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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Cartoonists, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 572
1. Preview: Glenn Head’s Chicago

Cartoonist Glenn Head is a comics lifer, with a sensibility filtered through the undergrounds and decanted into the best of 90s alternatives. And how he's crafted a autobiographical comic called Chicago (Fantagraphics) that should be called "portrait of the artist as a young jerk" -- with Jerk meant in the most loving sense possible. It's quite a statement from a creator who hasn't gotten the attention he should in today's comics-loving wold. But Chicago, on sale today, will change that. And here's why.

0 Comments on Preview: Glenn Head’s Chicago as of 9/2/2015 2:33:00 PM
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2. Interview: Ben Hatke meditates on friendship in newest graphic novel, Little Robot

Renowned for his wonderful children’s series, Zita the Space Girl and last year’s Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, Ben Hatke is one of the leading talents in young person’s graphic literature. His latest effort, Little Robot, which releases in stores today, tells the tale of a young girl who discovers a robot in the woods. […]

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3. Interview: Paul Johnson on “Mercy,” “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight,” and “The Invisibles”

by Alex Dueben Paul Johnson worked in comics for a relatively short time, but during those years, the British artist and painter worked with some of the most talented writers in comics. His collaborators included Neil Gaiman (Books of Magic), James Robinson (London’s Dark, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight), Grant Morrison (The Invisibles), Steve […]

2 Comments on Interview: Paul Johnson on “Mercy,” “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight,” and “The Invisibles”, last added: 9/2/2015
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4. Talking Homage, Adapting from Nothing, and Atmosphere with ‘Over The Garden Wall’ creator Pat McHale

The Beat chats with Pat McHale, creator of the Cartoon Network miniseries "Over The Garden Wall" and writer of the 4-issue limited series at BOOM.

1 Comments on Talking Homage, Adapting from Nothing, and Atmosphere with ‘Over The Garden Wall’ creator Pat McHale, last added: 9/1/2015
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5. Dylan Horrocks announces first US tour in ten years

It’s a little late since the book came out earlier this year, but an appearance by Dylan Horrocks in the US is always welcome. In fact, it’s been more than 10 years since he came to the US and 15 since Hicksville was the toast of SPX. Fantagraphics has just announced a tour for Sam […]

2 Comments on Dylan Horrocks announces first US tour in ten years, last added: 8/26/2015
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6. Nice Art: Adrian Tomine’s New Yorker cover gallery a snapshot of gentrification

Adrian Tomine, whose collection Killing and Dying is what everyone is going to be talking about this fall, has the cover of this week's New Yorker and it's s typically note perfect image of gentrification in the face of raw sewage, otherwise known as Life In These Here Five Burroughs. The above link has a gallery of Tomine's other covers and they are all equally perfect, although I'm particularly partial to the one about moving to Jersey. Others love this updated "Shop round the Corner" image from 2008.

1 Comments on Nice Art: Adrian Tomine’s New Yorker cover gallery a snapshot of gentrification, last added: 8/28/2015
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7. Help wanted: Steve Rude seeks colorist

Legendary artist Steve Rude has an open submission form on his website for a colorist to color new Nexus and Moth stories.

0 Comments on Help wanted: Steve Rude seeks colorist as of 8/21/2015 8:42:00 PM
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8. Artist Roc Upchurch talks about his life following domestic violence arrest

A year ago Rat Queens artist Roc Unchurch was arrested on a domestic violence charge, resulting in his leaving the book. (Tess Fowler is now the artist.) Of course, professional concerns are only part of the story of such a personal matter, and now Unchurch has given a frank and open interview to Casey Gilley regarding what happened and where he is now. The arrest has been expunged from his record and he's trying to get things together.

1 Comments on Artist Roc Upchurch talks about his life following domestic violence arrest, last added: 8/21/2015
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9. NYCC ’15: Bryan Cranston, Game of Thrones Stars, and “Two Brothers” authors Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon Announced as Guests

So Walter White; Loras Tyrell; and Obara Sand, daughter of Oberyn Martell, walk into a bar.  The bartender asks, “who do you fight for?” ReedPOP just announced a bunch of new guests for New York Comic Con 2015.  On the filmed media front, fans will get to lovingly gaze upon Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, Marvel writer […]

1 Comments on NYCC ’15: Bryan Cranston, Game of Thrones Stars, and “Two Brothers” authors Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon Announced as Guests, last added: 8/20/2015
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10. Webcomics alert: Cartoonist’s Diary is back with Steinke and Ayuyang

day1.jpg One of my favorite features at The Comics Journal website is their Cartoonist's Diary feature which has been appearing intermittently over the last few years,. Now it's back two weeks in a row! Last week it was Aron Nels Steinke, author of the recent GN The Zoo Box with his wife Ariel Cohn. His diary reveals details of a family vacation including car trips and cleaning roof gutters.

0 Comments on Webcomics alert: Cartoonist’s Diary is back with Steinke and Ayuyang as of 1/1/1900
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11. Making comics: Do you need to go to cons and live in NYC or LA to break in?

Short answer: no. Faith Erin Hicks has a far more informative and entertaining longer version, which includes anecdotes and concrete evidence of how she broke in while living in relatively remote, Halifax, NS. A few years ago I was at a dinner with a bunch of people I knew casually. They all worked in the […]

1 Comments on Making comics: Do you need to go to cons and live in NYC or LA to break in?, last added: 8/17/2015
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12. MATT CHATS: Thomas Boatwright on Puppets, Patreon and a Transition from Comics

Rarely do I get to learn the story of people who have moved away from the comics industry. Artist and creator Thomas Boatwright is an interesting example of someone who did the comics thing for awhile but eventually, initially not entirely by choice, moved on to other ventures. As a fan of his comics I’ve been […]

0 Comments on MATT CHATS: Thomas Boatwright on Puppets, Patreon and a Transition from Comics as of 8/4/2015 7:33:00 PM
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13. Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto is finally leaving his house—and has two signings for NYCC

Masashi Kishimoto, creator of the 205,000,000 copies in print Naruto comic, will be making an extremely rare appearance at this year's New York Comic Con with two special signings—one at Books Kinokuniya and one at the Tribeca outpost of Barnes and Noble. It's not only Kishimoto-sensei's first appearance in the US, it's also his first con appearance ever. And probably one of the few times he's left his house during the 18-year run of the international smash hit. We're kidding a little about the leaving the house bit, but as we've mentioned here many times in the past, manga creators can lead a pretty monastic lifestyle, even with the help of assistants. Since Naruto ended last year, he's been busy with various manga about Boruto, Naruto's son, and also writing the Naruto movie, but hopefully he's been enjoying some time off.

