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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default What makes a great webcomic?

    What makes you want to read the comics you read regularly? Is it the artwork, the writing, the jokes, boobs? Okay, half the people here are probably reading for the boobs.
    Good artwork will attract readers to a site. Good writing will keep people reading.


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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    For me, the writing is the biggest draw. Artwork needs to be at least viewable, so that I know what is going on at any given time, but I'll keep reading a comic with mediocre art and great writing, and not so much a comic with mediocre writing and great art.

    What that means depends on the comic. Pacing is pretty critical if it's not just gag-a-day. If it is, the gag has to be consistently funny. If the comic can't figure out what tone it wants to set, that's also a problem (comics can have more than one tone, see Order of the Stick for an obvious example, but they need to know to set the balance right off.)
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Agreed on writing.

    I mean, look at XKCD. Stick figures, and it's insanely successful, and usually very good.

    Being able to reliably tell a good joke tends to make a webcomic worth reading.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    I'd say "the ability to update, if not reliably, then frequently" as a huge draw, but even this necessarily isn't even so. When was the last time OotS had a regular, strict update schedule?

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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    In order to really get my attention it needs to have at least 5 of 7 things.

    1. Appropriate art (not good art, art that fits and is as good as the author can make it, Schlock is a good example of what I mean. The art is not great but has gotten better over the years and does its job well.)
    2. Cleverness. It has to be different and different in an thought provoking way.
    3. Humility. Nothing kills my enthusiasm faster than comics that have "I AM MAKING A POINT" stamped on them.
    4. Interesting characters. Not nessicerily deep, well rounded or even sane but Interesting.
    5. Updates reliably. I hate not knowing how long I have to wait.
    6. Verisimilatude. If the comic does not have internal logic then I cannot follow it.
    7. Well written. Present in all my fav comics.


    The only exception is Dominic Deegan, Oracle for hire. I followed that for a while last year out of pure, raw, bile facination (despite or indeed because it failed on points 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7) before it got too terrible even for me.
    It is a contraction of Evil DM Mark 3. I don't know why why so many have difficulty with a standard contraction but there we are.
    In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    I'd say good writing is most important. I read a lot of webcomics, from all different art styles and qualities, and like many others I don't mind reading something with mediocre art, but I will not read something with bad writing. (Except for snarking purposes).

    Like Friv said, if the comic is gag-a-day, it has to be funny at least most of the time, and if it's dramatic, the pacing has to be good. I hate it when webcomic arcs drag on forever without actually accomplishing anything.

    Although sometimes whether I read a comic or not is totally arbitrary. I tried reading Girl Genius a couple of times and stopping after a few pages for no real reason. Then I tried again and now it's one of my favorite comics.

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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Should be interesting and original, with good writing and well-rounded characters.

    Humour's a bonus.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    My favorites make me laugh regularly. A bonus if they make fun of something, or frequently use/avert/subvert tropes, now that I've become familiar with the drug that is TV Tropes.
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Characters. Characters. CHARACTERS.

    Most of the webcomics I frequent I do so mainly because I fell in love with the characters: Secret and Misho, Quentyn, Gilgamesh and the Jaegers, Antimony and Reynardine...

    Humor is the other really big draw for me, but it's characterization that sticks with me.
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    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
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    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
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    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quality. That's a really vague answer, but its really all a comic needs. Solid writing, decent artwork, good characters and an original concept all make a quality comic. XKCD is only stick figures, but he makes good stick figures, it's well written and there is nothing quite like it. I also have a soft spot for programming jokes.

    A regular update schedule is also important. I really like to go and look up my comics on day X and know there will be a new one.

    Then again, if I honestly had a solid grasp on making webcomics, I'd be signing t-shirts somewhere.
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    Characters. Characters. CHARACTERS.
    I agree completely. I like characters who interact, grow, and perhaps even have you come to care about them. Humor & art help, writing's a great thing, but... having characters who you can get attached to make it great.

    ALSO... since you named two of my three favorite webcomics there... Where are "Secret & Misho" from? and Quentyn? In exchange for this, I give you my other favorite, Errant Story. And for kicks, I'll recommend the first chapter of Nowhere Girl
    If it's not obvious, insert a after my post.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Really subjective topic. For me, priorities fall:

    Concept - here's how you hook people. Catch their attention with your basic plot. It can be exotic or mundane; it's all in how you sell it.

