I want to be part of the comic book industry…so, now what?

I’ve received this message a hundred times in the last few months:

“I have a great portfolio/story/idea and I don’t know where to take it from here. Please help!”

Unfortunately I have nothing overly helpful to reply with.

Connecting a talented (and motivated) creative team together is a long, and VERY difficult process. I can tell you from working with a few comic book creators that it doesn’t just happen by accident.

And once you get together, there are always roadblocks: physical printing or digital? How do you letter it so it looks professional? Should it be color or black and white? And how is the best way to color it?

And once the project is complete, it brings up an entirely new set of questions, like how do you market and advertise? Can you do it for free, or do you need a budget? Can social media help? What’s the most profitable way to sell a comic online?

One forum to rule them all…

I’ve been looking for these answers for the last year, and I’ve been successful to varying degrees – the problem is that I can’t find a great spot where this is all in one place.

Not just a Craigslist-style forum (“Me writer, need art guy!”) but a place where writers and artists can actually share, connect and collaborate.

Along with a few friends, I want to launch an online community where these challenges can all be addressed.

Whether you already have a book and want to promote it, or you’re starting with just an idea, I want you to come on board.

If this sounds interesting to you, please leave a comment on this post, find me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook, and please please please participate in the poll on the right!

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans…eat turkey and be merry.

Love you guys,
Blake xox

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22 Responses to I want to be part of the comic book industry…so, now what?

  1. rottenjorge says:

    Sounds good do you need samples of how good the art is? To show how good of a storyteller the artist is

    • That would be for you to decide…part of it would just be a ‘connection’ area where creators can get together and find a good fit for their style.

      But the forum wouldn’t be strictly that – it would also include high-level discussions about concepts, industry help and tips, and also marketing.

  2. A Brillant Idea Blake, though i’ve spend many years in the fine art world, struggling, where most of ,my friends are fine artsist i don’t have alot of connections/interactions in the commercial arean and i as i travel around alot (off to the other side of the world tomorrow).

    I think what you’re trying to do Blake is an excellent idea and i fully support it

    all the best Adam

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  4. mathias says:

    great project, blake – i’m on board!

    i’ve been puttering about on my blog for a while, which is fine, but it would be great to eventually become part of something bigger!

    you got my support


  5. Stevie James says:

    Something like this sounds very cool. I’ve been pottering away on scripts for a comic series in New Zealand, had a few short stories come out in a comic anthology – but finding artists with the time and talent is pretty hard, especially when I write a lot faster than others draw.
    Looking for other opportunities to push the comic has been a slow process.

    • I know it’s a long, slow process putting together a dedicated team – this might be a great way to speed things up! Thanks for the comments Stevie! (hope all is well in New Zealand!!)

  6. philbyday says:

    Excellent outreach, Blake. I’m come upon a run of un4tunate circumstance recently which will put me behind the 8ball 4 awhile, but there’s no silencing the creative spirit.
    If there’s any way that I can contribute…believe me, I will endeavor 2 do so.

    I really would like 2 see what u’re starting here grow in2 something perhaps beyond every1’s wildest imaginings.

    On an unrelated subject; Did u ever post your Robin image up via twitpic or other?

    • Well even when life is busy, you have to make time to create. Creativity just doesn’t jump out of nowhere and appear in front of you!

      I’m hoping this forum can spark some larger, more high-level discussions about the inception process, and not just existing properties.

      ie. instead of chatting about if Thor would kick Wolverine’s ass, we’d discuss whether it’s wise to cross-over characters with too much regularity, or focus an entire issue on a fight scene that is of little consequence.

      PS: Pics are coming…keep yer pants on!

      • philbyday says:

        Point taken. Pants on. Thor would totally kick Wolverine’s @$$!
        (last comment, no disrespect 2 u & your fellow Cnadians…I just reeeaalllly don’t like Logan)

        Atomic battery 2 pwer…CHECK
        Turbines 2 speed…CHECK
        Let the creativity commence

  7. JW0LF says:

    awesome idea!

    i for sure wanna be part of a community like that

    now that you mention about the team work

    what about a only one member team? what do you think about it? it is possible?