0 Comments on Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto is finally leaving his house—and has two signings for NYCC as of 8/4/2015 7:33:00 PM
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14. Harvery Pekar Park dedicated today with fest, installation in Cleveland

Cleveland is getting a park dedicated to its comics laureate, Harvey Pekar, whose long running American Splendor comic captured the quotidian lives of Clevelanders. The celebration will run all afternoon with music and a screening of the film American Splendor (for my money the best comic book movie of all.) The afternoon will see a […]

1 Comments on Harvery Pekar Park dedicated today with fest, installation in Cleveland, last added: 7/26/2015
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15. Matt Fraction speaks on collaborators and credit

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Can NO ONE get this “credit” thing right? A few days ago we noted artist Chip Zdarsky standing up for Matt Fraction, writing of Sex Criminals, after only Zdarsky was mentioned on the Harvey Awards ballot. Now an io9 article entitled 6 Reasons Why Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye Is One of Marvel’s Greatest Comics touched off another round of what we were talking about yesterday , with artists being left off the “ownership” of comics with increasing frequency.

And predictably, Fraction responded, expanded the list of key collaborators to the editors, colorists and letterers who make it all possible:

The comics I write rely on collaboration and most especially my collaborators. I write projects specifically for the people that draw them – and oftentimes color and letter them, too.

Without David Aja there would be no HAWKEYE.

Without Annie Wu, Kate would not have gone west. Without Matt Hollingsworth, Lucky would not have solved a crime. Without Chris the Winter Friends wouldn’t exist and nobody would’ve said anything in any of the books anyway. Without Steve Wacker there would be no book at all.

Without Chom Zduggitty there is no SEX CRIMINALS.


More in the link, but there is something in the air for sure.

Just for the record, the Beat policy is to credit writer AND artists whenever a book’s creators are mentioned. We don’t achieve 100% success on that because of lapses duw to time and concentration, but they are lapses, not policy, and if we lapse, feel free to point it out.

4 Comments on Matt Fraction speaks on collaborators and credit, last added: 7/24/2015
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16. Does anyone care about the artists on comics any more?

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Art by Jillian Tamaki. Story by Mariko Tamaki, from This One Summer

Yesterday’s retailer poll results, as revealed at Sktchd, made for fascinating reading, but at least one statistic—only 4.8% of retailers order a book based on the artist—got familiar questions being raised about why artists seem to get the short end of the stick so much in today’s comics industry. Declan Shalvey, currently of Injection, written by Warren Ellis, kicked some things off with a tweet and you can check his twitter feed for more conversation on the topic.

The decline of the artist has been getting a lot of play on the twitterverse of late, with Steve Morris also showing a watchful eye for it, even checking interviews to make sure they credit the artist.

Which to be fair, many times they do not.

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Art by Ivan Reis.

The entire “decline of the artist” phenomena has been discussed many times, sometimes at this very blog, and even by Sktchd’s Harper in the past. As I’ve said before, the decline of prestige for comics artists seems especially counterintuitive in an era which is so visually driven by Tumblr, Pinterest and the like. And given the past dominance of artists from Neal Adams on, it seems even odder. The beauty of the comics image has never been more prominent. But the makers of those images aren’t always given the credit they deserve. I have a few more thoughts, which I’ve expressed before but let me throw ’em out there again.

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Art by David Aja.

There’s a LOT of emphasis on cartoonists these days, the Rainas and Piskors who offer a tightly focused worldview and esthetic. And aside from the VERY rare Tamaki/Tamaki, Morrison/Quitely, Lee/Kirby teams, collaborative comics rarely offer that. I think if you were to ask graphic novel readers they might value the artist more, but might prefer the “creator” category.

Also, as we’ve all been saying, the Big Two, especially have been dead set on promoting the Editor-driven era of comics, and even the finest artists have been cogs in an ever grinding machine. Marvel had a few breakouts along the way, mostly on Hawkeye and Daredevil, but DC’s relentless parade of Jim Lee clones during the New 52 era reduced the role of the artist to interchangeable drone. And as fine an artist as Ivan Reis is, he’s no mold-breaking stylist.

The good news is, the Nü DCYou seems to have thrown house style out the window and allowed more idiosyncratic things to creep in. The bad news is Marvel’s new universe is starting to look as blandly homogenized as the New 52. Always a pendulum, this must be.

What do YOU think? Some wondered if casual readers would reflect the same ratios as retailers. With David Harper’s permission, I’ve recreated his questiosn in an open, public poll which will stay open for two days so hop to it! And as a final plug. Sktchd has a followup podcast with Patrick Brower, owner of Challengers in Chicago which I’m sure is worth a listen.

<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/8992024/”>What’s the most important reason for you to buy a comic?</a>
<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/8992024/”>What’s the most important reason for you to buy a comic?</a>

16 Comments on Does anyone care about the artists on comics any more?, last added: 7/22/2015
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17. New Black Lightning Archive: DC, Tony Isabella Reconcile

Black Lightning 4“Dogs and cats, living together!” – that’s what immediately popped into my mind yesterday when I read Tony Isabella praising DC on Facebook for how it was treating him in regard to Black Lightning.I’ve never seen the original contract between DC and Isabella in regard to Black Lightning so I have nothing to say of substance in regard to the property’s legal status, but as anyone who has followed Tony’s online writing over the years can tell you, Isabella’s statements about DC’s treatment of him and his landmark creation have not exactly been complimentary. That changed, however, yesterday, when Isabella called attention to an Amazon listing of the April 2016 release of Black Lightning, volume 1, the first of what could be a series of collections featuring DC’s first African-American superhero to star in an an eponymous book.

According to Isabella, the rapprochement is the result of outreach by Dan Didio and Geoff Johns, and Isabella is confident that DC will treat him fairly in regard to the payment of royalties. He also raised the possibility of doing more work for DC given sufficient reader demand; the prospect of Isabella working with, say, the creators of the revived Milestone line on a multi-generational crossover is particularly intriguing, given certain thematic resonances with Milestone’s nuanced reflections on creative identity.

To say that Isabella’s announcement is the most unexpected Facebook post of the year is an understatement — it’s one of the most dramatic turnarounds I’ve seen in decades of reading about comics-related disputes, and kudos to all involved for bringing about what I hope will be a truly lasting peace in our time.

