AD­VICE TO CRE­ATORS

Broken Pencil - - Feature -

As Ge­orge Ro­hac put it: “There’s no magic wand that’s go­ing to make or break your comic.” That be­ing said, here’s some ad­vice for as­pir­ing cre­ators.

DON’T BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW

No End cre­ators Erli and Kromi sug­gest work­ing on a shorter comic to start, so that you can grow ac­cus- tomed to work­ing on a we­b­comic, and can grad­u­ally fin d the tools and tricks you need to be ef­fi­cient. But if you are plan­ning on do­ing that epic, thou­sand-page story, plan ahead and leave room for change.

“It is so much eas­ier to make a comic when you have writ­ten at least the bare bones of the story. Also it’s in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing when you start to ap­proach that cer­tain scene you’ve been lit­er­ally wait­ing for years to get to.”

IT’S GO­ING TO TAKE TIME

“Spike Trot­man … al­ways says, it takes 10 years to reap the ben­e­fits of what you do in the art world,” notes Is­abelle Me­lançon of Hive­works. “I think that’s true — even on the in­ter­net.” Her we­b­comic,

Name­sake, started gain­ing speed af­ter three or four years. Now, af­ter work­ing in we­b­comics for about a decade, she says she’s reached a “sweet spot” with her art and mon­e­ti­za­tion.

“If you have a good idea, it will even­tu­ally gain some trac­tion,” Me­lançon says, and for most peo­ple, that re­turn will likely come af­ter a cou­ple years.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PER­FECT

“Don’t be so hard on your­self. Draw what makes you happy and throw it on the world, how­ever im­per­fect you think it is,” Ju­lia Arostegi writes.

“I de­cided to just post my silly, self-in­dul­gent comic on­line in the spirit of ‘I’ve got noth­ing to lost,’ and it was a rev­e­la­tion for me. Per­fec­tion­ism was just get­ting in my way. The im­por­tant thing is to have fun.”

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Un­less you’re a fully in­de­pen­dent cre­ator, it’s im­por­tant to keep on your toes, Ro­hac says.

Don’t “just trust the ed­i­tor that you like that’s re­ally nice if you’re not get­ting paid on time or your wor­ried about lan­guage in a con­tract,” he says.

“Don’t feel like you’re throw­ing shade if you’re like, ‘Hey, I haven’t been paid’ or ‘Hey, I think this clause is weird.’”

KILL YOUR DARLINGS

“You have to self-re­flect on whether an idea is work­ing of not,” Me­lançon says.

“So when you bark up the wrong tree, you have to take care of that your­self.”

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