The world of comic books is changing. No longer are the independent creators exiled to the shadows praying for the day when the Big Two look their way, like the wallflower at the dance hoping to catch the eye of the chubby girl across the gym floor. Now thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and podcasts, each creator can achieve a following and get the word out about their own personal project.
The biggest problems any creator will have are
a) resources (ie. writers, artists, letterers, colorists and etc.)
b) name recognition (ie. “I know who Alan Moore is, but what’s a Don Smith and what is the big deal about his ‘Ghost Investigator’ #1 comic?”)
What is a way to overcome those issues?
In an article over at SVT Publishing, writers and artists shared their thoughts about how smaller comic book conventions, such as the Super Wildpig Show held last month in Piscataway, New Jersey, can be a networking treasure trove for up and coming independent creators, as well as being a place to make new fans.
New Jersey based artist Nick Mockoviak said not only meeting other creators has proven beneficial, but “We are fighting for shelf space in the average comic shop, but places like this allow comic book fans to see [the work of the artists' and writers'] work and focus in on you.”
Another New Jersey based comic book creator, Janine Frederick said “smaller shows [as opposed to the San Diego or New York Comic Cons] are great for the independent creator.”
“If you are at a bigger show with a thousand tables, the fans are less likely to remember you [as opposed to being at] a show that has 30 tables. The smaller shows are just easier to connect with the people [and fans],” said Frederick. Where do creators go to find out about their nearest local shows and conventions? Ask a local comic shop.
In the meantime, the writers and artists are encouraging each other to keep writing and drawing. Eventually a finished project and networking opportunity will cross their path.
NOTE: The SVT Publishing site is down for maintenance. When the site is up, I will update this article.