Adapting To Turbulence In Digital Comics
Written by: Matt Rowe 09/05/2021
It's been a turbulent time in the comics industry lately. A lot of that is due to the necessary changes we see in online publishing avenues. Some, due to the world still getting on its feet from an UNPRECEDENTED time… had to use that word in the opener. Not sorry.
I sit at my desk, thinking over the recent spikes of anxiety and changes that are thrown at what I'll call my metaphorical career doorstep in recent weeks, with companies such as Substack swooping into the comics world. With the blast of action, Webtoons has received from DC and the changes coming to Comixology. Not to mention the degree of shady publishers, now coming into the light of day. I thought it would be an excellent time to weigh in. Via one of these blogs, I'd like to make a reoccurring thing.
The digital age as of… oh wait, it changed. For those of you trying to keep up with all of the different platforms, paths, and projects just in comics while holding down a day job, you're not alone. The consensus I've gathered is there are too many roads to pick, and not enough of them are optimal for the indie creators of today. It's silly to say when they're marketed towards us. They target us, and they get the industry pros to heard us into a flok for them to bring over as if we're just a number, looking at you Substack, mind you, I quite enjoy what Substack has done. The irony isn't lost on me.
Here's where I think we all benefit, though. These companies, publishers, and platforms are all TRYING! Trying something new, the positive changes from this new generation of publishing will ripple on for decades. Do I think Substack is the place for an indie creators? No… unless they have a substantial audience and get offered the "grant" to cultivate their projects.
The evolution of Webtoons and Comixology is only natural with their insane success. I believe these companies know where their success comes from; as a creator having these platforms evolve with us is for the greater good, but that's not to say you should put all your eggs in these baskets.
So for the everyday creator, which is most of us. What do we do? Where do we go? Do we put our efforts into another promise of career growth? Well, yes, kind of.
The takeaway. Study these platforms for yourself, watch what's working, what's not, and what you can do better. We can see that newsletters are the hot ticket right now. So then why isn't every creator on comics Twitter blasting their newsletter out weekly? We can see microtransactions are here to stay, and everyone seems okay with that. A dollar might not sound like a lot, but a dollar a day over 30 years, I'll let you do the math, but that's almost a new car, or for myself, one heck of a swimming pool! We need to execute on these opportunities.
I believe the future of digital comics lies within the creator, not to sound too cheesy, but it's true. For those of us who can learn, adapt, and apply the benefits of change. We will see the top of the mountain.
From the Most Electrifying Man in Sequential Entertainment!
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