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Topics - Archmage

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The Scriptorium / Sound FX and Automatopia
« on: June 24, 2012, 02:45:21 AM »
So I just had someone comment on a sound effect that I made up for the latest page (Seen here: calling it unorthadox.  I didn't really think about it much when I typed it in past, 'What would a large magically sealed door sound like when being opened?'

So that made me want to ask all of you: What do you do when you don't have an obvious spelling for a sound effect?

Bonus question: Do you think what I have in there makes sense for what I'm trying to convey?

The Tinkerer's Workshop / Wordpress 3.4/Comicpress 2.9.4
« on: June 14, 2012, 03:25:50 PM »
So yeah... the new Wordpress is out, and Frumph made a new version of Comicpress to go with it.

Just wanted to see if anyone out there has experienced issues with the new builds.

The Tavern / What do you do with yourself on sick days?
« on: March 19, 2012, 09:47:58 AM »

Yeah, so I'm sick.  Some stomach thing, it's very uncomfortable.

Lucky for me I have my comfort thing for when I'm sick.  Whenever I get this sick, I create a nest on the couch get like 3 cups of water, and play a Final Fantasy game.  Something about just focusing entirely on a different world where the story is being told to me helps distract from how crappy I feel.

So, what do you guys do when Nature takes over and makes you incapable of living?

The Tavern / Rage at Dreamhost
« on: March 05, 2012, 03:30:45 PM »
So yeah... Dreamhost had a cataclysm level outage today starting at 11:15am PST.  It is now 3:30PM PST and my site and every other customer's sites are still not up.  I would rant, and rave, and throw things; but that's not going to make be feel better.

I'm thinking of moving to another hosting site because of the way they are handling this outage.  I've priced out a couple but was wondering if any of you had any ideas about where to host from.  I've looked at Godaddy(not very fond of them) and Zerigo so far, if there are others that I should consider, let me know.

The Tinkerer's Workshop / Kickstarter or Indiegogo
« on: March 04, 2012, 05:16:57 PM »
So yeah, we're thinking of opening up for preorders and other things using one of these options.

As far as I can tell, there's not that much different between how the 2 sites work.  Just one is for everything and the other is more for art.

As people have talked about before on here, Kickstarter just helped fund the most successful webcomic kickstarter project ever with Order of the Stick.  Indiegogo has a few successful ones with Nerf this and Amya.

Which should I use?

The Tinkerer's Workshop / Guide: Building a better Ad banner
« on: March 04, 2012, 11:49:55 AM »
Ok, so I'm going to start with this post, and reserve the next 2 posts for the final parts.  Mainly this is coming off of BlkKnight's OP entitled "Ad Banners" and since I'm Knowledge Dumping here, I thought It would be a good idea to just compile it into a guide on a separate thread.

5 things that you'll want to keep in mind:
Showcase your artwork
Set new readers Expectations
Don't use gradients
Have your title on the ad

Showcase your artwork:
Pretty straight forward, take your best piece of art, color it (or have it colored), and use that in your banner.  DO NOT commission someone to draw your line art.  Nothing will create a bounce like clicking on an ad that you like the artwork for, just to find out that it's not by the same person.  If you have the banner colored for you, that's okay, not everyone knows how to do amazing coloring.  If you already color your comic, you're 1 step ahead.

Make sure that it's your best piece of art.  People will come for the artwork and then stay for the story.  People say that you can forgive poor art if there's a good story, and that's true, but there isn't any story in the ad so the art has to speak for itself.

Set new readers Expectations:
Make sure that the people who are clicking on your ad know what they're getting into.  If your story is about 2 dragons competing to see who can amass the largest hoard of treasure and adventurer's skulls, make sure that your ad shows SOMETHING to do with dragons.  It doesn't have to be specific, but you need to at least give people a general idea of what they're going to see on your site.

Don't use gradients:
It doesn't look as good as you think it does... Don't do it...

Main problem is that you're going to need to create something that will work on every site that you put it on.   If you have a tan to green gradient on a site that has a tan background, it's just going to look off.  Choose a background that compliments the artwork in the banner, or just have a full picture that fills the entire space.

Have your title on the ad:
While the main goal is to have people click on your ad, most are just going to catch a fleeting glimpse at your banner without paying it much thought.  By having your title on the banner you're actually participating in the dasterdly art of SUBLIMINAL MESSENGING.  The more times that they see the banner, the more times the name registers on some level in their head, and the more it becomes familiar to them.  Hopefully the spot that you're advertising on also shows in the archives; if this comic has 100 pages, that means that the diver will register your ad 100 times in their peripheral vision.  Unfortunately I don't have any statistics on how many times it takes for this to sink in (I'm sure there's some study out there but I haven't found it), but I can say that the more times someone sees a word, the more likely they are to remember it.

Of course this doesn't actually have to be the case, in my opinion it doesn't apply to button ads.  But those are special.

New Is Always Better:
Keep it fresh.  Upload new banners every month or 2 so that even if you're advertising in the same space, it's like you have something else that may catch someone else's eye.

There are more tricks that you can use, but these are the basics that you should keep in mind.  Below I am going to be going through the process as I create a new banner for our project wonderful ad.  We've been using the same one for almost 8 months and it's time for a change, so much for sticking to the basics ::).

