A mental rut can leave you stuck, with no way to get out. However, sometimes it takes someone a bit quirky to pull you out of it. This concept is the start of my webcomic, Welcome to Simmer.
Welcome to Simmer is a slice of life webcomic published on the website/app Webtoon. The story follows a young woman named Sage. Sage moved to the bustling city of Simmer to get away from family life, she’s got some memories there that she’s not fond of. So, she thought that moving to Simmer would be a fresh start, but after a year of living there, she’s gone into a mental rut. However, after meeting another woman named Saffron, Sage starts to slowly start to get out of her mental rut, as she interacts with Saffron and many other citizens of Simmer as she goes on.
I went with a webcomic because I love the idea of creating a story through visuals. Writing a book or a novel is one thing, but if you can have drawings do comedic or emotional impact, then I think that’s immensely satisfying. I was inspired a lot by Japanese manga when writing and drawing Welcome to Simmer, as a lot of interesting and weird ideas from them is something I find charming.
The first chapter went through a couple of storyboards, the first one being done in Photoshop. After leaving it and coming back a week or so later, I realized that I wasn’t really happy with it, so I tried again. I also learned that doing the line art and coloring in Photoshop was going to be more difficult than I thought. So, I bought Clip Studio, which is a program that’s better suited for comics. I went back and did another storyboard in this program, and it turned out much better, so I did the lining and coloring in there too.
Webtoon comics aren’t like traditional comics, since they scroll down, rather than move left to right or vice versa. This was something that was hard to tackle at first, as I had to make the story and visual flow within the limited space I had. The size of each page was 800×1280 pixels, and while that gave me plenty of vertical space, the small width took some time to get used to. This also dictated the size of the speech bubble, which couldn’t be too big or too small, so I had to keep the dialogue in each of them down to only a sentence or two.
I was worried at first on how Webtoon was going to combine all the pages together, as it didn’t flow very well when I put the pages together as a PDF. Thankfully, that fear was gone when I previewed it on the site, as it combines everything seamlessly. The first chapter was 36 pages altogether, which took up about half of the size limit, which is 5GB. My original plan was to do at most, 8 chapters, but many things got in the way this semester. It’s a result of being busy, along with some poor choices.
While I’m glad that I was able to get the first chapter out in time, I think it could have been a lot better. For the past few semesters, I’ve been really bad with time management, with this one being some of the worst. While I think 8 chapters was a pretty lofty goal, I still think I could have gotten at least three done if I really buckled down and stopped procrastinating. Another aspect that hindered this was jumping back and forth between ideas. A lot of stuff was not set in stone, and if I didn’t procrastinate so much, I probably would keep changing stuff down to the last week.
A part of that is also because this is the first chapter is the most important, so I wanted to get as much right as I could. In the end, I was left with an okay first chapter that could of explained itself a lot better. While I was distraught for a while,at this point I’m just glad to be done with it. I plan on continuing this series after I graduate, and I want to learn from my mistakes, and make a compelling web comic out of it. Plenty of manga that I’ve read had weak starts, but were able to become amazing reads. So while some people might not continue past the first chapter, I’ll make sure that the ones who did will get a great experience beyond it.