We all love webcomics – but sometimes expressing that love can be hard! We don’t always have the time or the cash to support the people creating these digital scribbles we hold so dear: sending emails, buying the merch, ordering print collections… if only there was an easier way!
Despair not, Digital Strippers (um…)! There are indeed easy ways for you to support your favourite creators – without even trying! Here’s five of the best you can do right now:
Turn off that ad-blocker!
Ok, so everyone knows the days of that sweet, sweet advertising revenue keeping a webcomic afloat all by itself have long passed. But, this still remains one of the easiest ways you can support a creator if you’re reading their webcomics through a browser. I mean, you’re there anyways, right? Let their site through your filters, and your regular read session can kick just that little more ad traffic through to a creator. It might not be much, but every little bit helps – and the best part? It costs the reader literally nothing in money or time. And with all that time on our hands:
Follow the comic/creator on social media
When we’re not cruising the ‘net for webcomics, most of us are probably spending way too much time on some form of social media – and whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Myspace (it’s still a thing! Right, guys?) or Redditt, chances are your favourite webcomics are represented there too! So check out if they’ve got a ‘connect’ button on their website, or even tap in the creator’s or webcomic’s name into the search bar of your choice social media site. Following creators, liking their pages or upvoting their comics has plenty of benefits: it’s easy, it helps algorithms know to send even more webcomickery goodness your way, and it lets the creators see the numbers in their fanbase swell before their eyes. It also makes it super easy to:
Share, retweet and comment on new webcomic updates
Clicking that ‘share,’ ‘+1’ or ‘retweet’ button is sooooo easy, and it does such great things for your favourite webcomics’ visibility! Not only does it give you a chance to spread the word and share a laugh or a cry with your friends, it also gives the creator a kick in the confidence when they see their work bouncing around the digital globe. Even better, when you’re sharing or commenting on the material that creators have put up themselves, it helps combat that carbuncle of the internet: misplaced (or just plain missing) attribution of work. Plus, you never know who you might convert into a long-time reader by introducing them to a great new comic online. And speaking of which:
Talk about your favourite webcomics with your friends!
There’s nothing in this world quite like the power of personal recommendation. A super simple way of helping out a creator you love, is to spread that love, by mouth, to your friends! Webcomics overlap with the other media we consume (and pop culture in general) all the time – so they’re always ripe for a shameless plug when they’ve made a great joke about, or share a theme with, the latest movie/game/novel you’re discussing with your friends. The best part is, you’re getting to give a mate something they’ll enjoy, enhance their experience of both media and drive one more potential patron to the creator you appreciate, so it really is a win-win. And speaking of patronage…
Support your favourite creators on Patreon
Patreon has been around for a few years now, and has become the go-to method for creators to earn themselves a webcomics wage. By now, you probably don’t need me to explain how it works so instead I’m going to highlight just how cheap and easy an option it is to support your favourite webcomics. Patreon is at heart a set-and-forget model: you pledge your spare change and each month/update it just does it’s own thing in the background. Odds are you’re never going to miss those few dollars, but like the advertising revenue it all adds up and you (yes, you!) might very well be the patron that pushes your favourite creator over the threshold they need to justify spending more time creating content (or, you know, being able to eat) – and then you get even more of what you love.
And speaking of love, we’d love to hear from you! Do you have any hot tips and tricks for supporting creators? Have you had any positive (or negative) experiences with the suggestions listed here? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below, and until next time: don’t eat the clickbait!