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Submitted on
April 18, 2013
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ESTABLISHING THE INITIAL STEPS FOR A WEBCOMIC


Hi I’m Andrea Dotta: a Pro comic artist and animator and one year ago I had the insane idea of making a powerful webcomic to show my works to more people as possible. Now I’m in a positive development towards my goal. If you want to do a webcomic, always do your best as their are millions of webcomics on the internet. 

In this article,  I  would like to share the things that I’ve learned this year so I hope you will get something from me.


 

WRITING

  • IDEAThere are no bad ideas, there are only ideas that are not developed.  To develop your idea, you need to be authentic - think of your real life experiences to give credibility to your story. If you need a sad story, think of a sad story in your life. If you want a happy story, think and say what is a happy story for you and write with your experiences in life.

  • TARGET: This is really important for your story: WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE? First, you have to think on the genre (Sci-Fi, Western, Horror), after that ask yourself:  "what’s the best audience for that genre?" and make a fast identikit of your ideal fan. E.g. “FAN HORROR: 15-18 years old, like strong emotions. Can  be Dark or Emo or a Head-banger with black humor” I don’t know if it’s a perfect this identikit but I always ask myself as to who I think is my best fan as it helps a lot in improving my story.

  • LOGLINE: One important rule in telling a story is “One character, one thing, one story”. Try to develop your idea in one line because, if you can explain your story in one line, your story can become really strong and clear as it is an indication that your idea is already clear in your head. 
    • E.g.” A girl tries to run away from her home because she wants her self-sufficiency.” You need the Main character(A girl), the most important verb (run away) and the motivation of the Main character (she want her self-sufficiency)

  • SUBJECT: Now if you want to work on a unique long story, you need to write the entire story of your comic in max one page. You have to do that to establish the beginning and the ending of your story. If you are working on a series with many episodes,  little by little, write down the subject matter of every episode in max one page as you go deeper in your story. Here you can use the Target Audience to see their most liked films, books or comics so you can give your expected readers the things that they would like to see and read.

  • CHARACTERS: Make a Identikit of your characters and here are some of the points to consider:
    • NAME
    • YEARS
    • GENDER
    • PSYCHOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION
    • PHYSIQUE
    • WORK
    • CURIOSITY
    • RELATIONSHIP – family, girlfriend or boyfriend etc.
    • BACK STORY - The most important thing! The motivation of the character is most of the time connected with his past.

                People have a very complex lifestyle so it is important that you keep these in mind.

 


Drawing 

  • REFERENCE: Don’t draw with your actual style instantly . Try to improve yourself and discover new styles. Don't be afraid to use references when necessary: drawings, photos, real life objects, etc. After that, search for drawings, paintings, comics and everything that you think is needed for your story. 
<da:thumb id="77045718"/>  Final Shot - Drawing Reference by SenshiStock  Baseball cap reference by randychen

  • INSPIRATION SKETCHES: Now draw with the reference you've found on your research and try to be as free as possible. Try to do fast sketches here, just enough to help you establish the look and feel for your characters, settings, etc and try variations because you need a lot of images you can choose whatever is best for your characters and settings for your story.

Character Profile Skull Study by LuigiL  <da:thumb id="205736644"/>  Thumbnails for bg paint by davidsdoodles

  • CHARACTERS STUDIES:There are a number of ways in studying your character and one way that I find helpful is  to make different silhouettes showing different arms movements, faces shapes, clothes, weapons, etc. If you make a readable silhouette of your character, it can help you see clearly  from a different camera perspective in a simpler way. You have to do the same thing with the colors, try a lot of different colors and choose the best for your characters or you can try the following:

space warrior silouettes by ShaneCorn    Chanta Fey - 2D turn-around by Hanesihiko

  • BACKGROUNDS STUDIES: Try different worlds and remember that the world of the characters must be related to them as their interaction with their surroundings is important. 
 
    back ground studies by greenestreet  Tales of the Abyss BG Studies by Avibroso

  • THE STYLE: Here you can do 1-2 finished images to know the final style of your comic, also here try different ways to make shadows, lights, atmosphere, ink and layout/lettering. Try some textures if you want. The reference can be very useful here for the style.


