Photograph by Alvaro Cortes Ortiz Jr.
For the longest time we've understood that Marvel and DC Comics are the top dogs in terms of comic book sales and Image Comics is the third dog in that fight; but that's not the reality. The reality is that Scholastic is THE top dog in terms of domestic sales and VIZ is THE top dog in terms of international comic book sales. That is the reality and for the longest time, either news outlets or the creators themselves have lied to their fans or simply avoided addressing the situation and kept perpetuating the big lie, sort of like Trump and Republicans keep perpetuating the big lie that Trump actually won the election when every human being with more than two living brain cells know that Joe Biden won the election fair and square. OK, back to comics...
VIZ and Scholastic dominate comics sales, that's a fact, but I want to know why that is. I don't see many people asking this question yet I see many seeming to know the answers even though they haven't reached out to the source. So, for the sake of speculating from an indie creator's mindset; I'm going to give my two cents as to why VIZ and Scholastic are low key dominating the market.
I think the main reason why indie creators (myself included) will never reach an audience like VIZ or Scholastic is because we keep falling prey to the same "dog eat dog" mentality of making comics that hasn't worked for fifty years and won't ever work in any real way. If you go to a Scholastic booth at a major convention, book fair, etc. they have a plethora of titles for you to choose from, rarely is there one of the creators at the booth but they're all getting paid very well; hence you never read any drama coming from their camp. Same thing happens whenever you visit a VIZ booth at NYCC or any major Anime convention, countless Manga volumes, everyone getting paid and no drama coming from their camp. Now, go to an artists alley at any convention and what do you see (for the most part)? A bunch of small time creators trying to draw you in to their booth trying to sell you their book(s). Sometimes they'll even try to outshine or undercut their colleagues in order to make a sale (that has happened to me). In some cases, two creators might be paired up on a table and one tries to undercut his counterpart to make a sale (that has happened to me as well!). The result is always the same, you end up with barely any money in your pockets and even less allies to lean on when times are hard.
Now don't get me wrong, on some events you can see and feel a sense of comradery that rejuvenates that artistic spirit in you; but more often than not those are far less common. Regardless, comradery alone can't help indie creators in an economic way; not enough to make it sustainable. Why? Because by having thirty creators publishing books from their "imprints" and having them all in one small space fighting for the same clients we'll revert back to that same ol' "dog eat dog" mentality and nobody wins.
That is one of the reasons why Image Comics broke out of the pack and became a powerhouse, because rather than having Silvestri with Top Cow on his own, Jim Lee with Wildstorm on his own, Todd McFarlane with McFarlane Productions on his own; they created Image Comics as an umbrella that EVERYONE can look for as a common denominator of quality or something that they like and they all benefit from it. It's a symbiotic relationship that actually works! The Image founders have separate studios, but by being under one logo, fans can easily identify as "oh this is the studio that publishes Spawn, maybe I'll check this out", or "oh this is Image Comics, they publish Saga, and The Walking Dead, they got some great books". But if you're a fan trying to buy an indie comic and you see thirty different studios with people and properties you don't know, chances are you'll walk past them and buy a knockoff Deadpool print from one of those scumbag print jockeys you see at conventions.
I say all that to say this, in order to have more visibility not only at conventions but in the market share, we as indie creators need an umbrella imprint that we can all publish our books under and make it easier for fans to recognize our brand. Now that's easier said than done, but it has to be said in order to be achieved; so I'm speaking it into existence! If there were an imprint that would push the books to the masses, that would promote the books and let creators create, if said imprint and creators had a fair share of the revenue; I think it would be a game changer for everyone involved and it'd change the landscape of comics in a major way. I for one would be willing to join such a coalition of creators, but who will actually create that umbrella for us to fall under? Maybe I'll win the Powerball and make it happen, I guess we'll see...
THINK INDIE PODCAST EP. 2
Hang out with the @ThinkIndiePod team for a brand new episode sharing the love of ALL things #IndieComics and more! Join hosts:
@Dodgy86inthemix @truthfulcomics @reikiwithtracy @paulgomez790 as they discuss and review King Spawn #1, Gunslinger Spawn #1, The Scorched #1 and the Spawn Universe as a whole. What did they expect when it was announced? Did it meet their expectations? Did it surpassed them? Join in the conversation by leaving your comment on their YouTube channel.
Also, they also discuss and review two more indie titles: first is the fantastic web comic Those Who Sleep by Kelley Leanne Harris, the second title the cover is Megatomic Battle Rabbit by Stu Perrins and Israel Huertas. Those Who Sleep is available on Webtoons and Megatomic Battle Rabbit is published by Fair Spark Books.
You can find the episode HERE!
PRAYER VIGIL FOR UKRAINE
Tonight a group of random people from different Nationalities gathered together in support for the people of Ukraine. I have no friends or family in or from Ukraine and neither does my wife, but our hearts are breaking just the same because of what's happening to the people of Ukraine. Innocent people being hurt, killed even for no reason other than the ambition of a twisted man.
As a father, as a brother, as a son and as a Christian I stand in support of Ukraine, my wife and my family do as well. Earlier this week we sat down with our boys and explained the situation the people of Ukraine are having to deal with, how kids their age are having to flee their Country and why we must not only stand with them, but we must ALWAYS stand against tyranny. This was a night of prayer but know that we'll be supporting Ukraine with a lot more than prayer.
