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Old 18-05-2012, 04:07 AM   #21
erininamori
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Originally Posted by Sun Kitten
erininamori, did you mean only professionally published books? If so, can you give examples of the sort of publishers you mean? Thanks ^^
No, my post shouldn't have come across like that if it did, any publishing format, web or print, self publish or not. I was writing my answer to Laura in the sense at work I am being reminded (because I draw comics) that GN style books are on the up in the UK whilst comic sales are fading. I know it looks a little confusing but they're not the same thing. Less people are buying super hero comics but more are buying GN, but it seems to be to do with the format rather than the content, 30 page vs 300, whereas the latter seems to appeal more to adults (the people with disposable income).

I do prefer to use the term GN to define a more premium quality product though, I read a lot when I didn't know the difference between GN and comic and the general opinion with people is that GN is the premium version, you could say, despite what people think the definition is, that's why I talked about the higher quality artwork.

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Originally Posted by Wayne
At this point in history it's hard enough to get employed as a road sweeper let alone a comic artist. I'm always saying this, but it's true, you get more agency temps with degrees these days. Simply being good or making an effort isn't nearly enough these days. So it's not entirely unfounded, nor is it fair to assume the people who don't make it are lazy or expect something for nothing.
Degrees are pointless unless it's required, it's not a free pass anymore. In a time when 5 people are chasing a single job being better than the other guys is more important than anything. Even during the Euro crisis French publishers like Ankama are able to hire lots of people to makes games, cartoons, toys and comics, it's been one of the most interesting publishers to watch for a while now, with artists like Xavier Houssin blooming, did you see his epic artbook launch ad in New York?

http://storage.canalblog.com/51/19/68558/69165866.jpg

Perfect example of being good and working hard, kudos to him.

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Originally Posted by Wayne
It's not defeatist as much as it's a realistic assessment of the market.
And an unfounded assessment at that, but I will accept an alternative opinion.

When I mentioned lazy, looking for a easy ride, I am referring to people like this: http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/ne...ach-plagiarism

But for people on here to say it's impossible to get published, to sell, is disheartening. There is a good article to read here: http://sequentialhighway.com/?p=2035

Here is a snippet relating to what Laura's OP is about:

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://sequentialhighway.com/?p=2035
PH: Are your customers attracted to alternative comic books and graphic novels? Are they primarily fans of Marvel and DC?
SLH: Oh, we have plenty of both. I’m grateful for every single sale and buzz off other people’s enthusiasm. We’d never want to stop stocking superhero comics. When they’re wittily written they’re tremendous fun, and we make an enormous amount of money from them. We make substantially more money, however, from all the other genres mentioned above because they are what’s lapped up by the real mainstream – the average person on the street – in other media.

PH: Do you sell equal numbers of comics and graphic novels or a greater volume of one category than the other?
SLH: Graphic novels, collected editions (call them what you will) now make up 80% of our sales. Periodical comic sales are still strong (Fatale, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, is through the roof here, outselling every Marvel and DC comic) but the graphic novel is now king. It makes perfect sense: you don’t buy the first ten minutes of a film on DVD. In fact these days you don’t even buy DVDs in episodes, you buy them in whole seasons!
Pretty much sums up what I've been trying to say.
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Old 18-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #22
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There are definitely advantages to having both.

In regards to selling things at cons, I'm the opposite of a few of the responses so far. I might be shy, but I love talking to people about my work and it feels great to have a finished product that they'll want to pick up, browse through and (hopefully) buy.
So I'll always have printed versions of my comics.

It is a lot of work drawing your comic, getting it printed, dragging it to conventions and doing your best to sell it to punters, but it's the hard work that gets you places and you have to be patient with it. When I started at cons, I barely made a penny, but now I usually make enough to cover at least a good chunk of my expenses and I get a lot of new contacts out of it.

Online, I post teasers at the very least so I can see what people think of the general idea. The comic that I'll be taking to London next week also has a PDF version and this will continue with future issues. As Sun Kitten mentioned, it helps you branch out to a lot more people, so long as your promoting skills are up to it.

If it's a comic I'm going to be selling however, I'm reluctant to display the whole thing for free, as I might lose potential sales through people thinking they don't need to buy it (it may work for guys like Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield, but I'm not sure about little ol' me!).

Anyway, it's good to have both online and printed comics if you can, as people will always have a preference for one or the other and you'll widen your audience significantly.

---------------------
Slightly off topic:
On the subject of degrees though, I certainly wouldn't say they're all pointless if not required for a particular role. No it most certainly doesn't guarantee you a job nowadays (that, as mentioned, comes down to being the best candidate), but if I hadn't done my degrees, I most likely wouldn't have learned a lot of what I know and do now!
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Old 18-05-2012, 04:45 PM   #23
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Print!

My day is already consumed up looking at the cintiq if I also had to read comics on it I would go blind!!

With the piracy your comic will end up online somewhere anyway lol!!

The graphic novel or tankōbon is what I buy.

Thanks.
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Old 19-05-2012, 11:23 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by erininamori View Post
Oookay this is a very black vs white response, and you seem very defeatist.
I'm merely laying out what I've found through personal experience.

Quote:
I know what's required to make a GN, and months is an understatement if you have no assistants. But there is no boo-hoo argument here, you either like drawing or you don't.
I've already got my work in print in a self-published graphic novel, as well as...what, six anthology books now? Plus unprinted web comics work. I make my living as an illustrator.
Quote:
This is unfounded, as I know people getting published. But they are good artists, they deserve it, some people are just lazy and expect an easy ride, it's a lot of hard work just practicing, all the hundreds hours of life drawing and learning techniques to do with ink or whatever, but the making the comic isn't the 'work' part, that's the fun part, the part you've been waiting years for.

I can't remember where it's from, Picasso or whoever, the artist is probably wrong, but there was something I read which was amazing:

Man: Picasso, could you draw me something?
Picasso: Sure!
*1 minute passes*
Man: Thanks!
Picasso: That will be 1 million please.
Man: 1 million for a 1 minute sketch? are you kidding?
Picasso: It took me 1 minute to draw it, but it took me all my life to learn how to do it.

That was something to do with people miss-valuing art.
Aaaah of course. I'm not getting published because I'm not talented and lazy. Thanks for clearing that up.

Haha, because it's not like I've poured my heart and energy into countless pitches to have it broken over and over again by incredible bad luck with timing. It's not like I printed my webcomic as a GN with my own money even though it was a massive investment due to being full colour and then all the people who said they'd buy it if I did backed out. It's not like Marvel gave me a great portfolio review but admitted they had no idea what they'd actually do with my work except maybe use me for odd fringe titles then lost my submission when they changed talent manager and never got back to me. It's not like I've been waiting nearly a year for any sign of feedback on my pitch to the Phoenix. It's not like I'm working on a pitch for a company right now with a talented writer whilst simultaneously running two moderately popular webcomics, making the next instalment of a popular indie game and making money on private commissions and workshops.


