Poll: What’s your biggest webcomic turn-off?

Sometimes, you really hate a webcomic. But it’s not the webcomic’s fault. Not really. It’s actually the presentation. I mean, this is 2013. Why do a lot of webcomics look like they’re on interfaces designed for GeoCities?

So, readers, I ask this question: outside of the comic itself, what are your biggest webcomic turn-offs?

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About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on February 7, 2013, in The Webcomic Overlook, WCO Poll, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Outside the comic itself? Including art style? Well, a bad site design certainly discourages reading. Lack of an archive, or one that’s confusing to navigate. In fact site navigation might be the most important thing outside the story and art. I also like to know a bit about the author, mainly cuz I consider reading a story to be a form of meeting the person who wrote it.

  2. No RSS feed. If I have to train myself to visit the site on certain days of the week, the comic has to be worth the hassle of establishing the habit and warping my weekly routine. Haven’t found any worth it so far, and I have dropped comics I would otherwise have followed.

  3. I have had multiple times when I 404ed in the middle of the archive and I would just try and guess the next url because the archive is listed by storylines.

  4. Picked the “being on LJ or Tumblr” one because that’s what I encounter most in comics I would otherwise want to read. Can’t remember running into most of the others, honestly. The exception is the unnavigable archives, and somehow that seems to be correlated with comics that suck in the first place — no idea why.

  5. I can stand blog style comics, if there is a clear tag for the comic itself. Bad archives can be gotten around with some work (and if I’m going from start to finish, back and forward buttons are fine). Broken links, though, are annoying as hell, and definitely can effect my perception of the comic.

    Though honestly, my biggest pet peeve with comics are ones that stop updating and never tell you WHY.

  6. Don’t forget Deviantart. I’ve seen a number of comics on Deviantart. Such blogging or art sites tend to not have very good navigation unless the creator bothers to put links in. Bad navigation in general, really, is a big peeve.

    As well, lack of RSS feeder makes it rather hard for me to follow a comic with the number of comics I read. At least there’s thewebcomiclist.com to track some of those RSS-less webcomics, though it doesn’t work with all sites. For the rest, I mostly just check up on them whenever it occurs to me, and forget about them otherwise.

  7. I guess this is related to the “comic via blog/DeviantArt, but when you get to the page via an ad or something, and you can’t find the comic. You know, people who use their website as their resume and photo blog and here’s a store and oh yeah there’s a comic in here somewhere. Usually once you find the comic it’s ok to navigate, but just the other day I was at a comic whose title banner advertised a previous or concurrently running comic by the same guy, only the banner wasn’t a link and I couldn’t find it anywhere on his site. :/

  8. Archiiiiiive.

  9. 1) Comics that go on hiatus…and several years later is still on hiatus.
    2) Gag comics where the author spends more time in his blog explaining the three panel joke than he spent drawing the three panel joke.

    • My pet peeve are comics where the artist stops updating and never explains why. I think online readers are fairly understanding of hiatuses, they know most cartoonists don’t do it for money and that webcomics sometimes have to take a backseat to “real life”… At least, I know my readers have been patient with my slow updates and occasional hiatus.

      So when I see comics that haven’t updated in 8 months and there’s no info from the artist, it seems unfair to the readers. You don’t have to finish the story but the least you could do is tell people what’s going on.

      • I absolutely agree! I think it’s just rude or a slap in the face to your fans; the people you put your stuff online to entice and entertain, who supported you and maybe even bought merchandise or formed fan communities….and to just leave them hanging…It really is the worst thing you can do.

  10. I hate when you go to the website and you don’t see the comic right away. It’s not a show stopper – I still read Penny Arcade and they’ve only ever done it that way – but it’s annoying. PvP just started doing it and so did Least I Could Do. LICD has been getting worse lately, too, so it’s not a good aesthetic choice.

    Despite your other business, if your main draw is a web-comic have the web-comic front and center. I’ll check out the other stuff if I want.

    If its a longer comic I don’t mind scrolling or whatnot, but I hate clicking through. It’s akin to a flash intro.

    • Funny, I feel very differently (but I didn’t necessarily used to). Perception is everything, and putting up something other than a webcomic helps create the image that you’re more than just a webcomic artist. All the comics you mentioned are insanely successful empires.

      Regular readers can subscribe to the RSS feed to read the comic. New readers would probably rather start at the beginning, not the end, for a story comic, which is one thing I really like about Homestuck. For a gag comic I guess I can see why you’d want to put up the current comic front and center, but you should still at least think about it and how you want people to see the larger site.

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