Comics Creators

What price comic books? We're not made of money!


I don’t disagree with that. Although if you enjoyed them when you were a kid, they were not crap, they were just written in a different age for a different age group.

What I was getting at is there’s people complain that comics are not as good as they used to be, but the are comparing it to something they read with a completely different mindset, when most stuff seemed new, fresh and exciting.

I read more now than I did then and I think there’s a lot more very ‘good’ comics now than there was then - if my budget were to change though I’d be buying a lot less.

Just to be clear, because I’m not sure you picked me up right, I think the overall standard is better now than it ever was - I should really edit the post where I said comics are no better or worse because I don’t really mean that, or think it. They are definitely better.

If I were a kid now I’d never get into comics because my parents wouldn’t pay £3 for something that’s going to keep me occupied for a very short time.


[quote=“ChrisS, post:75, topic:5964”]
There’s too many people wanting to make comics out there and the market is not big enough to give them all a good living
[/quote] No, there’s not enough people wanting make comics. There’s too many people expecting to get rich off making comics though. I can draw comparisons to the music industry. I am in a band. We have an album out. The music we make dies not appeal to everyone, but many puerile really lake it. We’re not making the music for other puerile though, we’re making it for us. We paid for the production costs out of our own pocket and published digitally (with a limited run if of physical CDs). We’re about half way to breaking even right now. There are many many musicians like me doing this same thing. Right from the start we knew we wouldn’t be rich doing this, we didn’t even expect to make money. However, 10 to 15 years ago, the thought of having someone in New Zealand chance upon our album and buy a copy was an impossible dream. The distribution framework just didn’t exist. Now, with services like bandcamp, soundcloud and jamendo, it’s relatively easy to get the entire world access to our music. We are beholden to no-one.

Currently, a similar distribution network for digital comic book distribution doesn’t really exist. There’s shades of its creation visible in places like comixology, but right now if you’re an indie diy creator, your options seem to be limited print runs fur small audiences, find a publisher and lose creative control, or post on a website and hope your search terms are up to snuff. In the comic book scene as in the music scene there are some stand out “big acts”, there are some hidden “indie gems” and there’s a while load of filler. But I also firmly believe that there’s hundreds or even thousands of people who could be producing awesome comics or possibly are producing those comics but we don’t know about them because the distribution platform is ropey. If everyone who’s ever dreamed of making a comic book was able to do so and distribute it online in a central location (and let’s face it, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so, even if they suck?), then a) we’d have more varied choice, b) we’d be able to support the creators who we thought were deserving of our money and c) we’d see some real non conformist stand out gems which would never have been published otherwise. Sure, there’d be tons of shit too, but at least we wouldn’t have to pay 3 quid a pop to find out how shit it was, and the good find would far outweigh the bad.


That was the point I was making too, although I did it in a rather ham fisted way.I also agree completely that comics are better now than they were when I was a kid. I don’t have enough days to day “than ever before” because I’ve only jyst gotten back into comics after a ten year hiatus, so feel free to make recommendations


There’s some cracking auto-correct in this post. :smile:


It’s my nemesis. I might wrote a comic about it.


You wish to obliterate your bank account? Very well, go here:

The Trades Thread

You will find an absolute smattering of reviews and recommendations - or more rarely, what not to buy! -quite a few of us also post info on bargain deals there too.


I have a Scribd account so I’m hoping to find a bunch of books on there I can read too


At the same time there’s tons of musicians who bemoan that distribution system though.

It depends what you plan to get from it. If you are just wanting your music and art out there then it’s great having all the options, but at the same time your music gets lost in the muddle of other artists all trying to do the same thing. So chances of it hitting an audience are pretty limited.

Same goes for comics, the more comics there are the less chance you have of yours being read.

There comes a point where people making music and comics for the love need to start paying the bills unless they can pay the bills and keep it on as a hobby. I’ve been in the same boat myself and I see it all the time. It hits the skids when life gets in the way, unless you make a living from it. Which not many people will be lucky enough to do.


I’d argue that they’re not musicians, they’re businessmen.


We’ve almost got this though. More entries just dilutes the market. I’m not saying that’s a bad or good thing, because there’s pros and cons. But generally speaking the folk who work the hardest, are most determined and have the thickest skin will get there in the end providing they have some talent.

