Make Comics… Then Give Them Away

InnovationPressReleaseWes Locher writes for Bleeding Cool;

Two years ago, when I was first thinking about getting into the business of writing comics, I did what anyone else would do; I hit up a search engine and asked, "Hey, Goog…how do I break into comics?"

While at first, my search results just wanted to show me pictures of kittens, one thing led to another, led to another and I found myself watching videos of con panels from years past where Marvel writers and artists attempted to answer that very question. Their response was always so simple and honestly, it made me wonder why they had to host the panel so many times.

C.B. Cebulski would say, "You want to break into comics? Go make comics."

They should have just ended the panel right there so everyone could have gone and done it.

C.B.'s advice was to the point and made so much sense. No one is ever going to come to you and say, "Hey, you look like you have a killer idea for our multi-million dollar money machine, Spider-Man. Wanna write the next arc of the comic?"

So, I took those words of wisdom and spent two years making comics. Along the way I met some artists, did some pitches, signed some contracts and my miniseries, Chambers, is now on comiXology playing alongside the big books. Go me.

BUT…There's a reason that no one ever said, "write it, and they will come." It turns out that after spending upwards of a year creating a series, you then have to find people who will lay down their hard-earned money and spend their hard-earned free time to read the dang thing. Whether it's because someone doesn't like digital comics, or a local store won't carry the title, or the consumer doesn't want to pay shipping, read a book they've never heard of, or maybe they'd rather just read Watchmen for the twenty-sixth time, there are approximately eight gazillion barriers to entry on a new comic book. It's true. I did the math.

It was becoming clear that if I wanted eyes on my stories, I'd have to do the one thing that every creative type hates: I'd have to give it away for free. I know, it's a filthy, filthy word.

If I want my other published works to have value, it turns out that I'm the one who has to give it to them. With this in mind, I spent some time making a game plan, talked to some artists and this week I launched my new sci-fi webcomic project called Innovation.

With the help of some talented artist friends, I'll be releasing a new short comic every week in November that is both self-contained and adds to the mythos of a larger world. Each story will be drawn by a different artist that I believe deserves some time in the spotlight. Innovation uses the same comic format you know and love; it simply lives online…for free. (Oh, I said it again!)

The idea for the comic is simple – The R.D.S.L. Corporation is innovating your world, whether you want them to or not.

Innovation follows employees of a tech company that is busy crafting the future, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. One of my pals described it as, "This is what would happen if Google started f@#king with us."

I think that's a pretty solid description too.

If you have a few minutes to burn, check out our first short at Enjoy the beginnings of a fun story that will hopefully continue on for years to come, and be sure to visit again every Monday in November for something new.

If you're an artist and want to get involved and help the series continue, get in touch through the website. We're building a crazy world and would love to have you on board.

And, hey — after you've visited our website, go make comics. Then give those suckers away.



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About Rich Johnston

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.
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