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The Origin Stories of Webcomics | Part 2

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Jan. 26, 2018
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Last week I decided to be indulgent and explain where I came from as a webcomic creator and this week I am finishing that story, at least up to where I am now. It was so lovely reading all your comments about your origins. It is very easy to look at the greats and be discouraged as to where they are now. By looking back, we have that perspective and that can be incredibly encouraging. So thank you all again for taking the time to comment.

I finished off the last post talking about how I had started a webcomic called Puppets and Strings, the key point here being, “the first time”. That’s right; part way through I hit a dead end and decided to leave it be till I could think myself around this problem. Now either one of two things happened at this time, but you’ll have to excuse me as my memory of the timeline of events might be very muddled.

Either I ended up deleting it, or the unthinkable happened. Drunkduck went down. For some time.

Everything was wiped.

One day I would love to go through the history of Drunkduck, particularly as we begin planning for the redesign, but for now all I can say is was that without it, I wasn’t sure what to do.

It was some time before I came back.

One day, at school and very bored in the library, I remembered about my beloved community and decided to wander the internet to see if it was still alive. And lo and behold there it was in all its glory. But, when I searched for it, I lost my archive; all that work gone like that. Yet, this did not depress me. I had a fresh start again! So getting to work that day, I began rebuilding the second version of Puppets and Strings; in fact the very one that is still alive today (albeit a bit slow on the updates.)

I had left school at this point, as I had decided to finish my schooling at home, so I had more time for art and comics. I updated Puppets and Strings every week, continued to experiment and even had the good fortune to work as a colourist on Simply Sarah. But, again, time has a way of pulling you in strange directions and, the moment I started a university, I stopped illustrating.

I stopped illustrating for six years.

I would do the occasional piece here and there as I trained to be a graphic designer, but all in all I lost that passion. Up until this point I had been proud of my progress and whilst my style was still developing I didn’t think it was bad but being in university made me realise that all that practice and progress was not enough and that, in spite of it, I was still woefully behind. That was a large blow to my ego, I’m ashamed to admit. It had become a core part of my identity and I was a small fish swimming in an ocean I no longer felt I belonged in. So I changed my colours and swam to a different one.

On one hand, I had left behind something was my way of communicating to the world and I always felt I was missing something. But on the other, I expanded my skill set way beyond that of a illustrator, which, now, has really begun paying dividends. I had the incredibly good fortune to have excellent mentors who assisted me in honing my design skills, how to build a community of social media and market yourself and how website are designed, implemented and managed from behind the scenes. I also learnt how to construct a better narrative, build fleshed out characters and write strong dialogue.

But it was still some time before I came back to my home.

Ok, so this was originally supposed to be a two piece article but there is one more part to go and I did not want to pad this out to be any longer than it is already. I promise, my indulgence will end soon!

Next week I will finish up with how one of my lowest points in this journey lead to one of the best. Till then, leave us a comment below! Let us know if you encountered any challenges or “bumps” in your journey as an artist/comic creator.

Until next time lovelies!

comment

anonymous?

skyangel at 6:28AM, Jan. 27, 2018

It was a strange feeling catching sight of one of our comic cover in the news this week but a pleasant surprise to see who has written the article. DrunkDuck was the first and only webcomic site I was aware of when I was first given a link by a friend and it was an immediate attraction for me both as a reader and first time writer. Reading your history now, is interesting because I came in and met you just after the first big crash, and I remember you telling me about the need to back up my work in the archive vaults they ran seperately back then. I remember you introducing me to your Puppets and Strings and Sailor Moon but I wasn't aware of all your projects.

ozoneocean at 8:55PM, Jan. 26, 2018

Wonderful continuing origin story!!!!

TheDeeMan at 4:33PM, Jan. 26, 2018

Oh yeah, I remember "the crash". DD went down hard with a server crash and no backup. Monique/Coyog and I were doing GAAK here at the time and we just loved DD. Everywhere we went after the crash sucked by comparison and we eventually came back to DD shortly after it restarted. Dee - Hit Girlz writer dude

fallopiancrusader at 10:25AM, Jan. 26, 2018

I started creating comic books in 1989. I showed GirlSquadX (http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Girlsquad_X/) around to most of the publishers in America and Europe, traveling to the Angouleme festival twice in '93 and '94. I found a deal with a small independent publisher named FantaCo, and the sales of those printed issues pretty much made up for the cost of printing the issues. I think about 900 sold, in total. It was fun to publish in the world of underground comics, where breaking even was considered a wild success. It was the reactions of the big-time publishers that amused me the most. Most of them got very angry when they saw GirlSquadX. I didn't get the polite rejection form letters I was expecting. No, I got specifically composed tirades letting me know that I had no talent, that I will never learn to draw, etc. One of them even mailed me a basic how-to-draw book on his own dime. I couldn't be bothered to deal with that much vitriol, so, I abandoned comics for 20 years.

KimLuster at 5:21AM, Jan. 26, 2018

Loving this trip thru nostalgia of yours!

BearinOz at 4:37AM, Jan. 26, 2018

Drunk Duck went down !!??? Surely not ! B-) It lived up to its name for quite some time, a few years back - the reason I decided to 'double-up' ans kick off on Comic Fury too. Nice little essay - is it really that long since you coloured 'Simply Sarah' !?


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