This is my love letter to webcomics. I know there is a lot of debate about the future of the “industry” and the viability and sustainability of such and such business model. I do have opinions on that, but this isn’t about any of that. This is about why I love webcomics and what I have learned.
When it comes to comics, I started out from the position of someone who loved stories. I love movies, books, and shows. I really hadn’t read many comics. That changed when I met Thom and I quickly was introduced to the world of comics and storytelling. I was teaching art to elementary students at the time and I immediately saw some great educational potential and had him come to the school to speak and draw. That is when I started to realize how great a medium comics are.
Thus begins my letter of appreciation. I have learned so much! I am going to share some of that now.
1. I am thankful for the stories I get to tell that I never felt I had the ability to tell.
Growing up I loved to daydream and read. I would spend the bus ride to school and back home imagining worlds and stories. I would go on adventures to new places or I would create characters and then send them off into a crazy set of circumstances. I remember snapping out of it just in time to get off the bus. I thought about writing some of them down, but I knew I wasn’t really a great writer. Grammatical finesse is not really my strong suit. Instead, I kept imagining but I kept the stories to myself. Then I met Thom and was introduced to webcomics. Anyone can tell their stories. It is such a wonderful and accepting community (readers and creators) and that gave me the confidence to give it a try.
2. I am thankful for all the great people I get to meet!
I love to meet other creators or readers. Shadowbinders has opened doors to convention trips, social media groups, and reader interactions. I have met so many wonderful and supportive people in webcomics. It truly is a great community of people. If you are considering starting a comic, don’t be afraid of other creators. They will welcome you and help you out when you need it. It is like living in a nice neighborhood where everyone lets you borrow sugar or tells you how to fix your sprinklers, but online.
3. I learned how to do things I didn’t know I could do.
One word: Marketing. Before doing comics (and marrying Thom) I had no clue how to promote a comic, a book, or an idea. In the three plus years I have been doing Shadowbinders, I have learned how to use social media more effectively, how to run advertisements and where to put them, how to think outside the box, and how to engage people. I think these are helpful skills for any person or profession. I am happy to have the opportunity to learn them.
4. I have books!
If you had told me a few years ago that I would create stories with my husband and I would hold physical copies of our books in my hands, I wouldn’t have believed you. Anyone who has gotten their book from the printer and has held it in their hands knows the feeling I am talking about. I wish all creators that feeling. It is a great one.
5. People want to buy stories I tell! How amazing is that?
I still can’t wrap my mind around it. People want my stories and they will use their money to support our hard work. I have gone to the library or a book store and looked at all the books and thought about how much work and love went into each and I have thought about how great it is that people buy those books. Then, I remember that I am an author now and people want to buy my work. It is humbling and invigorating at the same time. It’s the best feeling!
All of five of these have only happened to me because I started creating a webcomic with my husband Thom. These wonderful things all happened because I loved to imagine stories and Thom loves to draw them. I get to share stories with the world and I am grateful for the gift of webcomics.
If you would like to read our comic you can find it at shadowbinders.com
[We currently have a Kickstarter campaign. You can find that here.]