Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why do People make Indy Comics?

Before going straight into today's post, I'd like to take a second to direct everyone to Zuda where you can go to vote for Seth and Diego's comic:

Pieces of Eden
Writer/Artist: Seth Sherwood/Diego Tripodi
Summary: A serial killer has been stalking women and his latest victim, Eden, has somehow survived. In surviving, Eden absorbed little pieces of each the other victims’ personalities. With this quiet menagerie of voices in her mind, Eden sets out for revenge.

For those of you who don't remember, Diego drew the great Trex BackStory, and I'm especially pleased to see his fantastic artistic abilities recognized by someone other than just me. (I know I'm a forward thinking guy, but I can't be THAT far ahead of the rest of the pack, can I? :D )

end of plug...

Okay, here's my question of the day for everyone who reads this blog. (And please, if you don't want to answer in the comments section, feel free to email me directly with your answer...)

Do you want to write/draw your own comic, and if so, why?

I think I've mentioned the number of emails I get with people wanting to write/create characters for the Flashback Universe, and often I respond to these by asking the emailers why don't they create their own comic/cbr? One of the things I never ask is why do you want to create your own comic anyway?

In some ways I think this is one of those questions you should answer long before you start writing/drawing your first comic. I can think of 3 main ones:

1) To get chicks! (Because chicks love comic book writers/artists!)
2) To make lots of money! Because we all know what a goldmine Indy comics are.
3) Because it's just so damn easy...

So, if you don't mind, tell me why you want to write/draw your own comic.


Philip Looney said...

Well, not that I make comics anymore, but...

When I did it was because I had a fire in my bones, a love for comics that burned so bad I wanted to make them.

I knew I wasn't going to get famous or make money, I just wanted to make my own comic.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the term Indy, but I guess I would be a Indy publisher. I want to make comics that show people not everything has been done already! There are lots of new ideas waiting to be done but people always say nothing is new. I hope to prove them wrong.

TCB said...

Y'know, for me (when I actually make comics and don't just talk about making them) it's because I've got a story in my head that just won't leave me alone, and I gotta get it out. Since comics have always been my favorite medium, it's a no brainer that its the first place I think to put that story.

As far as folks pitching to you, I think a lot of new creators are looking for a way to get their feet weet (without spending anything) to see if they really like it, or to at least get some practice before moving on to their own thing.

Working in something preestablished, like the FBU, (ideally) lets a writer or artist think about the story side of things rather than the new creation process and that's when you can really get an idea of structure, formatting, etc...

TCB said...

"Feet Weet?"

Sorry 'bout that... but it was cute, right?

Arnaldo said...

I have written stories since I was 7, sitting at my IBM clone staring at greenish yellow characters on a black screen. Most of my stories were sci-fi with a brief foray into fantasy.

One of my dreams was to write for movies, though I understood that movies were more structured and writers had less freedoms than they did on the page; however, movies being a visual medium had an ability to move me in certain ways that what I read did not (no book has ever scared me the way Poltergeist did).

As I got older, say late teens and on, I started to discover comics (I never read them as a kid...not once) and found that there is an incredible visual medium there and it provides an ability to tell incredible stories, as well as just fun tales, and combine the impact of visuals with the more experimental form of writing for the page.

Now I am an adult, and not employed in any writing profession (though one of my jobs is creative as I am a professional podcaster). But I still write, and I still have stories to tell. Some of those stories are best saved for the written page. That said, many others would simply be better told if accompanied by visuals. From one story in my head of a gritty black-and-white real-world based crime drama to some brightly colored superhero tales I have up there, a comic will suit the stories better than black words on a white page.

Additionally, every project I have worked on in my life benefits from collaboration, and I can think of few formats as collaborative as a comic book where the writer and artist work together to tell a story.

There is also the additional benefit of readership. While I know independent comics don't have the readership of, say, a Marvel or DC title, there are still people who are simply fans of the comic book medium who will read any comic book they can get their hands on. As a narcissist, I want my work to be read, not written for only my own benefit, to be stored on a hard disk somewhere until it crashes. I want feedback, I want to be read. I'm a shameless self-promoter. And I simply think it is easier to market a comic book to a comic book fan who has never heard of you or your book than it is to market a novel or short story to a literary fan who has never heard of you or your book.

In the end, though, it's not about fame, it's not about riches, it's about storytelling.

JayDubya said...

I'm a self-taught, aspiring, screenwriter (so yes, I DO make minimum wage). I am also a comic book fan and have been since I was introduced to them around the age of 7 or so. Back then I always said "I want to make comic books when I grow up". Of course, back then I had no idea what that really meant. I suppose I thought I wanted to draw... until I was old enough to realise that that was pretty much impossible for me to do.

It wasn't until the trail end of high school that I realised I wanted to write. What, I wasn't sure of. Eventually screenwriting came into the picture and my path was set.

So, why do I want to write comics then? Because if I write a screenplay and it doesn't sell (god forbid) I'm stuck with an elobarate and time consumed paper weight. If I, on the other hand, write a comic script and it doesn't sell (again, let us all hope that never happens) I can self publish it on various scales for an affordable amount. Not only does that allow me to tell my stories, but it gets my name out there for the future of my screenwriting endeavors.

That isn't to say that if/when my screenwriting takes off I'll leave the world of comics behind, leaving my comic career as nothing more than a spring board. I feel that art is one of the greatest achievements in human evolution and it goes right along with language (written/spoken). Comic books represent the greatest marriage of those two most important aspects of human culture. One of my greatest hopes is to see comic books recieve a larger readership and to be accepted for the great art form that it is.

JimShelley said...

Thank you to everyone for the great comments!


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