I am so glad I have been watching Amazon for new installments of the Image title How To Make WebComics Review featuring Brad Guigar, Dave Kellett, Krs Straub and Scott Kurtz.
I wasn’t sure what I would find in this book, but it seems to be the most popular book in the world of anything related to comics. This book sells for $100 in some places online. I wasn’t going to spend that much. Although after reading this book, I know why people will pay that much for it. I held out and was actually able to grab a copy for $10 on Amazon.
OVERVIEW OF HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS:
The book can be used as a guide to make webcomics and comics if you wanted. I’ve never seen so much instruction from beginning to end on almost every detail of the process. Their approach was fun too. Four authors with comments on each other’s writing brings a lot of insightful tips and add some flavor for just about every chapter they right. It is fun, not boring. In fact the personalities of the authors interacting with each other makes the whole book an experience for sure. It almost feels like you are at a con with these guys–except instead of waiting in a long line, you are having a face-t0-face conversation with them as they let you in on all their hard work.
The book is divided into 2 sections. The first is about How To Make Webcomics. The second is about Marketing your Webcomics and offer some strategy on selling etc. I already know how to make webcomics, so I turned to the back half to see if they knew anything about marketing online.
Because the print is older, there is no section on how to make comics for the ipad or iphone. (HINT: This would be a great time to write a book about this topic and make a great deal of money if you are so inclined) If you are so inclined let me know and I’ll write a great review for you–If it’s good!
FIRST IMPRESSION OF HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS.
Reading it from the middle of the book, I hated their advice. Although, be it, their book is titled How to Make Webcomics” and NOT “How to Market Webcomics” So, I can’t really blame them. And honestly, I truly hate to going against some of their advice. Because truly when the whole comic book community revers this book as a Bible. I would rather not be labeled a blasphemer.
Ironically, Dave Kellet who wrote the first chapter I read ended up being the one I most admired when reading the other chapters. When I actually read the book the whole way through from beginning to end, I could tell these guys had the experience and could execute everything they say.
The problem with the Marketing parts of the books (and I think the biggest detriment to webcomics in general) is that artists push webcomics as a means to sell merchandise. Dave Kellet spent 8 years as a toy designer at Mattel toys. So this is maybe where his background comes from from pushing plushes, and other merchandising on the site.
I know this is how every successful webcomic creator sees their work. As a way to push their merchandise–they see that they can sell their animals, and shirts, and buttons, for a lot more than they call sell their books for. But what if your comic could be the thing that was the most valuable aspect of your site? It is the engine that drives all the other sales isn’t it? So it seems like the webcomic would be the most valueable asset to you and your readers.
I did not like the fact that it seemed that most of the artists time, money, and resources are to be spent storing, and shipping this physical merchandise that gets readers attention off line and channels them online. Most of their marketing knowledge and sales were at how to sell their books to conventions. Not selling online, which I would think would be a valuable asset for any online comic creator.
SECOND IMPRESSION OF HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS
Even with most of their marketing done offline to drive traffic to online stores, it has worked for them and you make the money however you can. They have tackled just about every topic imaginable and provide great resources for anything they didn’t cover. You really can use this as a PRIMER to get you on the path to make webcomics and also enhance your webcomic making skills.
I particular liked the sections on Brad Guigar’s Writing HUMOR. There are many practical tips that a writer can use to flush out their arsenal. There were great take aways in each chapter that would take your level of making any comic book or webcomic in general more attractive.
This is a must-read for all practical concerns on how to make webcomics or how to make comics.
Since they didn’t offer very strong marketing to the online world, I would like to point to give you some help in that area. If you are going to market anything. You have to do it online. And as is proven with webcomics. They are powerful to be able to sell merchandise.
Since people are going to be going online anyway, they may as well come to your website and check out your webcomic.
This is what everyone in the webcomic world wants TRAFFIC and SALES.
Since neither of these things were discussed in the book, I highly recommend you check out the Webcomic Marketing Masterclass on how to MARKET webcomics. That may be of an added benefit to you.