This is one of the best threads I've seen on Tapas. A really civil, detailed discussion of the issues. Props to everyone.
One thing that's been touched on a number of times is that there's a certain amount of the Dunning-Kreuger Effect in action where people who are complaining about visibility very vocally are often really not making art or stories that are up to the standard where people would click them even if they were on the front page. They don't even realise that being boosted to featured status when you're still developing can actually be massively detrimental. (The dunning kreuger effect, in summary, is basically that people who only know a little bit about a thing massively overestimate how competent they are at that thing, while people who are intermediate tend to hugely underestimate how competent they are, and only the people who have reached a level of mastery have an accurate sense of their ability/knowledge level).
Let me tell you about somebody I really adore and admire. Her name is Katy Coope and she is one of the nicest people I know. She's warm, encouraging, clever and conscientious.
Katy Coope is about my age, in her mid-thirties, and like me, when she was in her teens, manga was suddenly everywhere in the UK and we couldn't get enough of it! A bunch of us teenage girls all around the UK, we were all teaching ourselves to draw manga.
But something really wild happened to Katy that didn't happen to me. When she was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD, somebody from a book company approached her and asked her to make a book on how to draw manga.
You've seen these, right? You've seen people making fun of these books online? Yeah, they were drawn by like... a random fifteen year old British girl who by chance got picked up by somebody from a UK book company because they happened to meet her and she could draw manga a bit and they wanted a manga artist.
People have relentlessly trolled this woman for her entire adult life, and her name is so heavily associated now with "bad drawing" that she pretty much stays out of the public eye and works as a designer and tends to go by a different name. It's a shame because she actually did become a pretty solid illustrator, here's what her work as an adult looks like:
It's solid work. But if you search her, all you'll get is that blue book, that blue book just everywhere and people dogpiling it. The thing she's known for as an illustrator is the the thing she made when she was still a literal child.
You do not want to get featured or go pro before your work is ready. Being pushed into drawing a comic on a tight schedule tends to cause a period of stagnation. Artists who aren't under such pressure have more space to improve their work, meaning that if you're not quite there yet, it's actually better to work quietly as a relative unknown and then make your big splash when your stuff looks really good and pro. But also... you need to be realistic about whether your work is really pro quality yet, or whether maybe it could be better.
In my case, I haven't been expecting a feature, and I haven't wanted one while I'm still in the prologue of my comic because if I get featured, I want it to be when the story and characters are really properly underway and a feature would make the most impact. So I've been sat thinking "oh geez, they'd better not feature my comic while I only have like twenty pages and nothing's happened yet..." I deliberately haven't started a Patreon while still in the prologue for the same reason; I'll make a bigger impact if there's a decent amount of comic to read and we're at the core premise when I make a marketing push. I know that's easy for me to say, because I already have that confidence boost of "yeah, I've had my illos published by Penguin Randomhouse, I don't need Tapas to validate me." I know what it's like to deeply yearn for that validation. But I also learned from Katy Coope and many others how damaging it can be if comes at the wrong time.
Some of the people here aren't ready.... YET. Yet is the big word here. You WILL be ready at some point, but it might be a different comic, of you might need a bit more development first.
Generally by the time you get offered something like a feature, you'll probably be getting a following even without one anyway. Because it's very rare for a comic to actually be really, really good, have a significant number of pages (like enough to really get into the story) and for nobody at all to have found it. It can happen, but in most cases....well... are your backgrounds actually kinda sparse? Is your artwork actually maybe a bit rough? Do you only have a few pages? Is your premise actually pretty limited appeal? You have to be honest with yourself.