Anonymous asked:What’s a good way to start the first chapter of a webcomic? I know there’s not an exact formula for it but I would appreciate some general guidelines to prevent alienating a reader with too much or too little.
You should check out the first chapter of Gunnerkrigg Court. It’s a short (15 pages counting the cover) story that sets the mood of the comic and what you can expect to get if you keep reading it, which is more important than setting up the plot. Seeing stuff like that is why Saffron’s first chapter is a ten page adventure short introducing you to the idea of the comic without getting too bogged down into the premise/plot, which is usually the least interesting part of a story.
I’d also like to direct your attention to the first Skin Horse strip
I think this one strip is almost perfect as an introduction to Skin Horse. If you’re lookin’ to buy what Skin Horse is lookin’ to sell, this strip tells you all you need to know. You can make the decision on whether or not to read Skin Horse right now, just from this.
There’s a mistake a lot of writers make (and I made it with LotH) which is to treat the story as the most interesting part of the comic, but it rarely is.
This is a very basic bit of narration, but this page effectively tells you that Gunnerkrigg Court is about a girl at a creepy-ass school who encounters a bunch of weird shit. This is a pretty good summation of GC as a comic (though the first chapter of Gunnerkrigg Court the comic makes Gunnerkrigg Court the school a lot more ominous and creepy than it’s portrayed as in later chapters, but that’s the natural evolution of a comic over time).
Gunnerkrigg’s first chapter is notable for all the things it doesn’t have. There’s no Kat. There’s no Reynardine. There’s no introduction to the Magic vs Science dichotomy that the comic’s built around. We don’t need any of that, because this is all you need to see to decide if Gunnerkrigg Court is worth a read.
Here’s the cover and first page of Unsounded, and you know that Ashley Cope’s artwork is exceptional and a big draw of the comic, and you have a pretty good idea of the two main characters and the dynamic between them. What’s the comic about? I don’t fucking know, but I know why I might want to read it.
Don’t worry about setup. If you’re going long, you have infinite pages. Just show me what you got, and why I should stick with you for it.