Where to Share Your Web Comic
Hello! I'm DCS! A full time erotic comic artist and sometimes game dev.
[This guide is not intended for anyone under the age of 18, as adult and violent content is discussed and linked to!]
Lately, I've noticed a lot of creators don't really know where their comic "fits" or even where they can post it and not have it be removed. I've seen a lot of folks think that it's only Twitter, or only Webtoons, or only x or y or z where they can post, but you've got more options on where you can post your web comic!
Yes, we have way less freedom for where and how we post than ever before, but there are also some sites with major advantages over others and some places where small developers are still holding out to help folks. But, with how disjointed the comics community is right now, it's difficult for information to reach everyone. So, I'm here to try and fix that! I want to tell you my recommendations on where to post your comic-- especially your adult or mature comics!
Disclaimer: while I've been living off my comics for over 10 years now, I don't know everything and I'm someone who has purposefully never been published by a traditional publisher. So, if you're looking for advice on getting an agent or publishing-- this list isn't going to help with that! This list is helpful for anyone trying to find more places to post their comic, find their audience, and maybe make some extra cash along the way.
Some things I recommend preparing beforehand...
Get some way to compile a PDF. This can be done in many programs, and I'm not really in the position to tell you which one works best for you. But, I do know some common programs that can make PDFs are Clip Studio, Photoshop, InDesign, and even Google Docs. (Which is probably the most accessible on this list-- Google Docs can do a lot, actually!) PDFs are an extremely valuable way to archive your comic and to help readers catch up on your work quickly and without fuss. PDFs are mobile friendly and allow you to upload your work to way more sites than just the traditional webcomic sites! Here's a decent guide on some digital comic zine-ing.
Prepare promotional images / cover / thumbnail. You can make all of these using one good image you have! It can be annoying to make something just for the sake of promotion but it really does work wonders. All you need is the one-- one good image that fits your story/genre and it's gonna get you a lot farther than if you didn't have it. Here's an example of mine:
Image 1 is called a "series cover" and shows the title of the comic and taglines above a witch character holding a satyr character by a collar. The text underneath reads: "Series Cover.
Used on places like Tapas & Webtoons, try to capture the vibe and dynamic of your comic. Bonus points for key terms or rating. This should always be SFW..."
Image 2 is called a "series thumbnail" and includes the first image but cropped. The text underneath reads: "Series Thumbnail. Used on places like Tapas, Webtoons, Itchio, and Gumroad. Again, try to capture the vibe of your story and including key terms or ratings is gonna help a lot too!"
Image 3 is called a "chapter or volume cover" and includes the comic's title and author on the front, as well as the volume number. The text underneath reads: "Chapter or Volume Cover. Used on places like Google Play Books, Amazon, or Itchio. Doesn’t need to have key terms but should have your author’s name and chapter/volume number."
Image 4 is called a "series banner" and is a horizontal image that has a satyr character lying sensually as a witch character looks on. It includes the comic's title. The text underneath reads: "Series Banner. Used on places like Comicfury, Tapas, Itchio, and even Twitter.
The comic banner is a forgotten art as phones have become more and more popular but you’d be amazed the amount of uses you can get out of this. Fantastic to have for when you do guest comics with other author’s as well! Future-proof by leaving space for urls and other info~"
Improve upon your comic's description/summary! This goes hand and hand with the promotion images and is arguably one of the most difficult things to do. There are lots of guides on how to write a good description for a book, etc, so def look some of those up. (Searching for tutorials and guides is always a good thing!) But, for a quick run-down, you should "spoil" at least the first "arc" of your story as well as make it clear the genre/vibe your comic has. You can also include "tags" at the bottom of your summary, but this depends on the site. For Tapas, Itchio, Gumroad, etc, these work great and can improve your SEO.
