Yes, I meant skin tone, pardon for the poor terminology.
(Although, if you look back at that post, you'll see I said white OR Korean. Not both.)
Even still, digressing over this more is splitting hairs a little and serving as a distraction from the real problem - I'm being blinded by white/light every time Tapas' banner scrolls by lol
Okay. If that's really what you wanted the topic to be about, why did you title it "Read Premium, learn from the best"? Why did you lead the whole post with "premium is popular for a reason" etc etc etc?
I'm just saying, if you were looking for writing advice, you could just do what every other person does when they're looking for writing advice - actually post examples of your writing and ask for critiques. The way your post was created honestly just came across as blatant corporate advertising and that's not really appreciated here in the forum community where most of the users who post here are a part of the free-to-read creator community. It also came across as "free to read comics are automatically bad, only the comics that make a living are worth reading because obviously they're making a living for a reason". When a lot of the time (not ALL the time because there are a lot of Premium series with p decent art but again, majority rules) that reason is suiting a popular demographic, being in the right place at the right time, and luck. And comics like Scurry, Ghostblade, etc. prove time and time again that your work doesn't need to be featured constantly or raking in cash to be valued or good at what it does.
You can literally learn from any piece of work that's worth learning from. It just so happens that Tapas' Premium comics aren't worth learning from because they're all hidden behind paywalls after the third episode and many of them are surpassed by comics that are free to read and far more accessible/inclusive.
That's like saying you should only read books like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games to learn how to write. When really those books aren't perfect either and all feature an all-white cast with hetero-normative relationships and pandering, fanservice-y moments (though in Harry Potter's case, most of the fanservice came after the books were finished and J.K. went off the rails with her BS). Meanwhile House of Leaves is sitting on the shelf waiting to blow your mind out of your earholes.
You'll only learn what you're exposed to.
Okay but literally most of the comics that are on the top banners are the Premium comics. The ones that are free to read are the exception, not the norm.
You're also talking about this to someone who's been on Tapas since pre-app days. I see all the banners on a regular basis, all the series that come and go through the Premium mill. And there's a reason why I'm so salty about it today; this isn't some irritation that built overnight, this is a fervor of bored stagnancy that's been building for half a decade.
Sorry if I'm coming across as snippy, but the examples I posted were merely that - examples, part of a larger problem. Tapas has very little to offer in the way of variety right now and it's been a pattern for years. I'm not trying to discount your experience on the website or anything like that lol I'm just being cynically theatrical for theatrical's sake.
Before the current genre/demographic takeover, it was gag-a-day/slice of life comics. Where do you think the "bite sized comics" slogan came from? (idk about you but i fucking hate the term 'bite sized' applied to anything that isn't food, maybe it's just the autism in me but it makes me criiiinge lol) Back before Premium was a big thing and Tapas was still building its brand, it made its namesake off comics like Fail By Error, Lunarbaboon, Shenaniginsen, GamerCAT, HJ-Story, etc. BL wasn't a big thing yet; the biggest example we had was A Matter of Life and Death which is one of the few examples of a comic literally exploding into the thousands overnight (but snipster had already built a following of her own on Tumblr so she had migrated a lot of readers too. that being said, AMOLAD was and still is an amazing combination of BEAUTIFUL art with BL content and storytelling that was rare for Tapas at the time). "BIte-sized comics", quite literally, back when the featured comics were gag strips that were 4-5 panels long. Now the average comic on the front page (currently on Tapas' desktop banner is Heavy Vinyl) takes anywhere from 3-5 minutes to read. I've found that to be roughly the same length of most of the comics from Premium/Featured that I've read. Still not a lot of reading by reading standards but far longer than "bite-sized".
I think that's why it's so jarring for a lot of the community now that they've had this 'genre' switch. The very basis they built their company on is pretty much nonexistent and the brand they're trying to be is different from the one they're giving us. A sort of brand identity crisis, if I may call it that. As @skicoak put it earlier:
It's obvious Tapas doesn't really know what it's trying to be from the conflict of having once been a place for actual "bite-sized comics" (the ones they built their legacy on, again, Fail by Error, HJ-Story, etc.) and trying to put all their eggs in one basket with the Korean-style webtoon BL-or-otherwise format because they know it's what makes them money. For the short term. But a decent business model is making sure you have all your bases covered and have preparations for when the market changes, which it will. Tapas is all short term right now and I'm predicting it right now that that's gonna blow up in their faces in some way or another in the next few years. I don't want to it to, again, this makes it sound like I hate Tapas, but I'm mostly looking at it from a perspective of concern - I don't want to see this place crash just because the staff was too afraid to step outside of their comfort zone and invest in multiple demographics instead of just one. Besides, the BL/Korean webtoon demographic on Tapas is, like the popularity of featured comics, only popular because they made it popular.
At the time of the BL genre takeover, Inkblazers shut down and their primarily BL focused users were migrating over here - Tapas saw an opportunity and took it, and have been beating that same dead horse ever since. It's literally how they moved from mainly gag strips to BL/Korean webtoons. As someone who was there, I can't tell you how hilariously jarring it was to see Tapas' front page go from gag-a-days to BL's within a week. Just about every comic had the BL tag on its thumbnail by the end of the month and even newer comics that weren't BL were putting BL on their thumbnails just to get extra views because they saw how popular BL comics became right away. Hell, I almost put a BL tag on Time Gate: Reaper as an April Fool's joke. It was literally just a symptom of another site that happened to shut down. If SmackJeeves shut down (which I feel like it's about to because they just got taken over by a corporate company that's murking the shit out of it and there's literally an entire Discord group made for the dead forums now that users have made because they're all jumping ship) we'd be seeing a hell of a lot more Pokemon Mystery Dungeon fancomics and fantasy D&D inspired comics. And hell, it does have a chance of happening, because SJ is on fucking fire.
Tapas can easily shift the demographic, make it more open/accessible/less one trick pony-like, but they have to actually make steps to do that, otherwise it's gonna continue to feel like being stuck in a vacuum. The sad fact is, they probably just don't want to.