50 Things I’ve Learned About Publishing a Webcomic

Inspired by Shawn Blanc’s 50 Things I’ve Learned About Publishing a Weblog here are 50 things that I’ve learned from making and publishing comics online for nearly 14 years. (Your mileage may vary.)

  1. Be consistent with your comic updates.
  2. Write for yourself first.
  3. Build relationships and expand your social circle.
  4. Share your knowledge with others. Empowering others is a rewarding feeling.
  5. If you receive an email from a reader, answer it.
  6. On critiques: Have a thick skin but an open mind.
  7. Ignore the trolls.
  8. Leverage keyboard shortcuts and scripts whenever you can.
  9. Be friendly.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  11. Embrace rejection.
  12. Pageviews and site stat checking are a waste of time.
  13. There is no such thing as creative block.
  14. You are not your comic.
  15. Be yourself both online and in person.
  16. If there’s a local convention, go to it.
  17. Don’t sell yourself short.
  18. Don’t be afraid to try new programs and tools.
  19. Spend time with your family.
  20. Unplug. Read a book.
  21. Never do work for free publicity.
  22. Pick your web host wisely.
  23. Draw things outside your comfort zone.
  24. Be honest.
  25. Don’t settle for second best when it comes to making merchandise and books.
  26. Never ask without giving something first.
  27. It’s never too late to make a book.
  28. Shipping books overseas is expensive.
  29. Find an outside activity that forces you not to think about comics.
  30. Embrace public speaking opportunities.
  31. Treat every person you meet at a convention like they’re the most important person out there. And mean it.
  32. More RAM can never hurt.
  33. Never trust your data to local back-ups alone. Invest in a cloud-based back-up service.
  34. Buy the best hardware you can afford.
  35. Produce great work.
  36. Don’t beat yourself up.
  37. At conventions, have items at different price points. Don’t put all your eggs in one book.
  38. Twitter is a great tool for sharing resources.
  39. Encourage others.
  40. You are what you tweet.
  41. It’s okay to fall flat every once in a while.
  42. With regards to update frequency: Quality trumps quantity.
  43. Don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to building a website.
  44. Learn how to say ‘no’.
  45. Conflict always makes for an interesting story.
  46. Embrace CSS and HTML.
  47. No comments on your work doesn’t necessarily mean that you suck.
  48. Don’t compare yourself with other cartoonists.
  49. Never send an e-mail when you’re angry.
  50. Draw, draw, draw.

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Brian
    July 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Solid, solid advice. John and I hope to follow all 50 of these tips and then pick your brain for more.

    • Krishna
      July 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks, Brian. Happy to help you and John anytime. Hit me up.

  • Giridhar
    July 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you, these can be applied to a lot more than webcomics

  • Cwrann
    July 11, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    This is great, I’m glad that I’m seeing shares to this page all over the place.

  • The Code Crimson
    July 14, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Definitely smart advice. Thanks so much for sharing such great insights. One of my favorite things about making a comic has been becoming a part of such an awesome community.

    • Krishna
      July 14, 2012 at 11:08 am

      You’re welcome, CC :)

  • DadaHyena
    July 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Great advice for old and new cartoonists alike!

  • Gooberandcindy.com
    July 15, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Love this list! :)

  • Liz Staley
    July 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Absolutely love this list! Going to have to bookmark it to share with other cartoonists!

  • MR. Edens
    July 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Great list! Thank you for sharing that. A lot of those I’ve tried to tell myself before…glad to see someone else thinks so too.

  • Krishna
    July 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

  • Lightbulb Stew
    July 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks, I’ll have to keep these in mind when I finally get up off my ass and make my comic. But, jeez.. going out into the world? Scary.

  • Onezumi
    July 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Solid stuff as always!

  • Jose Gonzalez
    July 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

    That is Krishna, alright!
    Awesome sharing this! Thanks!
    (and as Giridhar says, it does apply to lots more things than webcomics).

  • Mark Stokes
    July 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Every single one of these is a gold nugget. Thanks for posting – great stuff!