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Open Post: Why do you make webcomics?

As proved by the “Shill Your Webcomic” post that I put up not too long ago, there are several readers who visit this site who also make webcomics. To you fine bunch of creators, I pose the following question:

Why do you make webcomics?

Is it the faint chance that it will one day become a cultural touchtone like Calvin & Hobbes? Is it a social exercise to meet new people? Is to enough just want to make people laugh? Or is drawing so encoded in your DNA that you just need an outlet for expression?

To you, I cede the floor.

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About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on May 31, 2013, in Open Post, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I don’t yet make webcomics, but I intend to, partly because I have so many ideas I want to share with the world, and partly because I desire a means to make a living that I can do with a minimum of interacting with people in real life. 🙂 (I can’t draw for crap, so that’s not part of it; I’d need to bring in an artist.)

  2. As I said in my column, i make the stuff I would read. But that’s not the only reason. It’s because i love to write and doing a comic is the best way to get my stuff out quicker than writing a full novel and screenplay, of which I’m currently doing.

    But it’s also that I can’t see myself ever not doing comics. Ever since I started making them, something clicked and this all just felt right, so i kept going.

  3. Another “would be moved to make comics no matter what” person here.

    But putting them online keeps me disciplined about it. When you’re accountable to readers, even just a few of them, you can’t go “I don’t feel like drawing this afternoon” or “eh, I’ll put this story aside and pick it up some other day.” The update schedule cares not for your writer’s block.

    Plus, the feedback is nice.

    I’d love to make some actual profit out of this one day — who wouldn’t? — but if tonight I had a mystical vision that I would never make real money off of comics, I’d still keep doing them.

  4. I love to write and I’ve been drawing for a long time, so comics are a good fit for me. I have some stories that are destined for prose, and others that really have to be drawn– my webcomic What Nonsense has cartoon animal characters, so it has to be a comic. (For various reasons, I just don’t think the same story would work with human characters)

    I’ve been working on it a long time, and it’s too late to give up now. I’m passionate about the story, silly as it is, so I have to see it through to completion.

  5. Why do I write webcomics? Because I think that it is an excellent expression of artistic vision, and if you have a love of writing, drawing, or crafting a world from your mind that you want everyone to see, that it is a simple way to do so!

    I love video games, and I love to laugh, so I made a webcomic about those two things. QuickTimeEvents is the brainchild I think of every day when I get home, every night before I go to bed, and every second I have my hands on the controller, because I want to find joy in everything I do.

    Making a webcomic should be your passion, not your job.

  6. I do “Holiday Wars” because it’s a story I want to tell and share. The plan is for it to be nine volumes and in three years we are halfway through volume two so we still have a lot of story left.

    As for why it’s a webcomic that was a marketing decision. My publisher said they liked the story and the art but wasn’t sure if it could find an audience through Diamond and stores in the traditional manner. So we put it online first in the hopes it would develop a fanbase which would be interested in owning a physical book. Volume 1 came out officially in stores last month and so far so good. My fingers are crossed that Volume 2 will do just as well.

  7. I love to draw, read and write. As I kid I enjoyed reading comics. I still do.

    You can create a world and tell amazing stories through comics. Making webcomics provides instant feedback. Also, I can reach more people than I would with print.

    My comic is Wacky Monkeys. I’m making it up as I go along but I have many ideas I’m going to explore.

    I certainly enjoy the process!

  8. I have a ridiculous need to create stuff. It doesn’t even matter what that much, just as long as I’m making something.

    As a kid I’d enjoy art and creative writing more than anything else and I used to go completely over the top with both. One time in junior school when we were asked to write a short story I ended up writing a short novel instead. I still have the exercise books somewhere. About twenty pages in there’s a note from my teacher saying it’s a shame I didn’t manage to finish it. After that the rest of the book, and the first half of another, is filled with more of the story.

    I’d also doodle little cartoon characters everywhere, to the extent that one of my senior school teachers suggested I didn’t have to write my name on my assignments anymore. They could tell which ones were mine by the cartoons in the corners.

    So drawing comics eventually was pretty much inevitable. I thought one of the little characters I’d starting doodling on everything, a little chubby looking demon thing, had some potential so I starting drawing some strips (which were utterly awful for the most part). I didn’t know what I was going to do with these things though. I just drew them and they sat around gathering dust, but then I discovered that webcomics existed, so I read a whole bunch of them, gave it a good think, scrapped the comics I’d been working on, registered a Smack Jeeves account and started posting new, better (but still a little bit rubbish) strips online.

    And I’m going to keep on doing that because I still like comics, I get to create things and people actually read them, which is always a huge bonus.

