Creators might develop a webcomic for any of a number of reasons. Frequently, you hear how someone just had this story dancing around in their brain, and doing it as a webcomic was their best way to get it out. Other times, there are people who just like making comics and a webcomic allows them to do that, with the audience being a means to enforce some discipline on themselves. Sometimes, though, it’s a way to keep people from asking you the same questions over and over again.
Natalie Nourigat is a storyboard artist for Walt Disney Animation Studios and, working for a company like that, it stands to reason she gets a lot of questions about it. In her words…
I moved to LA in 2015 to storyboard for animation studios. I get a lot of questions from artists who are interested in making similar career moves themselves. I wanted to make a comic about my experience, half for me and half for anyone looking for information about LA / storyboarding for animation.
Now, this particular comic, entitled I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation, is technically a digital comic, not a webcomic, but the same principle applies. Much of her work (including her actual webcomics) in fact seems to be a blend of cathartic release and public service announcements.
Spike Trotman, the force behind Iron Circus Comics, has done more than her share of webcomics that seem to float somewhere between getting something out of her system and putting down something that answers a lot of other people’s questions. But, where Nourigat seems to split between free webcomics and paid digital ones, Trotman has taken a a more blended approach, releasing the basic comic for free, but offering an enhanced version (by means of coloring/shading and a little additional content) as a paid digital comic.
While a great many comics are stories about fun and fanciful, that doesn’t prevent anyone from doing educational ones that provide information not found anywhere else. Creators can say, “Here’s a thing I had to deal with, and I’m going to share my experiences with you so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.” Whether that’s giving people the ins and outs about crowdfunding, or how to get a job in animation, or the work ethic required to make it as a comic creator, it’s the creator sharing their experiences explicitly to inform others.
And if they’re sometimes able to make a few bucks to relay that information, more power to them!