Last Tape in Hell - Cerberus by ratherlemony  kitchen by zain7  Agent X9 by RalphNiese


  • PAGES: Put all the work you’ve done in the show and add the words with a good lettering and layout.

mikey new comicbook day pg9 by mikey-c  Little Big Heads page 3! (color edit1) by cheeks-74  Crafting 1.2- Page_03 by stplmstr  


YOUR BLOG / SITE

  • To make a professional work, you need a blog or a site where you can publish webcomic online. Try to update your webcomic weekly or try to have a schedule and if you say something like “I will release the next episode on February 1” you have to do that or you will lose credibility.
  • There are a lot of possible formats and layouts to put online your webcomics, in the links are some examples:
  1. Classic Orizzontal comic [link]
  2. Strip comic [link]
  3. Vertical comic: [link] (is in italian sorry)
  4. Film style: [link] this is really interesting!

 Carrying trade site layout by floydworx  Video Site Concept by z-design



ADVERTISE YOURSELF!

  • LOGO AND SLOGAN: Make a good logo that explains the world of your webcomic, this is your business card! Also the slogan is important, because it helps builds attraction and people can easily remember it.

L4D2 Fan Comic Logo by MidNight-Vixen  Symbiote Spiderman Logo by Wolverine080976  DICK TRACY LOGO COMIC STRIP by JaimeMolina

  • SOCIAL NETWORKS: Find the most important social networks for you, you don’t need 30 social to advertise your comic… You can’t do it well everywhere! Try to have 2-3 social max. For me the best for comics are advertised on Facebook, Deviantart and Twitter. Someone said that I can also also use Tumblr and Pinterest but I don’t know much about it. But you can try them ofcourse! Just choose the best for you.

  • OTHER SITES AND BLOG: Find every site and blog that can attract interest on your work, contact the admin of the site and try to have a critique on it or a review or just ask them to visit your works


 

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!

  • To get some money from your webcomic, you can try selling your brand as a merchandise with an online shop or use a crowd funding website like KICKSTARTER[link]  or INDIEGOGO [link] or use GOOGLE ADSENSE to have advertise on your site.

 

Well I think I talk too much for this time! If you have any question contact me and I can answer you well!

Ah, last thing… a preview from my future webcomic, JOHNNY DYNAMIC!


JOHNNY DYNAMIC - Preview by andreadotta


Bye!




Add a Comment:
 
:icondianagrigore:
DianaGrigore Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013
This was a very interesting article, I'm in love with comics and I used to draw some when i was little. That film style was pretty cool. :clap:
Reply
:iconjburns272:
Jburns272 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great tutorial. I found it very helpful. :)

Are those zombie lego men?!?
Reply
:icondarkjanet:
DarkJanet Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd better make my own comic after I get cintiq 22HD. I'm going to surpass *bleedman.
Reply
:iconmissmiracles:
MissMiracles Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
It's really easy to surpass Bleedman, he's really bad.
Reply
:iconthegreataiko-sama:
THEGREATAIKO-SAMA Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist
:giggle:
Reply
:iconmissmiracles:
MissMiracles Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
I'm glad you find honesty funny. :'D
Reply
:icondarkjanet:
DarkJanet Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why bad?
Reply
:iconmissmiracles:
MissMiracles Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
His art is really creepy( Like a pedo-bear creepy, not Freddy Krueger creepy) his story lines are awful and he just isn't good in general. Sorry if I'm coming off as rude, but he honestly is bad.
Reply
:icondarkjanet:
DarkJanet Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know, Miss Miracles, I know.
Um, is yaoi okay with you?
Reply
:iconmissmiracles:
MissMiracles Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yaoi is fine I guess, I don't really care about stuff like that. Why?
Reply
Add a Comment: