Jesse James writes for Bleeding Cool. If we were to try and stop him, he tells us, it would tear a hole in the space-time continuum.
There are a lot of creators at every con trying to make it into the comic book business. As I walked down the aisles, I'm looking for something that is just different or a table that has a awesome presentation. I came across Jeff Kaufman and his HUGE table at Philly Con this year. With his new book WHOREcoming out. I asked him to give us some of his time to talk about his company and his up coming projects before San Diego.
Where are you originally from?
Born in Miami, Florida,
Spent three years in the Army with 82nd Airborne, degrees from Florida and Florida State University and Tulsa. Yes a Seminole, a Gator and Hurricane.
Law School Tulsa, Oklahoma
Live in Orlando
Orlando has some very nice Comic Book stores. Does this help you at all as far as keeping up with what the fans are looking for?
The stores here are fantastic and the owners really care and interact with you. I've gotten really great advice and support from many of the owners and have found their help invaluable.
How did you get into comics? Any Mentors?
When I was six I was introduced to Spiderman and that was it.
As far as mentors, I only one the Godfather, Stan Lee who has created more know characters than Shakespeare.
Did you have any pitfalls in the beginning in the self publishing field? How did you evolve from these into your new creations you have now?
Pitfalls…more like The Grand Canyon of failure. I ran my company like a playground and I paid for it. Through failure, I learned what to do and what not to. This is a business and it has to be treated as such or failure is not only probable but inevitable.
Tells us some of the creators you have worked with in your career?
Alex Saviuk, Michael Golden, Herb Trimpe, James Brown, Joe Benitez, Mark Texeira, Joe Weems, Felix Serano, Rob Richardson, Rob Doria, Elvin Cintron, Mario Gully, Jason Embry, Jason Arthur and many others. Currently working on a book with Kevin West and Mark McKenna.
How do you get your word out on your projects? Do you have to work harder to get your comics on the west coast or is it all the same?
I go to at least five conventions a year and use Facebook, internet advertising, and of course the Diamond Preview guide. Where you live doesn't matter. As long as you make yourself available and are willing to travel.
Tell us about some of your early work and books.
I wrote a couple of issues of "Ant" for Image Comics, Then I wrote and created Tempest, Totem, Dragon Cross and Omega One for Big City Comics. I then wrote and produced my first graphic novel for Zenescope called Terminal Alice. Our new book "Whore" comes out through Zenescope in September.
Is Terminal Alice seems to be hitting the market when Bad Girls Comics are really on a strong rise? Was this a Genre that you want to stay in or are you looking to try other Genres as well?
When it came out last August it had good numbers and seemed to be appreciated. I think Charlie's Angels has put a lot of Female projects on the back-burner but I think it'll start up again soon.
How do you translate what you what with the artist on this book? Or does he have some freedom to try some off the cuff art pieces/panels?
I do write panel for panel, but I give my artist significant leeway. I will also include pictures in my script to further help the artist and save them the time they would have to spend researching. I've learned that anything you can do to help the artist, you should do since he does most of the heavy lifting.
So your new Book Whore is set to become part of your publisher dynasty. Any reservation on the title? Or is it just part of the book and it will make sense to the reader?
Dynasty?…I'd just like to avoid an ass-kicking. I definitely had some reservations and did not take the title lightly. I believe so much in this character and know that any other title name would have been a lie. My main character, Jacob Mars is a guy who does anything for money and is by definition a "Whore"..
Single issue comics in the future or will you also be a company that produces trades?
I'd like to stick with Graphic Novels because I really feel better drafting a complete story. If asked to do a single issue book, I would have to weigh my options.
Any up coming convention we should know about?
San Diego Comic-Con-The Super Bowl, Then my favorite convention Dragon-Con in Atlanta, a truly great party and then New York Comic-Con.
How can Bleeding Cool fans find you and order your books?
They can get our new stuff like Terminal Alice and our new upcoming graphic novel "Whore" through their local comic stores, our site and Amazon. For back issues probably only through www.bigcitycomics.com ,EBAY…etc.
Any words to a new self publisher starting off?
Don't! If you really have to take your time,be willing to rewrite and start over. Don't Ever put anything out there that isn't your best work. Shut your mouth about how great you think your work is. Learn from your mistakes, be original but globally marketable. Don't just recreate the books you like but write and draw what you know. Accept that your first stuff is going to suck and be willing to grow. Don't blow your money without a budget. That seems simple enough.
Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.