Web Comic tips.
July 31, 2005 6:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of starting a webcomic and was looking for general advice.

Stuff like, what's the best way to save the images. Is it ok to just use blogger to post them? Is there an easy way to color them, after drawing them and scanning them? Can the world survive another webcomic?
posted by dial-tone to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Adobe Photoshop and a Wacom tablet will help you with file optimization for the web and with digital painting, respectively. As far as the world surviving, if you have something original to say, go for it.
posted by Rothko at 6:41 PM on July 31, 2005

I recommend overdosing on webcomics by skimming through as many as you possibly can in one sitting. You should notice a LOT of plagiarism and some obvious cliches.
Avoid all those things and you should be fine.
posted by nightchrome at 8:03 PM on July 31, 2005

get a wacom board like rothko mentioned

are you going to use your drawings as a guide to trace in illustrator? that would be my method since coloring would be easier and universal for all the strips.
posted by chuckforthought.com at 8:17 PM on July 31, 2005

If you're proficent with web coding, come up with a way for people to 'bookmark' their place in the story so that they can stop by once a month and read all the new stuff easily. That's the way I prefer to read 'em, and no one seems to support that

posted by delmoi at 8:37 PM on July 31, 2005

That is a very good idea. Does anybody do that at all, the bookmarking thing?

I suppose I should also try to answer the question instead of just oohing and ahhing. Drawing, scanning, and coloring. You CAN trace in Illustrator or another vector program, but it'll take a long time (I suppose practice helps) and coloring is not necessarily quick or intuitive unless you are doing very specific things, like for example the main character's head is always a yellow circle. In general I'd say Illustrator is either for people who can't Draw or who really, really Can. Or if you are after a vector art look, like Achewood or something. Usually it's easier to use Photoshop, scan in your art, convert to RGB, make a new layer that's set to Darken or Multiply, and color it from there. You may be able to get away with using a mouse if you stick to flat color but a Wacom is really really nice. Save them as gifs if they are line art or flat color, jpegs if they're painterly. As for the world surviving, no, probably not, so go for it.
posted by furiousthought at 11:06 PM on July 31, 2005

jeffrey rowland at wigu does the bookmarking thing.
posted by jimmy at 11:25 PM on July 31, 2005

If you're going to be doing drawing and scanning, I'd second a Wacom and Photoshop. If you want to go for a vector style Illustrator is my application of choice but I know a few people who really prefer the way Flash works. There's a pretty large learning curve between when you start and when you're finally comfortable working with vectors. I'm thinking along the lines of Furiousthought here when he says Illustrator is 'either for people who can't draw or who really, really can'... it's very easy to sketch around for basic definition, but that lends itself to very obvious sets of repeated forms and copy-paste work (see Penny Arcade, etc). Since you're going to be doing the scan route, I'd recommend checking out Potrace as it is a very excellent tool that will give you a lot of room for experimentation with your files before you find a suitable style and worfklow. I find the 'autotrace' tool in Illustrator rather poor in comparison. Good luck.
posted by prostyle at 8:01 AM on August 1, 2005

Do your work at print resolution (300 dpi or higher) and keep the high-resolution originals. Then you have the option of eventually publishing your work in a book or other printed form.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:52 AM on August 1, 2005

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