Chapter 135: A couple new books and a benefit...
thank you for this!
love the real positive spin on "don't quit your day job"!
i'm reminded of my friend sara benincasa's book "real artists have day jobs" (which is full of essays, one of them named and about that concept)
love anything that helps artists make the art they want to make
thanks for arting it up!
Great answer, thank you!
This was a remarkably reassuring mailbag answer. You want to know what I wish there was more access to, and advice on? "What to do once you THINK you've broken into comics?". So much advice in blogs, and on panels and such is "HOW to break into comics?" Without sounding dismissive, the bulk of advice seems to boil down to, "Make a comic. Put it out there. If it gets noticed. You've broken in!" Where I am currently struggling is what to do once your 'breaking in' comic happens. I was lucky. I made a book. I wrote a script. Hired an artist. Went significantly into debt. Sent it out to like, three publishers, and got it published (Was going to Kickstart a printing if that didn't happen). LUCKILY made my money back. I KNOW this is rare. I know I got lucky, and had the wherewithal of how to pitch/package a story because of my film/TV background. But... then what? As you have stated in several interviews, it's not like after one book, everyone comes a knocking. Maybe for some people, but for me... nope. Decent sales and award nominations didn't garner me a single call or email. So, I tried to do it again... but different. Because I'm an idiot. Rather than follow up with another OGN that I could likely get a deal with, from my former publisher, I wanted to make a book that came out in single issues first. But... I had no real idea how to do that, and didn't want to finance a comic without a publisher commitment. So, I asked around, because I luckily know some people in the industry (busy people mind you). The gist seemed to be to basically make a pitch package. So I did. I made a pitch doc, hired an artist to do 6 pages and a cover, and with the help of one Tyler Boss... got it to an editor (I didn't get a single response from open submissions... do those ever actually work?). That editor liked it (again... my film/TV pitch and package experience comes in super handy at that stage), so... I get to make another comic. And I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO ACTUALLY DO THAT!!! An OGN? Yeah... I can do that. A comic? No clue. And not just from a story standpoint (Had to bring my planned 160 page story down to 112 pages), but logistically... how the hell does this work? Who gets the advance, and how much (The artist is getting all of it and then some)? Do writers pay themselves or no (apparently not)? How much do I recoup of my personal money to the artist, after the advance is paid back, before we split the money? Since the comic is based on an existing copyright (I'll never do that again), how does ownership work? Who makes the 'final' decisions on things? Anyway, after more money for lawyers, and some back and forth (all cordial) we are making the comic... but now... how do the editor and i work together? How much can I bug my editor? I have plans for variant covers (that I am going out of pocket on), so how does that work contractually and logistically? I have plans of how I want to approach the marketing (former movie producer here!), how do I co-ordinate that with the publishers PR team? Anyway, these are NOT QUESTIONS I EXPECT TO BE ANSWERED. I just admire what you do, beyond just the writing. The business as well. I am mostly venting, but also wish there were more resources out there that focused on these things, and less (because there is a shit ton) on how to 'break in' to comics. I broke in (sort of), but now have no idea what I am doing. And I actually know people in the comic industry! Anyway, thanks for this Matt. You may now have your platform back. Sorry for temporarily hijacking it.