The last panel we saw on Day 2 was the “Creating a Webcomic” panel, and I’m really torn over it. I think I agreed with nearly everything the presenter had to say, but it was the most soul-crushing and boring panel I saw the entire weekend. Maybe it was because the presenter had been chosen at the last minute and had nothing visual to go with the presentation (webcomics being a visual medium and all), maybe it was because she didn’t actually read comics anymore, and hadn’t worked on her comic in 2-3 years.
She had lots of great information, and I think most of it was probably lost on the audience. She interspersed her speech with “do this or no one will read your comic” and “don’t do this or no one will read your comic,” followed by “doing or not doing any of these things won’t guarantee that anyone will read your comic.” There were several points that I wish I could’ve gone up and taken her notes and presented the rest of the panel for her, it was that depressing.
Several times during the presentation, she asked for the time, because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to fill the entire panel, since no one was stopping her to ask questions. I’m sure most of the people in the room were depressed and lost. A little research, maybe something colorful to keep their attention? Maybe talking about successful webcomics and asking people what comics they liked? She said at several points that “everyone likes webcomics because they’re free,” which was a bizarre point to drive into the audience when she spent most of the time talking about how most comics were doomed from the get-go.
That panel, more than any other, instilled me with the desire to be a convention panelist. I wonder if I could get a copy of her notes on the presentation and then instill a bit of personality in it — basically doing the same thing, but making it more engaging and interactive. I mean, webcomics are supposed to be fun for crying out loud. (Or at least entertaining, right?)