When we spoke with Tim Fielder at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus last October, he told us privately about his plans to move his creator-owned comic, Matty's Rocket, to a print on demand graphic novel model using his own equipment. We asked Tim if, as things progressed, he'd be willing to share his experience and his perspective with our readers here on Bleeding Cool. Along the way, we might ask Tim some specific questions, or perhaps pass along questions from you, so hit us up in the contact form at the bottom if there's anything you want to know.
Tim has already graciously sent us eight of these in advance, with more on the way, and we thought it would be nice to take advantage of that head start by kicking things off with a double-shot, publishing two of these dispatches at once. With that, we'll turn things over to Tim to introduce himself…
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! This is Tim Fielder. I want to welcome you to the first edition of The Dieselfunk Dispatch. I was asked by "The Illustrious One," Jude Terror, to make a weekly report on my specific journey as a publisher. While the idea of self-publishing is by no means nothing new, emerging and maturing technologies make for an exciting run of discovery, constant re-evaluation, and growth as an artist and thinker.
First a little background. I'm a NYC based graphic novelist, illustrator, instructor, and publisher. I started in the comic industry back in the late '80s as a freelance editorial cartoonist for The Village Voice and to my first comic work for Joyce Brabner via Eclipse Comics. Yes, Ronald Reagan was in office! Eventually, I made my way to Marvel Comics producing the tragically unpublished, Marvel Music graphic novel, Dr. Dre: Man With A Cold, Cold Heart. By the mid-'90s the comic industry crashed (Yes, Marvel Comics declared bankruptcy back then!) Throughout all of that drama I did concept work in the film and animation industries and ultimately left Comics for over a decade. This period would involve me diving full bore into the 3D animation and education industries. It wouldn't be 'til 2010 where I resurrected an old concept that would bring me back into comics. This project, titled, Matty's Rocket, began first as an animated serial that ultimately would make its way back into the field of sequential art. Thusly, my company is Dieselfunk Studios and our first project is Matty's Rocket Book One, a 120-page graphic novel that came out in completed form in late 2017 (full disclosure: the first two issues were in floppy form). It the spirit hits you it can be purchased in digital and print at www.dieselfunk.com.
Challenge: What do you do when you don't know enough about a subject? Ask for help. Expect a cast of characters ranging from fellow publishers like Jason Reeves's 133art.com and the forever gracious Jeff Smith, who have offered tremendous guidance and advice. You can surmise that this column will be my journal in a sense.
I'll try to keep it fun, nerdy, and informative.
And, as promised, a second dispatch for the first week…
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! Welcome to our second installment of The Dieselfunk Dispatch. A quick reminder: this column will cover the efforts of my company, Dieselfunk Studios, to make our way in the contemporary comic book and publishing industry. So what exactly do I view as the comic book publishing industry?
One thing for sure is that it is not monolithic. Again, I must emphasize this is my view. But for simplicity's sake let's just say the industry is presently made up of: Large traditional publishing houses (Scholastic, Abrams etc), Marvel, DC, Image, Smaller Indies (Fantagraphics, Oni, etc), Academic presses (University Mississippi etc), and Micropress (Corn Tortilla, Bergen Street Press). It goes on and on.
I consider Dieselfunk Studios to be a Micropress operation with goals to be a major player in the Trans Media space.
Challenge: How do you ensure public release of your work? Do it yourself. Dieselfunk Studios was started to release my work without interference from the publisher and editing class. While I understand the need and importance of such positions, many a masterpiece has been killed or made mediocre by interference. So at the very least I figure I can produce something at least as good as other books out there.
I'll go into my ongoing journey towards total self-reliance in the near future.
Next week: Jeff Smith!
Tim Fielder is the Publisher and Creator of Dieselfunk Studios' Matty's Rocket Book One. www.dieselfunk.com Dieselfunk works to be completely self-sufficient while sharing war stores with fellow POD Publisher 133art www.133art.com