Webcomics in the simplest terms are a comic that is formatted to be viewed digitally online. Webcomics are intended to be read on a computer/laptop, smartphone or tablet. There are two industry standards for displaying a comic digitally. Traditionally displaying a full Comic Page as it would be read in a book (SideQuested), or in an Infinite Scroll Format (popularized by WebToons), were each panel is stacked on top of itself vertically. Some Webcomics optimize their comics to be viewed differently depending on the viewing device displaying full page comics on the computer and laptop while displaying the comic in infinite scroll on mobile devices (Striped Bandits).
Webcomics for the most part are created by independent creators who own and control their own work. In as much it’s a great platform to release an idea or story into the world free or with minimum cost. Web Cartoonist have a multitude of free publishing platforms to choose from such as: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, X, Blogger. Each of these platforms have their own webcomic formatting requirements. The other option for webcomic publishing is through owning an independent website, in which the creator will pay for their own website hosting and website design. There are many option for the webcomic creator to consider when deciding which platforms to use when publishing their webcomic.
Each platform has it’s advantages and disadvantages, which need to be considered when deciding on the best publishing platform. Some advocates for using free Social Media Platforms is having access to large user bases and have very little financial risk. While other creators prefer owning their publishing platforms, as it prevents them from loosing access to publish their comic if the material has been deemed inappropriate by that platform.
Freedom to Create Comics.
Cartoonist enjoy the freedom Webcomics provide them artistically as there are no “gatekeepers”. Gatekeepers who decide if the story or idea will appeal to a large audience. Freedom to write the story you need to write. Freedom to draw the way you want to draw. Freedom to create comics that you want to read.
Striped Bandits Issue 3 Comic Book Pages 6 and 7. Below are the full length comic pages that correspond to the current Web Comic Episode 13. The Striped Bandits Web Comic is two pages in length of the actual printed comic. Which version of the comic do you like better, the Web Comic or the Comic?
Below are the steps it takes to make a comic.
Since I am an artist who happens to write, I write my comic using thumbnails. All the dialog is written as I design the page. Each Striped Bandits episode is two traditional comic book pages in length. As a writer I try to end a thought or idea within those two pages as well as leave the story in a “cliffhanger” to leave the reader waiting to find out what happens. I like to write in a 3 subject note book. these are easy to take anywhere, are cheap, and is how I started making comics when I was a kid, so I guess it feel comfortable to do my work in this style. Below is what my writing for this episode looks like. It might not make much sense and can be hard to read, but it’s all I need to move onto the next step in making comics.
Page 1 and 2 writing
Page 1 and 2 writing
This is were all the tough decisions are made. Most of my layouts from writing are not very good to follow with the exception of how many panels I will break each page into (as I’m more focused on telling the story). I also edit the dialog in the word balloons in this step. I try to use as little words as possible to explain an idea. The amount of dialog affects what I can and can’t do with the art. I like to design my layouts in two page spreads. Striped Bandits is a dialog driven comic and in such has a lot of talking, so I try to make sure not to just have a series of heads talking. The way I try to add interest visually is the use of different camera angles and shots, and also through over exaggerated character expressions.
page 1 pencils
page 2 pencils
As you can see from my pencils, I do most of the drawing when I ink. The pencils are there to just be a guide to instruct my inking not finished art. I ink the comic traditionally with an ink brush and use prismacolor markers to color them in. The backgrounds are done with a 4B pencil. As you can see there are no word balloons in the final art. I do the word balloons on separate paper and add them digitally. This is because of all the reformatting that is needed from making a print comic and turning it digital. This keeps all the text the same size, no matter how the comic is viewed.