Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Indiestarter II

As I did last week, I'm picking a new comic-based project on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and give them some ZombieCatBacon(TM) love, and see if I can help move some new creators towards publication, or assist in some other worthy project.

So today on Kickstarter we have Exquisite Corpse, from Cary, NC:

The comic book was written one page at a time, but each artist only saw the final panel from the page before theirs.  A little bit funny, a little bit scary, and a little bit's the story of a worm that becomes a flying cat and befriends a robot.  Together they...well, you'll have to read it to appreciate it. :)

I lived near Cary for a while (Raleigh) and I really enjoyed living in that part of the country. Good luck to Jason Tyne-Zimmerman on his campaign. His is not a huge goal, so go give him a boost, why doncha?

Yes, you could

Over at Indiegogo, I found this striking piece of work - Lumina
Lùmina is a bright, colorful italian graphic novel project by Emanuele Tenderini and Linda Cavallini, authors of many titles previously published by names such as Sergio Bonelli, Delcourt, Ankama, Mondadori, Hachette, Les Humanoïdes associés, DeAgostini, Panini.
Yes, the fundraising is in Euros, but don't let that stop you. And to my French and Italian readers, get on it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Craigslist update again

The previous offer I received a couple of weeks ago ($900) never came through. Fine, it's not the first time, gettin' kinda used to it now...

I went through the entire collection and pulled out a selection of titles to see how they're selling on Ebay. I picked out 72 titles; some new buzzy stuff like Afterlife with Archie and Black Science, and some personal faves like Dreadstar and Starslayer. The results were interesting. Well, to me anyway.

I only recorded the results if the listing was either an exact match for what I had or at least darn close (the listing says issues 1-8 and I have 1-10, something like that).

Recall that this is 15 1/2 long boxes of primarily independent titles, with a smattering of Marvel and DC. So we're talking about 4300 comics (90% bagged and boarded). I'm doing cartwheels in the street if I get $.35 a comic (or $1500). Here's the Craigslist post again (updated):

I discovered the 72 titles, according to Ebay, have sold recently for a collective $2300. These comics fill two long boxes, so it's 550(?) comics.

So if someone offered me my asking price right now and just sold the two preselected boxes on Ebay and achieved 80% of what I discovered, they'd make their money back within 7-10 days (including fees!).

And still have 3,750 comics remaining. And what remains is about 1200 hours worth of some damn good funny book readin'.

Why hasn't it sold yet? Because the collection is not jammed full of X-Spidervengers, that's why. And nearly 100% of the buyers I've dealt with so far only want to flip these books at flea markets, so they need the comics that match up with the general public's mental image of what a comic should be.

One guy offered me $600 sight unseen, and didn't want the list because it's in Excel and he doesn't like Microsoft. OK.

I'll keep trying, though.

By the way, if anyone wants to see the list of titles (which includes links to each of the Ebay results I mentioned), leave a comment and I will send it to you.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Collector Scum

Over on LA Weekly, Henry Rollins writes about a topic I've touched on a few times: the collector. In this case, he covers the collectible vinyl hobby (been there), and has more than a few words about the current state of affairs:
You might think no one past the age of 17 could possibly lose sleep over this kind of thing, but that's where you'd be wrong. Collecting records is, for many, beyond a hobby. It is an obsession. Do this kind of thing in high school and you can play the youth card. Do it at 50 and you have some issues you really need to deal with.
Go read it here


Done? Remind you of anything? CGC perhaps? The horrible feeling you get when you see a broken spine on your copy of X-Thing #459? Variant covers?

I'll paraphrase Harry's closing line: "Life is short. Get to as <many comics> as you can. Don't get hung up on the technicalities."


In other news, here's a nice round-up of the Humble Bundle thingy I mentioned earlier this week:
This was also a huge opportunity to reach non-comic book readers. Many people who check the Humble website with some frequency may have been surprised to see comics books on a video game page, and for many, surprise turned to intrigue. While it’s impossible to tell whether the purchasers of the Image bundle were frequent comic buyers or not, it’s logical to assume that many were not. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if for some, the Image bundle was the first comic purchase of their lives.
Kate Reynolds, you are correct. You go read her blog now.

Lastly, I think this is neato: Canva - gonna give a look-see this weekend

Enjoy yourself this weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Humble Bundle and more

Now this is cool. Go read Heidi's post over at The Beat about the success of the first Humble Bundle for comics. Almost $400K was raised for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

Here's a nice CBR article by Corey Blake about Dark Horse's resurgence. I was reading Dark Horse before they were cool, you know. (Love ya, Concrete!)

I miss this site: The Fourth Rail. Helped get me back into comics about 10 years ago...I discussed this a while ago.

I'll be watching Game 7. How about you?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Indiestarter push

Starting this week, I'm going to pick a new comic-based project on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and give them some ZombieCatBacon(TM) love, and see if I can help move some new creators towards publication, or assist in some other worthy project.

