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Help me deal with my proliferation of webcomics.
February 27, 2012 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Help me deal with my proliferation of webcomics.

I've been making webcomics for quite a while now, and my propensity to change projects every 18 months or so is starting to cause problems for me.

Essentially, I'm spread out kind of weirdly across a bunch of sites. My oldest strip is at, for the sake of argument, oldeststrip.org. A second sideline project is at oldeststrip.org/middlestrip. A newer project is off at newerstrip.com .

This is kind of suboptimal in itself, especially because I have nagging feelings that I'm diluting whatever personal brand I have. Compounding it, though, I'm getting a pretty strong urge to move on to a new project. Which would probably mean putting it up at neweststrip.com .

My question: is there a better way I could be doing this? Does it even matter? If each of these sites has an About page that talks about me and links out to the other sites, is that enough (particularly when each site also displays links to my facebook and twitter accounts)? Is it ridiculous even to worry about this, given that all of this stuff is really pretty low-traffic and all I could really gain by having a really strong, unified "brand" would be for a handful of people to say, "yep, that's the guy who makes all of those comics?"

Sorry if this is vague; I have a sense I'm doing something wrong, but not enough of a sense to articulate it very well.
posted by COBRA! to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
 
My thoughts, I'd do something like

yourdomain.com/comic01
yourdomain.com/comic02
yourdomain.com/comic03
yourdomain.com/comic04
etc

for each comic idea you got, that way everything is linked to the main site.

If there is a special comic that gets you going, then get a special domain name for it. An alternative is to get the special domain name, which redirects to yourdomain.com/comicSpecial

Maybe I'm not reading you right but yeah :)
posted by TrinsicWS at 7:47 AM on February 27, 2012


I suggest a footer or at least a footer menu all your sites share to make navigation easier between your sites and to tie them together a bit.

It's ridiculous to worry about it if it's seriously keeping you from drawing, but I think you'll benefit from setting something nice-looking up even if you have low traffic.
posted by michaelh at 7:48 AM on February 27, 2012


I have a ton of projects that aren't connected at all, and my solution has been to create subdomains for them under my main website. If I were in your position, I'd move the domains to something like strip1.cobracomics.com, strip2.cobracomics.com, etc.

I don't know how this will impact your 'brand', per se, but it might make you feel less twitchy about it.
posted by Phire at 7:49 AM on February 27, 2012


There's a webcomic artist I follow who has like three or four comics, all at individual domains. I honestly don't know all of her domains. And I can't be bothered to go looking for them.

But something she does do that I like.. is post each comic on DeviantArt. (all under the same account) She just doesn't post the newest one. The newest one goes up on her domains and she posts the previous strip in that series on DA. Then she sticks a link in the comic that says something like: Read the newest ComicName here.

It could help for you to create a brand of you as the Artist while still keeping everything separate. It might draw in more readers too!
posted by royalsong at 7:55 AM on February 27, 2012


Wherever you post them, just make sure you are providing clearly labeled and properly structured RSS feeds for each comic. Then it doesn't matter if your posting is sporadic or spread across domains, as your fans can subscribe in their reading app of choice (whether Google Reader, another RSS program, or a specialized comic app).
posted by bcwinters at 8:15 AM on February 27, 2012


A friend of mine who does comics & webcomics & crossovers & shared projects &c handles this by having a central website that features links to everything he wants anyone to be able find. Any web project he wants to be identified with gets a link (or for print projects, a blurb) to his hub site, and the brag site summarizes & links out to everything.
posted by Ys at 8:27 AM on February 27, 2012


Thanks, everybody. It's pretty clear to me that a central site with subdomains is the way to go... I just have to stare down my immense laziness about setting up and migrating 3 different WordPress installations.
posted by COBRA! at 8:49 AM on February 27, 2012


Is it important to have a new site for each one? I'd say no. Is it important to have a different site for each one? Also, no.

Having individual domain names implies that it's a long-term commitment, at least a major project (years in duration) if not an infinite new direction, something you're going to be working on as a major part of who you (professionally) are, etc.
Having sub-domains implies that this is a finite project, maybe a story arc that starts and ends, maybe a style you want to try out, etc. This isn't a bad thing, think of the parent website like a short-story compilation.

In either case, I think it's important for your branding to at least have a site that presents you as a comics-maker, as an artist, as a professional. So you buy a domain like cobracomics.com and every newcomic.com site you design has a link "other comics by cobra!" that goes to this hub. Whether this is also the hub for the "about the author" info, or whether each comic has its own bio is up to you (may depend on if you want a bio specifically relevant to each sub-genre, your sci-fi bio vs your superhero bio vs your angst-ridden coffeeshop bio), and make sure to crosslink to your general artist info on the cobracomics site, as well as listing/linking each project. Then a fan can follow comic A and comic C, or can follow you-the-artist and see comics A, B, C, and D.
posted by aimedwander at 8:53 AM on February 27, 2012


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