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How To End Your Webcomic, for #WebcomicChat

How To End Your Webcomic, for #WebcomicChat published on No Comments on How To End Your Webcomic, for #WebcomicChat

Technically I’ve ended 3 webcomics. They’re all Hellsing fancomics — And Shine Heaven Now, The Eagle of Hermes, and Sailor Hellsing — so the full archives are collected on the same site.

This is part of the “how do I webcomic?” series, with useful information on all kinds of comicking-related topics.

This. If you’re losing steam, at least stick it out long enough to give your readers a satisfying conclusion, but then move on.

Gag-a-day strips are also easy to switch to an “updates when I’m inspired” schedule. But if you end up going months (or years!) between new strips, then do declare an official end. If only so readers aren’t left in a state of indefinite false hope.

BICP always had an endgame in mind. It’s been running for 7 years, and we’re at least a year away from getting there. Although I’ve been in the mindset of “okay, all the plot and character arcs are sufficiently set up, now I’m heading for the finish line” for at least 2 years at this point. Payoff is gonna take a while.

I knew the general outline! There are mysteries and conflicts getting resolved now (chapters 25-26) that were set up in chapter 1. And there’s a Big Bad to be neutralized. Most of the finer details were developed over the course of the writing.

Elsewhere, Leif & Thorn is 2.5 years old, and was deliberately designed so I can keep doing it indefinitely if I feel like. It’s generally headed toward certain reveals and emotional developments – but none of them is a firm End Point. And there’s much more room to come up with new arcs for the (large ensemble) cast along the way.

Ending Shine was mostly fulfilling, partly sad, definitely a relief. I wasn’t going to bail before playing out the full endgame, but it was pretty tiring in the last few years.

You can see the tiredness in the way some of the arcs feel rushed or too-easily-resolved, glossing over scenes that could’ve been really significant. (Why didn’t I actually draw the Paper Sisters’ reunion, whyyyy.) But in retrospect, there’s still a lot that feels satisfying.

And it was a Good Decision to do a late-stage free-for-all author Q&A. There was nothing left to spoil! You could ask anything! It gave me a direct connection to which points (from the major to the trivial) readers wanted closure on, and a great vehicle to cover all of them.

Plus: now that I’m working on non-fancomics, it’s a lot of fun to repurpose my favorite original gags and characters into the works I can actually, you know, publish.

Shine ended in 2012 and I just did a new April Fool’s strip for it in 2018, so…yeah. (And then the Actual Final Strip, raising a glass to Hellsing’s 21st anniversary.)

The other long-term works I’ve finished are all fanfiction, but they have a pattern that’s almost certainly going to repeat with other comics. After I officially post The End, there’s a tapering-off creative period that comes with bonus strips, side stories, extra art.

Just leave it on the site you originally posted it on! And maybe print a book.

I did rehome the archives of my older complete comics — from ComicGenesis onto a self-hosted Wordpress install — but that was mostly for the sake of technical advances (tags & searching) that the original host didn’t have.

There’s a ComicLab episode where they talk about moving the archives of older/complete “the sites are barely getting hits anymore” comics behind a Patreon paywall. Which…listen, that’s completely within your right as a creator, but it doesn’t sit well with me. Leave it up, for the sake of the occasional nostalgic rereader.

(A thing which Shine gets on a regular basis! Couldn’t have told you that before — but now it’s on a site with functional visitor stats, so I can see the hits coming in.)

All my completed favorites are recced here. Go to town.

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