Speaking of SEO-- think about it! This is another thing to look up if you have no idea what it is, but to give you a general idea, it stands for "Search Engine Optimization". This is some real business non-sense word but it works. Some of my series get found just because the name includes a key-term or just because I've used specific phrases a few times. That's why it's okay to mention generic terms like "fantasy" or "romance" in a summary (or better yet, when you're naming your .png or .jpeg when saving it to then upload) and even more niche stuff is good too. Going for a phrase like "a comic where a satyr and witch meet" is bonus points-- as this is something that folks might actually look up. Try to think, "What would people search when looking for my comic?" and use those words and phrases in your summary or when saving your images. Again, I'm not the best at explaining this-- so look it up! If someone finds a good tutorial they recommend, I'll put it here.
Prepare a promotional banner for your Patreon or other social media links. This is invaluable to include at the bottom of your updates and can be as simple or as complex as you like. My banner is responsible for the majority of how I get money, so it's very important to me and something I keep updating and improving upon all the time. Here's a few examples of banners I've made in the past:
My banners are a bit word-y, since I've got a lot of info to share, but you can go a lot more simple and still have it be affective. As long as it's got cute art, info, and LINKS, you're golden. Seriously-- don't underestimate how powerful just getting information in front of reader's faces can be!
With that out of the way, let's talk sites to post and their pros and cons...
Tapas - https://tapas.io/ Tapas is one of the "big two" in webcomics right now and it's my preferred site to post on because my engagement is good there. The company is generally nicer to artists who work with them and most agreements let you keep digital sharing and physical printing rights-- something you ALWAYS want!
I like Tapas a lot, but it isn't perfect. It doesn't let people apply for it's "Mature" section on the desktop site even though the community has been asking for ages. It also hid one of it's best fearues (a forum) in favor of using a Discord instead. Which I've never been in, so I can't say or good or bad it is!
PROS: Readers seem more engaged and friendly, the TOS is "better" to mature content than others. (You can't post any explicit adult content but they will work with you to try and keep your comic up on the app if you have it censored, but lots of adult creators still find it too strict. We can blame the app stores for most of these problems though...) The site does more community/artist engagement than others and the partnership programs seem slightly less predatory than others. (Still, be careful before signing anything!) Comment moderation is good as well as a decent blocking system, but you can say this for most sites here. Most of my Patrons found me from here!
CONS: No explicit adult content, readership is less than Webtoons (but uh, that's gonna be true for anything here, Webtoons is a monster in terms of numbers) back-end can be confusing at first (but does has a lot of good features) and some features on the desktop site don't even exist on mobile. The Tapas "ink" program and ad sharing program are not good monetization systems and will leave you waiting sometimes up to a year or more to get enough for a pay-out. Getting ink also doesn't boost your comics visibility at all, so just ask your readers for tips via Ko-Fi or Patreon. Tapas has been known to underpay artists, especially those outside of the USA, but their terms and rights are MUCH BETTER than Webtoons.
Who do I recommend Tapas to?
Anyone! Both comic page format and mobile format comics will fit well here-- though I recommend doing bulk updates of about 3 pages at once for anyone with a traditional format page comic. Readers on Tapas especially love romance and gay comics, so if your story is any of those, I think you're good to go!
Webtoons - www.webtoons.com/
Ah yes, my enemy. How I loathe Webtoons. What this site has done to comics and it's creators just makes me sad and the readerbase here is... unengaged, let's say. I think it works fantastically for a lot of comics though, especially those who have a mobile format comic! You can get a lot of readers FAST if your thumbnail is cute/engaging, you've got a good summary, or if you're lucky enough to be picked up by the staff for "fresh picks"-- I believe it's called.
But, let's not kid ourselves. Webtoons doesn't care about it's creators and it will stomp out any even slightly sexual content or nudity. (But, super violent content seems to be okay, which is a pro for some but for me, just feels like hypocrisy.) Use it because you have to (seriously) but always approach with caution.
I would never recommend anyone getting in a contract with Webtoons. Ever.