3 Comments on New Black Lightning Archive: DC, Tony Isabella Reconcile, last added: 7/25/2015
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18. PREVIEW: Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isles

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What better way to celebrate the Beat’s 11th anniversary than with a preview of one of our all time favorite comics, Corto Maltese by Hugo Pratt, now being reprinted in lovely English language editions from IDW and Dean Mullaney’s Euro comix imprint. This volume goes on sales today and follow’s Corto’s ravishingly romantic and lushly inked adventures in South America from the Mosquito Coast to Barbados to a deadly struggle among Jivaro head-hunters in the Peruvian Amazon.

Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isle
Hugo Pratt (w & a & c)
The second of twelve volumes presenting the definitive English-language edition of Hugo Pratt’s masterpiece in the original oversized B&W format!
TPB • BW • $29.99 • 120 pages • 9.25” x 11.75”  • ISBN: 978-1-63140-317-0

 

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0 Comments on PREVIEW: Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isles as of 7/3/2015 12:26:00 PM
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19. Being a cartoonist by the numbers…and the numbers are ugly

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A page of Brian Churilla’s art for Big Trouble in Little China #10.

 

Being in comics is great, it’s a golden era, new readers, yadda yadda. But this golden era is mostly the product of people slaving away at drawing boards and computers for long hours and a meagre living. And now here are some numbers to prove it. David Harper, formerly of Multiversity, has just launched his own site, called Sktchd and he’s continuing the valuable longform pieces that were the best part of the old site. Recently he sent out a survey for artists to explain who they are and what they do and 186 of them responded. You’ll want to read the whole thing as it has some metrics on gender, income, publishers and much more. (David lives in Alaska and they have free time there, I guess.) Broken down with a ton of charts and graphs it’s a non-statistically valid snapshot, but the numbers are sobering. Let’s just get to the bottom line here., since that’s what you came for.

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Forget getting rich though. Can artists even make enough to get by off their art? Mostly, the answer is no, they can’t. Almost 60 percent of artists who responded shared they can’t make a living off their work. What that means is many artists live interesting double lives. While many mentioned that they did freelance illustration, animation, advertising work, storyboards or other art related jobs to supplement their income, there were others who worked in factories, as bartenders, or even in one special case, lived off earnings as a figure drawing model and a tarot card reader.

Others bring in income from alternative sources, including working in a shared income household with a spouse and leveraging Patreon and other crowd-sourcing outfits to help them get by. Artists may not be making the big bucks, but they are a resilient and resourceful group.

There’s much more to chew on, including satisfaction with publishers, with DC?Vertigo getting high marks and Boom and Dynamite getting low marks, formats, art methods and so much more. Like I said read the whole thing, quote it, make it a part of your life.

In a subsequent post, Harper goes even further into the maw of the cyclone and breaks things down by gender. And it looks bad.

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While this seems to make the case that cis men are generally paid more for comics than non cis males, Harper points out that more women, trans and non-binary creators just started their careers, and more work outside the relatively lucrative field of monthly floppies:

When you take the data for the comics creators work on and cross-reference it with the variables based around money, that’s when you see an additional correlation. More than half of floppy artists make enough money for that to be their only job. It’s the only format where that is the case, with over 80 percent of webcomic creators being unable to make a living off their work. Additionally, the majority of graphic novel and webcomic artists who responded make less than $12,000 a year off their work, and as a whole make less money than those who work on floppy comics.

As shown above, while men work more frequently in floppies, women, trans*, non-binary and agender artists most often work in graphic novels and webcomics, per the survey. Because of that additional correlation, the question becomes a chicken and the egg one: were the non cis male artists who responded more poorly compensated because of their gender or because of the format they work in?

Or perhaps because most floppy decision makers are cis males?

Lest ye despair at all this, it’s worth pointing out that the fast growing field of kids and YA graphic novels is dominated by women—and there are a few trans creators doing well there too. This is far from being a universal money spout, but it’s an alternative.

I’ve written here a few times about how page rates in comics have not gone up except for the tippity top guys, and a few other recent posts have driven that home. Janelle Asselin recently pointed out that today’s page rates are about where they were in a 1978 creators bill of rights. Thats unadjusted for inflation.

Adjusted for inflation, those rates today would be:
Artists: $1080
Writers: $360
Letterers: $144
Colorists: $252

It’s not an overstatement to say that these rates, adjusted for inflation, dwarf most creators’ rates today. There are maybe a few very, very top level creators who make similar or higher rates, but primarily only writers and artists working at top-tier publishers. In fact, there are a lot of creators in comics today who don’t even make as much as the 1978 rates quoted without adjusting for inflation. And there are a lot of creators in comics who can’t afford to make comics full time because they don’t make enough doing so.

At Special Edition a few days ago, Alex De Campi put together some numbers on page rates:

WFH/PAGE MAINSTREAM INDIE
Script $80-100 $25-50
Covers $600-700 $200-500
Line art $200-300 $100-250
Colour art $120-150 $35-100
Letters $20-25 $10-20

These rates are, shockingly, about where they were when I edited comics 15 years ago. The 1978 document called for a lettering rate of $40 a page, so there one thing that has become significantly devalued with time.

Finally, here’s another much linked to piece, from artist Brian Churilla, creator of Hellbreak and The Secret History of DB Cooper and currently Boom’s Big Trouble in Little China comic. Sounds like a guy who works steadily and makes a living at it, right? Not so fast. Basically Churilla backs up Harpers stats on living well below a “middle class” level, as if that even existed any more. Even more dismal is his time breakdown:

So. Here’s the schedule I keep:
7:00am – Wake up, feed the kids and get them ready for school.
8:30 – Take the kids to school
9:00-9:30am – Start work
12:30pm Pick up kid #1
3:30pm: Pick up kid #2
4:00-9:00pm – Family time.
9:00pm-3:00am Work
3:00am Sleep.
Yep. That’s four hours of sleep per day, best-case scenario. Weekends too. Due to the sleep deprivation, I feel like absolute garbage all the time. Depression, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, weight gain, compromised cognitive abilities, even hallucinations – I suffer from all of these.

40% of the artists in Harper’s survey report not even taking a day off a week. Not quite as awful as that manga-ka schedule we posted a few years ago where the poor guy had a total of three hours free time a week. But not that much better.