To address some of your points - a) There’s loads of choice at the moment, it’s overwhelming reading Previews and browsing b) We can support those creators who we feel deserve the money, I alsways pick up one or two Comixlogy submit books - although most of them are pretty shite, so I rarely pick up a second issue. There’s no quality control there at all, which is a problem with anyone publishing their own stuff. C) there’s plenty non conformist work out there already, there has been for decades

I don’t think the good finds outweigh the bad at all, I’ve been wading through some serious shit over the last few years, which is why picking up Image, Boom and Vertigo books is often a better option.


Yeah that’s why we have jobs. I can seer what you’re saying, and it does suck that in today’s world it’s difficult for an artist to make a living off their art alone, but that also means that the ones left are the ones with the passion to make something good. You say that the music gets lost in all the music produced by people doing the same thing - That’s why we do something different. I think people expecting to make a living by producing something which offers nothing new or challenging are on a hiding to nothing.

Obviously it’s impossible to draw direct comparisons between music and comics, but I think some sort of shake up of the industry is necessary , something which kicks people hard enough for them to say “yeah maybe the new adventures of formulaic man isn’t what the world needs right now”


In what sense?


In the sense that they’re more interested in profiting from the music than they are in its creation.


Given the explosion in recent years of both:

  • Other genre material
  • Translated material

Anyone who says there’s nothing good to read in comics frankly isn’t looking hard enough.


It’s hard to find it though, that’s what I mean.

I, like what assuming is also true for you, have very eclectic music tastes. It can be hard work at times getting to the good stuff because I listen to a lot of stuff that is not to my tastes to get there.

I just want to be clear, I totally get what you are saying here and I’m on your side, but there’s a downside to easily distributed models and it’s on my mind because I’ve been experiencing it a lot recently.


Oh don’t worry, I completely agree with you. There’s something kinda cool about discovering something great after wading through tons of crap though. And I still firmly believe that anyone should be able to publish their art, even if it sucks, even if it’s objectively bad, because who the he’ll are we to stop them doing what they live, even if they suck at it?


I’m just speaking from watching some of my mates still trying to break through and the disheartenment some of them have experienced.

I’m not sure if many people will knows these bands or not, possibly not as they are quite small.

But just to give some examples, I had a mate who was in My Latest Novel and he’s a terrific musician. It looked like they were going to break thru and then it never quite happened for them. He’s now working and I get the sense he’d far rather be making music but when you work it’s hard to do both.

I have another mate Yashin and they’ve been blitzing it for years. He obviously wants to make a living out of it but how long can they keep going if it doesn’t quite click for them. It’s breaks my heart to see these guys quit their dreams and enter the 9 to 5 world.

I have another mate who is in a band called Galoshins and he does it just for the love and the craic while working full time.

They are all musicians it’s just that some of them want to make a living out of it, I don’t think that should detract from their love of what they do. It’s not a bad thing.


That’s true as well. I listened to Anohni’s (I’d never listened to Anthony and the Johnsons) album yesterday and discovered a track I never would have if I hadn’t plowed through 5 other artists albums I’d never heard of to get there.


In my experience, doing what you love for a living sucks the passion out of you. My creative urge is fuelled by my discontent, my muse feeds off my own shattered dreams. If I had everything I’d dreamed of it would take the edge off my music I think. Which works for progressive hardcore, but might not for other genres. I guess each case is unique. FWIW, we’re TRYING to make money in order to break even. But we release all our work under creative commons and encourage people to copy and redistribute it because having the world listen is of far greater value to us. Interestingly, everyone who has bought the album has paid above the asking price. We’re never gonna be famous but who the hell wants to be? We’re never gonna be rich, but money is a burden. I appreciate my outlook on life is non standard, but there’s reasons behind it, all stemming from experience.


I stopped buying floppies about 10 years ago and switched to trades so I can’t comment on monthly prices. But I have noticed in recent years that trades are getting more expensive. Or they’re staying the same price – $14.99 – but you get 4 issues instead of six. I have absolutely cut back on my purchases as a result. It’s not a budget thing, I could literally afford it thankfully, but the value doesn’t seem to be there. A few years ago $60 on trades would get me 20-30 issues of story. That can no only be 16 issues, which is quite a difference.

I don’t know the economics of the publishers. The big two of course are small units in huge media companies and provide a lot of IP. But maybe the cost pressures are much higher these days or, as the comics buyer ages, maybe the tolerance for paying more is higher.