    Characters - These are what readers remember. Your setting might be amazing, and your plot might be the most original thing ever, but people relate to people.

    Writing - Steady pace and dialogue - it can be witty or not, but it should fit the theme.

    Frequency - Honestly, this depends on the above. I'm more forgiving of comics that excel in the above, and I assume they take longer because they want to get it right. Frequent updates can make up for somewhat lower quality.

    Art - Eye candy is all well and good, but I'm no artist, so I'd feel guilty calling anyone out on it.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    I'm going to agree on the writing, slightly over the art. I used to read Questionable Content regularly, but it just didn't go anywhere, even know the art is fantastic, but I lost interest in it. Currently I'm getting into Girls with Slingshots, Goblins, and Not Another Fantasy Gamer Comic. The last two the art is perfect (with NAFGC it's not meant to be), but the characters have grown on me (especially Senor Vorpal Kickasso!)
    Good artwork will attract readers to a site. Good writing will keep people reading.


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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilDMMk3 View Post
    In order to really get my attention it needs to have at least 5 of 7 things.

    1. Appropriate art (not good art, art that fits and is as good as the author can make it, Schlock is a good example of what I mean. The art is not great but has gotten better over the years and does its job well.)
    2. Cleverness. It has to be different and different in an thought provoking way.
    3. Humility. Nothing kills my enthusiasm faster than comics that have "I AM MAKING A POINT" stamped on them.
    4. Interesting characters. Not nessicerily deep, well rounded or even sane but Interesting.
    5. Updates reliably. I hate not knowing how long I have to wait.
    6. Verisimilatude. If the comic does not have internal logic then I cannot follow it.
    7. Well written. Present in all my fav comics.


    The only exception is Dominic Deegan, Oracle for hire. I followed that for a while last year out of pure, raw, bile facination (despite or indeed because it failed on points 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7) before it got too terrible even for me.
    I'm going to steal this list. My favorite comics are Schlock Mercenary, Girl Genius, and probably OotS, though Rich doesn't update enough for me. When I rule the world, I will chain Rich up in a well apportioned apartment and force him to produce an update every day. Muwahahahahahahaha! Seriously, the lack of update schedule for OotS would be annoying if I didn't spend most of my online time on GitP. As it is, new updates are just icing on the cake of goodness that is GitP.

    Personally, the one thing I would do is move 5 up to first place. If a comic has a schedule posted, I expect them to, at the least, follow their schedule from time to time. The other option, in my mind, is to have the whole thing completed. I love completed comics that actually feel done at the end. Comics that have bad endings or just leave off in the middle of a scene with no update in sight are bad and their creators had better have a good excuse(say, having a kid). If they don't, they will be forced to

    I guess this ties into good endings, I prefer comics that either have no plot, like XKCD, or have good pacing for their plots, like GG, Schlock or OotS.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Personally, the one thing I would do is move 5 up to first place.
    Alphabetical list is alphabetical...
    It is a contraction of Evil DM Mark 3. I don't know why why so many have difficulty with a standard contraction but there we are.
    In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tirian View Post
    He may secretly be the World's Greatest Detective, but I think that the average person in the DC Universe thinks of Bruce Wayne as the World's Worst Skier.

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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by theMycon View Post
    I agree completely. I like characters who interact, grow, and perhaps even have you come to care about them. Humor & art help, writing's a great thing, but... having characters who you can get attached to make it great.

    ALSO... since you named two of my three favorite webcomics there... Where are "Secret & Misho" from? and Quentyn? In exchange for this, I give you my other favorite, Errant Story. And for kicks, I'll recommend the first chapter of Nowhere Girl
    Secret and Misho are from Keychain of Creation, an Exalted-based webcomic a lot like OOTS.

    Quentyn is from Tales of the Questor.
    ...No, just get through the first five pages. It gets better. Honest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    The most important part is the writing. I prefer story comics to gag-a-day, so the characters and plot matter. The only gag-a-day I read regularly is xkcd, because it's usually clever and funny. I dislike shock comics that use vulgarity as the main source of humor.
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Story is the most important to me. I suppose that's what most people mean by writing. And the story has to go somewhere. I don't know how many webcomics I gave up on as it became obvious that the story was going nowhere and the writer/artist had no idea how to craft a story that did go somewhere. Good art helps, of course but I'm not expecting comic-quality.

