Everytime I check out Josh L.’s webcomics blog, the title has gotten a little less jubilant. I predict that within a month, the title alone will be a manifesto on the darkness inherent in the webcomic world.
Anyway, Josh has used the blog to, by and large, shake things up a bit, as it were, and give some criticism (some much-needed, some seemingly a bit more for its own sake) on various fictures in the webcomic world.
His latest post is advice for webcartoonists. Some of it is mainly there for shock value – but a lot of it is genuinely stuff people need to hear.
One of the things he stresses is learning to draw better. And… he’s right. I mean, there is almost always room for improvement in any given comic, both artisticly and otherwise. But the web, as a self-published medium, is a place especially filled with work that has room to grow.
This is something that was especially true when the webcomic scene was just beginning. I mean… there are tons of comics that have come far that started with truly deplorable art. College Roomies from Hell is a good example of this – a strip that started with some really rough art, but has become a top dog amongst webcomics. It has has become genuinely well drawn. It was carried along by the story at first, but the artist put in the time and effort, and the strip evolved, and grew, and succeeded.
And there are a lot of cases like that out there, of comics that started poor and then actually became nice looking comics.
Which is why I want to emphasize Lesnick’s advice – learn to draw better. If you think your art is crap, and it will forever limit your webcomic? Don’t give up. Keep at it. Work at making it better. It will get there. You’ll learn from doing your comic all the time, and you’ll learn in other ways that you can apply to the comic. And if, after months of working at improving it, you take an honest look and realize that you’ve only gone from being violently atrocious to being merely craptastic?
Keep at it some more.
The webcomic world is one made for evolution, and as long as an artist has the persistence to endure their own growth – and the drive to make that growth happen – they can join the ranks of all the others who went ahead, regardless of the work… and learned to draw better.