Understudy 04

September 12th, 2013, 3:06 am

Average Rating: 5.00

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Ha Ha
you're old.

Author's Comments:

Reply TheCatMolloy, September 12th, 2013, 9:36 am

Recently, a reader asked me how to go about starting to get a readership for his comic Tales of Tra. He's twelve comics in, and nobody has told him he sucks yet.

Somebody telling you you suck isn't where you start. It's not even the first step, it's a step you're going to repeat over and over again. Some day, somebody's going to tell you that you suck, and you won’t be able to argue with them. No matter how good you think you are, there's always going to be part of you that agrees. That's the part knows you can do better.

In the immortal words of Jake the Dog, sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something. Conversely, being sorta good at something is the first step away from sucking at something.

I like your comics, Victor, but I mostly like them because I like you. That’s a backhanded compliment holding a two-edged sword, I know, but honestly it’s where you start. Your comics are sorta good, and I think your friends would like them.

You start with the people who like the comic because they like you.

I’ve told the Story of the Green Binder several times now. I had done some comics in school, which I kept in a green binder. I showed them to a friend when I went to college, and they liked them. They told some other friends about the binder, and they wanted to see it, then they told their friends about it and so on. I kept adding new comics to the binder as I drew them, and every so often someone would ask if I had drawn anything new. When the binder got too thick I put everything online, and that’s how Neko the Kitty got started.

It's also how I met most of my friends in college. I was the guy with the comics. Ellen is in fact named for Ellen Brickley, the first person from college to send me an e-mail thanking me for putting the strips up online. In real life she's a brunette, doesn't drink or smoke, and was never hit by a truck. One of my best friends, she likes that I got her character completely wrong in almost every particular detail.

Anyway, that’s where you start. You’ve been doodling for your own amusement long enough to get kinda good at it. Now it’s time to make stuff to impress your friends.

For a long time, your friends will be the only people reading your comic. That's a good audience to start with because it means you're making comics for other people to enjoy, and you know those other people so you can probably do a pretty decent job. You can make a comic for one person, and they may or may not be dicks about it depending on the kind of relationship you have. After a while you'll get a pretty good idea of the kind of stuff your friend likes, and from there you start figuring out how to make stuff people LIKE your friend would like.

All of which leads to the shattering realisation that I'm having so much trouble with Neko the Kitty because it's for Keith Boland.


It's been nearly two years, I hadn't even noticed.

I need to think about this, I'll leave you with today's vote incentive, which is once again Cosmo the Quote Bunny. Today he's quoting Spanish essayist Miguel de Unamuno.

Reply Advertisement, June 17th, 2019, 5:52 pm

User's Comments:

Reply GabrielsThoughts, September 12th, 2013, 12:33 pm

And, the wages of sin is death. It's a shame really. No one ever covers the secret to achieving immortality, and the devil isn't talking. Not to mention the one portrayed in the bible isn't nearly as frightening as the one the catholics came up with.

Reply GabrielsThoughts, September 12th, 2013, 12:40 pm


May you be in heaven an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Reply yes... (Guest), September 13th, 2013, 7:22 am

ummm... ive seen loads of films that were made before i was born...does that make me a time traveller?

Reply GabrielsThoughts, September 13th, 2013, 9:06 am

I'd say yes, but only from an observational standpoint. Real time travel involves finding a hole in time, where a culture or people have either regressed or failed to advance to the same level of sophistication because of anti urban sentiment, fundamentalism, or right wing grad ol' party politics. For instance, Florida has many locations that still exist in a feudalistic and reformation period society. Nevada has a few locations that are behind the times as well. Tonopah, for instance is a rural community that is closed off in the early 80's. And, of course, I believe the Amish, and people of Portland Oregon are rumored to be out of step with current trends as well.

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