Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Commerical Business Vs. Art
I touched on this topic yesterday, but I felt like re-visiting and blathering about the business of comics versus the art of comics. I don't think this is a epic war or anything, but I have always appreciated art done for arts sake. I am a believer in the fact that when an artist/writer/musician sits down to make art, it comes out with an essence of truth when there is not much more than the art in mind. Don't get me wrong, I think most art must be done with a commercial value in mind, otherwise the starving artist will surely starve and not have any canvas/paper/computer to work on. I just find that more often than not, comics and comics for the big companies have a tinge of desperation to them. We are art, yet we must sell the big numbers...or else Micky Mouse or Bugs Bunny will come with an axe to chop off of heads.
It was a conversation with Matt Fraction on Word Balloon that got me thinking in such terms, and going to Fanexpo this summer, or that mixed with the fact that I have been thinking a lot about the business side of our comics. It is an inevitability that, in the end, it comes down to numbers. How many did we sell? Can we make another one? Did the people that bought our comics like them? How can we reach more of our target audience?
If you are an indie comic man like myself you have to worry about these things, even if you only just want to sit down behind a keyboard and type. Let me let you in on a secret, I have no idea what I am doing. Business? What is that? I'm a writer. Luckily enough I have some experience with the business side of things through my other job. Not a lot, but I have some idea in what works and how it works and why it works with certain aspects of business. On other aspects, such as advertising and reaching an audience, I am lost. People talk to me about analytics, market share and other realities, but I am just plug ahead anchored by stubborn juice and hope that somehow I can pull in a couple of eyes and ears and hopefully convince them to buy a comic that I've bled over a little (fresh blood on each issue!).
I'm hoping that Diamond will carry us. I'm hoping that retailers will like what they see and stock us. This is all dependent on whether our final product looks good or not, but I think it is shaping up to be one of the most exciting indie comics that I've ever seen (I am biased though).
I am always grateful when people talk the realities of comics to me. I have decided to produce a superhero comic in a market that has a million superhero comics that are done by professionals that I enjoy. What will make my comic stand out? My wonderful idea, my enthusiasm for my idea, German Ponce's fantastic artwork, and the fact that we are nice people that are trying to swim upstream with weights on our backs.
Sure my writing may seem a little stiff to start, but I loosened as I wrote. My idea-flow came on strong, and I finished with a bang. I know that. I know that my comics should sell more as the issues get taller. I know that German's art has been peaking. And now I need you to know...because this is all an advertisement so that when we are on shelves we can move numbers of our art that we believe in. And believe it or not, our art is awesome in ways that you don't even know yet.