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What amazing small press talent pool? what is that?
Uhhh. The people here. Do you not go to cons much? The UK's small press scene is crazy and full of incredibly talented people. It's way more impressive than the small press stuff in say. France, where talented artists get snapped up much earlier. Here people get stuck in small press for years, even while they're working as pro illustrators in fields like Games and Design.

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Life would be boring without risks.

I know it's hard to get published, but I believe if you're good, passionate there is no reason to doubt.
I've worked for Nintendo and for councils all around the country and for the BBC. I've done artwork for games with thousands of downloads, for books, for aps, for websites. I've placed in national competitions and had my work in galleries. I've accumulated probably around 500 pages of comics work and I earn my living as an illustrator, but I've been banging my head against a wall for four years trying to get paid comics work. Four years. You want to tell me I'm lazy? I'm untalented? I'm not passionate about comics? You don't know a thing about me. If anything I am about one of the most passionate people about comics you will ever meet in your life, and every day the fact that I can't get the respect I so badly want as a comic artist, that countless publishers have expressed interest in me and praised my work but none of them have actually given me a paid contract is like a red hot poker twisting into my soul.

I don't think you have any idea what it's like to pour everything you have into a pitch and to get an email back saying "we promise we'll send feedback on all submissions and then spend a week, a month, six months waiting and never hear anything back. It is heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking and I've done it over and over. Is it a wonder I prefer webcomics? At least with webcomics it's just me and the readers without some middle man to dangle money tantalisingly and tell me I'm sooo talented and they're totally interested in me and then crush all my hopes without even sending a 'no thank you', or worse, sending a 'we really like you, but we're not doing that kind of comic any more even though you totally tailored this pitch for us and can't send it anywhere else lol'.
Black and white? No. Just no. My entire life as a comics artist has been one big disappointing wash of grey.
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Old 19-05-2012, 02:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by erininamori View Post

But for people on here to say it's impossible to get published, to sell, is disheartening. There is a good article to read here: http://sequentialhighway.com/?p=2035
I don't believe I ever said it's impossible. In fact any Tom Dick or Harry can go out and get published today; albeit self published.

OK, maybe not everyone because as we know, comics take time and effort. So amongst those that do make comics...

Webcomics: Instant publication with no risks at all. It doesn't even have to cost anything (can be done for free) and there's no pressure except from yourself to achieve a target; e.g finish the next page etc.

Printing: If you plan to sell at events or online, then it's possible to print. This does cost some money but at anime cons and expo almost anyone (except for one fellow I know) can shift 30 - 50 copies easy. Shop around for the best deal. Be warned that you'll be lucky to break even. A good bit of advice is to have some other merchandise based on your comics to sell.

Plushies go down a treat as do badges and prints, t-shirts and mugs. I've seen people cover the cost of going to events doing that. Every little helps. Even if they don't buy a comic, punters usually like a stab at the badges or other things.

Remember to engage the customers though.

Even the best of folk rarely make big bucks this way though. So it's best to just concentrate on making new friends and contacts and obviously to have a good time.

Being published: It's where many artists dream of going I suppose, being picked out by a company or getting a company to publish your work on a wider scale. Few people ever achieve this though plenty have tried. There are a few on here who have managed it, but to be fair to them it's usually not a life long contract with one massive company, it's usually amongst many for the short term.

I speak of the UK only, I'm not particularly bothered about international publishing. But as it stands I wouldn't say the UK alone has much of a market to work with when it comes to comics. It's not even as good as other countries in Europe and that isn't that massive when compared to Japan or America.

Only the very best and the well connected get anywhere. The people who've made the effort to get noticed usually do. But even so some people get missed out. Plenty of gold just washes down stream before the panners can sift it out. Some talent is simply missed.

If it were else, then everyone would be published wouldn't they?
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Old 19-05-2012, 03:47 PM   #26
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How did this thread turn into this? why are you getting so worked up for? I merely pointed out people are suggesting I do GN instead of serials because it's where the market is going meaning Laura might consider the same thing if she looks into it more instead of a small print comic. I even gave a link to a retailer pointing out it's now 80% of their sales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose View Post
I'm merely laying out what I've found through personal experience.
Your personal experience doesn't count for the entire world though, usually during a pitching style job it's all down to the individual (you) to sell yourself, your art and why they should take your project over someone else, but you was speaking for not only other people but also professionals which is why I call it unfounded assessment, you can't tell who will win the next general election on the basis of one person.

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Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
I've already got my work in print in a self-published graphic novel, as well as...what, six anthology books now? Plus unprinted web comics work. I make my living as an illustrator.
Okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
Aaaah of course. I'm not getting published because I'm not talented and lazy. Thanks for clearing that up.
Where in my post was I referring to you? but you may have just answered your question, if your not good enough you simply won't get published or get to draw Judge Dredd. But I'm not judging you, I haven't seen your work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
Haha, because it's not like I've poured my heart and energy into countless pitches to have it broken over and over again by incredible bad luck with timing. It's not like I printed my webcomic as a GN with my own money even though it was a massive investment due to being full colour and then all the people who said they'd buy it if I did backed out.
Well you did say you pitched "more than once", which isn't a lot, and what's timing got to do with a pitch? was they competitions?

I haven't bought anything from some of my good friends because I think it's not as good as what I could buy with the same money, and I tell them that, I'm not going to walk on eggshells around people, an artist must have a thick skin and learn to bare sometimes they might need to do better.

You either earn coin or beg for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
It's not like Marvel gave me a great portfolio review but admitted they had no idea what they'd actually do with my work except maybe use me for odd fringe titles then lost my submission when they changed talent manager and never got back to me. It's not like I've been waiting nearly a year for any sign of feedback on my pitch to the Phoenix. It's not like I'm working on a pitch for a company right now with a talented writer whilst simultaneously running two moderately popular webcomics, making the next instalment of a popular indie game and making money on private commissions and workshops.
You can advertise yourself all you want on here but if your art doesn't appeal to some then it doesn't appeal, and that can be for many reasons, especially to Marvel of all publishers who will be expecting you to draw in their defined style, as will 2000AD.

If you haven't heard back from them in about a month then I've been told that's your 'rejected' sign, they don't actually contact you saying rejected unless they have a tingle of interest. I've submitted animation work to Production IG, Disney and got no response, I submitted work to Studio Ghibli and was told if I could draw in their defined style (which is harder than it looks, I still can't do it) I could consider being an inbetweener, but I would be better off living off JSA at that wage. When I told a friend of mine about the Ghibli response he told me he knows how I feel, but told me to ask myself if it's worth it, because he wants to work for Marvel and told me this "I'm not trying to be a comic artist, I'm trying to be a Marvel artist" in which you lose a lot of originality I am guessing.

I've submitted things to Shueisha the people who print Shonen Jump, they told me to go to their office, if they can't find a mag position there is tons of assistant roles, but I'd have to live specifically (for some reason) in Tokyo and speak fluent Japanese.

