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  • Writer's pictureObjectified Team

Webcomic Episode Creation : How are they made?


Spool sitting in front of a laptop while jiggling a tablet pen in his hand. He's in a bed.

Illustrated is Spool sitting in Chester's workspace. Chester does not work at a desk, and does everything from bed.


New episodes of Objectified are released every two weeks on Friday. These episodes can range from as little as seven pages long to upwards of nineteen. Within those panels, characters might be drawn tens or even hundreds of times.


Despite this fluctuating workload, the comic is drawn entirely by one individual with minimal assistance from others. As anyone who has ever managed a webcomic series can attest, maintaining a consistent release schedule like this is no easy feat.


So, how is it achieved successfully?


In this blog post, we'll unveil our process, shedding light on the labor involved in producing a webcomic on a biweekly schedule.


Spool laying in bed with a laptop and drawing tablet looking disheveled. A cat is sitting on him.

To note, there are no cats in Objectified. Chester's cat will often sit on him while he's working.


Before production could ever begin, Objectified started as an idea. Chester outlined his initial plans for the series in a Google document.


The main characters of Objectified originated from a pre-existing larger cast, of which he cut down to roughly half. This trimming kept the scope of character arcs simple and manageable.


To streamline the narrative, these characters were grouped into smaller sets, and brainstorming sessions determined their roles within a parasite-apocalypse setting. Once their fates were established, Chester outlined their story beats.


Spool stares nervously at a script excerpt that is taped to the wall. The excerpt says, Script, Safety Tunnels, They go in the tunnels I don't know.

This section of the document is referred to as the "script," which serves as a direct reference point for drafting each new episode.


The level of detail within each story beat varies; some are concise and vague, while others contain extensive information and even crude panel tests. Episodes that are less fleshed out provide more flexibility for improvisation or worldbuilding.


- MONDAY -

Pictured are old drafts from the episodes Emergency Alert as well as For Doom. Text says, It's getting late. If you want, we can go to my place. And going to the arcade was idiotic.

If you're subscribed to Objectified's Patreon, this may resemble the general layout and appearance of our drafts.


A full episode is drafted at the start of each two-week cycle on Monday. Drafts are rough sketch versions of the episodes. Drafting the episode can take anywhere from seven to twelve hours, but they are always completed within a single day.


Early-access versions of our episodes include a checkbox to view the draft. More recently, draft pages will include red written notes to convey important details to revisionists.


On Tuesday, the revisionists do draft critiques together.


- TUESDAY -

Dynamite and Gum are looking over a comic page together. Gum points to Citrus's enormous rear end while talking.

Our work is organized in a team Discord server. Revisionists have a private channel, where they host a biweekly "scratch critique" thread.


Discord screenshot of a thread. It is titled Episode 48, Ornithophobia scratch critique. The thread has 75 messages, and a snippet of the latest message is shown that reads good point, I was mostly going off of my knowledge of Banner.

Active revisionists meet in a voice call to review the current draft panel-by-panel. They dump their thoughts into the thread, then organize these suggestions into a larger post (referred to as a "critique package") to present to Chester. The artist always has the final say on what goes into the comic.


A discord screenshot of the packaged critique. The message is titled Episode 48 Ornithophobia. The body of text reads, Our biggest points of criticism this week were minor continuity fixes, some tweaks to Citrus's dialogue, both for pacing reasons and to suit a more refined and charismatic style of speech, but also some unresolved questions about faux objects and especially author intent in the scene of bodypillow transforming. We were wondering if the Egstrom in the background was going to add any green to this scene. It's definitely a background event in context, and it might be best with a very subtle glow like when Wagyu falls asleep in As Above. We struggled a lot with this panel. Change Spool's dialogue to something like, He can transform too? To reference his

On that same Tuesday, the team does a check-in. A bot sends an automated ping, to which team members respond with any concerns that might impact their weekly performance. Most of the people working on Objectified have to balance their tasks with other obligations in their daily lives, so sometimes a team member will be absent.


"Pop" and "Pot", the personalities behind our social media accounts, also submit their lines for the current cycle.


A discord screenshot showing Pop and Pot coordinating with Chester. Pop sends lines that say, teaser, comradery. Such a wonderful thing. Truly a sight to behold in such unfortunate times. Release, Problems will always come up. One must be able to deal with them least they fall back into the cycle. Pot also sends messages, saying Panel 1, What do you think could have the bandit queen in such a state, dear spectators? Panel two, some say there's honor among thieves and bandits, what say you dear spectators? Patreon, crossed out text says if you leak this again we will actually just kill you. The actual Patreon line says, for the prospective connoisseurs of our doomed little world, come have a look. Pop responds, saying no wait you're onto something. Chester says approved.

Their lines are either approved or revised by Chester, then saved to a different channel for ease of access. These lines are later applied to social media posts.


The graphics and artwork for these social media posts are made the next day, on Wednesday.


- WEDNESDAY -

Spool stares off to the side deep in thought and surrounded by thought bubbles full of question marks. Behind him is the teaser and release art for As Above.

Two unique promo images are drawn for the initial Friday teaser and release posts. Other social media posts, like the Patreon, Itch.io, and panel teasers, are made using pre-existing templates and images pulled from upcoming episodes.


During the first few months of official production, thumbnails for teaser and release images were drawn entire months in advance. Once these ran dry, Chester no longer had time to create new batches of thumbnails all at once. Now, designs are decided on the day-of.


The Friday teasers are special, since we submit the same artwork to all three of our social media platforms. This works because of the way they are optimized.


The release art for Playing Hooky being transferred from a phone aspect ratio to a desktop aspect ratio.