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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    Secret and Misho are from Keychain of Creation, an Exalted-based webcomic a lot like OOTS.

    Quentyn is from Tales of the Questor.
    ...No, just get through the first five pages. It gets better. Honest.
    Why, thank ya kindly, sir. Keychain's halfway through the archives and it... started slow, but picked up quite nicely.
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    actually updating is only an issue if the comic succeeds in the other points
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raiser Blade View Post
    actually updating is only an issue if the comic succeeds in the other points
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    In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tirian View Post
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilDMMk3 View Post
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raiser Blade View Post
    actually updating is only an issue if the comic succeeds in the other points
    You have a point. I guess I haven't put as much thought into this as I thought I had. As noted there are some total pieces of trash that update every day(DD), while there are some great works of art that don't even have a schedule for updating(OotS). Anybody care to explain to this addled barbarian how important actually updating is?
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Anybody care to explain to this addled barbarian how important actually updating is?
    It's actually rather important, at least for me. Webcomics that update frequently and/or regularly are more, well, "alive". There's always something new. There's a reason to keep visiting the site frequently. And it also helps paper over any wrinkles in quality, because even if you don't like one update there's going to be another soon.

    And in terms of content, a comic that updates every single day has seven times more in its archive per year than one that just updates every week. The weekly update has to be seven times better to match. It depends how well the balance between quantity and quality works of course.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Raiser Blade's Avatar

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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    You have a point. I guess I haven't put as much thought into this as I thought I had. As noted there are some total pieces of trash that update every day(DD), while there are some great works of art that don't even have a schedule for updating(OotS). Anybody care to explain to this addled barbarian how important actually updating is?
    Updating's importance is directly proportional to how good the comic is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespe Ratavo View Post
    Curly, . . . you are not only made of epic win and not fail, but you are officially the greatest shipper of all time
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bath View Post
    To compare [Curly] to the beauty of the changing seasons or timeless stars would be an understatement.
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Not exactly.

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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    I like the writing. I can stand doodles as long as I like the characters and the plot.

    But I don't like artwork so bad you can hardly tell what's going on.

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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    I'm not one to overanalyze comics. I like what I like and I'm generally not terribly good at explaining why.

    As an example, I am a fan of Dominic Deegan. Despite recognizing it's flaws, there are just something about it that makes me genuinely like it. Probably the humour, the characters and the frequent injectoins of pure awesome.

    As a counterpart, I've tried several times with Girl Genius and just can't get it to work. I can see the qualities: INCREDIBLY wellwritten, characters that kick royal butt, well done artwork... but it doesn't stick. Logically I should like it, but I just don't.

    *looks up* Whew, that was a long disclaimer. My point is, it's hard to have a recepie for a good comic, but I've been able to dicern a few frequent qualities that regularly show up in comics I like (this will, in much, be a repetition of what has already been said).

    Gag-a-day comics:
    # Jokes.
    # Manuscript.
    # Characters.
    # Updates.

    Story comics:
    # Storyline.
    # Manuscript.
    # Characters.
    # Jokes.
    # Awesome.
    # Updates.

    In that order.

    I will also concur that boobs help (see, for example, Ménage à 3, which is a story comic relying on Character, Jokes, Updates and Boobs).
    Last edited by Weimann; 2009-07-31 at 07:41 AM.
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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    If something about it piques my interest.

    Offhand, anything less vague would not be consistent with the variety of webcomics I read and degrees with which I am interested in them.

    I'll think more on it.

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    Default Re: What makes a great webcomic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    Secret and Misho are from Keychain of Creation, an Exalted-based webcomic a lot like OOTS.

    Quentyn is from Tales of the Questor.
    ...No, just get through the first five pages. It gets better. Honest.
    I never heard of Tales of the Questor before. I'm to where Quentyn has gone into the gilden flagon. Curse you Raz_fox for feeding my webcomic addiction. Curse you with all that you ever desire.

    And thank you.
    Last edited by RedScholarGypsy; 2009-07-31 at 05:58 PM.
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