After all the details of who's doing who and what are figured out, your ready to start. By now you should definitely know what you're trying to accomplish with your comic, how far you are willing to take it, and you should have a guild gathered up to begin completion of this great comic of yours.
First off; have a meeting, or meetings. Discuss how long it will take to complete the issue, and one of the most important things, set a release date. If you don't set a release date you'll find yourself in the same situation the following year. You'll still have your hand in you're pockets and the comic will still be in a "theory" form.
Now, is your comic going to be a single comic or are you going to want to start your own comic company. This is determined by how many times a year you will come out with new comics. How much are the people helping your willing to work? Do you have enough money, or can you get enough? This should be one of the main topics discussed in the first meeting.
While creating your first issue, be sure to include something significant to grab the reader's attention. Make something so different about your comic that people be attracted to it, pulled in to read. Capture their mind, and make them your first monthly readers.
Include enough information that the reader is not at all lost, but don't give away all the juicy details right away. A great example of this is with the recently released origin of Wolverine. Keep anticipation up, the mystery at an all time high and sales sky-rocketing.
Follow through with your previously decided release date, unless of impossible problems. In that case, don't delay the release to long.
In further meetings down the line, decide if your going to promote your comic in any way. Each case is different. Some comics need a lot of promotion, some comics promote themselves. In your case, your comic won't be known enough to promote itself. It'd be a good idea to post ads in magazines like Wizard and also in comic books. Get your comic listed in the Previews or Diamond Distributing magazine. Take that day out of your life to arrange all promotional concerns.
No one said publishing a comic or starting your own comic company was easy. Because now you have to take even a little more time out of your busy schedule to call up different printing presses. Find the lowest prices. Decide with your guild whether or not you are going to print in color or not, and at which press. It will be up to you do decide quality printing for quite a cost, or even cheaper printing to save that extra buck.
This tutorial especially isn't going to lay it all out for you, nothing will. But hopefully it gives you the intended tips hints and tricks that will guide you along the way. Maybe you won't make those mistakes that you probably would have missed before. When you're ready check out the next tutorial for details on copyright, publishing and distribution.
- Joseph Lookabaugh