BUY INDIE COMICS DAY 22'
The most important day of the year for independent publishers like ours is back! On Saturday, October 1st, 2022 indie creators and fans Worldwide will join in unison, both in person and online as well; to celebrate independent comics and their creators.
Buy Indie Comics Day was created so that independent comic book, zines, mini-comics, graphic novels and comics strip creators around the World could synergize on a single day designed exclusively to celebrate their work.
It is our hope that all comic book retailers across the Globe will take this as an opportunity to stock up on indie comics, that consumers will take a chance on new titles and creators they've probably never heard of and that creators have an event created specifically to showcase their work to a much larger audience than a normal comic book convention ever could.
If you're a comic book shop owner/manager or if you're an indie comics creator and you're wondering how you can be a part of this global event, here are some easy to follow graphics that show what you can do on such a glorious occasion as Buy Indie Comics Day! The guys over at Buy Indie Comics Day want this year top be their biggest ever and we feel it might just be if we all join forces and start early, hence us pushing it in February!
THE SUNDER KATZ EP.13
On this episode "The Katz" explore the range of comics from Albatross Funnybooks! And why you should check out their amazing books. Their range of titles can be found in your Local Comic Book Store, Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=albatross+... Their trades & graphic novels can be found in Good Book Stores and also check out their official website: https://shop.albatrossfunnybooks.com/ Thanks for listening / watching!
The Sunder Katz is hosted by: Dodgy: @Dodgy86inthemix / @tyda1wave / @ComicCrusaders Manny: @truthfulcomics / truthfulcomics.com / theartofmanuelcarmona.com
Paul G: @paulgomez790
Make sure to Like/Share/Subscribe if you haven’t yet. https://www.youtube.com/c/comiccrusad… Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/comiccrusaders Visit the official Comic Crusaders Comics Shop! Get all your new comics by going to comiccrusaders.shop
Visit the OFFICIAL CC Swag Shop at: comiccrusaders.us
Watch Ep.13 of The Sunder Katz HERE!
PROJECT: NEW WAVE #3 IS HERE!!!
Today, after months waiting for them; my copies of Project: New Wave # 3 finally arrived! I could tell they rushed them to me because they were sent via USPS Priority Mail which they never do, which tells me they took the books hot of the press and sent them immediately to me.
There had been a communication problem between PayPal and Kablam and they didn't received notification that I had paid the full amount back in December 2021, so I kept waiting for my books and they kept waiting for a notification from PayPal; and this went on for more than a month! Thankfully I got my books today and they look fantastic! As soon as the books are available for purchase through indyplanet.com I'll inform all of you so stay tuned.
First was how the organizers handled everything. On point, not stressing the vendors OR the fans, always checking on the vendors to see if they needed anything; gave clear instructions on what to do and everything went smooth as a result. The Smartmouth Brewing Company's staff was also on point, going around making sure there wasn't any trash laying around like half empty glasses of beer for example, and they were very courteous; even though I'm sure it must've been stressful to have a couple hundred people at any particular moment in a location that usually hosts a dozen or so clients at a time. They deserve some praise as well as the organizers who kicked it out of the park. Noice 2022 is amongst the best events I've been a part of. Great job guys!
The attendance was exceeded what I expected and more importantly, they weren't there because they wanted to showoff their newest Cosplay or because they wanted an autograph from their favorite actor; they were there because they loved comic books! Granted, the location was perfect in the sense that it was spacious enough for people to look around without bumping into one another, the vendors had plenty of space to put their things, everything was well organized and they sold booze, yet nobody got drunk or belligerent; everyone had a great time from what I saw and heard from other vendors.
For me specifically, it went great! Made a bunch of sales, made some great contacts, had a chance to chat with some amazing creators and colleagues, finally met a few creators I only knew from social media and interacted with the fans after such a long time; this was truly a great event for me. Some people came to our table and told me "I follow you on Instagram and wanted to buy your book in person and have you sign it", others said "I follow you on Instagram and saw that you were here so I wanted to meet you"; it felt great to know that there are people who really love your work and are interested in what we do; it makes the long hours behind a drawing board and a computer worthwhile.
Sometimes as creators we feel like we're just talking to ourselves on the internet because maybe we don't get a bunch of interactions, we don't get a thousand Likes or comments but what days like yesterday tell me is that there are people looking at what we do and are genuinely interested in our work; so we must keep on doing what we love and trust that your fans will show up like they did for me at NOICE.
I have to say, I was a bit hesitant about my decision to print Project: New Wave No.3 as a Mini-Comic although I loved how they turned out, but after seeing the fans reactions and even casual people who stopped by our table out of curiosity; I know I made the right choice! So, I'll be changing the format of my comics to Mini-Comics size and they'll be printed on newsprint paper like in the old days; if I'm going to stay indie then I'm not going to contrive our product to the rules of mainstream comics. We'll pave our own way and whatever happens, happens.
I'd like to give a huge shoutout to my table mate Miguel Dominado for not only being extremely professional in his approach, but also for being a genuinely good person, being aware of the fact that I was handicapped since I couldn't use my left arm, making sure I wasn't having anxiety or was in too much pain; that means a lot and I'll never forget that. I'll share a table with you anytime my friend! I also want to send a huge shoutout to the amazing @yokaniii @saberdog.art @micah_myers and @lionbyrd for showing love and being awesome, you made the day even better for me by just showing up; it meant a lot. So what can I say, amazing show and I can't wait for NOICE 2023!
My Thoughts & Ramblings