  8. NAAN says:

    Sounds really cool 😀

  9. Freem9d says:

    I’d like that very much,although it’s defenetly ” à hack” of work ! I’ve done several creative things,be it shortfilms or storyboards or grafical assets,till now (a little bit of digital Things u can see at cgsociety) i haven’t Done things like inking or drawing for à vital jobs in comicstorys or else, BUT i really want to participate,so if you need someone, i’d gladly be part of the Team,too.just contact me @twitter ( cheers and greets to all answering People before me ) and Blake too.

  10. Randall says:

    I’d really be interested to be involved in this, particularly the “Place to communicate and collaborate with comic book writers, artists and colorists” part. I know just some of the questions you posed in the beginning of the post, decisions on how/where to print, how to get started, lettering resources, whether to go black and white/color on your first book, etc, are sort of simple things that people who’ve done one or two books already tend to know, and just not talk about all that much, so getting people with differing publishing history, from “none” to “several” to “on the edge of breaking through” would be an excellent resource to have. The idea of having a forum to collaborate, receive feedback, and promote would also be wonderful, and doesn’t really exist in any real, solid way online, and the closest thing you might see are certain collaborative blogs or loosely held together twitter collectives.

    The rest is kind of… not unnecessary, but if we’re honest, artists will always have conventions to get their work looked at, and there are a lot of websites and message boards run either by major creators, or with major creators participating, and I don’t know that the internet needs one more board with a bunch of writers and artists kissing up to someone like Mark Millar or Erik Larsen in hopes that an editing job or coloring a cover might come their way. Almost everyone in the comics “industry” will tell you there’s no one way to get into the various companies, and most stories of personal success stories don’t even resemble each other, so I’m not even sure how constructive something focused on getting into the business would be. It’s also a little exclusionary, because a lot of writers and artists are less interested in working for Marvel, DC, or even outfits like IDW or Image, so we’d want to make sure there’s no alienating people just doing comics for fun, art, or self-publishing reasons.

    Something grassroots, something that’s artists and writers and other types working together to raise each other up, to get together and work together and share ideas communally — something like that would not only be exciting, but it’d be really useful, and I think if you built something like that, you could get the participation of not only people who want to work in the industry, but people who could give a flying eff about the big companies and are more interested in putting together graphic novels, graphic non-fiction, indie and underground comics, and more artistic projects. And I’d be really excited to be involved in that, to help with that, to do whatever I can to support the setting up of such a community, and encourage you to contact me at mojo.wire.productions@gmail.com if you need anything in the way of help, or anything like it. This could be the start of something really exciting, whether it becomes a big thing, or a relatively small one.

  11. chundee says:

    I think it is a great idea as well. There are some hard to find places to get a little bit of everything you are wanting to offer, however, they are so spread out and like I said “hard to find.” It is definitely a community I would be glad to be a part of.

    It’s what makes convenience stores convenient…they have a little bit of everything in one place. Sign me up.

  12. Peter Wolfe says:

    Hey Comicbookgrrl,

    I love the idea of having a place where artist could come together and support each other. Just Imagine how much more we could learn and, how much faster we might be able to do so by collaborating. Some of us may be just starting out, some may just be stepping into the door of a indie publisher or the big two! Maybe, just having fun doing what we love.

    I met a fellow from Digital Webbing for a project and after that project ended, we have been friends for about a year now. We are working on another project with more lined up. I have learned so much from him. So just imagine 20 or so (hopefully more) of us coming together and doing what everybody here has mentioned. It would be great!

    Peter Wolfe

  13. Nick Marino says:

    I’m down!!

    Though, to be 100% honest, I already regard Digital Webbing as this sort of place (for the most part). Not that it’s the perfect resource for tips and tricks, but I do find it pretty ideal for connecting creators, sharing your work for critiques, and finding new collaborators.

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