Choosing the Date to Post your Comic

Hey, Y’all,

It’s been about 2 months since I started posting my new adult fantasy comic MagicalMashup! online and I’ve been seeing quite a few comic anniversary posts. This got me thinking about what makes folks share their work on the day that they did. I don’t assume that everyone has a DaVinci Code reason for posting when they do, but maybe you do, shrugs.

I’ve been posting my art online ever since high school, but up until last year, I hadn’t posted a long-form comic, even though I had been working on a few in the past. I wanted to make one, but I didn’t have the drive at the time or know-how to do anything that required as much dedication and time as making long-form creative work does. Three years ago I got help with getting organized and was like, “I’m making this webcomic darnit and that’s that!” I really thought I’d have a comic ready to go a year later (lol). I mean I had been musing on the concept of a black plus-size upbeat gal with control over the elements and her standoffish wizard partner for almost a decade at that point, but musing on it and actually planning the comic are to very different things.

Once I got my flow going and all my preliminary setup done, I really wanted to release the comic at a time that would be easy for me to remember. 2020 is the start of a new decade so that helps me keep track of the years I’ve worked on it and then November because, well… because it was the end of the year and I needed to squeeze all the time I could get to wrap up finishing touches on Chapter One, but still counted as 2020 (heh).

So tell me, what made you decide the date you would release your novel or comic and why? If you haven’t yet, that’s ok. When you will post it is fine too!

TLDR: I started posting my comic in November of 2020 because 2020 is an easy year to count from and November is the end of the year without being the END of the year haha. When’s your content anniversary and why did you post when you did (or will if you’re still working)?

One of my release day banners I used to advertise my new adult fantasy comic featuring a plus size fat gal black lead with huge orange Afro puffs!

Let’s Talk about the Technical Side of Creating

Hi Y’all!

TLDR at the bottom 🙂 as I like to talk and am very aware.

As MagicalMashup! is my first long form comic (that I’ve posted online) I’m constantly learning new things about making comics and the most effective ways to use my time. I started creating my comics in ClipStudio (drawing and layouts), Adobe Photoshop (color correcting and formatting), and Adobe Illustrator (text placement and word bubbles) on my The Panda City Yiynova MSP19 Tablet Monitor hooked up to my PC at a desk. The Yiynova tablet screen monitor was my answer to Wacom’s Cintiq back in 2012, as I didn’t (still don’t) have the cash money to sink into a high end graphic display tablet. Options were still slim for anything that wasn’t Wacom for graphics tablets, but some competition had started to show up. I jumped on the research wagon and decided to go with the the Yiynova display tablet from Panda City bc price and reviews by a few artist bloggers at the time.

Once I figured out how to hook everything up and got the correct drivers installed, it worked like a charm (still up and running now actually) for almost a decade (baring a few minor hiccups with updates that were sorted out through reading a few forum posts). The only thing I missed that Wacom had was the tactile feeling the screens have that makes drawing on the screen not feel like you’re drawing on slippery glass :V, butttttttt a large screen protector can help with that. The other thing I would have liked was having the customizable side buttons on the Cintiq display mirrored on the Yiynova. The Yiynova pen also wasn’t as sturdy feeling in the hand and needed a battery to operate, but I got used to it and I only changed the battery like 5 times in the time that I’ve had it so eh. For the price I paid (sub $600) those things were just slight QOL things and I was too busy being mad excited for being able to draw directly on a surface I could see my hands doing the work.

My messy work area but you see the setup

(Not the best pic of my setup, but I forgot to take a new pic for the post at home.)

As much as I love my tablet screen monitor set up at my desk and swivel arm attachment, I work a day job and spend about half of my day not at home. Once I started getting serious about making my comic and planning my time out accordingly, I just kept lamenting on how much time I could be spending between breaks and when I’m not at home getting more work done if I could travel with my tablet screen. I was chatting with a techy friend of mine who told me about the 2018 iPad and how it was a cheaper model of iPad that had access to the Apple Pencil. I went over to a tech store, tried out one of the displays, and fell in LOVE. Bought it my next paycheck. It is so dang neat and portable and I can go on, but yeah.