What does this all mean? I’m writing this on my own five-hours-of-sleep-a-night schedule, so I’m probably too brain befogged to figure it out. Clearly a lot of the success of some publishers is predicated on paying low rates; we all know that even if we don’t like saying it aloud. And younger creators seem willing to takes these rates in hopes of graduating to the comics 6% that makes a wage that allows for things like insurance, vacations and saving for retirement. I know that the happy face of the convention or small press show often masks a fraught life of financial stress.

Some of this is tied up in the increasing feudalism of society, with the few at the top becoming patrons for the peons slaving away at their Manga Studio or the local Wal-Mart. It’s harder to make a living at ANYTHING creative now. But comics have a low level economy to begin with.

I think a lot of people are going to drop out over the next few years, if you define dropping out as not trying to make a living at comics, while maybe making the occasional tumblr post. As comics become an accepted outlet of individual self-expression, it’s a lot like being in a band. You do it for a while while you’re young, but eventually you quit to concentrate on the kids and the mortgage. And that’s okay, because it’s the game of life.

But in the larger picture, an industry where an artist makes 33% of what the living wage was 37 years ago, maybe isn’t the healthiest place to be. And that’s something we all need to do something about.

15 Comments on Being a cartoonist by the numbers…and the numbers are ugly, last added: 6/18/2015
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20. Hold on, some people are actually making money at comics!

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After yesterday’s gloom parade over the economics of comics, and the small number of people who seem to be making a good wage from making them, writer Kieron Gillen delivered another set of metrics that was far more cheerful. He wrote it in response to a website’s concern trolling over sales of The Wicked + The Divine—a much loved series which Gillen writes and Image publishes—falling to the dangerous level of 22,519 copies, a level so low that the writer wondered if this was the end of the book…before admitting that it probably wasn’t.

As Gillen points out, numbers for a creator owned Image book are a lot different than for a Marvel or DC book, where such a number would be in the danger zone. Actually, that number would indicate that Gillen and his collaborator Jamie McKelvie could possibly buy me a beer at some point.

I’ll give you some really basic rule of thumbs for indie comic commentary:

Anything selling stably over 10k in single issues is a cause for celebration and joy. The creators are almost certainly extremely happy.

If you’re selling over (ooh) 12k, you’re probably making more than either of the big two would pay you, unless you’re one of the very biggest names.

If you’re selling anything near 20k, you probably have to buy drinks for your friends.

And in a real way, if Phonogram settled around 6k back in 2006, I suspect Jamie and I would have settled into doing it for another 40 or 50 issues.

There’s all manner of exceptions to the above, but if you look at the charts and bear that in mind, you’ll be closer to how the industry looks at those numbers.

None of the above includes digital sales.


As he goes on to enumerate, if you’re not including sales of TRADE PAPERBACK COLLECTIONS in the indie equation you are missing a huge income source:

None of the above include trades. You throw trades in, and you change everything entirely. A cursory look at hit indie comic numbers reveals that their trades sell much more than Marvel/DC main universe trades, with a few exceptions (There’s a reason why Matt and David’s Hawkeye was such a big thing, and it wasn’t its monthly sales). Let’s bold another sentence.

You cannot do an industry commentary column on indie books without including  the impact of trades.


Jim Zub wrote a lot about all this a while ago, and updated it with numbers similar to Gillen’s. At the breakeven-ish point for an Image comics (let’s say ~5000 copes) the creative team gets 25% of the profits, which on a $3.99 would be about a buck, the ballpark I’ve often heard for Image books. it’s only that, a ballpark, but it does give you some idea. A book selling $10k a month is making money.

And how many Image books are selling that? Well, ICv2’s numbers just came out so let’s take a look!

WALKING DEAD #141 (MR) $2.99 IMA    68,931
SAGA #28 (MR) $2.99 IMA    55,239
INJECTION #1 (MR) $2.99 IMA    41,648
WYTCHES #6 (MR) $3.99 IMA    34,259
DESCENDER #3 (MR) $2.99 IMA    29,717
MYTHIC #1 [*] $1.99 IMA    29,361
OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #9 (MR) $2.99 IMA    28,961
CHRONONAUTS #3 (MR) $3.50 IMA    26,605
JUPITERS CIRCLE #2 (MR) $3.50 IMA    24,499
EAST OF WEST #19 $3.50 IMA    22,482
FADE OUT #6 (MR) $3.50 IMA    20,678
WICKED & DIVINE #10 (MR) $3.50 IMA    20,562
SONS OF THE DEVIL #1 (MR) [*] $2.99 IMA    19,392
BLACK SCIENCE #14 (MR) $3.50 IMA    17,090
KAPTARA #2 $3.50 IMA    16,635
SPAWN #252 (MR) $2.99 IMA    15,904
TREES #9 (MR) $2.99 IMA    15,821
RUNLOVEKILL #2 (MR) $2.99 IMA    15,669
SAVIOR #2 $2.99 IMA    13,625
INVINCIBLE #120 $2.99 IMA    13,191
MANTLE #1 (MR) $3.99 IMA    13,076
BIRTHRIGHT #7 $2.99 IMA    12,561
ODYC #5 (MR) $3.99 IMA    12,557
DEADLY CLASS #13 (MR) $3.50 IMA    12,299
MATERIAL #1 (MR) $3.50 IMA    11,708
NAILBITER #12 (MR) $2.99 IMA    10,688
VALHALLA MAD #1 $3.50 IMA      9,952

Answer: 27. Okay now you know who can buy you a drink!

On a more serious note, most of the books in the above list sell for $2.99 or $3.50, so there is less to split between writer and artist, letters, colorists and designers have to be paid, etc etc. And also, the ICV2 estimates are just that…estimates, and consistently about 10% low, although there can be other discrepancies, so you shouldn’t take any of these numebrs as gospel, especially the trade sales—total sales are VERY different from the ICv2 numbers, which don’t take bookstores, some online sales, digital, library, book fair or many other numbers into account.

And were still not talking an insane amount of money. Let’s say a book sells 10,000 copies and makes $7500 for the creators. That’s $90,000 a year to be split among the team, so you need another income course for a vacation or retirement.

But still, you CAN make money making comics!!! I suppose I shouldn’t encourage people after yesterday’s dismal reality check; but I think my being in a band analogy stands. It’s better to have made comics or music than never to have tried at all. Most people in every creative endeavor are never going to reach the highest highs, and comics are no exception.

What is concerning is, as I’ve often pointed out, the comics bottom line is a lot lower than in other vocations. There was a pretty lively Twitter conversation yesterday about my piece and especially David Harper’s survey; I’m not sure I have the storify skills to capture it but it came down to people accepting low rates because they are so eager to get into comics and undercutting other creators.

