I am going to be straight up, blunt, honest, and forth-coming right at the top of this article. I am insanely sick and tired of seeing comic books being created as a form of hustle, or to attempt to launch some piece of an entertainment company. It seems to be happening more and more often, and if no one has realized it by now, it never works out. Why? Because a lot of people can launch a comic book for the first time on Kickstarter and get successful funding, giving that false sense of inflated ego on your product. However, what happens when you launch issue 2? If by some miracle you actually tapped into your niche market, or you actually have a truly great product, then there is no worry here. More often than not though, the drop-off in support can be pretty fierce. This is when a lot of start-ups quit comics. You know what? I am glad about that.
Now, let me explain. I never want to discourage anyone from doing something that they want to do. I do, however, caution anyone that wants to effectively make more than one comic book to care somewhat about the medium. This is not to say that anyone is going to dive into this field and knock it out of the park on their first try, because growth is a real thing. I do urge new creators to at least support indie and small press for a bit before launching projects, it will only strengthen your impact and understanding of the market. What’s more is that if you truly think creating and publishing a comic book is going to provide enough income to keep your hustle going, you are sorely mistaken. To survive in this field, you have to have a skin of steel, drive beyond measure, willingness to adapt, and a bit of business know-how.
One would think that someone using comics as a medium to begin an entertainment, or production, company would have at least a few of these skills. Instead, we encounter a lot of creators who throw a book together and assume the market is dumb enough to hand them over a blank check. It simply does not work that way, and you are cheapening the market by doing that. As a driven creator, I want you to know, that kind of mentality is exactly the reason why we have to keep letting shops and consumers know that just because it is “indie” or “small press” does not mean it is bad. There is a phrase that every indie comic book creator uses that although cliched, still rings true; a rising tide raises all ships. So, whether you are in a yacht, a battleship, or a little dingy, surround yourself with people who care, are driven, and make good books. Be open, stay humble, and make great content. As always, do better be better.