I loved it, but after drawing on a tablet screen that was 3x bigger than the new tablet it was a bit rough. Not to mention the main program I was using at the time ClipStudio does not have the best interface for small screens, so I Iooked around the App Store and that’s when I found Procreate. It’s not specifically geared towards creating comics like ClipStudio, but I’ve been able to use it for that purpose just fine. The creators of the Procreate app release updates with new features often enough to make a difference too and it’s a one-time buy app as well. Since using the app, they’ve added a text tool and animation assist and I look forward to what new things they decide to roll out as well. They have a community tab that has a forum and gallery too!

Since the text tool wasn’t around when I first started making the comic in Procreate, I needed to find something else besides Adobe Illustrator as I was not buying that again. That’s when I found Affinity. Affinity is comparable to the Adobe creative suite at a fraction of the cost. They have tablet and desktop versions of their apps Designer and Photo with Publisher that’s just been released for desktop. Affinity Designer was exactly what I was looking for to edit my typography for word bubble typesetting and branding. It also has vector tools as well!!! I could go on about them, and just might at a later date haha.

Even with the program switches to software with a better interface for a tablet and using the 2018 iPad, the screen was still to dang small for me. I looked into upgrading and was fortunate enough to find an Ipad Pro 2017 within my budget on Swappa (I love this site for finding used tech for resale by owners as they authenticate merchandise and allow reviewing).

Upgrading to the Ipad Pro line was such a shift for my productivity. I could work on larger canvas sizes with more layers, everything loaded faster and crashes were a thing of the past. The biggest upside was of course the 12.9in screen size and amount of gigs the tablet came with, but I was also pleasantly surprised with the number of applications available for content creators that have good design and work well.

Working on iPad Pro, laying out ch 2

(can work on the comic like anywhere now)

There are a ton of options for creator setups and I have no idea what mines will look like a few years from now, but this is working out so far. What kind of setup do you all have for creating and what programs or tools do you use for making your comics or novels?

TLDR: I started off tied to my desk using my budget graphic display tablet with ClipStudio and Adobe products and then switched to a mobile setup using the Ipad Pro Procreate and Affinity Designer. What’s your content creator setup and what programs/tools do you use?

Sharing Resources & Wisdom

Hey, y’all!

Before making my comic MagicalMashup!, I did tons of research on tips, tools, and anything helpful in making my comic (just like all of y’all I’m sure). I’ve watched hundreds of videos, listened to podcasts, read books and blogs from other creators. So much helpful info, but once I posted my comic and branded myself with the “I’m a webcomic artist.” I have been exposed to even more neat and just plain helpful information. Things change fast and there are new resources being made and knowledge being gained and shared every day for the benefit of others.

After responding to a thread on Twitter about helpful tips that saved you time on making your comic and seeing just how many people liked and shared my little 2 cents I remember that just bc it’s out there and you found it (or heard it in the case of advice), doesn’t mean everyone else knows about it (even if it seems like common sense to you). You don’t know where all folks are on their journey so the common sense you have might be an eye-opener to someone else.

These are the two resources that have helped me immensely on my ongoing journey as a creator of comics and art that may be of use to y’all. (Free stock photos uploaded by Creative individuals.) This site is pretty darn handy and just plain nice as all folks who upload do it for free of charge. Though it’s not required to shout out the photographers, it’s a nice thing to do :). Check out their licensing page for more info in case your skeptical too (Build houses, make rooms, and other architectural structures with simple to use tools and a ton of assets that come in the free version and even more in the paid one. This site also lets you create in 2d and flip to 3d.) I really dig this site bc it’s faster than making assets completely from scratch (reminded me of the Sims) and you can get a look around your rooms with ease by vanishing a wall if it’s in the way.


Here’s an ex of what 2d looks like


Flip to 3D

(Sorry for the bad quality, but you get my drift).

I would like to get this thread going for all who have something to share that could be helpful to a creator and to those who are looking to learn something new. Feel free to also add a link to your work, but only after sharing a helpful resource. Also feel free to add what you specifically use the resource for if applicable.

What counts as a helpful resource? If it’s something you used/use and it helps, that counts :smiley: .

This is my New Adult Fantasy Comic

We all win when we share and grow together!

TLDR: Share a resource or two that helped you on your journey as a creator and then you can share a link to your work. Let’s get some gains and learn something new!!

