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  1.  (7171.1)
    So there appears to be two distinctly different forms both using the term "web comic". The long form works like Freak Angels and Emma's Dragon Heir, which post weekly and run in several page installments, and the daily strip style.

    As I'm jumping into the game myself, I keep thinking there should be a different term for the longer form works, as every time the topic comes up in conversation I have to explain to people that what I'm doing is not the strip style of comic.

    Any thoughts?

    Also, any recommendations on longer form web comics? Warren's and Emma's are the only two I'm familiar with.
  2.  (7171.2)
    I'm fairly happy with referring to both as webcomics, so I'm instantly useless in this discussion. However, Achewood could technically be both of the sub-categories you describe. It does both story arcs and daily strips (although way more story arcs recently). I love Achewood, and if you haven't heard of it I recommend you start with the highest rated strips in assetbar to break you in to it. I'll start you off.

    The Mountain and the Motorcycle
    Killing is like Basketball
  3.  (7171.3)
    We tend to call the non gag strips "longform webcomics" or, "comics"
  4.  (7171.4)
    I don't think the endless sub-classification of comics is really all that necessary. Most people wouldn't understand a newly coined term for a specific set of webcomics anyways, so you'd just end up having to explain that terminology to them as well. When people ask me what I'm working on, I just say "comics" and if they give a shit after that, I delve into the details of the project. Let other people worry about what to classify it. You just worry about selling them on the work so they'll keep coming back.
  5.  (7171.5)
    I personally refer to daily strips as "webstrips," because I *do* think it's useful to have some basic compartmentalizations — the difference between a comic strip and a comic book, for instance.

    But that's just me — I think when most people think of "webcomics" they think of daily strips. So even though I post comics online, I don't refer to them as "webcomics." I refer to them as "comics for free on the internet."
    • CommentAuthorTheDeeMan
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2009 edited
    There are more then two distinct forms of webcomics. The good majority of webcomics are either daily strips or comics that update a single page once a week or more (the ever popular monday-wednesday-friday schedule). I think there are actually less longer form webcomics that update several pages in a single update and I'll tell you why--Web traffic. If you have a daily strip or webcomic that updates multiple times a week more folks are likely to come and check out your comic because it's constantly refreshing it's content. Updating several pages once a week is still just one update a week and your traffic will spike on that day and trickle off afterward.

    Believe me I know. My comic The Continentals updated several times a week when it debuted in late august/september and we were doing between 3,000 and 9,000 views a day at that time. But once we settled into our regualr once a week schedule our traffic plunged to barely 1,000 views a day.

    So, my advice. If you're starting a webcomic or thinking about starting one the old webcomci adage (if there is such a thing) of "updates good, more updates better" is something to keep in mind.


    THE CONTINENTALS. Murder, mystery, intrigue, adventure--And steampunk!
  6.  (7171.7)
    • CommentAuthorTheDeeMan
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2009 edited
    What?! LOL!


    THE CONTINENTALS. Murder, mystery, intrigue, adventure--And steampunk!
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009 edited
    If required to clarify I tend to go for "serial webcomics".

    Mine is The Cattle Raid of Cooley, an Iron Age Irish war/coming of age story, with sex, intrigue, conflicts of loyalty and a sprinkling of gods and magic, every Wednesday.

    Other good ones include Anders Loves Maria (Swedish relationship drama) and Digger (anthropomorphic fantasy about a sceptical wombat who digs her way into a country of strange gods, tribes of hyenas, religious orders and an orphaned demon-child who doesn't know what he is - it's been going a long time and I'm still a couple of years behind on it).
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009
    I prefer to just say "webcomic", but when pressed I could stand to say "serial webcomic" or "story webcomic". Really, I think if you want to emphasize the fact it has a plot, calling it a "drama" or a "thriller" will get the post across just fine.

    Mine's Last Res0rt (cyberpunk tale about an intergalactic reality show, featuring condemned criminals alongside the galaxy's only known non-human vampire), and it updates once a week. I'd do more if I could.

    And yes, if you can do more updates a week, do it. I seem to do fine with one a week, but building up traffic and participation is still a big problem I have, and one that I think more updates might help with.
  7.  (7171.11)
    Multiple updates are doable, I just think they'd hurt the reading experience. These are actually being written and drawn more like traditional comics, with 36 pages per story. Amanda can turn out about 4 pages a week, so we'll be posting 4 pages a week (although we're doing a double on launch week, so that'll be 8 pages). We held off on the launch until Dec 14th so that we'll have the entire first story in the bag and can comfortably work on the 2nd while we post the first. But I think any less than 4 pages at a time will read awkwardly and if we post more than 4 pages a week we'll burn off our lead time. So, it looks like once a week, on Mondays.

    Thanks for all the recommendations, all, I'll be catching up on my reading tomorrow. Some of them look pretty interesting...
  8.  (7171.12)
    @ KPatrickGlover: Agreed. Pacing's important. I haven't really noticed a daily change in readership numbers when six or seven titles update once a week rather than one title seven days a week, but over the long-term, I retain fewer returns from some of the readership. The reason is at least with multiple updates in a week, the scene is unfolding in front of you, however slowly. Once a week at webcomic dimensions, intercalated with other titles on other days, and it prevents immersion in the book. I'm plotting reconfiguration of my schedule more and more lately.