And also, there’s a fairly narrow window in which to make decent money when you do get there. Scott Snyder may make more from Wytches than he does from Batman, but Image is only one publisher, and as hot as they are, they can’t publish everything. (Although we’ll see after this year’s Image Expo.) Image is the best game in town but it has finite resources. Marvel and DC offer good page rates—although Marvel lowered theirs for all but their top creators last year—but the competition is fierce, the politics are daunting and getting established takes a lot of hard work.

Nobody promised you fame and fortune when you got out of cartooning school, but you should have some path forward that doesn’t involve only three publishers or sleeping three hours a night.We need more options, more competition among publishers, and more safety for creators to make decisions that improve their page rates.

How?

More on that later but in the meantime, what do YOU think?

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21. SDCC ’15: Cartoon Network and Adult Swim announce panel line-up

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For the past number of years that I’ve attended SDCC, the fine folks at Cartoon Network and their brand Adult Swim have put on some rather enjoyable programming for the show. Most notably, I’ve greatly enjoyed the Children’s Hospital panels that were held in previous years, and the 2015 iteration of their lineup looks to be a good deal of fun with back-to-back panels for series like Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, Adventure Time, and Steven Universe along with some screening opportunities.

One million years Dungeon!!

FRIDAY, JULY 10

Cartoon Network presents a back-to-back Fandemonium Panel Extravaganza featuring Regular Show & Uncle Grandpa followed by Adventure Time & Steven Universe. Both panels are hosted by Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live) the voice of Panda on Cartoon Network’s upcoming animated series We Bare Bears.

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: REGULAR SHOW & UNCLE GRANDPA

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Hilton Bayfront – Indigo Ballroom

You love us!  You really love us!  But guess what….we love you too!!!  Cartoon Network has the best fans in the world, which is why we’re hosting the most FAN-tastic, FAN-centric, FAN…uhhh…MAZING panels SDCC has ever seen!  Join cast and crew of hit shows Regular Show and Uncle Grandpa as we celebrate YOU with major announcements, first looks, contests, and special appearances.  The panel features Regular Showsuperstars JG Quintel (Creator, Voice of Mordecai), William Salyers (Voice of Rigby), Sean Szeles (Supervising Producer), and Sam Marin (Voice of Benson, Pops, Muscle Man), alongside Uncle Grandpa mega-talents Pete Browngardt (Creator, Voice of Uncle Grandpa), Eric Bauza (Voice of Bellybag), and Kevin Michael Richardson (Voice of Mr. Gus). 

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: ADVENTURE TIME & STEVEN UNIVERSE

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Hilton Bayfront – Indigo Ballroom

Comic Con is the ultimate destination for amazing fans in Finn hats and crystal gem bellybuttons, which is why Cartoon Network is celebrating YOU in a one-of-a-kind Fandemonium celebration!  We’ve got BIG NEWS you’ll want to hear first, behind-the-scenes access, and special musical performances by the cast and crew from hit shows Adventure Time and Steven Universe!  The panel features Adventure Time legends of OooJeremy Shada (Voice of Finn), John DiMaggio (Voice of Jake), Olivia Olson (Voice of Marceline), and Adam Muto (Co-Executive Producer), alongside Steven Universe gems Rebecca Sugar (Creator), Zach Callison (Voice of Steven), Estelle (Voice of Garnet), and Ian Jones-Quartey(Supervising Director).

 

CARTOON NETWORK SCREENINGS

THURSDAY, JULY 9

 

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: ADVENTURE TIME ROYAL BALL

8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Room 7AB

It’s the 2nd annual Adventure Time Royal Ball!  Last year Cartoon Network filled a ballroom with the most righteous of warriors and the fairest in all the Land of Ooo, and this year we are returning with more fan-favorites, another first-look Adventure Time episode, and a very special world premiere screening of the newest Cartoon Network hit series We Bare Bears!  Don’t forget to dress up in your most inspired outfit for the royal procession and your chance to win righteous prizes! Now come one, come all (until we reach capacity!) for a night of mathematical magic!

FRIDAY, JULY 10

CARTOON NETWORK PRESENTS: CLARENCE & FRIENDS PAJAMA PARTY

8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Room 7AB

Clarence throws the best parties and you’re invited!  We ran out of pizza poppers, but we’re making up for it with Spencer Rothbell (Head of Story and Voice of Clarence), awesome episodes of your favorite Cartoon Network shows and super cool pwizes!  But hey, hey, guess what, there’s more!  Clarence invited his new friends Grizz, Panda, and Ice Bear, and they’re going to show an episode of their brand new show, We Bare Bears, for everyone to see for the very first time!  HOW COOL IS THAT?!  So put on your favorite pajamas and maaayyyybe you’ll get a swing at our myyystewy piñata!

CARTOON NETWORK SIGNINGS

FRIDAY, JULY 10

 

2:00 p.m.               Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa & Clarence

                                Autograph Alley (AA04)

                                                                                               

4:00 p.m.               Adventure Time & Steven Universe

                                Autograph Alley (AA04)

 

SATURDAY, JULY 11

 

1:00 p.m.               We Bare Bears

                                Cartoon Network Booth #3735

 

 

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22. SPX announces first guests: Kate Beaton, Luke Pearson and Noelle Stevenson

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Millennial comics superstars Kate Beaton, Luke Pearson and Noelle Stevenson have just been announced as the first guests at this year’s SPX which will spotlight creators who have only worked in the 21st Century. So get ready to write either your 6000-word think piece or your series of tweets on what this all means.

This year’s SPX will be held September 19-20, with over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables, 22 programming slots and countless rollaway beds. IT’s the annual Camp Comics on the schedule and this sounds like a real watershed year.

Her humorous, quirky takes on history, literature and famous people propelled Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant! series of webcomics into a New York Times bestseller, as well as winning both the Harvey and Ignatz Awards. SPX 2015 will see the debut of Ms. Beaton’s latest compendium of comics, Step Aside Pops! A Hark! A Vagrant Collection  for Drawn and Quarterly. She also just published her very first children’s book,  The Princess and The Pony from Scholastic Books.
 
Luke Pearson‘s Hildafolk series started as a single issue comic that expanded into three volumes of Scandinavian inspired, critically acclaimed children’s books for the artistically daring publisher Nobrow. Mr. Pearson’s notoriety with the Hilda series and his other comics have led him to storyboard episodes of Adventure Time, as well as illustration assignments for such prestigious outlets as The New York Times, The New Yorker and the New Republic.
 
