I got a chance to spend some time today with Fred at the Chelsea Public Library in Chelsea, Michigan. The event was a sort of mini comic convention which drew comic artists from the world of print and web, some local, and some from a bit farther away. Although I didn't spend a whole lot of time there, it was good to see a steady stream of people coming in and out of the library to interact with the artists and attend some of the events.
I was mostly there wondering what in the world Fred had to offer by way of "tips on how to make your own webcomic." After all, putting up a couple random images and then getting crushed by a Penny Arcade link isn't exactly something that most of us can do. Indeed, having followed the saga since the start of Chapter 3, I've often felt that MT is more a lesson in how not to make your own webcomic than it is an example for anyone with a functional brain to follow. Luckily for us, there is still enough doubt about whether or not Fred's brain is actually functional that it kind of works out.
Just the same, Fred did cover a variety of topics ranging from tools of the trade to being published to studying his drawing process, both during his presentation and during the question and answer session that evolved toward the end. Some of the questions reminded me a lot of the UStream FAQ. Others were somewhat more interesting. A lot of people were interested in finding out more about what it took to get published; meaning, of course, print publishing. I'm not sure Fred actually answered any of those directly, but he did make a very good point about the Internet itself being an excellent publishing medium in its own right, certainly not one to overlook.
The entire session ran a little bit over an hour. Although the room started out basically empty, by the end, it'd gotten up to maybe 20 or so people, which is about all the room could comfortably hold. There were, of course, a few young cosplayers lurking about, some of which actually looked pretty good.
Maybe we'll get Fred rehabilitated to the con scene yet!