“If I sell two issues, I feel like John Grisham.”
– from the movie Chasing Amy written and directed by Kevin Smith
If you know me or read this blog you know I am a nerd and I love comics. I love reading them, watching them, making them, talking about them, teaching them… If it has something to do with telling stories sequentially I’m on board. It’s the reason I write and draw my own stories.
I think that the life’s blood of the medium rests in independent comics and self-publishing. Too many of the bigger publishers are focused on franchise, selling options, and building a brand. They loose sight of the heart and soul of the medium – telling NEW stories. You’ll notice that the word “new” is in all caps. That’s because I miss new characters, new worlds, and new stories in comics. The place I find it the most is in self-publishing.
Don’t get me wrong I still love mainstream comics. Without them there is nothing to compare the “alternative” to, this stuff doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Also, we live in a Golden Age of the Nerd Culture where it has been fully embraced by Pop Culture. Heck, it IS Pop Culture. The fourth grade me loves that I can watch Supergirl, binge on Daredevil, and Ghost Rider is now on television. Not to mention deep cuts like Hourman, Ragman and Solovar are parts of stories on mainstream media. But these are stories and characters that we’ve seen before. Some are more than 70 years old.
Above: Photo of my character Syrup expressing his feelings towards self-publishing.
Below: Photo from my sketchbook, based on the prompt “Weapon of Opportunity”
With independent, alternative and self-publishing I see new characters, new stories, new adventures. I see the future. But it will take YOU, loyal reader, to keep it going. Your dollar can go a long way towards keeping a self-publishing artist or writer creating. I speak from personal experience. This last book, “Raising Cain”, has been an eye opening endeavor. I’m learning as I go and it’s wonderful. The community of fellow artists that have reviewed my comic, given advice, shared links and even purchased a copy has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. I’m hungry for the next book, and the book after that, and so on.
I would very much like to thank Carey Pietsch for the help finding the printer. Brad Guigar for the insight and promotion. All my friends (Christine Larsen, Kyle Margiotta, Kelly Meissner, William Vaughan, and Matt Killian to name a few) for the feedback and support. Most importantly I would like to thank my Editor-in-Chief (a.k.a. my wife) Melissa Lomax for reviewing, editing and proofing this comic countless times. I’d also like to note that ALL these people make new content, self-publish and/or self-generate new works and add to the creative pursuit of making something NEW.
Please do not think this a sales pitch for my current project. It’s more of a letter to myself to keep my eye on the finish line. I encourage you to support new creators, people self-publishing and self-generating new stories, and new adventures. You’ll find the link to each of the name listed above. Go and check them out, lend them your support. Not just monetarily, though that is an important factor, but through social media and the comments you make and the links you share.
I’ll be posting a bit more about the ins and outs of self-publishing this comic book. Especially as it compares to the last book, “I Put the Can in Cancer” in a future post. Thanks again.