Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hole crap! How Many???

So, my webcomic is currently getting around 200 hits per day.

Let me rephrase that…200 unique returning hits per day. Holy shit! I already have 200 fans, and more are showing up every freaking day!

To be honest, I’m not sure whether I’m really, really happy…or really, really annoyed at this.

Basically, I’ve written this blog for over three years now, I’ve put more work into this than pretty much any other ‘project’ I’ve ever started. In less than a week, a webcomic I decided to throw together just for the fun of it is ‘out-performing’ something I’ve probably invested hundreds of hours and literally millions of words into.

Then again, I suppose the thing that’s really bugging me is that even if ‘Half-Assed’ gets ‘Penny Arcade’ popular…I can’t make a single cent off it. While Valve are very cool and forward thinking about the ways they let their stuff be used, someone making actual money off their property is probably frowned upon…and by ‘frowned upon’, I mean ‘They’re violate your very soul with a team of highly-trained lawyers’.

Well, the upside is I’m having a lot of fun making it, and people are definitely enjoying it.

The other thought about this that struck me today is bound to be a pretty controversial one. So here it is:

“I, Paulius, believe that making a Gmod webcomic requires an approximately equal amount of talent and skill as it does to make a traditional, hand-drawn comic.”

Now, before I get flamed, let me explain my thinking.

There’s a definite ‘art’ to creating comic book panels with Gmod (the Half-Life mod I use to create the comic). Taking a limp, dead ragdoll and making it look like a living, breathing character is a lot harder than it sounds.

Basically, what I mean is this: If you put the average person at a comic-artist’s desk and tell them to make a comic, they’ll end up with something that’s okay but not great. Not only do you have to actually know how to draw, there’s inking, coloring, layout, composition, etc.

By the same token, sit the average person in front of a computer running G-Mod, and you have the same sort of situation. Anyone can draw a stick figure and a speech bubble, and anyone can slap a ragdoll into an environment. However, making both look convincing is the real trick.

Basically, it’s two sets of tools that require particular skills to use.

Not only that, the same rules of composition, logical layout etc are exactly the same in both media. They’re just two ways to create an image, whereas creating an image that actually tells a story and tells it clearly and well is a whole different thing.

Basically, thinking that making a Gmod comic is ‘easy’ is like assuming ventriloquism is easy because you have a pre-made puppet. The skill is making that puppet come to life.

Anyway, just to be absolutely clear, I’m not trying to talk as an authority on gmod comics, because I’ll gladly admit I’m a novice at best.

Ok, anyway, I’ll give the webcomic posts a rest for a while.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

No comments: