#webcomicschat – Evolution vs. Intelligent Design
Ok, ok just a tease, this isn’t a post about the creationism. As it relates to our webcomics though, do you let yours evolve or are you following a predetermined design? We had a fun discussion about this tonight on our chat. At first when I started this topic I was referring to character development but based on comments it became clear that it applies to art style as well. For me I’ve allowed my strip to evolve, both the art and the characters. For example in the beginning I focused on the kids and their super powers but now I tend to write for the parents. Over time I’ve also seen an improvement in my art and I’ve settled into a drawing style that works well. It sounds like others have experienced this sort of development in their strips in the first few years as well. The trick I guess is knowing how far to let things go. In particular I think webcomics are great for this kind of development because the cartoonist is in control and the audience can be more forgiving and perhaps even enjoy participating in the process.
A few posted comments about how other famous cartoonists have changed over the years too. Take Schultz and Peanuts. Even before his stroke his Peanuts characters changed. I’ve read through a few of the collections by Fantagraphics and it seems like every decade he changed his art and character focus. On the other hand take someone like Jeff Smith. As far as I can tell his art didn’t change a bit in the 10 years it took him to finish Bone. I also think it’s impressive he was able to keep up the story arc for that length of time. So what’s the moral of the story, should we let our comics evolve or should we follow a predetermined path? In practical terms – probably both.