To make them, Chester sketches a thumbnail for both of the Friday posts. Initially, he uses the aspect ratio of a phone to ensure optimal display on Tiktok. Some of the earliest teasers were drawn and rendered exclusively at this smaller size.


After the thumbnails are complete, he transfers them to a wider canvas for finalization. The extra space enhances its appearance on websites like Twitter and Tumblr. After completing the art in the wider aspect ratio, he crops it into the mobile version.


We save both variants of the teaser/release art, with the wider image available in both text and textless formats. The textless versions are especially suitable for wallpapers on desktop and mobile.


After the artwork is done and the images are saved, Chester produces and edits the videos for Tiktok, which are passed off to the social media managers. It is ultimately up to whoever schedules the videos to decide what sounds to use for them.


- THURSDAY / FRIDAY -

Spool working at a computer. The text surrounding him says day one linework. To the right, he dead. The text around his gravestone says day 2 linework.

On Thursday and Friday, Chester does the linework for the entire episode. All dialogue, speech bubbles, and onomatopoeia is finalized during this time.


For outdoor shots in natural environments, the backgrounds aren't lined. They remain untouched until the coloring stage, as they predominantly consist of stylized, painterly strokes achievable only with the artist's usage of Rebelle 5 Pro.


Some good examples would be the forests in episodes featuring Mushroom and Dynamite.


- SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY -

Spool meticulously paints an among us crewmate and presents it to Mushroom. Mushroom claps for him.

Chester enjoys a Saturday off before diving back into work! On Sunday, he dedicates his time to coloring the pages, takes Monday off, and then resumes coloring on Tuesday and Wednesday.


To manage this process effectively, Chester divides the pages into thirds since he has three days to complete them. This approach ensures an even workload distribution, preventing any one day from becoming overly demanding in comparison to the rest.


By Wednesday, when the coloring is complete, the episode is officially finished. Chester then uploads the final version as an unlisted URL, which he shares with the team and later with our patrons.


When working on especially large episodes, Chester might hire "Blue Goldstone" to help color pages. So far, Blue Goldstone has helped by doing flat colors for characters.


- THURSDAY -

Spool looking distraught while staring at all of the tasks he has to do on a long checklist.

On Thursday, Chester prepares the Wix site for publication the following day. Additionally, he must upload and schedule the Webtoons version of the episode, draft the Itch.io release, and compose the accompanying blog post and email.


Given the potential for even minor errors to cause website bugs or incorrect information, Chester meticulously follows a detailed checklist stored on the team Discord server. While he frequently tests the unpublished website updates through the Wix editor, this method of preventing issues isn't entirely foolproof.


If you're subscribed to our mailing list or read our episode release blog posts, you might have noticed some mistakes.


- RELEASE DAY -

Spool sleeps, wakes up to publish the website, then goes back to sleep.

Due to Wix's lack of scheduling functionality, Chester must be at his computer before noon every release day to manually hit the "Publish" button.


As he often works late into the night to complete each episode, Chester's sleep schedule is generally nocturnal. Consequently, waking up at 11:30 AM can be challenging. Once the website is thoroughly checked for bugs, the Patreon release is pinned, the Webtoons episode is double-checked, and the Itch.io draft is published, Chester typically returns to sleep immediately.


- ANY TIME, ANY DAY -

Spool taps his finger on a loft desk while he waits for a sticker cutting machine to finish cutting stickers.

A desk embedded into the wall of a loft is dedicated to stocking and packing sticker orders. Chester doesn't work on the comic at this desk because it hurts his back.


In addition to his primary responsibilities, Chester also handles extra tasks throughout the production cycles. These can include fulfilling sticker orders, organizing upcoming events, engaging in web design, and developing new merchandise.


Meanwhile, other duties are delegated to the rest of the team. They are responsible for moderating and managing social media platforms, handling email correspondence (either by responding directly or forwarding messages to Chester), collaborating with Chester on music creation, and designing characters.


A work schedule in Google Sheets. It is recommended to download and zoom in to see the details of this image.

Needless to say, a project of this magnitude is a full-time endeavor.


This reality is what drives the decision to monetize the series; without this support, we wouldn't have the necessary time or resources to maintain a biweekly release schedule.

The schedule above illustrates Chester's workload. Extra tasks are highlighted in red text, while red boxes signify buffer work days.


Working on a buffer episode essentially involves simultaneously working on two episodes. Establishing a "buffer" entails having additional episodes in reserve to provide the artist with the flexibility to take time off, whether for holidays or emergencies.


Spool places his hand on a comic page.

Webcomics are an underestimated but wonderful challenge for individuals seeking to reach a large audience with their artwork. It may seem difficult, but success is not only possible, but deeply rewarding.


The scope of Objectified started very small. Originally, there was only one book and 75 episodes in total. As Chester became confident that he could continue to put out episodes without giving up, the size of the series grew and allowed for more ambitious ideas to take hold, as well as longer narratives and better characterization.


Our best advice would be to know what your limits are and start very small. It takes time, patience, and dedication to make a webcomic succeed. If we had started with the scope of work that we manage now, we would have probably given up within a couple of months.


Even if you are young, struggle with fundamentals, or don't have a lot of experience with art, it's still good to get out there and try. Merely creating a single episode of a comic series is commendable and serves as a testament to your dreams and aspirations.


It's also common to start a project and quickly drop it to move on to something else, and we want to emphasize that there's no need to feel ashamed about doing that. Webcomics take an insane amount of discipline and planning to see through to their end. Still, with determination, you can learn to manage almost anything in a way that works for you.

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