PROS: The *biggest* readerbase there is with lots and lots of daily users. Decently easy to use back-end. If your comic is mobile format or mobile friendly, it'll doing even BETTER here! Allows Patreon integration.
CONS: They hate all nudity (even non-sexual) and anything even slightly sexual too-- they won't hesitate to take your episode down. Readers are impatient and seem to have no idea what a traditional page format comic is and just don't seem tuned in to what it takes to make a comic either. Webtoons readers are also less likely to remember what your comic is about-- which is why "re-cap" episodes are so common here! Shadow-banning seems common on the site. Webtoons readers also tend to be less interested in monetarily supporting comics. Bad scheduling system. No real monetization via the site for free users as Webtoons recently removed it's "ad sharing" program. Don't wait for a contract from Webtoons, and if you get one, you will most certainly be underpaid, especially if you're outside of the USA.
Who do I recommend Webtoons to?
Anyone with a mobile format / mobile friendly comic and anyone who updates at least once a week. Longer bulk updates do well too-- but don't expect as much back from them. If you've got a thick skin or don't check comments in general, you'll do okay here! If you're sensitive or want engaged readers, don't check your comments here. (Sorry!)
Comicfury - https://comicfury.com/
The last of the old guard, Comicfury is really only usable on desktop or within a mobile internet browser and is way more geared towards traditional page format than anything else. But! They have a "scroll view" that makes any comic scrollable when using a mobile device or even on desktop. It's super useful and makes mobile reading a breeze!
The site is old, it's a bit buggy too, but the people running it care about comics and the community here is invested in read them. People are on Comicfury because THEY LIKE COMICS and that is so valuable. Plus, they allow explicit sexual adult content *and* explicit violence too! This is the benefit of them not having a phone app-- they can do this stuff because it's their choice and they aren't being forced by some other company to censor themselves!
Comicfury is worth using (or at least reading comics on) because of the freedom it comes with and because it is the last of the old guard. (Though, I think DrunkDuck is still around, it doesn't come with the same benefits so I can't recommend it.) SUPPORT COMICFURY!
PROS: Ability to make your own custom site with a url and landing page. This is great for even folks who don't know html and might be a good excuse to learn some! (It's a valuable skill!) There are templates to use if you need to fall back on them. Allows adult content and violent content and is a great mirror to use if you're posting your comic censored to a place like Tapas or Webtoons. Great for traditional page format comics. Readers can post images and gifs in their comments!
CONS: Not as much natural grow as other sites, but I suspect this may change in the future. Not as easy to do bulk updates and some of the UI could use improving (but hey, I don't blame them for needing time on this, they don't have a ton of funding) and some readers who are used to web apps may be resistant to trying the site. (Their loss!) You need basic html knowledge in order to put links in y our comments.
Who do I recommend Comicfury to?
Anyone with a pornographic comic and to anyone who is tired of the censorship of Tapas and Webtoons (or social media in general) or who is tired of the break neck pace a lot of these sites demand. Comicfury is a slower, more traditional way to take in web comics and seems to foster a lot more thought in the comment sections than I've seen on other sites.
Itchio, my beloved. "Isn't that a games site?" you might be asking-- and yes! It is! But it is also a book and comic site! (And table top games, and game assets, and audio stories...) They have tags and genres and collections for these things and the small but thriving comic community on Itchio is very very cool.
Itchio has gone to court to defend the freedom of folks to make horny or disturbing things and they continue to try to make good decisions so that 18+ creators can thrive on the site. I love the back-end of Itchio and it has a ton of very nice tools that a lot of folks seem to have no idea about, but they rule! If you're a comic creator-- check it out!
