Recently I was invited by Mr. Patrick Godfrey of Velocity Comics to sit on a panel to talk comics at an after 5 event at Gallery 5.
I really enjoyed it. Besides myself and Patrick, there was Mr. Rick (Teenagers from Mars) Spears and Mr. James (BARF) Callahan.
If I had to describe my take on the four of us, I would call Pat the golden voice (sultry tones!), Rick the WordSmith (he’s a writer!), James the funny/artsy one (cell phone ringing!), and myself the rambling idiot. Before we talked they had a swell band of the Ph Balance and then after we talked they had a robot drummer!
As one friend noted, the talk may have come off a little on the “downer” side. As in, the comic biz isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. Or, you won’t make a ton of money doing it. And while those statements are, or can be true, I thought I’d take this space to jot down a few thoughts on the evening and some “uppers” that might help balance out our comic karma.
– RVA. It was very cool to see some old friends and new faces on a Wednesday night in February. I consider Richmond a big/little city, and the amount of sequential/illustrative talent has always been amazing. This room was full of it.
– Create. If you’re curious about how to break into the biz… Just DO it. As in, just MAKE your comics. There’s no shortcut. Once you’re done, either print a few yourself, or get it online. Once you have something to show/give people, hit the shows. I’m fairly certain that is the formula that we’ve all been using.
– Digital. I guess that’s the buzzword for the industry currently. I can’t say I fully understand it, but we are participating to some extent. In my mind, the BIGGEST digital success story is Kate Beaton. She has built her empire one comic at a time online. And… she’s GOOD.
– Opportunities. Well, if money isn’t an achievable goal with a project, maybe just DOING the project is. For instance, a chance to work with one of your FAVORITE illustrators of all time? This was a dream come true. Sometimes, that’s all you need. Also, projects let you become friends with some amazing people.
– Luck. As odd as it may sound, being in the right place at the right time was the key to our most successful publishing run so far. We met James Jean at San Diego Comicon and just happened to be booth neighbors. He had seen Telstar and liked it, and we fell in love with his stuff.
I guess that’s about it for now. I hope there might be a few golden nuggets in there you might use. We were just given a few warm fuzzies this morning, so we hope this somehow does the same for you. Many thanks to G5, Patrick, Rick, Jim and to all who came out on Wednesday. Also, many thanks to all who have supported us so far. Excelsior, baby.