Thanks for another #webcomicschat chums, it’s always great to see everyone’s comments. This week I watched the Jeff Smith documentary “The Cartoonist” which I highly recommend. The average person might find it boring but I’m a sucker for this sort of thing. For any cartoonist I think there’s lots of good information and inspiration to be had. In the extras there’s also a discussion from an open forum moderated by Scott McCloud which is really cool. For the purposes of tonight’s #webcomicschat I thought it would be fun to bring it up because I think there’s a lot in the documentary that applies to the business of web comics.
As a web cartoonist I thinks it’s good to look to Jeff as an example of someone who’s done it right. Granted, Jeff started before web comics existed, but as far as I’m concerned my goals are the same as his and hopefully the web gives me an advantage that wasn’t available to him. Here are some of the qualities that contributed to Jeff’s success, they are in no particular order: classic artistic style; quality art work and inking style; story, story, and more story; artistic vision; discipline and hard work; supportive family; all ages material; body of work ready for publication, etc. The list could go on and I’d love it if you posted your own ideas here. I really respect Jeff as a self-made cartoonist and I think we all have a great deal to learn from him.
P.S. Because of the documentary I discovered two artists that I shamefully wasn’t aware of. When possible I’m going to get some of their books, in the meantime I’ve really enjoyed looking at their work online. It seems they have been the inspiration for many cartoonists over the years. Pogo by Walt Kelly and Uncle Scrooge by Carl Barks.