We live in a big world, if UK publishers are no good then try USA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
Uhhh. The people here. Do you not go to cons much? The UK's small press scene is crazy and full of incredibly talented people. It's way more impressive than the small press stuff in say. France, where talented artists get snapped up much earlier. Here people get stuck in small press for years, even while they're working as pro illustrators in fields like Games and Design.
Look, I'm not trying to insult anyone, it's criticism and if you don't like it your in the wrong profession, this is comic art, sequential art, this isn't cubism, it takes a high degree of skill, knowledge and discipline to do it to a high level rather than just a creative mind. Can you seriously say people on this forum are honest with each other? you even admitted that yourself when your friends didn't buy your book, do away with niceties when your dealing with art and get some skin.

What does a convention have to do with anything? what is stopping you from printing your book and asking Page45, Amazon, WHSmith, Tesco or Waterstones to stock it? Waterstones these days has so much blank shelf your just wasting chances. I go to cons to meet Ashley Wood, to meet Adam Hughes or Stan Lee, I don't go to meet small time artists cause there isn't enough time if you want to get in the queue or talk to a publisher. I remember how long the line was just to meet David Hayter the voice of Snake from Metal Gear Solid, why do I want to give that up to meet some anime tracer?

The small press stuff I read is in shops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
I've worked for Nintendo and for councils all around the country and for the BBC. I've done artwork for games with thousands of downloads, for books, for aps, for websites. I've placed in national competitions and had my work in galleries. I've accumulated probably around 500 pages of comics work and I earn my living as an illustrator, but I've been banging my head against a wall for four years trying to get paid comics work. Four years. You want to tell me I'm lazy? I'm untalented? I'm not passionate about comics? You don't know a thing about me. If anything I am about one of the most passionate people about comics you will ever meet in your life, and every day the fact that I can't get the respect I so badly want as a comic artist, that countless publishers have expressed interest in me and praised my work but none of them have actually given me a paid contract is like a red hot poker twisting into my soul.
Like I said advertise away, all artists get work sooner or later, it would be a cruel world if they didn't. I have had a collab exhibition space in London and sold oil painting's for £1100-£3700 and all my limited prints at £120 a piece and splashed most of it away on 3A merch and sketches the same week. We've all got stuff to be proud of, don't try to pedestal me.

I think I wrote above, this is so long, that I haven't been judging you so I don't know where you're getting all this hate from, I haven't seen your work and I'm sure your a passionate person towards comics.

What you said in your previous post, was that no one, not even professionals can get published, but you seem to be basing it on your own experiences like you said in this post. If you can't get published then ask yourself why? have you ever asked people for honest criticism before? not these chumps who promise to buy your books? to the point they eat you out and make you feel like you want to give up? I once told someone they can't draw hands very well, and got into a full blown argument over it, don't be one of those people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
I don't think you have any idea what it's like to pour everything you have into a pitch and to get an email back saying "we promise we'll send feedback on all submissions and then spend a week, a month, six months waiting and never hear anything back.
You said I don't know anything about you just as you know nothing about me. I have been told by editors and artists they never contact people unless they approve, there is just too many submissions they get it's impossible, the ones I have sent in I don't get an email saying rejected, it's advice or nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
It is heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking and I've done it over and over. Is it a wonder I prefer webcomics? At least with webcomics it's just me and the readers without some middle man to dangle money tantalisingly and tell me I'm sooo talented and they're totally interested in me and then crush all my hopes without even sending a 'no thank you', or worse, sending a 'we really like you, but we're not doing that kind of comic any more even though you totally tailored this pitch for us and can't send it anywhere else lol'.
Black and white? No. Just no. My entire life as a comics artist has been one big disappointing wash of grey.
Yeah I know it's heartbreaking, just work on your bad points when asking for criticism and try again. I remember talking to someone from 2000AD and he said he would reject any submission if the artist couldn't show they know how to draw hands like it's nothing, "this isn't Dark Horse" LOL.
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Old 19-05-2012, 04:02 PM   #27
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I don't believe I ever said it's impossible. In fact any Tom Dick or Harry can go out and get published today; albeit self published.
Yeah you didn't, but someone else did who I was referring to.

I agree with what you said, and it's golden advice to people, I don't know why everyone is black and whiting me on here, this is the only board where people are doing it, like it or not we're on the same lay of land. But just because you're self published doesn't mean you can't ask a retailer to stock it, even watching The Apprentice should tell you that. Page45 I think even say they will promote work, it's the reason they started in the first place, to give artists the credit they deserve.

Personally I am looking at Japan for publication, they have so many art mags to submit to and publishers. Despite having a dying economy they still make the UK look tiny, it's a little annoying and embarrassing. Would it kill one of our billionaire's to start up a half decent publishing company instead of hiding in Dubai?
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Old 19-05-2012, 04:37 PM   #28
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Getting your comics into shops is always a good idea, but I'm not sure where the impression that people aren't interested in small press comics at conventions comes from.
The Comic Village area at MCM Expos for example (certainly at London and Manchester) is usually rammed with punters. Wouldn't be worth me going if it wasn't!

Yeah, yeah, back my box I go...
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Old 19-05-2012, 05:25 PM   #29
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Getting books into shops is usually a bit harder than simply asking. Local shops will often take self-published comics (we had some of ours in the Borders in Cambridge when it was still here - alas, I miss Borders!) but it doesn't count for many sales unless you can get UK-wide coverage. Individual shops like Page 45 (who said no to me, by the way, because they had too many indie comics already - can hardly fault them there ) and Sheffield Space Centre and Red Garden are lovely, but what you really need to get into the big ones - Waterstones and so on - is a distributor deal with Diamond or a similar comic distributor, and they are not easy to get. Not impossible, mind. But it's not as easy as walking into a shop and saying 'I made this, can you sell it for me'.

Amazon is quite different, they'll list anything that's published regardless of whether they can get it or not (!). But Amazon is on the internetz and suffers from a similar problem to the webcomic scene - there's an awful lot of tosh around and finding the gems isn't as easy as picking up a book in a bookstore and flipping through it.

I suspect, erininamori, that the reason you have to live in Tokyo to work for Shueisha is because they expect their artists to have regular meetings with editors on a weekly basis. I'm just basing that on Bakuman, mind, but I think it's correct

To return to the original question, there are problems with both web- and print comics, and it honestly comes down to creator preference. I prefer to do both
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Old 19-05-2012, 07:16 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by erininamori View Post
How did this thread turn into this? why are you getting so worked up for? I merely pointed out people are suggesting I do GN instead of serials because it's where the market is going meaning Laura might consider the same thing if she looks into it more instead of a small print comic. I even gave a link to a retailer pointing out it's now 80% of their sales.
You said that people should be concentrating on GNs instead of webcomics, as if this is some really easy thing to do. It isn't. It's a big investment of time and money and a massive financial risk. Sure sales of GNs are high compared to print comics, but they're still not exactly amazing and it's very hard to catch a break from a publisher.
Why not draw webcomics? Comics like Hetalia, Homestuck, Dinosaur Comics, Doctor McNinja, Hark a Vagrant and Axe Cop have readerships that dwarf any print comic. I believe the daily readership of Homestuck is 1.5 million? I genuinely believe they are a perfectly viable direction.

