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Submitted on
July 13
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After several years of being on this site, I've noticed several troubling trends with the comic and literature creators on here. The points brought up here are mostly comic related, but are applicable to written works as well. Contains mild profanity.

Art
  • For beginners, no art program or drawing tablet is automatically going to make you a better artist. Think of them as tools, rather than tickets. Like learning any skill, it takes patience, persistence and dedication through any medium. Do not be discouraged by another artist's skill or age.
  • Don't worry about your comic's artwork unless you are actually trying to sell your work. I've seen works where the creator was obviously artistically talented, but the story was terrible. The story should come first.
  • Do not go for extreme detail if you cannot handle it. In the worst case scenario, you'd be stressing yourself out and will never be able to finish the comic. 
  • Don't constantly redraw older pages of your comic. 
  • Try to avoid constantly drawing eye close-ups to convey emotion. 
  • Don't copy and paste panels. It makes the characters look stiff.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment. It's going to look shitty, but that't how you learn.
  • Watermark your work.
Accessibility
  • If you want people to read your comic, and this goes for literature works as well; your comic pages need to be in one place. Set aside a folder in your gallery or a page on your website to act as an archive. Nothing is more frustrating than having to look through someone's gallery or blog archive for all parts of a work.
  • In the description add links to the first page or cover, the beginning of a chapter, the previous page, and the next page. Deviantart's automatic feature does not always work.
Distributing your work.
  • If you are going to sell your work, make sure that you have an audience for it before spending any money. 
  • If you want recognition for your work, you need to advertise. Instead of whining on your journals or blogs about how no one appreciates your work, get off of your ass and do something about it. Submit your work to as many groups as you can. Advertise.
  • If you suddenly cancel your series after asking your readers to purchase every copy, your audience is going to feel screwed over for wasting money and they may be reluctant to purchase anything from you ever again.
Cliches 
Cliches aren't necessarily bad, when written with enough skill they can make for a good story.
  • Blue/white/gold/purple/angelic for the good/leader characters and red/black/bones/bat wings/buckets of blood for the bad/trouble making/'mysterious' characters. Or putting these characters in some sort of tragic/forbidden/dysfunctional relationship, whether it be as a couple, siblings or friends.
  • Obviously evil characters in general.
  • Flawless characters.
  • Boring one-dimensional antagonists.
  • Having a character automatically be better at fighting/magic/whatever than characters that have had training.
  • Glowing eyes. Glowing markings around the eyes.
  • The hero is banished and has to return to fight/defeat the antagonist or help the people who banished them.
  • A story that begins with a prologue, usually involving some evil god/race/group fighting a good god/race/group. The good god defeats the evil god blah blah, peace and happiness but now centuries/ages later the EVIL threatens to return/challenge their power/get revenge.
  • The main character was secretly this race/belonged to this group.
  • Prophecies
  • Useful powers that are never used again for some inexplicable reason.
  • Powers that don't follow their own established rules. Especially if wielded by the protagonist.

Miscellaneous
 Advice
  • Know how your story is going to end. Plan ahead.
  • Be wary of plot holes.
  • Show, don't tell. Don't show and tell.
  • Don't be rude to your readers.
Be sure to comment if you have any questions or notice any grammatical errors. (I'm sure that there's plenty.)

Add a Comment:
 
:icona3dp:
a3dp Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Good advice!  I'm a comic creator and I plan to be a graphic novelist in the future.  I can really put this advice to use. 
Reply
:iconqueengwenevere:
QueenGwenevere Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014
Um, actually, DON'T watermark your comic pages... A comic with a big ugly watermark all over it will send readers elsewhere very, very quickly. Put your name on it somewhere, yes, but not in a way that interferes with viewing or reading the page.

Big ugly watermarks totally scream "amateur", and art directors hate them. If you MUST watermark your images, make it subtle and discreet and don't have it obscure the important parts of the image.
Reply
:icongamchawizzy:
Gamchawizzy Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful advice! :) I'm in the process of starting my own webcomic, myself, and this is really helpful! Faved. <3
Reply
:iconyuuza:
Yuuza Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I have a question, the cliche 
  • The hero is banished and has to return to fight/defeat the antagonist or help the people who banished them.
i've never actually seen it before, maybe it's just me and i haven't noticed it but this theme is in my story! And i'd really like to know what makes this cliche a cliche, what exactly is bad about it ans where exactly has it been used before. If i know where it was used, i'll know how to distance myself from those works or the parts that make this cliche bad. 
So please go a little more in-depth about this cliche and help me out a bit
Thanks!
Reply
:iconbritt-entertainment:
BRiTT-Entertainment Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
There are some Cliches that can be passed off as insulting, too.

A few examples include Hypersexualization, Damsel in Distress, the "N-Word", useless, poorly written characters (Sadly, mostly females in Animes) that all like the main protagonist and can't get of of trouble without his help (Sword Art Online is notorious for applying this trope), racist or sexist jokes, passive female characters who experience rape scenes and act like nothing happens afterwards (Or Sexual Objectification for short), "Black Dudes Always Die", anything from a Micheal Bay movie, etc.
Reply
:iconfrogpointprince:
FrogPointPrince Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014   Artisan Crafter
I personally love Cliches; when done properly (for the most part)

but +++ to this:

  • Useful powers that are never used again for some inexplicable reason.
  • Powers that don't follow their own established rules. Especially if wielded by the protagonist.

IF YOU INTRODUCE POWERS; AND ESTABLISH RULES FOR THEM ~ THEY'RE THERE.... USE THEM... HAVE FUN WITH THEM... DON'T FORGET ABOUT THEM.. makes you look crazy to other people who think "what the hell why didn't they just ____"

Yes ~ it may make you have to flesh out your story a little more, but if you put in the correct amount of work it'll be worth it!
Reply
:iconkindcritc:
KindCritc Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Plot holes. How I despise them.
(Thanks for this!)
Reply
:icondomisea:
Domisea Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Student General Artist
Looks good, though I will never resign from glowing eyes, nevuur. And veins cx
Reply
:icondyvas:
Dyvas Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for the advice! This is awesome stuff right here. c: If I might add some things that I think would honestly be of assistance:

Don't be afraid to TRY. Don't say 'I'm waiting til I'm "good enough"'. Try it NOW. You might just fall in love with it.
Don't get so attached to your 'baby' that it clouds your mind to advice. Sometimes the best way to help your 'baby' is to put it to the side. 
Have FUN. If you're gonna put in the work for the comic, you're gonna need that fun to fuel your passion. Nobody ever became successful forcing comics they didn't like out. 

Again, great stuff! Thank you for posting it! 
Reply
:iconfuchsia-neko:
fuchsia-neko Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks for the advice:wave:
It'll be good knowing this, especially since I've been working on 2 comics right now(One for DA, and one I hope I actually will be able to show on DA, but probably won'to3o )
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