  9. i like to tell a story and i like the medium.

    with a webcomic, i can tell a story to someone i’ve never met, on the other side of the world, at 4am. i can say what i want, how i want and anyone can see it. i can speak to you one-on-one and can potentially provide that experience to millions of viewers.

    a webcomic is interactive. if they like it, they can interact with it. if they hate it, they can interact with it. it’s theatre with a permanent, permeable fourth wall.

    a webcomic provides a living world, that will live-on long-after the paper in a book will disintegrate. it can be as new on the day it is discovered it as it was when it was published.

  10. I am in the process of creating one (though I had a not half bad single panel webcomic when I was fifteen). The reason I make webcomics was because as a child, I learned to read because of my desire to figure out what Calvin and Hobbes where saying. My grandma had a big Calvin and Hobbes book that I would look at for hours. As I grew older, I would draw my own, and dream about being a cartoonist. One day I realized that newspapers are a dying breed and was told that getting syndicated was like winning the lottery twice. So I turned to the internet.

    Also, I enjoy entertaining people, and I view webcomics as a great medium to do so.

  11. Art and storytelling keeps me on the up and up, preventing me from spiralling into an existential crisis or worrying about real life problems/people I have no control over. I’ve always really enjoyed drawing, and I crave feedback, so being able to have that potential for reader dialogue and feedback is what really makes the webcomic experience worthwhile for me.

    I know a lot of people draw for their own amusement, and on a small scale I can enjoy drawing “just for myself,” but in general, my art is pointless if I can’t share it with others. Even if I just show it to one other person, that makes me feel my effort has value. I crave that “audience” part of the equation. I’m not chasing down some white whale of popularity, in that I know my comic isn’t ever going to be a household name or anything. I’m not “in it to win it.” I just get really giddy off the idea that someone else might get enjoyment out of something I had fun creating.

    I’m not a professional, just a dedicated hobbyist. I started writing and drawing my comic because it’s fun, and I keep at it because a handful of other people seem vaguely interested. So long as both of those things continue to be true, I’ll keep truckin’.

  12. I was doing webcomics for a bit because I wanted to become ridiculously rich.

    Obviously that didn’t pan out.

  13. I am making a webcomic because I spent so many days working out this story that I was feeling miserable not doing anything with it. I had originally wanted to write it out as a book, but realized that I prefer constructing stories in a more visual medium. When the ‘Shill your Webcomic” post came by and I hadn’t a website ready for it, I realized I should get on my game and finally make it public.

    Bottom line: I began to fear not doing anything more than having an imperfect product. Now that it’s part of my routine, I’m much happier for it.

  14. I make comics because I have stories in my head and it’s the best way to get them out.

  15. I enjoy telling stories and meeting people. I decided to stop talking about the projects I wanted to do, and get to doing them!

  16. I have a ludicrous fascination with storytelling, and I like drawing, so here I am. I have a shitload of stories I want to tell, and webcomics are an incredibly fun way to get them out there. I’ll probably always do this as a hobby, at least.

  17. I guess this is kind of a standard answer, but I’ve been drawing comics since I was about 9 or 10 and ever since I couldn’t really see myself doing much else. I chose webcomics rather than just going straight to print because when I was around middle school I got SUPER into webcomics, and I continue to be to this day.

    I use to join a bunch of webcomic forums and I always just really liked how close it made the creators with their fans. I remember back when Inverloch was still running and it got to the part where a major character was seriously wounded. Everyone on the forum was freaking out and the creator jumped in the forum kinda teasing everyone as it would update page by page. I dunno why that left such an impression on me but I always thought that was really cool.

    I’ll probably never set up a forum but the direct contact between creator and reader is really fun and interesting.

  18. Because why wouldn’t you.

  19. Because, like everyone else above, I have something wrong with me. A ComicVirus has infected me and needs to replicate and spread itself to others. JOIN US! JOIN US!

  20. because it is an idea that won’t leave my mind and I don’t want years to pass by thinking I could have done it, but i didn’t. it’s love baby. 🙂

  21. I’ve wanted to be a cartoonist since I was a kid, and having a webcomic is a way to keep me from going insane from my day job and to keep aspiring to be a professional one day. It can be difficult to come up with consistently good and funny material on a daily basis, and sometimes real life intervenes and makes me miss a few updates, but I figure as long as I have ideas in my head that need to come out, I’ll keep drawing comics until I’m no longer able.

  22. I missed the ‘Shill your Webcomic’ post, but… I make a comic because I love telling stories and I love the stories I tell, and I share it on the web because I think it’s awesome that other people might read and love my stories too. (And that those people can talk to me! Reader interactions are awesome!)

