Standing out from the crowd

Standing out from the crowd published on 3 Comments on Standing out from the crowd

There is a lot of debate out there, regarding the “future of webcomics” and how comic artists/illustrators can make a living from them. Especially with the current tools available, which let anybody with a computer suddenly become a publisher &/or a comic creator.
The ability to push out a webcomic, regardless of it’s quality, is within the reach of practically anybody.

(Side note – I dislike the term ‘webcomic’. In the present online world, there is a massive crossover between comics delivered in print format, or online. So, for the rest of this blog post, I am just going to call them ‘comics’. You will notice that it makes little difference, and is still relevant, despite the delivery medium)

For me, the answer to being able to make a living from just creating comics, is to do one of these things:

1. work hard and produce comics that are of great quality, which will then attract the readers/publishers.

2. create a great product, but pick a niche to work within, where there is less competition.

The first option is something you should do by default, as a comic creator regardless. It is the second option that I feel is the best path to follow.
The idea is nothing new, and smart artists have been doing this for a while.
Hugh McLeod talked about this approach in a recent article. He describes targeting the High-End Microaudience in order to make a profit from his art.

Very recently, I stumbled across this work by Carly Monardo. She has created a piece called Marc Jacobs In Space which I feel is not only great looking, but is also a very smart direction to take. The niche she has begun to target here is the fashion industry, and I can see how something like this could really blossom into a fantastic earning potential for her.

As artists, we should be thinking of the old adage “work smarter not harder”. In our case, this often means thinking about where we can apply our skills, rather than pumping out a heap of stuff that has already been done & hoping someone sees it after it has been tweeted, retweeted, voted up on reddit & facebooked to death.

So, why not take some time very soon, and think about how you are going to “work smarter, not harder’“.
It could really pay off for you.


Hugh has 28,000 Twitter followers. Not Ashton Kutcher numbers but I would hardly call that a microaudience.

Very True.
But the article refers to a Micro-audience as far as marketing your product. (ie: the ‘niche’ audience that people often whisper about at sales strategy meetings).

The Micro-audience has little o do with the amount of followers you have, up to a point.

I love the way technology is opening up formerly resource heavy and patronage heavy fields.

Imagine the dues one must pay just to say get a job at marvel or a video game company. Especially when they have to compete with so many other eagers.

Now with the tools and some effort anyone can self publish their own ideas. I’ve seen it in music, literature, audiobooks, podcasts shows, comics, video even. Tools like itunes, youtube, and the authors own private websites.

It hasn’t taken off as much as I thought (I originally thought youtube and itunes type services, would really give TV a run for its money in distribution). But I think in a few years user generated content will get more and more prominent.