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Well you did say you pitched "more than once", which isn't a lot, and what's timing got to do with a pitch? was they competitions?
Okay let me regail you with my tale of woe with Self Made Hero. I pitched for a Manga Shakespeare book after visiting their table a few years back. Being an English lit graduate, I chose the play, Measure for Measure and put work into an exciting pitch putting it into the context of a Gothic-punk setting. They had just released Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night to critical acclaim. Seemed like a perfect time for a pitch. I sent the pitch in and got the response that they were putting that series on hold indefinitely even though they liked my pitch and would certainly consider me if they brought it back. Of course, they never did.
This isn't the only time this kind of thing has happened to me either. I'm very unlucky apparently or have horrible timing.

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You can advertise yourself all you want on here but if your art doesn't appeal to some then it doesn't appeal, and that can be for many reasons, especially to Marvel of all publishers who will be expecting you to draw in their defined style, as will 2000AD.
Actually Marvel editor Stephen Wacker was very impressed by my work when I did a portfolio viewing, and I've been working very hard since then to improve anyway. I even did samples in Marvel style specially for the review, but he was much more taken with my personal work I'd done for small press manga titles. He said he'd rather see me do my usual style work in fringe books like Runaways (just cancelled when I did the viewing, yay, more bad timing) than trying to just ape the styles of the more American-style artists. He liked that my work was quirky and unique, and if I hadn't brought out samples of my usual work, I might not have scored the talent manager's email address and a request for further samples.

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If you haven't heard back from them in about a month then I've been told that's your 'rejected' sign, they don't actually contact you saying rejected unless they have a tingle of interest.
Usually yes, if I don't hear back in a month, I assume it's a no-go. I've pitched to large publishers before and never heard back and just shrugged. When a publisher promises to get back with feedback and never does, or specifically, personally asks you to pitch and doesn't get back, that's when it's a problem. That's happened to me at least twice now.

Quote:
Look, I'm not trying to insult anyone, it's criticism and if you don't like it your in the wrong profession, this is comic art, sequential art, this isn't cubism, it takes a high degree of skill, knowledge and discipline to do it to a high level rather than just a creative mind. Can you seriously say people on this forum are honest with each other? you even admitted that yourself when your friends didn't buy your book, do away with niceties when your dealing with art and get some skin.
When on earth did I mention having a problem with criticism? My problem is more often lack of feedback than a surfeit of positive feedback. I have people I go to for critique, and failing that, clients will always supply, not to mention my webcomic readers, who will even email me to drop in a critique on a panel if it's not up to scratch. When I look for feedback, I ask people who I know are not only good artists but good at noticing problems and articulating them, and who are willing to be honest with me. You're making it very clear that you think my artwork is awful and that's why I haven't got comics work yet. Subtle.

Quote:
What does a convention have to do with anything? what is stopping you from printing your book and asking Page45, Amazon, WHSmith, Tesco or Waterstones to stock it? Waterstones these days has so much blank shelf your just wasting chances. I go to cons to meet Ashley Wood, to meet Adam Hughes or Stan Lee, I don't go to meet small time artists cause there isn't enough time if you want to get in the queue or talk to a publisher. I remember how long the line was just to meet David Hayter the voice of Snake from Metal Gear Solid, why do I want to give that up to meet some anime tracer?

The small press stuff I read is in shops.
Really? Small press. In Waterstones and Tesco? Small. Press. Sorry but that is simply a load of rubbish. I've worked on a magazine before and I know how much it costs to get distributed in those places. Even a professional magazine like the Phoenix can only afford to be stocked in a tiny number of shops and a few branches of one supermarket chain. I've never seen a Tesco with a graphic novel section, never mind one that stocks small press. A group like Sweatdrop, who are possibly the biggest small press group in the UK and whose works have ISBNs and can be bought on Amazon sometimes even don't have their work in supermarkets like Tesco or even shops like Waterstones or WH Smith. You may, in the bookshops, Waterstones particularly find work from smaller publishers, like Self Made Hero (though only a scraping of titles if you're not in a big city). If you're talking about shops like Orbital or Gosh or some branches of Forbidden Planet, you may find some of the more polished small press titles, but it's a tiny percentage of them. I've had my titles in shops too on occasion, though the profit margin is lower than selling online or at cons. I often find gems at cons, people who don't have the money or savvy to put their work in a shop, don't think they're good enough, or simply aren't located in the right place (I live in Cumbria so there's no way I could feasibly get my small press titles into a shop if there wasn't a member of my group in London).
The fact that you think the entire small press section of a con are 'bad anime tracers' only shows your ignorance and it's kind of insulting to everybody here since most of us do sell our work at cons even those of us who do pro work. You imply I'm not passionate enough about comics but you'd rather queue up for a celebrity's scribble on some paper than meet fellow creators, get feedback, learn techniques, make contacts and discover excellent comics which fall outside the radar of the mainstream press?

Quote:
What you said in your previous post, was that no one, not even professionals can get published, but you seem to be basing it on your own experiences like you said in this post. If you can't get published then ask yourself why? have you ever asked people for honest criticism before? not these chumps who promise to buy your books? to the point they eat you out and make you feel like you want to give up? I once told someone they can't draw hands very well, and got into a full blown argument over it, don't be one of those people.
I never said anything like that. I was only cautioning against the blithe Bakuman-inspired attitude a lot of young artists have that they can just wander into making graphic novels. It is a lot of hard work and a big monetary investment.
But wow, I do really like your constant ill-concealed digs at my artwork and the implication that I'm a poor artist and that's why I've not had a GN contract. Subtle.

Quote:
Yeah I know it's heartbreaking, just work on your bad points when asking for criticism and try again. I remember talking to someone from 2000AD and he said he would reject any submission if the artist couldn't show they know how to draw hands like it's nothing, "this isn't Dark Horse" LOL.
Aaaaand again the implication I'm a bad artist. I work constantly to improve. I know I'm not perfect, but I do work very hard to rectify that every day, and I have reached a point by doing so for six years, where I get enough professional commissions to get by. I have sat down with my portfolio with publishers and editors for feedback and asked for it specifically. I didn't expect any kind of offer of work when I went for my Marvel viewing; I literally did that for feedback. The talent manager's address was an unexpected bonus.
I have seen so many incredible artists have a pitch fail on them though. It's really not just about the art. Timing, demand, preference for certain styles or subject matter and pure dumb luck all factor in.

