At 1:00 PM, a panel was conducted by Howard Tayler, a Hugo Award-winning podcaster and creator of the web comic Schlock Mercenary, Aneeka Richins, novelist and creator of the web comic Not a Villain, Carter Reid, creator of The Zombie Nation, and Barry Gardner, creator of the web comic Hyperbolic Dystopia.
The focus of the panel was how social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit have become a valuable ally to independent web comic creators, as each guest gave bits of the strategies they use to promote their respective comics.
“Reddit is horrible for me,” Richins says. “It [your comic] can spread really fast if you do funnies, but if you’re [doing] a story-driven comic, don’t waste your time.”
Adding to that point, Gardner explained his own love/hate relationship with Reddit and how only certain comics would make it to the top of the “Comics” sub-Reddit page.
“They’ve created a sub-Reddit specifically for web comics,” Gardner says. “The same people, the XKCD‘s and the Penny Arcades are still the ones getting up to the top.”
Taylor dialed the discussion back to how independent comics evolved over time thanks in part to the internet, starting out as self-published comics made using Xerox machines handed out at comic shops to now being a product actively consumed by the internet.
“The thing to recognize is that it’s no longer driven by access to offset printing.” Taylor says. “There are more people reading Penny Arcade daily than there are people reading Batman all year.”
Much of the discussion was broken down with questions regarding techniques for specific sites, as each guest put an emphasis on usually one or two sites, as many people starting out make the mistake of trying to promote on every single site at once.
“Watch out for social media burnout,” Richins says. “Pick one or two [sites] that you like doing, that you enjoy using and then use it.”
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