I’ve been the victim of some particularly unfortunate bureaucracy today which urgently needs to be addressed so I’m afraid this won’t be quite as in depth as I’d like. Anyhow, as planned I’ve begun uploading pages to ‘The Duck‘ (formerly Drunk Duck) webcomics site in an effort to expand out of my blog and connect with a larger audience, or as the module might put it ‘locating‘ practice externally.
First and foremost “why the Duck?” you might as, I could just as easily of started afresh on ComicFury or Smack Jeeves with a clean slate. The decision primarily hinged on the advantages of familiar ground; it’s been a long time since I was posting goofy comics on DD but I am at least reasonably well established there with a few key contacts and reasonable experience of the site’s workings. Put simply, it’s less daunting than starting a profile up from scratch.
How I’d post was another matter that considered thought, with the option to make reliable weekly releases with a sizable buffer or go for a page a day blow out at the risk of running out of material. Playing it safe might have been smarter here, but considering the reader’s viewpoint (one I’m often in) it strikes me that regular releases can go a long way in hooking an audience – it seems better to provide an initial stream of story to draw greater interest before settling into slower updates. It’s something of a gamble but I’m posting the cover and first seven pages on a daily basis in an attempt to hook readership before changing to a steadier schedule.
Setting this up was pretty basic, with the result being inevitably basic default presentation. As Paul Gravett pointed out to me, extra features have come to be the norm online and while a webcomic is only as good as it’s central work a bit of polish certainly can’t hurt the impression given. Conveniently the new website has some straightforward link/subpage features so following creation and application of a banner I was able to set about adding synopsis and character pages (below):
The synopsis is a pretty predictable affair, offering concise backstory against a few faint concepts. I had a little more fun with the character profile page though, giving it the look of a police document from within the story’s universe complete with faded print and inked out details on the plot. I figured a more metaphysical touch might amuse but also provide deeper immersion in the setting and its occupants:
So far the reader response has been muted/non-existent but this was to be expected, with success seemingly dependant on gradual accumulation. I’ve taken the initiative of messaging users who previously read my work in an attempt to spark interest but it’s already clear this is going to take a while. What’s important for the moment is that it’s out there now, with the best strategy at this point being to wait and see before attempting anything drastic.
I should perhaps mention that I have a few issues regarding The Duck itself in the wake of the change over; besides the bizarre mismatch between the new name and URL, my stats don’t appear to be displaying correctly along with other small but irritating errors – none of this is serious but it is annoying. As such I’ll consider uploading to alternatives when time allows but for now I’ll just test the water so to speak and remain patient.