Your Creator Origin Story

Hi y’all

I’ve been working on my new adult fantasy slow burn slice of life comic (genre listing is wild) MagicalMashup! conceptually for almost a decade now. I went from making cute sketches of these two just being fluffy and stuff,

bc I wanted to see more people of color (specifically black and plus size gals, shout out to seeing myself in the media I consume haha) getting some loving to making a whole dang comic.

Being cute on the bus
Plus size woman leans into slender male who brushes a Leah from her  large Afro puffs. They are in peofile.
Being all dopey and stuff

This is how it got here.

Back in high school I met my first art friends and we’d all gush over each others OCs and have fun coming up with characters and prompts together. Eventually I started to get drawn to a few that I’d use a lot and I’d draw for comfort and fun. That lead to some character rp with friends and taking notes on character interactions. One of my gal pals Melon was a head above the rest of us as she was drawing comics and making fanfics like it was nobodies business. After watching her work I started to try my hand at short fan comics and it was pretty dang fun. Time consuming as heck, but fun.

All us art buds took separate paths for college, but we all studied art in some way. The college I went to had studio art and design, but I had to finagle a few courses together and hop about the art and design departments to find remotely what I wanted. Why didn’t I just go to an art school you ask? Y’all that shiz is expensive, so I went where the scholarship money was lol. It took a while for anything to click, but after learning about Wacom tablets and getting into photoshop & illustrator I found the wonderful world of digital art. I’ve been immersed since.

I still love traditional media, but the flexibility of digital is just so darn convenient. Through posting my art on Deviantart, Pixiv, and a few other places that no longer exist, I started getting a little bit of exposure for my work. I met some awesome friends in college and lovely folks online who were very encouraging and interested in seeing more of my OCs and it got me thinking about what direction I could take my characters in.

Well a cancer scare that hit me out of almost nowhere (well there were signs, I just didn’t get what they were until it was way late) that put everything I was doing on hold for about 2 years. I had a ton of reflection time during all this as I had 0 energy for anything after class and couldn’t think about anything that wasn’t happening the next day. Once I went into remission (10 years and counting, so far so good) I realized how precious the time we have on this earth is and decided to focus on the things that bring me joy. I looked at all my ocs and started to world build. Junah and Kaelen beat my mermen Berry and Weedy by a small margin to be the first protagonist I’d work on for a comic, but the world I’m making is magical and big, so it’s not like they all can’t exist in it haha.

Even though I decided to do this, I didn’t start actually thumbnailing for the comic until a buddy of mine, Treya, amazing writer and fastest reader I’ve ever known, realized I had been stuck in editing limbo on the writing side for about 5 years :V. She graciously offered to help me get organized and set deadlines to get me in motion. Deadlines is such a foreboding sounding word, but they can be extremely helpful when trying to tackle a task that will require a ton of time. From passion projects to on the job workloads, they can help you prioritize so that procrastination doesn’t get the best of you and also help you to see just how much time you really have in day too. I know deadlines aren’t for everyone as some folks just find them super stressful, but they’ve been working for me.

The original timeline had it so that I would have been posting my comic 2 years ago haha, but lots had to be shifted and changed as there were many factors either of us hadn’t considered. For one I wanted more practice so I made a prologue comic using ClipStudio. I was tied to my desk and as I draw with paper and pencils first, I had to do a ton of scanning and editing before I could get to redrawing. I then had to figure out brush settings, color pallets, and a coloring style that wouldn’t take 10 years to complete one panel and just @.@. There was a lot to consider. But having a schedule and timeline helped me stay calm and take everything a bit a time. Being able to be flexible also helps haha.

I’m glad I made the prologue comic bc it helped me figure out my work flow and and get used to having a scheduled time for working on my comics. It also gave me a frame of reference for how long it took for me to make a short comic and all the setup that happens when making pages. Another buddy told me to check out Ipads and the Apple Pencil, so I decided to try that out and found Procreate (what a name, I know). Fell in LOVE. Completely changed my workflow and amount of time I could work while not at home. The tablet made it way easier to squeeze in getting reference materials done like character sheets and locations, but through experimenting with other design programs like Affinity, I found a way to make my logo and design my own fonts. Those first 2 years I did a ton of experimenting and setting up. Totally didn’t see it taking that long but it is what it is and I learned a lot.

