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December 14, 2013
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  • Mood: Anxious
  • Listening to: Soundgarden, "Pretty Noose"
  • Reading: The Elements of Harmony
  • Watching: MST3K - 803 "The Mole People"
I saw :iconfyuvix: was having a crisis of artistic proportions over in her recent journal www.deviantart.com/journal/Art… And while I wish I could help her out with some nice friendly advice, it occurs to me that I'm more or less in the same boat as her.

A lot of the concepts I'm currently working with are more or less unmarketable. Forever 16 is my primary series, the one I've poured the most creative effort into over the past seven years, yet I've formatted it in a way that's really hard to sell. It's an "archive comic", with each strip corresponding to a specific day in the past, so it pretty much can't be published in the present (not as a daily strip, anyway). All its cultural references are to things that happened 10 to 20 years ago, so most modern readers will be lost. I've had to explain the premise so many times to people who were confused: "So wait, did you draw this in 1993, or did they re-release Jurassic Park recently and I just didn't know about it?" Plus, I tend to hop around the timeline a lot, which I imagine can get kind of disorienting.

Then we have Adorkable, which I'm still struggling with as I try to finalize the characters' personalities. I'm flipping back and forth like crazy on whether I should make Abby an aspiring underwater fashion photographer. On the one hand, it's something I know pretty well, and thus I can draw on my own personal knowledge and experience for the stories. On the other, it's extremely niche, and most people out there don't know or care about the underwater subculture that I'm a part of. I'm constantly reminded of an article :icontorquesmacky: wrote for his website a few years back about people who draw fetishy fan art - just because you have an idea that's close to your personal interests, it doesn't mean everyone else wants to hear about it.

So it makes me wonder, can either of these ideas actually go anywhere? Or should I just cut my losses and try to think up something that's a little more mainstream?
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:icongeorgia-o-queef:
Georgia-O-Queef Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I personally think Forever 16 is marketable, but it would need a bit of revising. I liked the idea of them never growing up and you could actually throw in it in any decade you wanted to by the next collection, but the "archive comic" angle is crippling it (Do you even care about Snow? or Disneyland Paris? Hell, even the Spice Girls was your sister's passion, and not yours.)

Maybe invoke the decades you like while narrowing the references down to specific events that really affected you. Also, the underwater element wouldn't stick out at all if she was just a regular art student. You just have to offset it with other zany photoshoots
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:iconjbwarner86:
jbwarner86 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013
Basically, I'll tackle any aspect of pop culture if I think I can make fun of it somehow. But I'm gravitating further and further away from the archive format - I'm thinking I'd rather go back to the short stories I tried in early 2012. With big pages and no set limit, I can stretch out a bit more and get to know my characters a bit better.
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:icongeorgia-o-queef:
Georgia-O-Queef Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really like that idea!
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:iconcount-kraumburger1:
Count-KraumBurger1 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Not sure if you'll like it but I made a tv tropes page for F16;

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:iconjbwarner86:
jbwarner86 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013
That is pretty cool, although right now it looks more like a page about my entire DeviantArt gallery, not just Forever 16. Also, I no longer regard the 2010-2011 strips as canon. Actually, I'm planning on overhauling Forever 16 entirely in the coming months, so I hate to say it, but the whole page will probably be totally out of date pretty soon. But I still appreciate it :)
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:iconcount-kraumburger1:
Count-KraumBurger1 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What stories from 2010-2011 would be non canon? I have a feeling the ones I like the Prince and Pauper one would be one of them. I do realize I only scratched the surface of the comic but there's so many of them I haven't the time to get them all down.

What type of overhaul might be in store? Is it like a reboot? 

No worries man, I'll just have to work hard on it this next year.

Merry Christmas!!
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:iconjbwarner86:
jbwarner86 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013
All the ones I did from October 2010 to April 2011, I've thrown out of continuity. And yes, that includes the Justin Bieber story - I know everyone loved that thing, but I really can't stand to read it anymore. There's plot holes everywhere, and I know I can write a better story than that.

Yes, I am rebooting the entire series. It'll no longer be a comic strip that looks like it was published in the '90s and '00s, because I can't sell it that way. It's too high-concept and nobody will get it. It'll just be short stories that are set in the '90s, so I can focus less on the archive gimmick and more on the characters.
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:iconradicalrave:
RadicalRave Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist
marketability is a bit of a funny issue when it comes to trying to appeal to as many other humans out there besides just yourself with the idea that you have that you want to present to the large masses.

as for adorakable, or any series for that matter, don't worry too much about solidifying or making a character's personality or nature very stagnant. in reality, they never stay the same. that's the last thing you want to do. you want to implement gradual or sometimes sudden shifts/change.

just be aware of what they respond to when you decide to put in different situations, characters, things into the environment and how all the characters react and respond to things.

You do want to show the concept of change, while showing what attributes and ideas that the characters remain very tenacious to, over the progress of time.
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:iconmetalheadfan2500:
MetalHeadFan2500 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
Why dont you actually make a real webcomic with ad revenue
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:iconmetalheadfan2500:
MetalHeadFan2500 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
Why the fuck do you want to be syndicated or mainstream, make it a graphic novel series
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