Whether you're an artist, writer or businessman, you are here for the same reason. You want to self-publish your own comics, you want to start your own Comic business, and you're not sure how to go about doing that. Of course that stands to reason. You've never tried anything like that on your own, and you don't know anyone who has...
To start your own comic company, you can't just come up with a fun name and logo. First you have to have an idea, a character and a comic, then a company. If you don't have strong characters, you don't have a strong comic; if you don't have a strong comic, you don't have a strong company. It would be best if your business started out with a strong comic, obviously.
To make good characters, you're not just a writer or artist anymore. You're a watcher of the world; you pay attention to everything around you. Even if someone walks by who makes you want to puke from now till Sunday because he or she is so disgusting, you still watch him or her walk by regardless. You pay more attention to how people talk, walk, run, jump and play. You notice the differences of these actions between grown-ups, active kids, older people and babies. Once you are able to easily perceive the unique qualities that various people have about them, you can begin coming up with your comic.
Characters include superheroes, villains, background people and the now and laters. All of these will be described in-depth in the next article. Just be thinking of them, and ideas for them, their histories, looks, vocabularies, etcetera.
You don't stop anywhere until you've got all the perfect information you need for your Comic. It takes a lot to run a business, and if you don't agree, you shouldn't go any further till you do.
Entertaining Story Lines
Entertainng story lines also stem off of being a watcher of the world and things around you. You have to pay attention to real life situations, and think of what makes them sad, happy, amusing and lovable. If you miss these, there goes another part of the foundation to your house. Every idea that you have you should write down, and amend on and on till it's exactly how life is.
Putting Your Comic Together
Bring the best ideas of your characters and story lines together. Involve them throughout each other, make them dependable on themselves, but also on each other. Don't let the story line carry the characters and don't let the characters carry the story line. Find the right artist, inker and writer for the comic. Think of the logo of the comic and figure out how far you're going to take your comic. Figure out if every month's issue will have a different story, or if stories will continue from one issue to the next.
Making Your First Issue
Set up deadlines, show your writer what you're thinking, (unless you are the writer) and make sure the writer and artists (penciler and inker) communicate well. Decide if you're even going to have a colorer, because a lot of money is put into color. Are you going to be the everything man? Will you be the writer, artist, inker and so on all by yourself? It is helpful to make these decisions before embarking on your first issue.
Copyright, Publishing, Distribution
Copyright your comic, ideas and characters so that no one else can use them. Trust no one with your possible "future money-making" ideas that took you so long to come up with. After you have them legally claimed, you can go ahead and print them up. You have to find the right printing company, and you have to figure out all the little details, that really do make a difference. Should you print the comic in color, or save $150 a page to keep it in black and white? Budget issues aside, maybe the Comic's mood is set better for black and white.
Are you a good businessman? If not, make friends with someone who is and hire that person or get tips from him or her on how to go about different processes of marketing comics. Do you know what to do from here, or do you need help selling your comics to dealers and getting them distributed?
As an artist, I make reference to dozens of photos, pictures and real images a day. It's not copying to reference unless you start tracing and so on. All of this aside, you're still confused and don't know how to start a Comic company of your own, right? In the next tutorial, we'll take an in-depth look at Strong Characters, and then after that we'll move on to Entertaining Story Lines, and so on down the list. Don't miss it.
- Joseph Lookabaugh