All I was trying to get across is that it's not easy, and that it is unfair and insulting to insinuate that every artist who hasn't managed to get published is lazy, untalented or both, and that we should all just publish Graphic Novels like it's a simple thing to do. I would love to publish a graphic novel, especially an original graphic novel and see it in big shops, not just con tables and small comics shops in big cities, but it's a tough thing to do, fraught with risks and obstacles, not all of which will be under the artist's control. That is all I was trying to get across.
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Old 20-05-2012, 12:18 AM   #31
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I really don't have the time for this, you need to re-read my posts because you're clearly missing something.

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Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose View Post
You said that people should be concentrating on GNs instead of webcomics, as if this is some really easy thing to do. It isn't. It's a big investment of time and money and a massive financial risk. Sure sales of GNs are high compared to print comics, but they're still not exactly amazing and it's very hard to catch a break from a publisher.
I didn't, I said I am being advised it's probably a good idea to do GN instead of periodical comics, looking in to it it seems less and less people are buying those, but there is nothing wrong with publishing a 300 page webcomic, but it would be best to do it in one go, otherwise it's periodical... I've said this 3 times now. Refer to my posts again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
...than trying to just ape the styles of the more American-style artists.
Like most people do on this site and DeviantArt? (manga).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
When I look for feedback, I ask people who I know are not only good artists but good at noticing problems and articulating them, and who are willing to be honest with me. You're making it very clear that you think my artwork is awful and that's why I haven't got comics work yet. Subtle.
You keep saying this, I haven't directed anything at you so stop assuming, I'll say it for about the 4th time now, I haven't seen your artwork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
Really? Small press. In Waterstones and Tesco? Small. Press. Sorry but that is simply a load of rubbish.
Well, if Waterstones didn't stock Sweatdrop books I wouldn't have them sitting on my shelf... are you saying they shouldn't have been there?

White Violet: Shazleen M. Khan. Waterstones
http://www.waterstones.com/waterston...t3a+1/8818274/

A Pocketful of Clouds: Morag Lewis. WHSmith
http://www.whsmith.co.uk/CatalogAndS...=9781905038350

Huge list of self-published releases at Page42 and is my favorite shop for them, it's all quality stuff:
http://www.page45.com/store/Mini-Comics.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
Even a professional magazine like the Phoenix can only afford to be stocked in a tiny number of shops and a few branches of one supermarket chain.
Don't forget the main point I've been raising... low sell low income.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
I've never seen a Tesco with a graphic novel section
You have now.
http://www.tesco.com/direct/books-en...tId=4294965400

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
A group like Sweatdrop, who are possibly the biggest small press group in the UK and whose works have ISBNs and can be bought on Amazon sometimes even don't have their work in supermarkets like Tesco or even shops like Waterstones or WH Smith.
Read my above. I wouldn't have them on my shelf otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
The fact that you think the entire small press section of a con are 'bad anime tracers' only shows your ignorance and it's kind of insulting to everybody here since most of us do sell our work at cons even those of us who do pro work.
It was merely an exaggerated comparison. I know what you're saying but look, I'm human, if I don't want to shake the hand of every single small time artist and prefer to go ask Jim Lee some questions then maybe that's just me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
You imply I'm not passionate enough about comics but you'd rather queue up for a celebrity's scribble on some paper than meet fellow creators, get feedback, learn techniques, make contacts and discover excellent comics which fall outside the radar of the mainstream press?
Actually I said I'm sure you're passionate about comics, specifically in those words.

I would rather "get feedback, learn techniques, make contacts" with Ashley Wood or anyone else involved in 3A, Jim Lee or Adam Hughes. Just getting to see these guys draw in the flesh teaches you a lot. I watched Stan Lee's Comic Book Great's where he hosted Jim Lee as a kid, it's this stuff that got me into it in the first place, Jim Lee showing you how to draw comics was inspiring, to meet him in person is a joy I can't describe.

The best things I have got from cons is a Batman sketch from Jim Lee, a Supergirl sketch from Adam Hughes and a Yoko sketch from the art director of Gurren Lagann, I can't help it if this stuff inspires me more than meeting newcomers.

The con days are short, I flew to New York I am going to get the best I can with the time available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
I never said anything like that. I was only cautioning against the blithe Bakuman-inspired attitude a lot of young artists have that they can just wander into making graphic novels.
I'm not young. I have been making a GN since 2010 with a writer, I had to stop 3 months ago because my computer blew some caps, built a new system just last week but it set our estimate date way back, late 2013 at least, we're doing it complete without editor feedback and will pitch it, the writer I'm working with say's we'll be offering a less risk publication, because they don't need to pay us a wage. I'm doing it while working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
But wow, I do really like your constant ill-concealed digs at my artwork and the implication that I'm a poor artist and that's why I've not had a GN contract. Subtle.
What the hell are you talking about? I'll say it again, I haven't seen your artwork so how can I be judging it? nothing in my posts is directed at you, it's advice in general for anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
Aaaaand again the implication I'm a bad artist. I work constantly to improve. I know I'm not perfect, but I do work very hard to rectify that every day, and I have reached a point by doing so for six years, where I get enough professional commissions to get by.
Because I suggested something about questioning why you're not getting published? then if it offends you I retract my comment, don't worry about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Mongoose
All I was trying to get across is that it's not easy, and that it is unfair and insulting to insinuate that every artist who hasn't managed to get published is lazy, untalented or both.
You made it sound almost impossible, even for professionals "not even professionals can find work, taking any scraps they get" or something. I know people getting published already, that's why I said it's unfounded, at least over here.

Fact is there is a LOT of untalented wannabes in the art scene, I have seen so many comics where the artist isn't even using simple perspective to add some interest to the scenes, I can only call this lazy, what else am I supposed to call it? I know you don't have to use it all the time, but you know when you see a scene that just really needed it, it's not there, it would take you all of 3 hours to go through Scott McClouds how to make comics book, it's all there, the fundamentals. And before you say again, no I'm not directing that at you, I haven't seen your artwork.

Lets just chill, shake hands, we're in the same boat in this rocky economy.
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Old 20-05-2012, 10:35 AM   #32
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Well, if you're not insulting Kate (Darth Mongoose) personally, Erininamori, then you are certainly insulting the entire forum and the entirety of small-press and indie creators in the UK.

Well done.

A lot of us here are professionals and semi-professionals, like Kate. A lot of us find it very difficult to get comics/GNs/whatever published, despite being of a high standard artistically. We've all had similar experiences to her. You know people getting published? Good for you. So do I. I expect that means that you don't know anyone not getting published?

Your comments about your fellow artists are arrogant, ill-informed, and downright untrue. Calling people "anime-tracers" and "lazy" makes me think that your artwork must be really special, so why not put a link to your artwork up here and let us see exactly why it is you think you are so much better than everyone else. Or failing that, as I'm aware that critique can come from observation rather than being able to do the work yourself, how about actually reading some of the comics you criticise? You have pointed out numerous times that you haven't even seen Kate's artwork. Go and look at it. Go look at mine. Give us the benefit of your wisdom.
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Old 20-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #33
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Erininamori: you keep saying things like

Quote:
Originally Posted by erininamori
I don't know why everyone is black and whiting me on here
...so perhaps it's worth someone pointing this out: it feels to me a little like maybe you're not quite aware who it is you're talking to when you post here.

