I found a long forum thread on Tapas that finally gave me some answers about Line Webtoon.  Look for the posts by user “Cabbage.”

 

If Cabbage is correct, Line Webtoon isn’t going to promote or pick up comics that aren’t in color and in the mobile format.  For better or worse, I knocked myself out of the running from the get go when I chose to do black and white and a print comic format.  That decision was made for good reason, but all the same there it is.  Not going to get picked up or featured on Line Webtoon with the current format.

 

I’m still making progress and, slowly but surely, picking up readers.  I’m getting close to 200 followers across the comic sites.  The ads on TWC are working well, I expect to have thousands of unique visitors this month instead of the two or three hundred I got before running the first TWC ad.  I don’t know that I necessarily need Line Webtoon, especially when they start off paying so little.  Little and, at the same time, too much for the quality of work they’re getting.  Other than the Observatory comic I worked on, the only comic on Webtoons worth looking at is Gun + Blazer, which hasn’t been picked up and has only got 841 followers.  I’ve clicked on several of the featured titles, and I can’t read any of that stuff.  The art is just too beginner level.  But, I digress.  While I think Webtoons is initially not paying enough for what they ask, at least for me, they may be right about color and the web toon format.  I may be selling myself short by sticking with a traditional comic format and black and white.  There are good reasons for doing things the way I’m doing them.  With the art style I’m using, I don’t have to flat, and I don’t have to worry about printing color.  Printing color is no joke, I don’t know how to do it correctly and I don’t have the tools to do it correctly.  If I switch to color and it ends up in print, it’s not going to look like what I’ve created on screen.  Color will even vary from screen to screen.

 

But, but – when I was young and getting into comics, I wouldn’t give much if any consideration to black and white books.  Manga changed my mind a lot, since it only came in black and white when it first came over.  Maybe it still does.  I get the feeling people are still expecting to see color in webcomics though, even if it is bad, like it usually is.  I did two ad runs on the Duck, resulting in nearly 800 clicks, and only 4 people decided to follow the comic.  That’s .005%.  I shudder to think that only .005% of the unique visitors coming to the website end up sticking around,  but the amount of comments I’m getting suggest that may be the case.  Ouch.

 

In the end, what am I getting by sticking with the current art format?  It takes less time to do tones than color, if it goes to print it will be in a standard comic size, and it will look like a professional black and white book instead of an amateurish color book.  But if it doesn’t go to print, or no one wants the print book, than I’m only getting a times savings from not doing color.  However, in a sense I am actually losing time and doing far, far more work if it takes two black and white pages to get the same number of followers as one color page.  The situation could potentially be much worse than that though.  Considering Line Webtoon, it might take tens, hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of black and white pages to get as many followers as one color page.

 

Knowing what I know now, thanks to Cabbage’s posts, I think the course of action is obvious.  I’m going to have to switch over to color and a webtoon style for the next story.  It would have been nice to keep the art style consistent within the character development anthology, but in the end, it’s just the character development anthology.  Not the main book, and the anthology is segmented itself.  The first two issues will have one consistent style all the way through, and the third issue will change to a style most people will likely prefer.  It won’t even matter unless it goes to print and sells more than the handful of books it’s actually likely to sell.  Right now I’d expect single digits, which is not enough to worry about.

 

In around three weeks we’ll see if the change is worth making or not.  Battlescarred Dragattica only has about six more pages in it, then the next story begins, in the new format.