At Dragon*Con, the large panels are where you go to find out about the hottest shows or the newest stars. The smaller panels are where you go to meet all the Dragon*Con people. Waiting for the webcomics panel to start, I met cartooning teachers, writers and tattoo artists. Meg from I Feel Twitchy showed me her ugly pug art book. Everyone talked about their plans to start webcomics and their favorite artists. Unlike in the large panels, the mood here was friendly and relaxed. Everyone was here to talk about something they loved.
The webcomics panel was hosted by Pete Abrams (Sluggy Freelance), Jennie Breeden (The Devil’s Panties; Geebas on Parade) and Bobby Nash (writer and artist). The panel, entitled “Webcomics-More than Just Do-It-Yourself” primarily centered around questions from the audience on webcomic creation. Despite the name of the panel, all three presenters firmly stated that webcomics was very much do it yourself. As Jennie stated, “No-one will work harder for your comic than you will.” The panel broke down into a wide variety of helpful types for aspiring artists.
Among the advice offered was getting started (don’t wait until you become an excellent artist or writer or coder, webcomics are all about learning as you go), priorities (inconsistent updating is the thing that will hurt your webcomic the most) and even merchandising tips (“Don’t assume everyone likes puzzles”, Jennie advised).
The artists also talked about their personal experiences with their webcomics. Jennie talked about screening her comics with friends to ensure everyone is happy with their portrayal, while Pete Abrams talked about studying people in order to combine personality traits in his characters. Bobby Nash talked about some of difficulties in co-created comics.
Overall, the panel provided a fun and relaxed look at the basic ins and outs of webcomics and provided excellent advice for aspiring webcomic artists. For those who wish more discussion or to buy merchandise, Pete Abrams and Jennie Breeden will both be located in the Comic Artists Alley at DragonCon. Bobby Nash will be hosting several panels in the COMICS track throughout Dragon*Con 2010.