Noelle Stevenson’s hit webcomic Nimona  has just been nominated for a 2015 Eisner Award for Best Digital/Web Comic, on top of having the first Nimona graphic novel released last month by Harpercollins. Ms. Stevenson was one of the primary writers of the hit series Lumberjanes from Boom! Studios, which has just been optioned for a movie. She is now writing for such Marvel titles as Thor and Runaways, as well for the Disney series Wander Over Yonder. SPX is honored to host Ms. Stevenson as guest for the first time.




 

 
Small Press Expo (SPX) is the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons. SPX is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together more than 650 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers, and distributors each year. Graphic novels, mini comics, and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. The expo includes a series of panel discussions and interviews with this year’s guests.
 
The Ignatz Award is a festival prize held every year at SPX recognizing outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning, with the winners chosen by attendees at the show.


As in previous years, profits from the SPX will go to support the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, which funds graphic novel purchases for public and academic libraries, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which protects the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, visit their website at http://www.cbldf.org. For more information on the Small Press Expo, please visit http://www.spxpo.com.
 

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23. HeroesCon Interview with Michel Fiffe Part 1: The Challenges/Merits of Self-Publishing and the Appeal of the Analogy

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For me, COPRA is the one of the few superhero comics that really matter.

A few years ago, I was at a point where I had basically given up on everything produced within the arena of the “Big Two”. Sure, I enjoyed the occasional Grant Morrison comic when they would rear their head, but for the most part I had lost the exhilaration I used to get when I would read the adventures of my favorite costumed adventurers. Then, in the midst of a discussion of Jack Kirby and John Ostrander, a good friend floated along the idea that I would find great delight in reading the self-published wonder that is Michel Fiffe‘s riff on Ostrander’s biggest legacy work. What I found was a comic that embraced everything I loved about superheroes and the ideas of some of their most iconic creators, and then spun them off in wholly exciting and unpredictable directions. The jubilation that I feel whenever I crack open a new issue of COPRA is likely on par with what readers in the 70’s felt when a new Fourth World installment was released, or their counterparts in the 80’s when the aforementioned Suicide Squad and Watchmen were being unfurled upon an unsuspecting public.

COPRA reminds me of the actual potential of this side of the medium, and it’s a book that I wish everyone had their hands on. It is superhero comics at their absolute best.

While at HeroesCon, I had the opportunity to sit down with Fiffe to discuss what’s coming up in his lauded series along with other points of interest that encircle self-publishing and the day to day process of creating the issues in which he is responsible for every facet, including their mailing to subscribers. Here is Part 1 of our discussion:

When you conceived of COPRA, what was the impetus to say: “I’m going to self-publish this and do everything myself” vs. pitching it to a publisher like Image or Boom! or any other publisher that might have found a home for it?

I find the pitching process to be rather exhaustive and time consuming. I know it well, I’ve done it many times. It’s such a slow process getting a book green-lit and that’s not the nature of what I wanted to do with COPRA. It had to exist almost immediately. I don’t have a committee to answer to and that’s appealing to me. I’m not comfortable giving that power to whatever company.

And you did a lot of pitching before that you said?

Tons of pitching, tons of submissions, I’ve done pretty much everything I could think of to do to get in through the door. I’ve got some published works as a result, but nothing really satisfying, or that I really felt confident about. So, self-publishing, once I started doing that, that’s when I felt like I was creating comics on my own terms. COPRA is a natural extension of that, especially when I started giving myself a monthly schedule, mimicking the schedule of mainstream comics. For me, that’s the interesting dichotomy of it, where I’m harnessing this kind of “old-school” rigorous schedule to fit my independent needs.

Copra 4But are there significant challenges you find? I know there’s promotion that would be available in a big house publisher, like if you were working with Image there’d be press releases constantly. Is bandwidth an issue?

Well, motivation is always the biggest hurdle to overcome, especially given an unrelenting schedule. I have to wake up every day and treat this like a job, because it IS my job, it is my full-time job. I have to get it done somehow, I can’t wait for the muse to strike. I have to get an issue done a month, or as close as possible. But as far as challenges in not having the marketing muscle of other companies? I’d rather stand apart from the wall of noise. How many press releases does anyone really read, anyway?

Your comics, at least in their monthly form, are only available on your Etsy page and I noticed that you share that with your significant other, I think I saw some nice craft jewelry I think?

Yeah, Kat Roberts sells all kinds of stuff, zines, handmade purses, prints. I totally piggy-backed off her store on Etsy. That was a platform I was familiar with, so when I started publishing Zegas (Fiffe’s first self-published comic) I didn’t have a place to sell it from, except conventions and maybe the occasional store that would take a risk on it. Etsy allowed me to slowly build up my readership. By the time I got to COPRA, there was a significant amount of people that were interested in the stuff I did and that made it easier for me to move forward.

Copra 22Let me turn to the actual creation process of an individual issue, say you’re sitting at your desk and working on Issue 22 right now?

That’s the one that just came out.

Good, let’s use that one as an example, if you’re working on Issue 22, what is your step by step? Do you script first and then directly move into the illustration phase? Do you create thumbnails? How do you piece your typical issue together?

It always changes, but the constant thing is that I always map out the story, page by page, and then I script it loosely. Then I start penciling loosely with the first draft in mind. The real work portion of the process begins when I start refining the script while inking and sometimes hand lettering. That’s when it all starts coming together. But generally I have a very loose plan in mind per issue. It’s equal parts organic and strict. I just have to get a number of pages done every day, that’s basically my main objective.

What’s your average rate right now?

Comfortably, I’d say about two pages a day, complete with full color. And that may range, sometimes I may get three, sometimes just half of a page, it just depends. And then you also have to consider the managerial aspect of it after the book is done. I have to get it shipped out to readers  and stores and that’s definitely a job in of itself.

Copra Rax

Was there ever a page or spread or a panel layout that was really hard to crack? Was there any particular example where you just said “oh my god, what am I doing with this thing?”

Every page is like that, but I try to make it work somehow. I have to bring that blank page to life somehow. But the trick is to not think about it too much, because if I over-think it – which is my natural inclination – it kills it. You can get caught up in that and then nothing exists, there are no results. I strive for perfection, but being my own worst critic, I have to be real careful to not crush my gut instinct.

