If you’ve made it this far; you have the basics of starting, keeping and marketing Indie Comics. You’ve worked hard and you should be proud of yourself.
5. Stay in Love
Before you started your comic, you probably read a lot of them. Be it superhero, cartoon gags or even Archie’s. You had stories you wanted to tell and characters you couldn’t wait to draw. You wanted to make fun of movies and crack video game jokes.
Now that you have your comic running, you probably feel like Tyler James of Comix Tribe: “ When you’re trying to build a career as a story-teller, there’s always something more you can be doing: a next chapter to write, research to conduct, books to read, characters to sketch, websites to revamp, Tweets to send, and so on. Just stopping, even for a week, can feel like you’re getting behind.”
Time is precious and if you want your comic to succeed, sacrifices have to be made. Usually, this means cutting back on all the things that inspired you in the first place! This can only last so long before you burn out. Even if you don’t, your comic will suffer. When you cut out outside influences, you run the risk of drawing from a dry well. Your writing may become completely self-referential and your art stagnant. Worse, it can be easy to forget why you love comics at all.
Just like being in a relationship, your comic feeds on your personal well-being. Keep up with the latest comics news, make time to read comics you enjoy, write and draw just for yourself once in awhile. Take the time to recharge and stay in love with comics.
6. Be Nice
Being nice is severely under-rated. Especially in a time when the internet lets you make and sell comics without ever having to be around another person. It can be easy to forget the value of simply being friendly. The intimate nature of Indie Comics makes it even more important to connect with people and make them care enough to support you. At conventions, making friends with fellow creators can help you build a network of contacts.
If you’re freakishly talented or lucky, good for you. Otherwise, you can bet that editors and publishers will be more likely to pick someone easy to work with than a diva. According to Mike Millar’s formula for a comic hit, “The final rule was that to keep a job in the comics business you generally need to be two of three things: Good, Easy to Get Along With and On-Time.”
So there you have it. My Magical Secrets to Comic Fame and Fortune (part 1 & part 2).
1. Just start your comic.
2. Keep going.
3. Tell people about your work.
4. Never settle, keep improving.
5. Stay in love with comics, find inspiration outside yourself.
6. Be nice!
After all that, there is absolutely no guarantee of success. If you still want to try, the only guarantee is there is tons of hard work to be done. So what are you waiting for? Go win at Indie Comics!
Sheika Lugtu lives on the internet and draws comics just for you at OMGcow.com. Ask her stuff or just say hi via email.