Fact: We have some awesome interns, as you’ve seen in the last week or two with Hilary Allison’s incredible lid-blowing-offing of the Nib Holder Industry video, and Hilary and JP Kim‘s reports on SVA student comics fair Fresh Meat. Awesome, but like so many young cartoonists, still invisible to the vas majority of comics readers. They are both just finished with their third year of comics school, and will soon need to figure out how to make their way in the larger world. In fact, JP needs to figure this out sooner than Hilary, since he’s taking the year off in Philadelphia.
With that in mind, Matt and I challenged the two of them to spend their summer figuring out how to get their comics seen. JP has spent the last semester thinking about this subject a lot as our “social media intern”, so he’ll be taking the lead. But he’ll soon figure out that Hilary is force to be reckoned with: She’s sure to catch up to him in a matter of weeks.
Follow Hilary and JP’s progress via weekly reports here on dw-wp.com, and via our various Twitter streams: @dwandwp, @whurf, (not to mention @mmaddencomics and @jccabel) and Hilary’s as soon as she announces what it is. Friend all of us on Facebook (JP, Jessica, Matt, Hilary TK), “like” DWWP, and most of all, please comment here with your insights and advice.
FACT: In the last ten years, social media has become ESSENTIAL to anyone wishing to build a readership in comics.
social media n. 1. forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.
Hilary: Okay, so I need to build a website. But do I really need a facebook? And a twitter?
JP: Yes. You really do.
We’re Matt and Jessica’s interns, 21-year-old tenderfoots, and we’re embarking on a summer-long study of social media for cartoonists… not just how to use it, but how to use it effectively to launch or boost a career. Each week we’ll share our progress, our theories, and our discoveries in navigating the vast sea of this World Wide Web.
JP Kim (at right) has already captured a small audience through Le Whurf, an original series of non-sequitor comics and I Am A Cartoonist, Hear Me Roar, a more general blog-folio. He’s moving out of New York this afternoon, leaving SVA to pursue a secret art entrepreneurship in Philadelphia.
Hilary Allison has more ground to cover. She has an outdated ComicFury for her HaHaConstancePlanck strip, and that’s it. With one more year left to claim that Cartooning BFA, Hilary is sticking to SVA… and organizing the hell out of student group Cartoon Allies.
Drank a lot of coffee. Used a lot of wi-fi.
[√] Domain Name
[ ] Website / Blog
[ ] Tumblr
(Not checked ’till we both have ‘em.)
- Find out who our audience is.
- Attract (and keep) an audience for our comics
- Gain name-recognition.
- Gain art-recognition.
- By the last week of August, generate enough traffic that the first 5 Google search results for “Hilary Allison” and “JP Kim” will point to us.
Attached goals to dates. (Hilary: How many followers should we have by July?)
Argued. (JP: You’re bogging this down with details!)
This step was incredibly easy. Cleverdot.com. $10/year.
HilaryAllison.com was taken (not by another Hilary, but by cybersquatters.) $80+? No thanks. Hilary opted for the unclaimed “HilaryAllison.net”
JPKim.com was also occupied. (Redirects to an unfurnished-looking site in Korean.) JP went with JP-Kim.com. He owes Hilary $10, payable before spending money on cigarettes.
Or rather, JP signed Hilary up. (JP was ahead of the game.)
[ ] Have Both of Our Websites (framework) Up
[ ] Link Domains to Websites
[ ] Make Some Decisions About Content
[ ] Decide on Posting Frequency / Create Update Schedule