Comic Non-Sans: For the Readers

In the midst of everything going on, I nearly forgot that Thursday is Thanksgiving, and this particular holiday season I’m going to have a lot of extra time on my hands while I recuperate at home.  And as I was doing my post-surgery rant, I mentioned doing something festive for the readers who have remained with us during this bizarre time in the comic’s run.  I remembered then that this is something I used to do back in the Before Times pretty much without a second thought, whether it was wallpapers or special stories or just random seasonal art all through December.

With my mind geared more toward actual merchandise and/or a desire to make things cool, though, I’ve been trying to think a little harder and more logically about what would be extra entertaining over the course of the month.  As much as I pick on my readership for being quiet, I do appreciate all of them, and when I can think of something neat to do for them, I like to.  I’m also learning that it’s no good to do something cool for readers and then make it problematic to get to.  Yes, you do have devoted clickers and people with all sorts of curiosity and patience, but at the same time you’re also trying to be cool with people.

One mistake I’ve made in the past is hiding things inadvertently.  Perhaps you yourself would think to click a button that says “Click here for cool stuff.”  You also know right where it is.  When people are cruising through their morning comics, this might not necessarily be readily obvious to them.  Would I rearrange my entire layout for something like that?  I doubt it.  But would it behoove me to make it a bit more obvious?  Maybe change the header?  Make a link to anything cool I do a little more obvious?  Well, yes.  Easter(?) eggs can be fun as well, sure, but it’s the season of giving … might as well not hide everything from everyone.

And I will say now (and this may surprise some readers), I wish there was a legit way to get tangible goodies to all my readers.  I don’t have that kind of money, and not many people do, so the next best thing is something downloadable.  Is this a good time to finally step outside one’s comfort zone and try to come up with something that isn’t just a flat piece of art?  Perhaps.  It’s certainly an excuse to try something new.  Perhaps try animating something, making a widget, or poking at that multimedia thing you said you’d do someday and kept putting off.

One thing I tried doing a while back that didn’t necessarily work was going through CafePress and making ornaments and mini-books of seasonal stuff.  Some webcomickers might benefit from this; some might not have the following for it.  But now more than ever (especially as compared to when I tried this several years ago), there are more ways to make trinkets and little things for anyone interested.

Maybe it’s an isolated thing, but this time of year I always feel a bit less cynical and more generous toward my readership.  Finding ways to express that isn’t necessarily easy, especially when one’s readership is quiet.  But I’m planning to take this massive stretch of free time ahead of me to experiment a bit and see what comes out of it.  Perhaps I’ll have more to say after the fact.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 01:00 by Kara Dennison · Permalink
In: Columns, The Written Word, Webcomics, Webcomics