Three years after that living room meeting with calendars, outlines, ideas and setbacks I started posting my comic online! Anyway, I’m curious to here about the road you all went on before you started sharing your work. Feel free to post it with your replies as well.

-Lady T

TLDR: How my Ocs went from fluff drawings to a whole dang comic after my cancer scare got me to appreciate the time I have on this earth and that I should be doing the things that bring me joy. With the help of a friend that helped me get organized I set forth on my comic making journey and through experiments, setbacks, and triumphs I’m making a comic! Tell me about the journey to getting your work out there if you are a content creator. If not, feel free to check out others journey.

I Got some MM! Fanart!!

Yayyy one of my amazing besties hooked me up with a lovely Junah!! Sari has such an elegant style and top notch fashion.

What a cutie ahhh!!

Sari draws beautiful fantasy beings and is always so stylish! In fact, she helped me design Junah’s mage cloak :D!

Sari knows her way around drawing some elegant cloth ah!

You can check out more from this dapper artist on Twitter and Tumblr @ Sariart!

You can checkout MagicalMashup! On tapas, Comicfury or at!

Iconic looks and fashion in comics

Hi ya’ll,

I was looking through my DeviantArt page of old for some references to the clothes I used to have the denizens of my comic MagicalMashup! wear when it hit me. As much as I’m into fashion, the clothing choices of old that I made didn’t change much form pic to pic.

Ah the yellow dress of old
Classic yellow dress and gray sweats.
Boob window yellow dress and classic Kaelen with the v-neck

Looking at my protagonists Junah and Kaelen specifically I found that they were always drawn wearing the same dang thing. Even when the world they exist in is one that changes each day. I’ll give my younger self a little credit since at least Junah had some variation, but Kaelen? Nahhh, he always wore the same v neck shirt and jeans with oversized cloak (still does to this day, but the shirt got stripes and cloak got even BIGGER).

The cloak hungers muhaha

Thinking more about it, I’m sure it’s just something that developed from watching cartoons/Anime and having it embedded in me that characters have A LOOK. That one look is a big part of what defines and makes them recognizable. IDK why I thought young Lady T. was doing something that current me just started making a conscientious choice to change, but sometimes you can surprise yourself when looking back through old work (like how I’ve drawn more comics than I remembered lol).

Ah the strawberry dress is so Junah

For my current series MagicalMashup! Fashion changes based on the region, so some folks do have a more static look, but for the most part the story takes place in the cultural melting pot of the world between the magical and practical sides of the world in the Nation of Lufiriya. Attention to what people wear in the in the city is pretty important as it adds to driving the point home on how diverse the people of Lufiriya are as opposed to some of the more closed nations. Not only that, but the extra bits of characterization you can get from attention to wardrobe is pretty swanky. So, for me, clothing changes would be necessary for the students at IMMMA! Well most of them. Kaelen as a character just really is the type to have a closet full of the same clothes with that one acceptation. It’s less fuss and time spent getting ready each day (young me understood that much about his character I like to think lol). Junah on the other hand…If she can dream it she can make it and wear it, so I had to put a little more thought into her outfits.

Yaro with the understated cloak turned sash.

It’s true that making the decision to include clothing changes is more work, but I feel like it’s worth it to make the world feel like it has a sense of passing time (and let’s be real, more reason to show off body parts I like to draw [shoulders and collars for dayssss] the most). Though instead of trying to go buck wild on the fashion sheets, I just came up with a few outfits per reoccurring character with an alternate Hair style or two (hair really is a whole other ball park though). An element specifically to this comic that I have had some fun designing is how each characters mage cloak manifests. As MagicalMashup! is a story that centers around mages, I want to keep a few of the recognizable elements to that character archetype in the story, so personality accommodating mage cloaks were born! (The cloaks can literally be a sash if it fits that character better or a cape, depends.)

With all that musing I’m wondering how other creators tackle fashion in their works. Is it an afterthought? Do you keep it simple? Do you have a character look book? Examples are welcome : D!

TLDR: Looked through my OLD DeveiantArt page for fashion refs on characters only to find out how stagnant the clothing choices I made were. Compared young me to old me and how I had some things right and some not so right and how I got really into how changing clothes as it signifies progression of time. Oh and how much I like to show off collarbones and shoulders.

**What’s ya’lls approach to fashion and/or signature looks in your works?**