PROS: The ability to turn on optional tipping or have people pay for the PDFs! Allows adult content and violent content. (But you need to mark your project as mature!) Allows you to mark what languages your comic is available in! Good organic traffic to any project due to how Itchio shows projects and recommends them. Comics have their own dedicated tag/tab and you can add your own tags and languages-- this is especially good for any comic that's releasing with a translation or bilingually! (Central and South American comic creators-- I'm looking at you!) Can create a cute landing page for your comic and include links on other places to read, your socials, etc, all in one place while putting up a cute preview. Here's my comic page on Itchio if you wanna see what I mean!
CONS: You *have* to have a PDF of your comic or just a .rar to share it here. (But a .rar is only for desktop users-- always use a PDF when you can!) This is not for weekly or monthly updates, but only for finished chapter releases and other collections. If you make short comics regularly; this site will be AMAZING for you! (But, even if you only complete a chapter per year, it's still worth just having your comic chapters up and around, sitting and working FOR YOU to attract new readers!) Payments take a LONG time to reach you because of how they process them. Not good if you need money right then, but if you can wait, it can be a good source of extra income.
Who do I recommend Itchio to?
Anyone with shorter comics or PDFs, or anyone with adult content that's been difficult to find a home for in the past. Or, anyone who is interested in also making games (visual novels have a huge crossover with comics, in terms of skill sets) and it's also an okay place to find some quick art jobs if you check out the "Help Wanted" form. Itchio can seem like an odd choice but I've had a lot of success there-- especially when using the bundle tools to put a bunch of my comics on sale at once! Seriously, use the bundle sale tool!
Gumroad - https://gumroad.com/
Ah, Gumroad. Lots of comics folks left Gumroad once they made a fool of themselves, but readers and customers are still using the site like crazy. The back-end is still a mess but you get paid fast, consistently, and it's easy for folks to purchase from too.
Gumroad feels like Webtoons in the way that it's big, it's got users and a good search, and people are using it-- so you gotta use it. But, if you hate Gumroad, just use Itchio instead. Or Google Play Books.
PROS: Especially good for fan comics and doujinshi. It has a reputation as a place where folks post this kind of stuff, so people sometimes come to the site for that. Has subscription services and physical merch shop services too! You can really do a 3-in-1 type thing here if you wanted! Easy for folks to understand, to use, and has "brand recognition". Has some back-end tools that could potentially be really useful. Adult content is allowed but must be marked, so it isn't as easily found in the search but can still be found if customers turn on a setting! People are more likely to click on your Gumroad link than your Itchio link, sadly.
CONS: The site owners seem greedy and it isn't as easy to share big, free projects here. You must have PDFs or .rars of your comics to share here-- as with Itchio, this is not for weekly or monthly updates, but only for finished chapter releases and other collections.
Who do I recommend Gumroad to?
Like Itchio, anyone with shorter comics or PDFs, or anyone with adult content that's been difficult to find a home for in the past. Doesn't have the sales tools like Itchio does and doesn't easily allow other users on the site to share your work on their own feed like Itchio does, but if you do a lot of fan work or illustration collections, Gumroad is super valuable and will make sharing your work on socials a little more accessible/easier just because people know what Gumroad is.
Google Play Books - https://play.google.com/books/publish/u/0/
You might be thinking, "Huh? What? Who?" and yeah, a lot of folks I recommend this to say that. They have no idea this is even a thing and just how much reach it has.
Google Play Books is especially good for anyone with comics not in English (aka translations or English isn't your first language) because they have different shops for different regions and you can mark them as a certain language so it reaches folks who speak that language more easily! It also allows for different genre tags and other fun stuff and will catalog all the books made by you into Google which allows for some pretty intense and amazing SEO.
Google as a company is... Google, and it has a ton of problems right now. But, wildly, they allow a lot of on the store itself (including adult content and violent content) and there seems to be people eager to read comics there. And yes, you can have your comics up here for free!
PROS: A totally untapped and new readerbase who is most likely going to find your comic organically just by how Google recommends stuff. They can leave reviews and as they leave more, more people find it. Folks on Google Play are there and willing to spend money on e-books! Ability to share different languages of your book and to start collections for your stories. Reliable and on time pay-outs.