So today on Kickstarter we have this push to Save Kowabunga:

"Kowabunga Comics has been a fixture in the Downtown Oconomowoc community since 2006, when Chris Keefe & Neil Oliver set out to create a clean, family friendly, community oriented, customer service driven, comic book/gaming store.
Now the store is in danger of closing as Chris Keefe is looking to close up shop. It has always been Kowabunga's philosophy that there's no point in having a shop if you can't give back to the community. Kowabunga has worked with the Oconomowoc Library, the Oconomowoc Food Pantry and offered Art Classes not only through the store, but also in many of the local schools. In 2013, Kowabunga helped save the Towne Cinema in the neighboring city of Watertown and assisted Moonlit Movies of Oconomowoc in organizing their huge downtown outdoor movie event, Ocomicon! This is an effort we think is worth carrying forward."
Photo main
As I am currently living in Wisconsin, and I like comic book stores, I thought this would be nice to mention. They have a long way to go to hit their goal, so open your wallets and give a bit to these folks, especially if you're in WI and enjoy buying things from real live people.
Next on Indiegogo, there's this somewhat similar project:

Help Phantom Zone Comics Expand!!!

Phantom Zone Comics

These guys in currently in a 145 square foot shop. Wait, what?! Yeah, they need more room. There's 42 days left but don't just sit there. Continue to sit there and click on the link!

Retailing is a tough biz, so do what you can to support small operations like those above, or heck, you could do the same with your local shop too. Don't know where to find one? Click on this:

Site Logo CSLS

That is all for today.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The CBR Burgas post


"I know I’m beating an old dead horse with this, but it’s worth saying every so often, especially when other people get up in arms about DC and Marvel not publishing comics for children. Almost all of DC and Marvel’s publishing output is perfectly fine for kids.... Kids are far tougher than we think they are, and not much DC and Marvel publishes in their regular, mainstream superhero line will affect them too much. Their problems aren’t about what’s in the comics, it’s about the fact that they can’t the comics into the hands of kids."

Go read it, now

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Comic Industry plus Craigslist update

Comic collection sale update: Highest (real) offer so far: $900 - I'm holding out until the end of the week.

This is a good read from Multiversity:

The Comic Industry Talks the Biggest Changes in the Last Five Years, Where the Industry is Headed

It seems we have a consensus: digital is a thing, and it is a friend to print.

There is a very interesting inter-connectivity between the digital format, Kickstarter, the new wave of creator-owned projects (via publishers like Image) and the new rise of self-publishing/print-on-demand opportunities.

All of this is very exciting to me, a comic book reader since 1970. However, the primary challenge remains: how do writers, artists, and publishers get these creative works into the hands of readers, especially the good ol' fashioned paper and staples comic book? In order to avoid boring the hell out of you, I won't go into the distribution situation in the comic book industry right now (there has been plenty of analysis on the bigger, better blogs and sites over the past few years). Basically, if you are not in the front of Diamond's Previews catalog, you'll probably not get your comic ordered by retailers. (Is there room for a new distributor for comics? That's been tried a few times in the past 20 years - failure was the ultimate result.)

So what? You should be able to sell direct to the reader now, right? Go all Shopify and fulfill orders as they come in. How do readers find you? Facebook? Google? Amazon? Pinterest?

Why not?

That's the challenge now.

Plus this: most of the 300+ million people in this country think comics are Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Avengers, tights'n'fights, and that's if they know comics still exist (!). If you're not that, then you've lost most of the built-in audience already.

Plus this: most (good) comic stores and conventions are in metropolitan centers. And some stores and shows are not doing anyone a favor by existing primarily as a fanboy's misogyny club.

Plus this: most comic book readers don't read online comic sites and blogs. See built-in audience.

Plus this: the stigma lives, despite "geek/nerd" becoming "hip/cool". The fact that there is (was?) a Read Comics In Public Day speaks to this notion.

The comic book industry, such as it is, has not been able to bring over new readers commensurate to the level of interest you'd think would exist (due to movies, Big Bang Theory, etc).

So how can publishers, once funded, find new readers for their non-digital output, without preaching to the already over-whelmed and jaded choir?

More to come...

[Full disclosure - I worked for Diamond founder Steve Geppi in the 80's; great guy]

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Tiny Report

A quick note to introduce you to a site I found recently. The Tiny Report is "a comics micro-press resource". I've been straying more and more from the Big Two over the past couple of years, and I find this oft-neglected-by-the-masses sector of the medium to be rather fascinating.

Could this be the craft beer of comics? Yes, I know, small press comics have been around since the late 60's (earlier?). These creators aren't generally found in comic shops, and typically sell the ol' fashioned paper and staples type of comics by whatever means possible (on-line, conventions, etc).

Physical, tangible, handheld art objects made by non-corporate entities? Could be a trend...we'll see...

Also, remember the name Comicro...