Comic Book Conventions: Making Connections, Pressing the Flesh, Finding Partners

I’ve spoken on panels at comic book conventions several times over the last few years now, talking about what I’ve learned in the indie comics industry. As I’ve said before, I started wanting to write comics. I soon realized that if I wanted to see my writing go to print in exactly the way I envisioned it, I would have to publish the stuff myself – for better or for worse. This meant a huge investment but it also meant finding artists that I could partner with, artists that would be interested in drawing what I wanted to write or that had things they wanted to draw that I wanted to write about. I also had a thing or two to learn about the comics industry and how to publish books.

Very little that I know about comic books comes from spontaneous knowledge. I learned much of it from the people I know that have been doing it longer or as long as I have. This brings me back to conventions and speaking on panels. One of the most common questions we get on panels is, “How do I meet artists/writers/publishers, etc?” Recently, I’ve taken to asking the audience to participate in the panel by having the writers raise their left hands and the artists raise their right hands and then I ask that they look around at each other and see if they can find what they need. It’s pretty obvious that conventions are the highest concentration of people excited about the same industry you’re excited about. So, it’s also the best place to meet people that might be interested in the specific area of the industry you’re interested in. So, get out and meet people. Talk to as many people as possible and don’t stop with one gold nugget. If you meet one amazing artist, they might sound great at the show but they may not pan out later, so keep digging. Think about it in terms of evolution – trees drop a lot of seeds knowing that only a few are going to make it.

And this all brings me to an example of how getting out and meeting people works for all parties. At the last 3-day Long Beach Comic Con in 2011, I met the guys from Codenamed: Epic. They interviewed me at the show and I later hooked up with them to speak on their podcast after the convention. Since then, I started BuyIndieComics.com and the guys from Codenamed: Epic been awesome enough to not only allow us to post some of their podcasts, interview us for their show again, but they’ve also started providing original content for our site. Wow. This has really worked out for BuyIndieComics.com, right? Yeah, but it’s also worked out for Codenamed: Epic too. As I said earlier, I’m a publisher as well so, a couple of the guys from Codenamed: Epic and I have not only talked about what they can learn from me in terms of Indie Comics but also my publishing one of their stories at my site, MagnificentCreatures.com when it re-launches.

So, it’s worked out beautifully, I’ve got more press for BuyIndieComics.com and my other projects, the guys at Codenamed: Epic get someone to answer all of their questions and we all get buddies to gripe to when things are not going the way we want them to.  Or to celebrate with when things are stellar.

Never enough said,

-dale

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2 Comments

  1. Posted July 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    This is Awesome advice Dale.

  2. Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    thanks Chris! You’re a perfect example. We met via Khalid at WonderCon. :-)

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