CONS: One of the worst back-ends ever and probably inaccessible if you're on mobile only. You need PDFs *ONLY* for this or e-book format (which is it's own headache) and you have to have a Google account too. Less personal engagement with your readers and you will probably see some of the dumbest/meanest comments ever here. (So, if you're sensitive, just don't check reviews!)
Who do I recommend Google Play Books to?
Anyone with PDFs of chapters or volumes or your comic, or finished small comics. Not for folks with fan comics or illustration collections. Anyone with other languages of their comics should especially share them here. Google Play Books/Games is how I got a BRPT speaking fan base in the first place! (HELLO BRAZIL!)
Other places to consider...
Above are all the comic-based or comic-adjacent sites I think are the most effective, but there are even more than that which are worth mentioning but will most likely give you mixed results... so, let's talk about them!
Horrible for keeping folks up to date on your comic and even worse for new readers. A profile dedicated just to your comic could work (given it's got all the proper links) but I've found folks generally don't like reading longer comics on Twitter and aren't there seeking them. But, if you do comics that are 10 pages or less, or newspaper format (aka squares) you're gonna do better here than folks with a mobile format or page format comic. Twitter is decent for promotion though and has one of the biggest userbases out there and could be a useful tool for getting in touch with other creators for cross promotion and sharing.
Used to be an amazing place to host and share comics, but policy changes made this tougher. Original work does not thrive as it once did here, but folks will read comics on the site if you update them regularly, it just won't be very many people. Tagging is useful and good for organic finds but remember any link in your post will make it unfindable thru any tag. Userbase is increasing again, but since adult content is still banned, adult creators are gonna have mixed results. Use it if you like Tumblr's format, but don't expect a ton unless you're a tagging master. Plus, Tumblr has some nice blog themes that allow for easy comic reading-- but beware, they break easily.
The bane of many, it weirdly has a userbase that's willing to put down cash? BUT, I think this is better for folks selling fan merch or folks with original/fan adult content. I even made a guide for adult content folks who are curious about posting on Reddit! But, the site does have many comic related subs and if you're following the rules, self promotion is okay in some of these. I've had mixed results on Reddit and the rumors are true, much of the userbase is a mess and not fun to interact with, but if you can laugh them off and find subs that seem to fit your work, you may have some luck here. Really though, I can only recommend this for self promotion and maybe trying to sell a book or two, not for weekly updates.
For me, Instagram is totally unusable and horrible for organic search/find. Almost nobody finds me through Instagram, they just follow me there because I have one and they're looking for mine specifically. But, if you have a newspaper format (square panels) comic, you're gonna do GREAT here. It's amazing for short gag comics and "monster of the week" type stories, especially if you're tagging and getting folks engaged with comments/sharing on their story. Fan comics do well too. I think Insta still has potential for lots of folks, but not for me. Give it a shot if your comic sounds like it's compatible with the format, but if not, just grab your username and put your links in there for folks who do find you so they can follow you elsewhere.
Other honorable mentions...
Patreon (for early acess pages + goodies, allows adult content)
Ko-fi (for early access pages + goodies, but they don't allow adult content)
Furaffinity (human characters are allowed on the site and users READ COMICS!)
Globalcomix (they are trying to make it work, but they also allow AI comics...)
Amazon Self Publish (huge userbase, evil company, and bad content policies)
Deviantart (yes, people still use it, but it's a mess lately...)
Pillowfort (up and coming and has communities!)
Cohost (another blogging platform)
Tiktok (only for sharing SFW comics, make memes or whatever and get readers)
Youtube (potentially make a comic dub or trailer and share it! or speed-draws or commentary videos of you working on pages!)