You’re a real master of negative space, and I read an issue and think “damn, Fiffe really knows how to use that white”. I think that’s a rare talent, and I’m not trying to kiss ass, but when I read through recent issues it’s hard to not notice how much your craft continues to grow every single issue. I’m floored by the way you use this stuff.

Thanks, man!

AsesinosBack to COPRA‘s origins, if I may, when you began to pull together your characters designs and tried to piece together the different teams…and there’s a number of different teams now I guess, you’ve got COPRA, Asesinos…

Right, it’s all splintered.

Yeah, I almost have a hard time keeping track.

I should map it out.

I would love that, if you would put a thing at the end of each issue with the full cast.

I’ve been thinking about that, actually.

That would be awesome, and I’ll take full credit if it happens. But when you were conceiving of your core cast, there are obviously analogous elements to Ostrander’s Suicide Squad.

Absolutely!

Copra BoomerDid you ever find it was difficult to skirt the line between your own original ideas and those aforementioned analogous elements or did you just say, I’m going to use this as a starting point and go my own way?

When I initially set out to do this comic, I put myself in the mindset of: “what if a publisher hired me to take over a title, and gave me complete freedom”, which would never happen in the current landscape. So using that fantasy to guide me, I took the Dirty Dozen-esque concept, which has been around for a while in many different forms, and I used it as a blueprint to work from. I wanted a world I could really sink my teeth into month in and month out. I wanted to make something that was serialized, that maximized the nature of the single issue, I wanted to build a place that made it easier for me to explore all my interests. The analogous aspect of it… I was reluctant at first, but I had forgotten that some of my favorite comics are analogous, too, some more blatant than the others.

Are there any examples you can cite? At least of the ones that fall favorably with you?

I mean, the Fantastic Four included a Kirby monster, Plastic Man, and Carl Burgos‘ creation as the Challengers of the Unknown… as a response to JLA.  Watchmen, Marvelman, Supreme, everything Alan Moore does, basically. That’s no secret. So I moved forward citing those comics, using the current cultural momentum of irreverence to just do whatever I want. Plus, I figured no one’s going to be reading this anyway! We’re talking small press here, not many copies exist. It was liberating.

How far ahead did you map out your story?

Not that far, I did it issue by issue. I also wanted it to feel like a very immediate, raw, I wanted it to be as direct a thing as possible. So, it was really just one or two issues ahead. I mapped out twelve issues with super brief descriptions and that’s all I had to go on. I also wanted to make sure that I could fill twelve issues worth of stories. Luckily it worked out.

Look for Part 2 of our discussion on Sunday, when we discuss the possibility of digital distribution and what readers can expect in upcoming issues of COPRA.

You can purchase recent issues of COPRA at Michel Fiffe and Kat Roberts’ Etsy store, or you can order. While Bergen Street Press is currently sold out of both collected editions of the series, you can purchase the first collection at InStockTrades.

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24. HeroesCon Interview with Michel Fiffe Part 2: The Possibility of Digital, Comparisons to Cerebus, and What’s to Come in COPRA

Copra-13-Cover-674x1024

 

Continuing on from our first entry this past Friday, here is the second part of my HeroesCon interview with Michel Fiffe, creator of the self-published and much lauded action-adventure comic, COPRA.

It’s funny, the way I discovered your work actually came through a friend of mine at first, as a word of mouth sort of thing. Then I firmly jumped in when Oliver Sava starting writing about it on the A.V. Club, and you ended making a ton of these “Best of 2014″ lists, which is pretty exciting right? That sort of vindication has to be rewarding.

It’s nice, it’s nice that people like it, absolutely. Oliver’s a great supporter.

Everyone wants to make a superlative list at some point, right?

Yeah, that means a lot to me personally, and it actually translates into more readers. I think word of mouth has really worked a lot on COPRA, without any huge marketing muscle behind it. That’s been the primary thing, people are just excited about it, and that’s super flattering. To like it so much – in today’s aggressive marketplace – that they spread the word out of genuine enthusiasm… what more could you want?

That’s literally what’s happening, though the only hurdle is, of course, availability.

That’s the only hurdle right now. Bergen Street Press has been working hard for a couple of years now to get over it. We don’t want to make it super exclusive, this isn’t a super limited boutique item by any means, but it’s also not as simple as pushing a magic button for  books to suddenly appear. Others have that magic button.

Copra_RoundTwo-2-665x1024

When you made the collections, which have obviously been a great way to pull in readers, you went with Bergen Street Press, and that’s Tucker Stone’s outfit right?

Yeah, that’s Tom Adams and Tucker Stone, they’re co-owners of the store, Bergen Street Comics and they started publishing and putting out “compendium” collections of the issues early on because I started selling out of the issues. So they met that demand, they helped me meet that initial burst of enthusiasm. I was too caught up creating the next issue. My financial model is that one issue pays for the next, there’s no room for reprints, that’s not within my budget. Bergen really helped make it more available and more accessible to people. The compendiums led to an official collection, the current “Rounds” as they’re called, which collects six issues at a time. That’s the kind of thing that we’re trying to get into all the comic shops across the country.

It’s showing up in stores in Atlanta, and I even think I saw copies in the UK over Gosh Comics perhaps.

Yeah, we get a lot of orders from all over the world.

Did you just have a relationship with Tucker and Tom, is that why you went with them as the distributor and publisher and go-to guys?

I trust them and respect them, and I couldn’t happier with that specific team of players. Their point of view and their involvement with the comics industry is something I can get behind.

In regards to availability though, is digital not in the cards?

It’s not NOT in the cards, it’s just something I still have to manage and deal with. There are just so many issues with it, the platform, the way it looks, the time to get everything in order. I’m still dealing with the print issues, that’s a huge thing for me, just getting one of these out every four to six weeks. I barely have any time to do anything else BUT this issue. When it comes to digital, I want to be as hands-on as possible, and that’s a time sucker. I wouldn’t rule digital out, but at the moment it’s not a primary concern. Having said that, I don’t want to exclude anyone from reading it, I understand there’s a large portion of the readership that’s gone digital because its more convenient, but personally I haven’t related to that model. So, it’s not a priority. I don’t feel like it’s something that’s burning in me to address anytime soon.

copra physical

But there is an argument you made yesterday (on a panel with Klaus Janson) about the visual of the comic as a physical object. When you go digital, you do lose that. I mean, you can put everyone of those pages, including the back cover and back matter into a digital copy, but it’s not the same.

