How to get kids to read webcomics

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How to get kids to read webcomics

Postby MK_Wizard » March 1st, 2019, 12:47 pm

I was talking on a forum with a fellow webcomic writer and she gave me a simply amazing idea on how to get kids to read G rated webcomics that are made for them or all ages. We don’t need to wait for conventions or paperback versions of the webcomic to come out. Our opportunity to present them to kids is right in front of us from the moment we find the kid friendly webcomic.

Just as we give our kid a movie to watch at home, a book to read at home or a comic book to read at home, why not just get on the computer with your kid and take them to the webcomic you found? Just like a TV show, it usually does run on a schedule.

In other words, you already have the opportunity. You don’t need a convention to just spend time with your kids or to go up to them and say “would you like to take a look at this fun webcomic, honey?”

And it’s very win-win because you’re monitoring what the kid is reading, you have something to bond over and the writers of kid friendly webcomics get their stuff read and known. We don’t need to wait for conventions, make clubs or do fancy stuff like that. We just treat webcomics the way we do all other media. We make time for it and give time to children to read them.

What say all of you? I mean, when it comes to movies, we don't wait for conventions. When it comes to movies or shows, we see the commercial, research and then introduce to our kids? Why not do the same thing with webcomics when we find them?
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Re: How to get kids to read webcomics

Postby JoKeR » March 1st, 2019, 3:39 pm

Webcomic ads doesn't run on TV... therefore no one except for a bunch of nerds will know about it.

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Re: How to get kids to read webcomics

Postby SnassySocks » March 1st, 2019, 4:08 pm

But that means the parents/guardians have to already be into webcomics which is kind of unlikely since not many people read webcomics anyways?? Well not like the ones on smackjeeves (like nobody at my high school reads webcomics from what I've seen and I don't think parents would read them all that much as well...)
Also, it would be harder for kids to pay attention since they can easily just search up a game or video which are easier content to digest than reading, even if it is a comic. They would be more attracted to comic dubs than anything else (I asked my 8-year-old sister and she agreed lol. We watched a gravity falls comic dub that she liked and she said she would rather watch it). Just saying "parents encourage your kids to read them" isn't going to be effective. idk
Just thought I'd throw my opinion in. I don't interact on this site like at all but I read so many webcomics regularly lol and read the forums often too.
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Re: How to get kids to read webcomics

Postby Zombait58 » March 1st, 2019, 11:55 pm

I agree with the two posters above. Television ads for movies and shows are commonplace while ads for webcomics have to be accessed by the internet (which, in my opinion, young children should not invest in, parental supervision or not.) Not to mention, children are more likely to enjoy a cartoon or a kids show than a comic anyway. A comic would just be another picture book... but online.
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Re: How to get kids to read webcomics

Postby Eightfish » March 2nd, 2019, 5:12 am

When I was a kid I loved reading comics. No one showed them to me- I found them online myself.

With how accessible the internet it, I think it just depends on the personality of the person what storytelling mediums they like or don't. If the kid is the type to like webcomics, they'll find them themselves.

And I don't think it's a bad thing that webcomics are so niche. It makes the stories being told weirder and more unique and the communities more invested and personal.
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Re: How to get kids to read webcomics

Postby Songdog » April 2nd, 2019, 12:38 pm

From what I've seen, teens and kids prefer sites that are optimal for mobile browsing. I know Webtoons definitely hits the teen demographic because their site is geared for mobile use, but I don't think SJ has. I think a lot of SJ users are probably computer users but that's just my guess.
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Re: How to get kids to read webcomics

Postby MarMarTche » April 3rd, 2019, 2:37 pm

I agree it's pretty hard to get kids and adult parents alike interested. Most of us have been into webcomics since we were teens but it was at a time of less media availability as well. I have a list as long as my arm of award winning television shows I don't have time to watch not even including comics and books I've had on my shelf for weeks or all the youtube channels I follow. (In the 2000's it was easy! You had your like two good shows, books, comics and a handful of webcomics lol. There's a lot of competing entertainment available.)

There's also a lot of deregulation to webcomics (which is a good thing)! If there were a highly curated webcomic platform for kids that was user friendly and visually appealing - maybe even an app - it would fare better. This would work best it were one that adults could sit their kids in front of with full confidence that inappropriate content wasn't going to suddenly pop up. No momo's. One of the marketing points could be that it promotes reading a lot better than most youtube channels as well. Really, I've loved webcomics for years and years and am a pretty liberal person and I would feel kind of uncomfortable sending my kids to free-range roam on smackjeeves for example.

As for getting them to read webcomics right now I guess (other than targeting the kids of people who grew up reading webcomics), creators could try advertising where kids already are in droves - like youtube.
Depending on the comic you could also try maybe doing a loose animation of the webcomic to gain some interest....
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Re: How to get kids to read webcomics

Postby HolyGoldenCarter » June 28th, 2019, 9:28 am

Graphic Novels are a lot like webcomics, but in paperback/hardcover form from the start. I happen to be reading and collecting two at the moment (Hilo by Judd Winick and Dog Man by Dav Pilkey) and they’d both be really good at edging children into the world of webcomics, from the plots and characters to their aspects of comedy.
My stance on this topic is to see if they like this format before introducing them to other kinds of comics. It’s a huge opportunity for them to get to know more stories and for the writer to gain another fan!
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