Got an idea for a webcomic. Where do I publish it?
January 26, 2017 11:14 PM   Subscribe

I have an idea for a web comic, but I'm not a regular reader of them (apart from the odd XKCD, SMBC etc that gets shared with me). Which platform should I publish it on? I've got a site already, would that work? Is there a particular template people use? Or a webcomic-specific platform? Medium? Blogger? Any free-but-not-terrible-looking options? And do I need my own URL?

It's a left-field-ish idea a bit like Garfield Without Garfied. But not as good as that.
posted by dontjumplarry to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Tumblr is free and popular, although also slightly bafflingly so as the standard navigation setup is really poor for webcomics reading. There are themes that help, and the benefit of Tumblr is that if you're willing to put in the effort it's got a bit of a network effect internally what with the reblogging and sharing and that.

Wordpress can be anything you want it to be, including a webcomics publishing platform and also a massive headache if you're maintaining/customising it yourself. There are probably free themes for that, too?
posted by parm at 1:59 AM on January 27, 2017

If it's low continuity, and high remix (like Garfield minus Garfield), Tumblr would be perfect, especially if it's just a hobby for you.

Wordpress is better if you really want to invest in being a content creator with many aspects to your empire, or would enjoy fiddling with and maintaining the site.

(I have no experience publishing on medium)
posted by itesser at 2:57 AM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I read some webcomics on DeviantArt and that works quite well, from a consumer point of view!
posted by greenish at 4:03 AM on January 27, 2017

Comicpress is a Wordpress theme specifically for comics which I've seen some people use, though I cannot vouch for it from personal experience.
posted by Segundus at 4:51 AM on January 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh, and I think having your own domain name is pretty much a no-brainer.
posted by Segundus at 5:05 AM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've used Comicpress for a ton of webcomics (here's an example if you want to see it in action), and found it great. Setup wasn't bad, changing the look was just a matter of entirely-within-normal-bounds Wordpress messing-around.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:11 AM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

My brother uses The Duck as his webcomic publishing medium. I'm not sure what their tools are like as far as if you were to want your own domain name, but it might work as a host?
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:27 AM on January 27, 2017

I used Comicpress+Wordpress for a summer project years ago and it was easy; I am sure it is even better now.
posted by mikepop at 10:43 AM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've been working (very sporadically) on a web comic, and I use WordPress and have my own url for it. The theme I selected isn't specifically designed for comics, but I don't think it needs to be: it mainly needs to be designed to showcase image files.
posted by Halo in reverse at 11:02 AM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

IIRC, the main thing Comic Press adds is comic style navigation. If you know a little html, you can add that to any post manually and then use whatever you like. I do this on BlogSpot.

But if you have a Wordpress site, the easy answer is to go with Comic Press. I found it to be confusing and a hassle to use, but that does not mean you will. Different strokes for different folks.

There are also some Word Press themes intended specifically for comics. Again, those didn't work easily or well for me. But that doesn't mean it will be a problem for you. You should be able to find them by going into your themes section and searching the term "comic."

There are also free sites for specifically posting comics, like Comic Fury. I have no experience, but my understanding is they come with a community and that is the appeal for some people.
posted by Michele in California at 11:44 AM on January 27, 2017

n-thing Comic Press. The guy who created it, Frumph, is super helpful and friendly and very much in need of any financial support one can give. The theme is entirely free and he provides plenty of free support but if you are able to throw a few bucks his way it will benefit him tremendously.

Anyway, he's been working on this since forever and it's very polished, powerful and flexible. I ran my webcomic on it for two years without problem and was able to employ every silly webcomic interface idea I wanted.

And if you want someone else to customize it, he's your man.

As for your own url this is definitely strongly preferred. You can get a .com for like $10 a year now and point it to your host (where your Wordpress install is) and it's done.
posted by bfootdav at 12:04 PM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

You can also register your own domain and have it show your Tumblr site (Tumblr has good instructions for this).

If you decide to register a domain message me and I can probably find a discount code for the host I use.
posted by mikepop at 6:37 AM on January 30, 2017

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