It’s not the same, and I want to be clear that I don’t want to impose my fetish of the newsprint comic on anyone. But readers do have the option to buy the issues or NOT to buy them, and that’s the risk I take. I’m not forcing people nor am I trying to change the industry “back to the glory that it was”. I’m just doing this because it’s a model that I’m familiar with and I aesthetically like. It’s a much more intimate thing. I just don’t read that many digital comics. That’s not how I absorb this stuff. I would feel weird putting it out in the world if I’m not sure of it myself.

Cerebus

The comparison has been made, and COPRA has been compared very favorably to works like Cerebus, and that’s a comparison that I find to be really quite apt in that you’ve taken an analogous set of characters, like Dave Sim did with Conan the Barbarian, but by Round Three, you’ve expanded that world and its character set in a way not dissimilar from his work in “High Society”. Is that a comparison that you find interesting?

It is, mostly because Dave and I were born on the same day.

Really?

Yeah, so it just means we’re both stubborn and hard headed, and we’re gonna do what we want no matter what. But the COPRA/Cerebus thing… I imagine it’s more accurate than I’d like to think, but the main difference is that Cerebus started out as a parody. And my book…well, I personally fucking hate parody comics of that nature. I like Cerebus, but  I especially mean modern indie takes on this sort of stuff. It’s low hanging fruit. You’re going to make fun of superheroes, good job, you’re wasting your precious time on earth doing that. Who cares? You’re not gonna outdo Marshal Law. I love that comic to death. There was a lot of anger behind that book, but it didn’t look down at anyone. Now, you either like superheroes or you don’t, and it’s perfectly fine to dislike it. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. I have zero interest in making fun of this stuff. From the first page of COPRA, it was serious business to me, serious business while fully realizing and basking in the absurd nature of this material.

That’s a difficult balance to achieve – seriousness without being overtly grim.

I just don’t want to wink at readers. I respect the readership too much to be winking at them – like, hey get the joke? Isn’t this DUMB? It’s like, fuck that joke, it’s a terrible joke. And I think Dave Sim wised up to it early on, because he was parodying Conan and the goofy barbarian genre, but then it took on a different identity all together.

Copra WirAnd I feel like that’s where you’re headed too. Round 3 is stunning, and I think when it hits a collected edition, I think there’s going to be a lot of talk. I don’t know how else to put it. I don’t want to speak too highly here, but I think that’s going to be when – people already notice it, but I mean, my god, that chapter when Wir goes back home…

Yeah, that’s a favorite. I was worried about making that one too because it’s so bizarre, even within the norms of COPRA, you know?

It was so touching and so raw. It struck nerves for me. And then Gracie in Miami, and you’re working out some of your own feelings about the city and you even say as much on the back end.

Yeah. Every issue pretty much has at least one autobiographical component in it. And I find that interesting when I read older comics too, whether they meant it or not, I think it comes through. Especially for the older creators who really had no other option but to express themselves through The Brave and the Bold or something. But for me to actually write this stuff, I have to put some sort of personal experience in it. So every issue, there’s something there that’s really personal. But I also don’t want it to be too obvious, though.

COPRA-22-page-674x1024Let’s talk about Round Four or the presumed Round Four, about what’s coming up, what’s being developed. Spoiler alert: Dutch got it at the end of the latest issue. And clearly there’s another team that’s sort of gaining up on the COPRA side of things. At least that’s what it seems like. There’s an organized group of evil doers. What can we expect in the next couple of issues; I think there are two left in this round?

I have two left. And then I’m going to have a 25th issue anniversary-sized thing, that’s going to stand apart from the narrative, the main arc. And then starting with issue 26 that starts another arc all together. I’m going to work in six issue chunks, but there are going to be main storylines in that. I think I’m going to go up to fifty issues, so 25 will be an anniversary issue, as well as the halfway point.

So there will be an endpoint that’s set in stone?

Yes, I do have an ending set, I’ve mapped it out that far. I’m so excited for it.  Knowing that it’s going to end and that everything is building up towards it makes every step of the way that much more fun for me, much richer.

So what can you tell me that we can expect in just very general terms, without spoiling anything, for the next two issues? Is it going to be a battle between the team and this group of guys that are coming after them?

It’s going to be COPRA vs COPRA. That’s all I’m going to say.

VDO-22

You’ve got two other narratives occurring in these books, you’ve got Dieter VDO’s back cover story for Man-Head…

Which is non-canonical.

Let me ask you how that got arranged first. Are you and Dieter friends?

Oh, I’m a big fan of his work. He did a Savage Dragon story for this collection of back ups I edited. This was ages ago. Anyway, Dieter… I like spreading the word on him. I think he’s great, one of my favorite cartoonists. I wanted to have unique back matter for this current arc and he was the first person I thought of to do something. Instead of pin ups, though, I wanted a serialized narrative. Thankfully he was on board. His own weird version of COPRA? Who wouldn’t want to see that?

So what is going on between your narrative and his narrative in these orange and white pages? There’s something appearing in the sky…?

Oh, that. Well, that’s a subplot that has to do with Rax’s dimension. It’ll all make sense once you read it together, there IS a point to it; it’s not as arbitrary as it seems. I’ve been playing it quietly because if I show too much, it’ll spoil things.

When can we expect the next issue to hit?

Maybe 4 weeks, a month? After the show I’ve to get back to drawing it. I’m not really ahead, schedule-wise. As soon as the issue is done, it’s practically in the readers’ hands.

You can purchase recent issues of COPRA at Michel Fiffe and Kat Roberts’ Etsy store. While Bergen Street Press is currently sold out of both collected editions of the series, you can purchase the first collection at InStockTrades.

1 Comments on HeroesCon Interview with Michel Fiffe Part 2: The Possibility of Digital, Comparisons to Cerebus, and What’s to Come in COPRA, last added: 6/28/2015
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25. 11th Anniversary Special: Really Famous People Holding Comics Books, world politics division

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In honor of the Beat’s 11th anniversary ehre are two epic photos from recent social media. In the first, Congressman John Lewis presents signed copies of the March graphic novels to Malala Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala was shot in the head in her native Pakistan for daring to want to get an education for herself and other girls. Lewis is a US civil rights icon whose story is as important now as it was 50 years ago.


In this photo, the Pope holds a copy of the Latin translation of The Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. As Pontiff’s go, this one is pretty awesome.

Comics have no boundaries!

2 Comments on 11th Anniversary Special: Really Famous People Holding Comics Books, world politics division, last added: 7/2/2015
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