Thus, offhand comments that you may perhaps put in for rhetorical effect and may think acceptable, being, as far as you're concerned, unimportant to the general thrust of your logic and aimed at some nebulous third party, actually get taken by your interlocutors as a direct, vicious stab at them personally (I'm going to take you at your word here that they are not intended as that, without your frequent disclaimers this would not be at all obvious!)

You might not realise it, but a large (talented, vocal) portion of the population of this forum is actually the people filling the comic village tables at London Expo; some selling their self-published work there, others bringing their commercially published work to sell there. So even though you say things like

Quote:
Originally Posted by erininamori View Post
But I'm not judging you, I haven't seen your work.
a lot of people here will take things like

Quote:
why do I want to give that up to meet some anime tracer?
as you judging them - judging everyone here - sight unseen; and so respond angrily to what may otherwise be an interesting, informed post. Likewise, many people here are hard working professionally successful artists able to make a living from their art; so again, when you say things like

Quote:
I know people getting published. But they are good artists, they deserve it, some people are just lazy and expect an easy ride
the idea that the reason one is not getting published is because one does not deserve it and/or one is lazy and expects an easy ride is very likely to be taken as an affront by someone who spends most of their time working their butt off producing high-quality non-comic art for grateful paying customers. It's one thing to suggest artists grow a thick skin with respect to criticism, but it's quite another to suggest they ignore direct affront.

You make a lot of interesting points, so it really is a pity that every so often an offhand remark causes them to be lost in this way and go unheard. Many people here are willing to give the benefit of doubt, but perhaps a step in our direction from you might also help bridge the gap?

Why don't you come say hi to the people on the comic village tables this Expo? If we have faces of people we've actually met and spoken to match to forum nicknames, it's generally much easier to communicate - to predict how they'll react to things, and how they intend the things they say to sound.

As for the repeated disclaimers... if one feels one has to keep apologising for something, or explaining it away, isn't it better to just restrain oneself and not do that thing in the first place?
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Old 20-05-2012, 12:01 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erininamori View Post
Well, if Waterstones didn't stock Sweatdrop books I wouldn't have them sitting on my shelf... are you saying they shouldn't have been there?

White Violet: Shazleen M. Khan. Waterstones
http://www.waterstones.com/waterston...t3a+1/8818274/

A Pocketful of Clouds: Morag Lewis. WHSmith
http://www.whsmith.co.uk/CatalogAndS...=9781905038350
I don't want to derail the discussion, but are you sure those are actually in stock (as opposed to being listed online)? A Pocketful of Clouds was printed and published less than a month ago, and I own every copy there is in existence except for the few I gave away or sold personally, the one I sent to Amazon for their listing and the one I sent to the British Copyright Library. I do not think WHSmiths have a copy. What I suspect will happen if you try to buy that online is that they will get in contact with us via someone like Gardners and get a copy that way. That's all well and good, and a sale is a sale and I'm very happy about that, but it's no different from Amazon. It's not books sitting on a shelf in WHSmiths or Waterstones, which might actually result in people buying them. And sadly, I suspect both WHSmiths and Waterstones are just copying Amazon and scraping the Nielsen database. I don't think there's much by way of content control there, although I could be wrong.

If you have bought a Sweatdrop book, any Sweatdrop book, from a real, physical shop (as opposed to their online version), please do say, I'd love to know
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Old 20-05-2012, 05:34 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Sun Kitten View Post
What I suspect will happen if you try to buy that online is that they will get in contact with us via someone like Gardners and get a copy that way.
Yes but are they not a reseller? lots of books I buy are never in stock, I don't mind waiting a bit. I know I got 'Talking to Strangers' off the shelf in the high street store near to where I live. I also asked them to stock White Violet and Miki Falls, the lady told me she'll ring me when they have it. I know Mark Crilley depends somewhat on people asking shops to stock his book despite being with Dark Horse, this is normal but with the attitude on here I'm starting to get reluctant.

If people would just refer back to my first post in this thread I didn't write anything controversial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Kitten
That's all well and good, and a sale is a sale and I'm very happy about that, but it's no different from Amazon. It's not books sitting on a shelf in WHSmiths or Waterstones.
No idea about WHSmiths I never shop there, but I can still get your book from them online or ask in store. The more people that ask the more they'll want to pre-stock it on the high street. I've never had a book store tell me they won't stock a book I want unless not in production, especially Waterstones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Kitten
If you have bought a Sweatdrop book, any Sweatdrop book, from a real, physical shop (as opposed to their online version), please do say, I'd love to know
I mentioned already I got Talking to Strangers, it seemed pretty dark so I got it with Deadman Wonderland, Artemis Fowl and V for Vendetta, in Waterstones. I have others but it's the only one I'm 100% sure on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Shadow
Thus, offhand comments that you may perhaps put in for rhetorical effect and may think acceptable, being, as far as you're concerned, unimportant to the general thrust of your logic and aimed at some nebulous third party, actually get taken by your interlocutors as a direct, vicious stab at them personally (I'm going to take you at your word here that they are not intended as that, without your frequent disclaimers this would not be at all obvious!)
My comments really aren't directed at anyone, we were opionating on comic art and I was giving my opinion in a general direction. It's impossible for me to write out a history or list of events to describe why I'm writing the comment, but on regards to being lazy, I have seen people submit to Marvel (and fair enough everyone has a right to) who are still only beginners, and rant on their blogs when they don't get accepted, damning the company and damning art, I find incredibly infuriating when I've spent most of my life doing art and even I get rejected, it's my undirected hate coming out, please don't misunderstand. They're most certainly not directed at Darth Mongoose.

I'll admit though I can see why some things I say offend, but I'm around people all day who insult eachother for fun or encouragement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Shadow
You make a lot of interesting points, so it really is a pity that every so often an offhand remark causes them to be lost in this way and go unheard. Many people here are willing to give the benefit of doubt, but perhaps a step in our direction from you might also help bridge the gap?
I'm trying, but this is starting to feel like what Ed Miliband has talked about, a very closed circle. Every post I've made on this board has had replies in the form of content being the direct opposite to what I wrote, as if I'm wrong somehow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Shadow
As for the repeated disclaimers... if one feels one has to keep apologising for something, or explaining it away, isn't it better to just restrain oneself and not do that thing in the first place?
I feel my comments are being misunderstood, I personally don't see how I am being direct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karasu no Kazu
A lot of us here are professionals and semi-professionals, like Kate. A lot of us find it very difficult to get comics/GNs/whatever published, despite being of a high standard artistically. We've all had similar experiences to her. You know people getting published? Good for you. So do I. I expect that means that you don't know anyone not getting published?
If we all know people getting published, then why was I wrong to point that out that it's not impossible as Darth Mongoose was making out? I just don't see it, it's a specialized field like programming or engineering, it's not going to be as commonly sought as a road sweeper like Wayne compared to.

