At what point does one give up? Someone just asked me this. They’re frustrated for having tried for almost a decade to get regular work in the comic industry without much luck. This is a tough question to answer. I love the Galaxy Quest mantra “never give up, never surrender” but reality sets in at some point. I have perspective from both sides of this fence. As a publisher, we are VERY risk averse and it’s a nickel and dime business. You might think “well I’m cheap” but the corollary to that is you have no fan base and generate no sales. It’s a tricky situation. As a smaller publisher, we simply can’t afford to lose money on projects…ever. So the deck needs to be stacked in our favor a bit for us to do an outside project. We only do a couple a year and we’re likely to do those with people we already know and work with. It’s why I developed the Talent Hunt and are pursuing the Discovery crowdfunded imprint (both details to come in next week or so for new programs).
To answer the question, if it was me, I’d unfortunately say that if I spent a decade trying to break into comics and could not make money self-publishing nor could I get work from another publisher I’d go try something else. You may not be me and have more perseverance, but keep in mind that is your choice and if you get angry and indignant that just further minimizes your chances. I’ve seen this a lot lately, people upset over their Kickstarter or whatever crowdfunding not being successful and then they get angry over other ones that are successful that they deem less worthy. People complaining about who gets what jobs based on relationships or whatever.
Don’t get angry over other people’s success, just let it fuel you to be better. And always remember that no one owes you anything, you have to earn it By

Matt Hawkins from topcowofficial

We have all heard the ‘never give up’ mantra, but it is refreshing to hear both sides of the story.

Personally I try very hard to not fall into the trap of jealousy and expectations, and choose to throw my support behind those are trying to break in like me.  

I won’t do a Kickstarter any time soon as I do not believe the support would be there - not a criticism, just what my own data and research suggests.  One has to be realistic of what level they are at.  That way you can be realistic is reaching for the next level, and the next and the next.  You never stop.  From what I have read it never gets easier.  

I believe that people may also have to realise (as I did) that just because you poured your heart and soul into a project, others won’t give a crap.  Harsh, but true.  This is where having expectations comes in.  Produce your comic, get it out there and move on to the next.  Very rarely does anyone get picked up from one book.  Very rarely is that story your best work.  Write and write often.  That’s why I write monthly comics with nodicemike over at maninsuitcomics.  Each story I pick something else up about my writing.  Each story I improve.  And you know what - after two years of writing these 10-15 page comics, giving them away for free on my site and over at the Man In Suit Comics website, our comics are only now getting the kind of download that Mike and I can smile over.  

One thing recently I have been struggling with is feedback.  In order to improve my writing I need to get better - one of the ways I can do that is by listening to those who read my stuff.  However, feedback isn’t something that comes along very often.  This is just a fact - most people who read your comic are not creatively minded and just want to enjoy the story.  Or may not want to come off as giving negative feedback.  Or many other reasons.  Don’t rely on it - give yourself feedback.  Study your final product objectively - what can YOU see in your writing to make it better.

I write comics because I enjoy it.  I have goals and ideals, but no expectations.  I will continue to try and attain these goals.  If I reach them depends on many variables - the biggest one being whether I continue writing.  Can’t get a place in the race if I drop out half way through.

Just keep swimming.

These are just my thoughts.  I am nowhere near a working professional, but following this path has allowed me to accept my place in the comics world, and to struggle ahead no matter how many times I want to stop.  I could just be full of crap :)

DARE! The Original Radio Serial.

Episode 16.1 - 101 DAREmations

Well, I threatened it over and over again and you didn’t listen.  So here it is - an episode of the original DARE! radio serial from almost 10 years ago.

My friend Philip Wilson and I took turns in writing the episodes, with the series running for 3 years - before we got bored of it an ended it.

I always loved the characters and vowed to bring them back one day - which was done in the new DARE! comic (available to read for free over at ManInSuitComics.com).

I may post more…but I may not.  Some of the jokes are preeeeeeetty bad.  And not in the awesome way.

  • Track: Episode 16.1 - 101 DAREmations
  • Artist: Ben Rosenthal and Philip Wilson
  • Album: DARE! The Original Radio Serial
  • Plays: 41

I’ve just turned in the script to ‘Training Part 4’ to nodicemike.  

For those of you not in the know, Training is an ongoing 2 page back up story which appears in the back of every MISC comic (that I write).  

It follows the story of a young Jennifer and her life as an Alchemist - a type of sorcerer who has the ability to change the molecular structure of properties around her.

This story does tie in to one of our ongoing books.  I will not say which one, but there are clues in the first three parts which hint at where she belongs in the maninsuitcomics universe.  

You can read these comics for free over at ManInSuitComics.com (as well as all our other stories).