This is a message for those of you reading this today that are, perhaps, getting the notion that you might want to be the next big thing in indie comics, and unfortunately, it won’t be what you want to hear: Having a good idea is the easiest part of getting started in this game. It’s true. Don’t get me wrong, truly great ideas come along sparsely: Superman, Spider-Man, Ender’s Game, Harry Potter, Twilight (God forgive me, but the sparkly vampires are popular), The Walking Dead, etc.
When good ideas do come around, they spark an explosion of copycats hangers-on, but ask yourself a question: didn’t I have an idea like these? If I could have just gotten it into the hands of the right people, would it have made me as stinking rich as these writers are becoming? Of course you did. We all did. Most of us will find out, at some point, that the idea wasn’t nearly as generation defining as we thought at the time, but what if yours truly was?
There is a lot of work that goes into putting together a comic book, and, unfortunately, it’s not enough for it to be good, it has to reach people. And, not only that, but you have to make sure that, in the case of your first issue as you are trying to introduce the main character, your reader is invested enough in the characters to stay on the ride. For this, a few cogs need to be turning all at once.
Kerbykid and I, when we founded Off-Shoot Comics, decided that we had the right stuff: the ideas, the creativity, and the writing ability- to make in this industry. What we didn’t have was the knowledge of where to start. I mean, you might have the next Superman riding in your portfolio of characters, but Warner Brothers and/or Marvel don’t just see everyone who walks up to the gate. After all, if you’ve ever seen American Idol, then you know that not everyone who thinks they are talented truly is. The Big Two seem to believe that if you have talent, you already work for them, so the new guy isn’t getting in. You have to find a way to get noticed without them. Frankly, you have to believe that you can circumvent them and become a success despite them.
This is why we’re all here, I believe. I’m not a writer for BuyIndieComics.com, but it is a partnership based of mutual benefit. DWAP productions gives us a forum for new readers to get to know us here, and we in turn give him content and, eventually, products for his site to sell. Working together, we flourish. That was my long-winded way of saying, before you can get into the game, you have to make some contacts. It’s unfortunate but true that, in this business, you can’t make it on your own. Ok, perhaps that’s not 100% true, but it is fairly close. Sure, Todd McFarlane gave us Spawn alone, but he was well-established in the comics industry before then. Heck, I had his first issue of Spider-Man from back in the day; thanks for throwing it away mom! The truth is, without millions of dollars of inheritance to spend on a comic writing venture, your true first step in getting published is finding people willing to give you a chance and making contacts.
So get up and start looking. If you’re reading this article, you’ve already got two to start, DWAP Productions through BuyIndieComics.com and Off-Shoot Comics through Codename: Epic. The most important things in getting published are getting started and staying persistent. Even if you’re not the most clever writer or artist in the world, make contact with people who are and learn from them. Accept any business card that belongs to anyone that can give you a leg up, and make some of your own. Go to comic conventions. Yes, this costs money, but you have to spend money to make money, whether in education, equipment, or just hand-shakes. If you’re going to make it, then you have to commit to it. So, contact Dale Wilson on this site if you truly think you’re ready or me at email@example.com. And remember, being an indie comics’ author might not start out glamorous, but it can be the start of something glorious. Join me next week for a new review. My next rant will be on what to do when you can write but don’t know anyone who can draw. Look for those really soon. Until next time!