    I update each title in sections of 1/4 to half a page, and it absolute murder on the scene. "Hannibal" is designed for the web and collects much more easily into a coherent narrative, probably since it's got an omniscient narrator trying to inform about the actual history, than, say, "Heist" which is designed for print and loses any immediacy of scene with a week between panel rows. Even doing a full-page installment (which is harsh on the reader in the collected gallery) slows up the progress.
    I'll probably switch to something like full-page daily updates and then slice them into readable sections for the web gallery.

    Web-strips do better than web-narratives because they're quick hit. It's far easier to share the latest xkcd installment or a great PBF than pass on an entire issue of something (there are also fewer of these long-forms and not much comparable in quality to those two titles).

    This is just me using Comicpress, the different-title-a-day thing further breaks up the story. (yes, you can update at different times of the day with comicpress, but it's the same effect). I may just skip daily updates and go to a monthly production schedule, dropping the entire book into gallery-form and gigging up a gateway to monetize it at a decent price.

    I may also do a "he who pays the piper" thing where people can vote with their donations as for which titles install next, so whichever people most want to read will be the one that fills up the month of February, for example.
    • CommentAuthorTheDeeMan
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009 edited
    It's an interesting point that was made that I find to be SO true: Webcomic people tend to prefer to read webcomics at a different pace then traditional comics. Or seemingly so. Maybe that's why daily strips tend to have huge audiences and more traditionally comic style webcomics like the ones mentioned above (and my own, from personal experience) have to work hard, and have more updates to establish and maintain an audience.

    Still, if I could, I would update "The Continentals" more often to the tune of M-W-F as opposed to it's "mondays only" present update schedule. I've seen the results of updating more often and they really can't be beat. particularly if you're planning on advertising with Project Wonderful, etc. More updates equal more traffic, more traffic equals more demand for ad space on your comic. Etc, etc, etc. We use project Wonderful and our ads always sell at a higher price on our update day then at any other time. More update days, oh hell, you get the point. LOL!


    THE CONTINENTALS. Murder, mystery, intrigue, adventure--And steampunk!
    • CommentAuthoruwspub
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009
    I always preferred the term "digital comic" myself. However, I've found that "longform" comic seems be the most appropriate.

    My webcomic, SOLDIERS, updates every Tuesday. So far traffic has been decent (it's only a month old), and we get about 1800 page views a day. But, each comic episode is inside of a Flash Gallery, so if you count the pages in the gallery (about 16 or so, on average), we're significantly higher.

    Our traffic definitely tracks along our update schedule. Weekends, of course, are the absolute worst -- large dips on weekends. But Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday's are big for us.

    For longform comics, it seems that readers swing by, read a lot, then don't come back for a while. I think they're just looking for a good chunk of story to sink their teeth into. Anyone else have any theories?

  9.  (7171.15)
    For longform comics, it seems that readers swing by, read a lot, then don't come back for a while. I think they're just looking for a good chunk of story to sink their teeth into.

    As a reader, that is what I prefer. A big chunk of something is easier for me to digest than a bit each week or even every few days. I have the same thing with TV shows, even if I very much like something I prefer to save up episodes and then watch (or read, in the case of comics) them in a batch. I feel like I can get more into the journey of a series and don't have to be interrupted by frequent little waiting periods. Although it's not purely down to preference, I have a terrible short-term memory and forget anything that's not drilled in.

    Now that I think about it, I do the same thing with the webcomics that aren't serial. That's part habit, part forgetting to go back to the website until somebody else links to it and then remembering how enjoyable it is and reading a whole bunch in a row.
    • CommentAuthorTheDeeMan
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009 edited
    Part habit, part forgetting? That's funny. Someone once said to me, "I love your comic. I hope you don't mind if I forget to read it". LOL!


    THE CONTINENTALS. Murder, mystery, intrigue, adventure--And steampunk!
  10.  (7171.17)
    Multiple updates are doable, I just think they'd hurt the reading experience.

    I agree. It's a shit way to present a story.

    I just put my comic on a "When a chapter is done" schedule. My view on it is, if the audience neglects to come back then I've failed as a creator to make a compelling comic.
  11.  (7171.18)
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2009 edited
    Warren, I think you're oversimplifying a bit. Comics that update every day (even Sundays) with rare breaks for holiday are called ALFRED. Comics that update once a week all in one chunk are call FREDERICK. Comics that update Mon/Wed/Fri are called FREDDIE. Epic long-form fantasy comics on any release schedule are called FRODO. Shock-a-day M-F comics are called FARADAY. Abstract comics with no regular schedule are called FREUD. Comics that have stalled at the "coming soon" splash page for more than a year are call FRAUD. Comics revolving around girl humor are FREYA; around boy humor are FORD. Single-panel or short dailies with no continuity are called FRITZ. Comics that are used as copypasta by trolls in flame wars are called FRIEDRICH.
  12.  (7171.20)