This tweeterview was between:

Tweeter: @agent_x
Tweetee: @spudcomics
Single panel webcomics - challenges & benefits
Date: Aug 26, 09
Time: 14:00
Category: Art / Design
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The tweeterview as recorded:

"Hi Lonnie, Thanks for joining me on this Tweeterview today."

Thanks for inviting me. This is pretty exciting.

More on Q1...
I will try to be kind. :) To start, please tell us how long you have been creating Spud Comics for?

I started Spud Comics last November. And I just published the 200th comic.

"Congratulations! Do you find that producing a comic everyday (except sunday) is exciting or difficult?"

Both. The challenge is what's exciting. There are times when I'm down to the wire for ideas. But I enjoy the pressure.

It keeps me on my toes.

"What was your reason for choosing single panel gags over a regular character /story driven strip?"

Spud Comics is actually my second webcomic. I had one a few years ago called "Monkey Butler", which was a character driven strip.

It was a weekly strip. But I got bored with it rather quickly. Then one day last year I saw that there was something lacking in webcomics...

There wasn't a "Far Side". Most everybody else was producing character-driven stories. So I thought I'd fill a niche.

"Do you feel that the lack of regular characters & storylines makes it harder or easier to attract fans?"

I like the aspect that it's something different every day. And I hope my readers do too...

Even though my comics don't feature a regular character, I still try to have something there for a reader to identify with...

It's been interesting. I still might want to do another daily character strip though. Just to see what the difference will be.

"What do you feel is the biggest challenge of having single panel gags? Or are there benefits to being non-sequiter?"

The biggest challenge, of course, is coming up with a new idea everyday. But this is also liberating in a way...

I don't have to worry about how a character will react, or if it fits within a storyline or keeping up with continuity.

"Where do you get most of your comic ideas from?"

I just get inspiration from my surrounding. Like, "Oh, there's a squirrel! What can I do with a squirrel?"

I'm very conscious of subject matter I've done and haven't done. Tomorrow I have camels. I've never drawn a camel in my life.

So now, I just like exploring new things.

"Sounds like the single panels really give you scope to try new stuff. Briefly, what is your creative process, from sketch to final art?"

I start my sketches on Post-Its. They're square like the panels. After that I draw it out on a printed template, roughly twice the size... it appears on screen. I ink it with pen and then color it in Photoshop.

"Do you prefer to create the artwork in photoshop rather than illustrator? Or is photoshop just what you are more comfortable with?"

I'm more comfortable in Photoshop as far as the control of coloring. I am capable of drawing in Illustrator, but I prefer hand drawing.

"You are a regular twitter user. Is that the only social network you use to promote your comics?"

I also have a Facebook fan page. I have several members but I feel Twitter gives me better direct contact with my readers...

...and other cartoonists. I like that aspect of Twitter and also its promotional possibilities.

"What benefits do you see with retweets and how do you encourage followers to retweet your posts?"

Retweets is like the "trickle-down" theory of Twitter. The more people who RT the more eyeballs will see and potentially click my link...

I sometimes just come out and ask for the RT. Most of the time though my loyal readers will do it for me. So that's nice.

"Do you use any automations tools for posting links? If so, are these still useful to you?"
"What about tools such as Comicrank or Webcomicslist? Do they have a place in the mix for you?"

Certainly. Comicrank more so. I've been at the top of the Fastest Movers list a few times and that's definitely helped with traffic.

Oops. I just realized it's sometimes considered bad form to talk about one's traffic. :D

More on Q12...
Let's face it - it is what most of us look for on our sites if we publish content, anyway.
"Are you submitting to Digg, StumbleUpon or Redditt? Do you feel they offer benefits for your traffic?"

I've used all three in the past. I don't really like submitting my own stuff, because that just feels...I don't know...wrong...

...but I LOVE it when my readers do the submitting. I'm getting quite a bit coming in from StumbleUpon. Great service!

"Is there any future tech advances, etc, that you feel would be a great boon for webcomics?"

Hmm. Good question. I think there's supposed to be something like iTunes for comics coming soon. Whether that will help webcartoonists... me remains to be seen. I like giving it away for free.

"Would you like to have print syndication if it were offered to you, or do you prefer the online medium more?"

I always wanted to be in print. I always thought syndication was the way to go. But now I enjoy owning it all, controlling it all...

But if the money is right and the contract is sound, I would be open to it, sure.

"Which other creators webcomics are you particularly enjoying at the moment? Are you drawn more to following single panel stuff or strips?"

When I said I wanted to fill a niche earlier I didn't mean there weren't others doing it as well. I just wasn't aware of them. I like...

...Matter of Fact, Stale Bacon and a few others that are sometimes just single-panel. I also enjoy Cock n Bull, Chainsawsuit, and Willows ..

..Grove. God, I'm gonna leave some people out. But these are the ones that come to mind.

"OK - time for two tough questions. Firstly, what superhero costume would you wear, if forced to, for an entire day?"

Oh, that's easy actually. Green Lantern. I just love the design, the colors, the, for some reason, I think it enhances the bu.. area nicely.

"Nice choice. Lastly - what is your favourite meme? Pirates, ninjas or zombies?"

Ooh, zombies, definitely. Just thinking about a world full of walking dead people just sets the imagination wild!

More on Q18...
Well, at least the scientists have now researched how to survive a zombie attack, so that should help out.

Yeah, but I hear there's no chance of survival. Those were the results I read anyway.

Whoa, way to end the interview. Ha! Ha! Ha!

"Thanks so much for your time today. If you are following along on twitter, you can find Lonnie tweeting away as @spudcomics"

Thanks so much!

More on Q19...
and make sure you check out his comics at Thanks Lonnie.