“I Failed As A Webcomic Artist”

Priya Sridhar had the optimism of youth.

I wanted to make a webcomic when I was a kid. Rather, I wanted to submit my work to a syndicate and produce a daily newspaper strip. Bill Watterson’s story inspired me, as did Charles Schulz’s success with Charlie Brown.
At the time, my career path seemed simple. After I sold a book for $100,000 dollars, I could photocopy comics and gain dozens of readers. The idea seemed simple enough. I would draw a fantasy webcomic…People would love the joy. The joy would sell, and selling would mean a syndicate.

But the best laid plans…

Still, Priya is young and the dream persists:

They say that one learns more from failure than success. I still don’t know what I have or haven’t learned. But I do know it was a fun ride while it lasted. Plus, I made a few friends along the way and have continued to encourage them.

Maybe one day I’ll rejoin them.

One thought on ““I Failed As A Webcomic Artist”

  1. As someone with two ongoing webcomics, I can relate to how difficult it is to get a following.

    Over the years I attempted several, most of which didn’t last long. I remember being amazed when one of my webcomics lasted longer than a year (it lasted 14 months). Although this pushed me harder on my current webcomics, which has been going for 3.5 years and 1.5 years respectively.

    And this will sound like a business/marketing advice, but developing a niche helps, too. “Ask a Cat” was something I did on the side, figuring that I would only do 5 or 6 strips before abandoning it. Instead, people reacted it to it more strongly than my main webcomic at the time, about a couple of witches. That made me realize that cat lovers were my biggest audience, so I decided to keep at it, ending my witch comic to focus on cat cartoons (my other, more kid-oriented webcomic “Fuzzy Princess” also has a cat lead character). “Ask a Cat” gained further audience when GoComics picked it up three years ago, still running today.

    Webcomics are also a good way to build your portfolio. I’ve been hired to work on freelance projects over the years because clients found my comics online.

    It takes a lot of patience, marketing-savy, and persistence to keep your webcomic going. Having big presence in social media is also a big part. Here’s hoping that Sridhar will find some time to return to cartooning in the future.

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