I am a professional, I have felt the same as everyone else on this board has felt, which gives me the right to complain or talk about it and you can't void my opinions or insight whether you like them or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasaru no Kazu
Your comments about your fellow artists are arrogant, ill-informed, and downright untrue. Calling people "anime-tracers" and "lazy" makes me think that your artwork must be really special.
Are you saying they don't exist at expo? you've seen no one trying to flog copied and altered Naruto art and buttons? artists that just can't downright draw very well? am I not allowed to say this either?

I do buy indie work, a lot of it, probably more than mainstream, even if it's just to see what people are up to. You can call me arrogant all you want, I'm not the one promoting myself here, but if I was to blow smoke up my ass I don't have much to learn from some artists that have tables at expo. I have spent more money on life drawing classes than my car, I should hope I am getting somewhere by now. I am seeking appraisal from successful artists, not people of the same level as me, is that so wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasaru no Kazu
...so why not put a link to your artwork up here and let us see exactly why it is you think you are so much better than everyone else.
I'm not about to give my identity in the midst of hostility... but if you want to work it out then I've worked for Nickelodeon on a popular cartoon that not long ago got adapted into a shitty Hollywood movie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasaru no Kazu
Or failing that, as I'm aware that critique can come from observation rather than being able to do the work yourself, **how about actually reading some of the comics you criticise? You have pointed out numerous times that you haven't even seen Kate's artwork. Go and look at it. Go look at mine. Give us the benefit of your wisdom.
**I haven't been judging anything...

I'll gladly read yours and Darth Mongoose' comics, in regards to yours I don't know where to find them, I tried your toothycat website but if I'm not wrong I am seeing Sun Kitten's work? confused, or is it yours?

Since you wanted me to give criticism, I read some Fan Dan Go by Kate Holden from the early pages and some from the recent ones. There's nothing wrong with it, it's perfectly readable, good expression execution, appealing protagonist, I really like Sarin and Rochette, a lot, they're great character designs and the background filler is colourful.

If you want me to nitpick, then I'm not a fan of Subo Walker's colour scheme, it's something I didn't like about Ben 10 with the sharp greens. In terms of general art ability, I think Kate could benefit from learning how to do curved perspective (you might already, I know it's difficult to do freehand, but boy does it give the panel some great focus when executed perfectly) only because I see minor alignment problems, if you want to reference 'FDG Ch4 007' last panel, there are so many lines you can bring to the horizon/vanishing point but to my eye they each have their own point but are part of the same object (the ground).

One more, I think possibly it could benefit with some more line fluidity, a good example would be the W.I.T.C.H comic which is what Fan Dan Go reminded me of. (I hope that's not offensive, it's a well drawn comic).

See this reference and compare to manga (which is often stiff): http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/623/82803808.jpg

Anything by John Allison (Murder She Writes) is nice and fluid too.

Peace guys...
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Old 20-05-2012, 09:54 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erininamori View Post
Yes but are they not a reseller? lots of books I buy are never in stock, I don't mind waiting a bit. I know I got 'Talking to Strangers' off the shelf in the high street store near to where I live. I also asked them to stock White Violet and Miki Falls, the lady told me she'll ring me when they have it. I know Mark Crilley depends somewhat on people asking shops to stock his book despite being with Dark Horse, this is normal but with the attitude on here I'm starting to get reluctant.
That's very cool that you found Talking to Strangers on the High St, excellent It's one of our titles that has been available for distribution by Diamond. I hope they can source White Violet for you - if not, please let me know, I handle the distribution for Sweatdrop and I'm sure we can sort something out ^^

Anyway, yes, it's true, Waterstones and WHSmiths and so on will list online anything that gets published and you can ask for it in the shop and they'll get it in for you. There are three problems with that, however.

1) People have to know about the book in order to ask for it.
2) No chance of attracting customers/attention by the book actually being there on the shelves for people browsing to flick through.
3) No real chance of selling enough to break even on the print run (that's usually taken care of by conventions, if at all). That's just from my experience, mind - but I have handled the distribution for several years for over thirty GN titles, all published, and I know exactly how many have sold via resellers. It's not very many.

To be fair, a lot of non-self-published graphic novels have the same problem with not being on high street shop shelves, but at least the creators responsible for those have been paid. Usually.

I think you and Kate are talking about slightly different things. You are saying it's not difficult to publish and sell a graphic novel, by which you mean a perfect-bound book that has an ISBN (right? Do correct me if I'm wrong). I would completely agree, it's not difficult, I've done several and Kate has got at least one of her own and has been in several others.
What Kate heard you saying is that it's not difficult to get a book published *by someone else* - and it actually is. Whether it's a matter of timing, luck, quality, whatever, this is something I've seen from being friends with lots of excellent comickers. Yes, you can't get a GN if you're not good enough, that is true. But you also have to have the right timing, or contacts, or luck, or whatever you want to call it. It's true that many excellent artists have been published by people like Oni, Marvel etc. But it's also true that many excellent artists find it very hard to find that sort of work - and here's the thing, sometimes it's the same people. One publishing deal doesn't guarantee another. So I know it's not always an issue of quality. Sometimes it's simply bad luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erininamori View Post
No idea about WHSmiths I never shop there, but I can still get your book from them online or ask in store. The more people that ask the more they'll want to pre-stock it on the high street. I've never had a book store tell me they won't stock a book I want unless not in production, especially Waterstones.
Please do keep asking, I appreciate it However, unless a book is carried by Diamond or another distributor, I think it is highly unlikely a shop will stock it regularly on the shelves (as opposed to ordering it in, which as you say they will always do). I'd love to be proved wrong, though, so ask away

Quote:
Originally Posted by erininamori View Post
I'll admit though I can see why some things I say offend, but I'm around people all day who insult eachother for fun or encouragement.
Sure, but these aren't those people. Don't expect strangers on a forum to react the same way as people you know well.

Earlier, you said to DM that if her pitches failed, perhaps there was a reason. Now I say to you, if everyone is reacting to you like you are offending them, perhaps there is a reason. I don't doubt you mean what you say when you say you're not out to offend, but the fact is you have. It may not be fair to you - and I'm not intending to imply you're the villain - but if you wish to make a point and discuss things, perhaps it would be a good idea to adapt your posting style to the style of the forum to which you have come? When in Rome, etc?

Everyone else - Kaz, Kate - please try to remember that erininamori has said he/she did not intend to offend. I would ask you please to be gracious and accept him/her at his/her word. I find it's always better to assume ignorance over malice; if you think someone is being rude and they say they don't intend to, it is possible that they simply can't see it.