Create Your Own Website
You've probably seen folks call for this, and it's true, it's really helpful! Having your own site allows you the ultimate freedom of doing whatever the heck you want, but it also comes with a lot of downsides. Like, a lot. I don't think people talk about the massive amount of downsides enough.
It's really difficult for folks to find your content organically if it's on it's own free-floating site. The internet used to work like this, people bookmarked sites and checked them-- or used RSS feeds, a friend to many comic-likers still. But, with things like Youtube and Twitter, folks expect stuff to be in a feed for them and I kind of don't blame them for that. It's convenient (especially when you're on a phone) and more and more people are exclusively on a mobile device. So, unless you've got amazing SEO or you're part of a comic web ring or something like that, it's gonna be tough to create a whole readerbase just from a site, I won't lie.
But, having a site allows you the freedom to post (mostly) whatever you want and allows you to show of your portfolio and shop and other good stuff like that! It's a great landing page and super valuable if you're looking for work with an agent or publisher or need a good landing link for promotions at conventions.
But but, hosting a site isn't cheap. Using a product like Wix or Squarespace comes with costs and even if you don't do those, if you don't know html or web design, the cost is your time: which is so valuable. I think, if you're not making your comic for profit or you're not making profit yet, don't worry about your own site. Your own site is something for later or something you might not ever need. Don't sweat getting a website until you feel you need it, that's what I think.
Putting your time into making good covers, promotional images, a good description, making PDFs and sharing them will all be more worth your time than making a site right away-- because these things allow you to get your work in front of people more immediately and on sites where people are there to read comics. (This is why Tapas/Webtoons/Comicfury are the best places to post, because people are THERE TO READ COMICS, on socials, they aren't necessarily there for that...)
Some last bits of advice...
If you don't update, people don't read. This is a really, really hard truth. If you want your comic to be read, it needs to update or it needs to be finished. This is why I recommend folks start with small comics and focus on finishing them-- because big, years long web comics are hard. They are something to be worked up to and worked on bit by bit. Never under estimate what a 10-pager can do for you.
Look at where other creators are posting and how they are doing it. I learn so much just by observing the posting habits of others, it's so valuable!
Ask other creators for advice and share your own knowledge. This can be tough, but it is so worth it. ALWAYS be polite and if someone tells you "no" don't take it personally and just move on. If that person doesn't wanna help you, so be it, someone else will.
Consider joining a community of some kind. A web-ring or comics group or Discord could offer good resources and advice. The Cartoonist Co-Op is trying to do such a thing right now and anyone can get into the Discord for resource access, as long as you make comics.
Tell your readers just how much comments and good ratings help your work. A lot of readers feel "annoying" or they are just shy and don't feel like they shouldn comment for some reason-- THIS ISN'T TRUE. ALL COMMENTS ARE GOOD AND HELPFUL. Even a comment saying "Thanks for the update!" can help a comic's numbers so much.
Some local comic shops may be interested in copies of your comics-- reach out to them! (Again, be polite!) Also consider doing in-person events like conventions to either hand out promotional materials (bookmarks are good) or to sell copies of your books. This is a really fantastic way to get engaged, long-time readers, I've found! That human connection is everything!
Ask fellow comic artists if you can do guest art for them or if they wanna do a comic trade. This is an "old school" way of cross promotion that seems to be lost on most folks, for some reason? Yes, it's effort but you get to make a fun comic for a fellow creator and get your art in front of PEOPLE WHO LIKE COMICS! Again, be polite when asking, never take a "no" personally and never push it. Look for comics that have similar vibes to yours and hey, you could even make a friend in the process! (Thank you to everyone who has ever traded with me.... you're the best...)
And, that's all I have for now! I'm sure I'll hear some feedback from folks and I may have new urls and advice to add from time to time, but I think this is uh, plenty to get you started.
If you have advice of your own or links you want to share, please leave a comment so that others can see it / reference it in the future. Thanks!
P.S. If my comic looked cute to you, you can read the whole series here! (18+ ONLY)