newspaper age. There were many great talents that could finally get to an audience once the restrictions were lifted. Of course along with great comic artists there were many with little talent.

More importantly I learned that no matter the talent and no matter the audience, making money as a comic artist was a very difficult thing. I also learned that the average duration of a comic would be about two years at most. Many faded after a single year. This was true of many who had exceptional story lines and artistic talent.

The vulnerability of comic artists to burn out is very high. This is in large part because many find they are doing this labor of love for free. They are unable to make enough to reduce or eliminate other employment needs. This means that in order to survive they must spend a lot of time doing 'work' and must sacrifice free time to do what they love/create a comic.

My bookmark lists became a wasteland of dead comics very quickly.

Here is a typical timeline of a webcomic artist's creations arc:
1. Launch the comic (typically starting with themes, punchlines and humor far greater than artistic skill)
2. Find the audience (this might take a while, especially if they don't team up with a comic aggregation site)
3. Produce a lot of content with steadily increasing artistic proficiency
4. Attend a comic convention and have a slightly good amount of success
5. Begin to find work/comic/home life constricting
6. Begin to voice concerns to fans about need of support
7. Have a slow down or stoppage of content due to some situation (often voiced as a health issue)
8. Post a heartfelt message about how hard it is to be a comic artist as well as descriptions of health issues (often mental focused)
9. Post stronger requests for support while at the same time reducing content creation
10. An unexplained hiatus from new content
11. Post a heartfelt message with apologies about the hiatus, strong emphasis on the need of patronage, and a plan of strategy for new content posting
12. Post one or two more comics and then never again post or post with increased infrequency along with heartfelt apologies

Daily producers like Sinfest are very few and far between. Also, if they do become successful and avoid doing a 1-12, they typically will decide to completely end at either episode 300, 500 or the ten year mark.

I cherish all comic creators, even those that cannot make it work. Viewing the world through their humor and eyes even for a brief time is quite special. I do what I can to support those creators that I feel do an extra wonderful job. Patreon is one way. Some have tip jars. I buy some comic anthologies and other things from some. I send supportive emails praising their work. I am not well off by any means, but a dollar a month to a few probably helps them.

If you are a fan of a comic then I highly recommend supporting them in a monetary way. Or else risk losing that spark.

Russly
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Re: How I Read Webcomics

Post by Russly » Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:04 pm

Thank you Celina, Winter break will ideally include a few books perhaps?

As for those comic books of Tavi's... all familiar names. I hear Boondocks is getting a new season!

I do enjoy Tat's snippet about "send him into webcomics" before he began periodically updating the blog again. Even I registered Russly.com hahaha. (Yet my own site's burnout may be alleviated in due time of course.) Indeed such cycles occur outside of webcomics even, I think of some musicians off the bat.

I myself dabble in comics and art and such a bit. Ever hear of that book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art? That one seems to hit the mark as to the variety and commonality of the medium. Glad this forum is also for comic junkies in general! :B

-Russly

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