Play nice or I shall lock the thread, it's gone somewhat off topic as it is

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Originally Posted by erininamori View Post
I'll gladly read yours and Darth Mongoose' comics, in regards to yours I don't know where to find them, I tried your toothycat website but if I'm not wrong I am seeing Sun Kitten's work? confused, or is it yours?
*giggles*

I don't know where you got the idea that toothycat.net is Kaz's, it's mine - as you noticed. Kaz's website is here.

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Originally Posted by erininamori View Post
Anything by John Allison (Murder She Writes) is nice and fluid too.
I read that just two days ago and it was awesome
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Old 21-05-2012, 11:21 PM   #37
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Okay, let's take a step back from this very heated (and long) exchange that's been happening here and look at an earlier post in this thread.

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I always think selling it isn't so much the big part. Heck, I lose money on every comic I print, but as long as it's affordable, that's not really a problem. If one person can pick it up and laugh, then something's gone well! Which is good because selling comics at the last comic event I had a table at was a total disaster (Thought Bubble, Leeds).
Yeah, that was the Thought Bubble where we shared a table, eh? We hardly sold anything, and I think this was, at least in part, due to us being at the wrong sort of event. It was a more "indie comics" sort of festival than it was a manga festival - that was the vibe that I was getting. The stuff that seemed to be selling was the Western style stuff, which is what I think was what the majority of the people there came to Thought Bubble for. (Same with the Comiket in London - people tend to pass over manga style comics and GN's for Western style ones.)

Then look at Expo - people seem to come there to buy anime merchandise, artbooks etc rather than buy from the Artists' Alley. I remember having a table there and, while people were struggling to sell their original comics and products, there was a girl selling her own fanart posters of things like Harry Potter and Bleach (while in her underpants, no less), and she made an absolute killing. So this is making me think that the events we try to sell at aren't really geared towards people who want small press manga at all, and that therefore these events might not be the right events for us... and that maybe, a bunch of us should attempt to create our own event. An event specifically geared towards selling and promoting self-published manga-style comics, at the right sort of venue that wouldn't charge too much. (I may even know of a venue where this could be done for free.) What do people think about that?
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Old 22-05-2012, 10:29 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
Okay, let's take a step back from this very heated (and long) exchange that's been happening here and look at an earlier post in this thread.
The stuff that seemed to be selling was the Western style stuff, which is what I think was what the majority of the people there came to Thought Bubble for. (Same with the Comiket in London - people tend to pass over manga style comics and GN's for Western style ones.)

Then look at Expo - people seem to come there to buy anime merchandise, artbooks etc rather than buy from the Artists' Alley. I remember having a table there and, while people were struggling to sell their original comics and products, there was a girl selling her own fanart posters of things like Harry Potter and Bleach (while in her underpants, no less), and she made an absolute killing.
There is some truth in that unfortunately and it's something that I discovered the hard way.
If your primary goal is to make money though, it's worth considering tailoring your wares to the event in question. At Expo, video game and anime prints are how I make a good chunk of my money, but while those are drawing people to the table, they're also then picking up my comics and original artwork. They might not end up buying them, but as Lazyfox says, it's worth it if the reader is at least entertained (and it's not like you've really lost anything from a non-sale).

I suppose that may be considered "selling out" by some, but I still enjoy creating the things I sell and it then recoups my costs for the con so that I'm either breaking even or slightly in profit.

If you can get a con organised specifically for selling self-published/ small press manga, you'll definitely have my support.
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Old 22-05-2012, 11:27 AM   #39
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My goal isn't so much to make money - or even make up the money spent on printing etc., because let's face it, initially you have to take a risk and count on not even breaking even - my goal is to shift comics. If more people are interested, I'll see about emailing the venue (which is in London btw.) and asking what dates are available this summer.

As for selling prints from established anime/manga, Ryuuza, are you sure you're not actually in breach of copyright there, since you're making money off someone else's intellectual property? Are there rules or guidelines from the Expo people regarding this?

Anyway, here's something else that's been on my mind since this thread went all combustible on us; people tend to take things so personally here! Way too personally in my opinion. Remember the study Nattherat did a while ago on representation in comics, how that thread just turned into people defending their choices in not having a very diverse cast (in terms of race, disability, age etc.) in their comics? Discovering something like that is in fact very useful, because it makes you question your own creative process and choices. The study wasn't in any way implying that people were "wrong" for not having a diverse cast, but so many people were instantly defensive.

I've read through all of this thread (*wipes sweat from brow*) and I don't see Erininamori make personal attacks on anybody, or even on the people on this forum in general, but making some very interesting observations that can in fact be very useful to everyone if they can step back and read them from a place of objective calm. Even the "anime tracer" comment is very useful, because it gives us an insight into the minds of the people who pass up our wares at cons - knowing why someone doesn't want our comics is very useful. I'm guessing a lot of people at events dismiss small press as "anime tracers" - because they are there for very different reasons than us. So what we have to do is then either a) work to change their minds or b) not bother selling at events where maybe 95% of the people attending don't want our stuff.

Now, imagine that you're an editor looking to take on fresh talent from the UK manga scene - just imagine, it could happen - and you sign up with an account here at SD to get a "feel" of the people. Let me tell you, in terms of offering someone work, I BET it's not just down to however talented someone may be, but to the editorial team going, "Can we work with this person?" If someone comes across as being extremely touchy about their work, then frankly, as an editor I would assume that person was just too much trouble to work with and look for someone else. I am not pointing fingers at any specific people, I AM JUST MAKING A GENERAL POINT here. The fact that someone should be so taken aback by the backlash they receive that they're reluctant to give out their real name or show their work should really give everybody some pause for thought. That's not the sort of supportive and welcoming spirit these forums are supposed to be known for, is it?

Anyway, hello Erininamori! *waves* - let me guess, did you by any chance work on Avatar? Yeah, I fancy myself a total detective now. Unless I'm totally wrong, of course.
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Old 22-05-2012, 11:48 AM   #40
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Interesting thread with good viewpoints. Even the devil's advocate ones (though could probably be phrased better, they are still good and interesting viewpoints).

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I remember having a table there and, while people were struggling to sell their original comics and products, there was a girl selling her own fanart posters of things like Harry Potter and Bleach (while in her underpants, no less), and she made an absolute killing.
*Facepalm* This pisses me off so much. At Expo this weekend there are new rules though.

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Allowed:
Your own comics
Your own artwork
Your own prints

Not Allowed:
Copyrighted images.
Jewelry
Trinkets
Crafts
DVDs
Clothing
Food & Drink
Anything that isn't related to your comic.
Let's hope they are adhered to.

...I think the discussion has gone off on one, but I wish for it to develop. If people are being touchy then write using passive English and not aggressive English is a suggestion?

Also, FWIW, I believe artists seem to fall into 2 camps; those who wear their art-heart on their sleeve and ones that view it as a detatched and self-functioning skillset. Sometimes they cross over. It's good to keep it in mind for respect purposes though to save treading on toes.

Also, lot of people's works can be found in their forum post signatures. So it's good to check it out to put art to internet-faces.
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