The Tinkerer's Workshop / Plushies and Figurines
« on: March 03, 2012, 10:38:42 AM »
So we've had several requests from readers in our comments saying that they want to buy Plushies and or Figurines of some of our characters.  I like this idea and would love to be able to have a supply to bring to cons.  Problem is, everywhere I look they want to do bulk shipments of over 300+ for plushies and 50+ for figurines.  Don't really have that kind of bank to drop on plushies that may or may not sell well, and all the 3d printing companies that I've seen price out individual models to the point that I'd have to charge over $60 for a figure just to make my investment back.

Does anyone know of a good resource for plushies and/or Figures?

Events and Conventions / Fanimecon 2012 (San Jose, CA, USA)
« on: March 03, 2012, 09:48:47 AM »

Fanime is the 3rd largest Anime convention in the US and is still growing.  Every year they have a loooooong list of big name artists, voice actors, producers, studios, and musical talents on the ticket.  There are also a number of successful webcomic artists that attend every year including:
...many more

I've been attending every year since 2005 and this year's swapmeet will be my 3rd year staffing.  It's one of the things that brought be full into my geekiness and something that I'm happy to contribute to every year.

We're not going to be selling in their ENORMOUS Artist Alley until 2013, but we'll be there wandering the hall for more research and practicing our Elevator Pitch.

Fanimecon is from Friday May 25 to Monday May 28th in the San Jose Convention Center in Downtown San Jose, California.

So I'm sitting here trying to find new fantasy comics to read, and while I have all of you to go through, I realize that there hasn't been a thread about what we read and who should be invited over to hang with us in the Premier hub for Fantasy creators.

Not including current members of the forum, I'm reading:

Slightly Damned
Dominic Deegan
Mystery Babylon
Girl Genius

Probably forgetting some, but I don't have my laptop with me right now.

The Tinkerer's Workshop / Spammer
« on: February 25, 2012, 01:20:58 AM »
So since yesterday I have this one spambot that keeps trying to post crap in my comment section.  Lucky for me, I'm using Akismet which is freaking amazing and has caught ever single post.  It's like every 30 seconds they repost on my site and it's pissing me off.  I can't do an IP block because every single post is from a different IP address so I'm sure they're using some sort of proxy mask.

What do I do?  I'm worried that it's going to skew my PW stats that this bot is crawling over my site 24/7.

Events and Conventions / Image Expo
« on: February 22, 2012, 12:58:30 PM »
Just found this con recently, we're going to be checking it out on a "research" expedition.  Probably just attend Saturday.

Going to be Friday through Sunday.  Downtown Oakland, CA

The Tinkerer's Workshop / Internet sales vs con sales
« on: February 21, 2012, 11:34:37 PM »
For any of you comikers out there that have books in print, have sold at a con, and sell online; which would you prefer someone to do?

Buy in person
Buy online

The reason I ask is because there are a few webcomics out there that I would like to buy a dead tree format of their books.  There are a few that are going to be at local cons over the next year, and there are a few that I might end up seeing at larger cons if I end up attending.  The ones that I'm going to see at local cons, I'm probably just going to wait and buy in person.  I know that if I get to meet the creator and gush to them about the book, it's going to be a positive experience for both of us.  But for the ones that may take a year or so if ever, should I just buy online?

The Tinkerer's Workshop / Business Cards
« on: February 20, 2012, 03:03:17 AM »
I need to get business cards made and shipped to me by Friday in time for Image Comic Expo.  I have no idea how to format them, or where I should go to print them.  I figure I have to have my order in by tomorrow afternoon if I'm going to be able to get them in time.  Does anyone know of any good resources and/or places that I can print from that do Priority 2-3 day shipping?

I know that I can just get some from Zazzle, but I think $20 for 100 cards seems a bit steep for something that 95% of people are just going to either lose or throw away.

So there are a few comics out there that I see who drop hundreds of dollars a day on advertising.  I don't know what the rest of the community's perception of them is, but some of them just come off as desperate to me for views rather than just aggressively advertising.

There are a couple of comics I've seen around that have been placed at the top of my desperate column.  Needless to say, some of these comic haven't been received very well; to the point where, on their ads sometimes say, "After a chapter in, it gets better."  Now this alone screams desperate, but that's not the main reason (albeit a big reason as well as sad) that they seems desperate to me.  It's the fact that on any major webcomic for about 3 months, I would see some of these ads filling the most desirable ad spots.  Now, gorilla marketing is nothing new, obviously the best way to get eyes on your page is to have your ad in the most high visibility spaces; but for a comic that had 15 pages, I don't think you're ready to have a Skyscraper on Awkward Zombie,  the Leaderboard on Girl Genius, a square on Dominic Deegan, a leaderboard on Questionable content, a Banner in the Giantitp forums, and god knows what else.  Just those spots alone total about $200-$300/day.

Now am I way off base here or does this just seem a bit excessive?  I mean, this was for at least 2 months so 60 days at $200 a day is about $12000... You're not going to make that back on a 15 page comic.

The follow up question for this would be, what's the line?  I mean, I advertise on some high profile comics, but I rarely take the most expensive spots, I usually stick to squares or buttons so long as there are multiples.

Events and Conventions / SacAnime 2012
« on: February 17, 2012, 01:51:13 PM »
Naarie and I will be showing at SacAnime Summer 2012 with our first book during the weekend of August 31 (Not sure why summer and not Fall).

Check out for more info.  Artist Alley tables will be going up for reservations soon.

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