    My current comic may not represent the best of my current abilities, partly due to it having been started five years ago when I didn’t know a thing about making comics and had a pretty hazy vision of where I was going with it, but I enjoy making it anyway, and no matter how small my readership may be, knowing that even a couple of people enjoyed something I made and got invested in the characters I came up with makes it all worthwhile. I’m still a good couple of years away from wrapping up the story, but I’m already excited to find out what I can do with the skills I’ve gained over the past few years when I’m given a fresh start.

    …..Wow, this came out a lot more optimistic than I was expecting, lol.

  23. I’m an artist. Not a very good artist, but I have the drive. I started making comics because I loved comics and wanted to be a part of it. And I started publicizing my comics on the internet when I finally was satisfied with an idea and felt like I could be a part of it.

    Hell, I didn’t even really have an MO set up until 10 comics in or something. But it was fun.

    Unfortunately it’s been months since my last comic, and besides my usual lack of focus I have this problem of being away from my usual tool of trade and haven’t been able to find a good substitute. To use the Wiseauian vernacular, GIMP on the Mac is tearing me apart and I haven’t yet figured a way to do my comics the same way they are today on anything else(there’s always something off…)

    But I wish to come back soon. I don’t have many fans, but I liked the ones I got, and I obviously love my work to the point that sometimes I start wondering the most absurd things about it on a meta level(like when I realized my comic actually passes the Bechdel test because of a joke about the ladies’ restroom). Or maybe I’ll get to doing something new. In my mother language, even.

    Okay, rambling off. Better start reading what these other people are saying up there.

  24. hey El Santo, nice to write ya again :3

    that’s a really nice question.

    i guess, i jsut want to make people laugh (at least as good as I can. and still failing at it heh). altho sometimes i envy kaz because he has a bigger following. funny, but i was quite frightened when more than five people followed me on the tumblr (so i deleted it). i have a fear of not meeting my readers’ expectations and one of the dudes was quite a stalker, he really creeped me off.

    also i love my character and i want her to live and make everyboddy happy or smth

    goddagnit, please i’m sorry for a drunktalk… again…

  25. Why?

    Because I want to share my thoughts with others in the hopes of finding like minds, because I want to create possibilities, and most of all, because I can!

  26. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid with the dream of one day being a professional cartoonist. While I’ve accomplished quite a bit in my career thus far (Animator, Toy Designer, Package Designer, Illustrator, Greeting Card Artist, Art Director, Comic Book writer/artist and publisher) I haven’t quite fulfilled that dream as of yet.

    I began this Daily Comic/Blog (or for want of a better word, “Drog”) as merely an artist exercise, a discipline to draw something new every day, but it has turned into a daily desire to recount events in my life (some good, some bad, some embarrassing!) to an audience in an entertaining way.

    In 1998, through my job at the time, I had the good fortune to spend the day with Charles Schulz at his studio. Among the many things we talked about, the one bit of advice he told me that has stuck with me to this day is “Write what you know”. Hopefully, that’s what I’m doing everyday with my daily comic.

    Now if I could just get people to read it………………………..:b

  27. For me it started just as a creative outlet. A way to get all the ideas I’d think of out of my head and onto paper in a relatively inexpensive way. Also, with self-imposed deadlines and the threat of a critical audience it forces me to continue to work steadfastly and seek to improve upon my many faults as a writer and an artist.

    That was 11 years ago though…

    Mostly I do them now because… what am I going to do, NOT work on comics? I feel like I’d just have this giant chunk of time that I’d just dump into video games or mindlessly watching TV or something else that isn’t fulfilling or demonstrable. I really like being able to say “What do I have to show for the last 10 years of my life? Just about 1000 pages of different comics and things. They’re not all great. But they’re all mine.”

  28. I’ve always loved doing comics and did them long before I got properly in touch with web and putting them on the web is mainly another way to publish them and get more audience so to me it’s not as much about why do a webcomic, but why to do a comic in the first place (though to be honest, I’m quite impatient and enjoy showing my process as I do it which web helps a lot with). I guess in the end I just want to share my ideas, stories and things that I like and hope that they touch someone in the same way as some comics from my early years touched me, and maybe even remember them fondly after years, whether they saw it via web or print!

    Also it’s a nice way to keep up practicing drawing and challenging myself.

  29. Because I love comics, spent many of my childhood summers in the library reading all kinds of comics (many of them not allowed for children). but unfortunately my home country has a very marginalised comic culture. If your name hasn’t already been established in the 80’s-90’s, if you’re not making a gag-a-day strip, if your comic has any mature themes in it or if its not about Donald Duck, you can forget about getting your stuff published here. So the Internet is a cheap and easy way to spread one’s work for the masses.

  30. I make comics because I have characters I love and stories to tell and comics are the best format for those stories. I make webcomics because I want to tell the story on my own terms and reach many people, which is much harder to do in print.

  31. I think the admin of this site is in fact working hard in support of his site, since here
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