Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

New Comic Business

In the literal sense - I'm starting a comics related business with a friend of mine (who is also a comics person, but on the editing and journalism side).

What we're aiming to do is connect creators with people who can help them make comics. So, initially, this will be letterers, editors, and production people. In the future, we'd like to expand this to colorists, flatters, artists, accountants and, well, everything. The idea is that we'd be able to hook people up with people we've vetted, and (for the vendors) we'd handle them getting paid, customer service, etc. We're starting fairly small, so we can work out the kinks as we go without pissing everyone off.

(We've got some loftier goals, too, honestly, like providing a base for rates to give people something to compare to and what not. )

So the reason I'm posting this, here, is get a feel for what you guys think of this? Is this useful? What sort of stuff would make your lives easier? If you're providing services, does something like this sound half useful?

In case you're wondering: I'll be completely hands off with the actual client work. That's my business partner's purview, both for reasons of skillset and for avoiding any sense of ethics fuckery.

Comments

  • So I liked this idea when you brought it up on Facebook, but I do have a question - specifically when connecting talent. Do you vet the talent to ensure they can and do actually deliver on their assignments, and if so how? 

    The reason I ask: I've seen plenty of artists who are super talented, produce a lot of their own work (occasionally), both sequential and pinups, but who have dropped off the map when handed a project to work on. How do you ensure there's quality connections when pairing up writers with artists (or with letterers, editors, etc)? Or is this something you will learn over time, in which case you'll form a preferred group with a reputation? 
  • This question really bakes into a larger question of: why does someone need this service, vs going out and finding their own collaborators on forums or Facebook? What's the value and unique selling proposition for this business venture? 
  • " Do you vet the talent to ensure they can and do actually deliver on their assignments, and if so how? "

    THIS is why artists is later on that list. With editors, letterers and production folks, I know people that have enough stuff that I can get be confident with reason they will deliver. And there's some interchangeability there - if an editor or letterer doesn't work out, it's possible to switch, which is less true with artists.

    There are some artists who I absolutely trust, but creating a vetting process there is going to be time intensive, and the risks are higher.

    So we may never get there.

    But the initial vetting process is having work to show, and references.

    "This question really bakes into a larger question of: why does someone
    need this service, vs going out and finding their own collaborators on
    forums or Facebook? What's the value and unique selling proposition for
    this business venture? "

    Convenience and security. Part of the reason I'm involved (you know, aside from it being my idea) is that I have a reputation and I'm willing to stand behind this and stake my reputation on it. And money (to a certain extent).

    So you can be assured you're not going to lose money and you're going to get what you pay for.

    But convenience is probably a bigger thing. Even now, for me, I can put out a call on Facebook and get answers, but I don't have a place where I can go to find printers, or editors, or whatever. So, I'm going with the idea that this is the sort of service I would like and I don't see it existing.

    The ideal form of this is that the website will have, basically, a tutorial on making comics (not necessarily from a craft stand point, but the nuts and bolts of 'How do you get from script to holding a copy in your hands') which would be useful on its own, and then you can use the service to make that happen.
  • Not mentioned, but probably part of the initial offerings is also printers who've proved to be reliable and high quality. If possible, with a discount for going through the business.
  • Great, thanks. I think these are all fantastic services to offer, especially for the first-timer (or even for someone at my level, wanting to get up to the next level). And totally get the roll-out (starting with editors and letterers, and then later bringing in artists) so you have time to vet and try out some people. I think that's a solid approach. 
  • I've been thinking for a long time about bringing in an editor, both to keep the trains running on time and to keep me from going off the rails creatively. 

    But I have no idea the fair market value for the service or how to vet a freelance editor.

    Also, when I hired the letterer who did RED ANGEL DRAGNET, he routinely tried to re-write my dialog and had to be admonished multiple times.

    So, yes. This would be a handy service for more than one reason.





  • I think it's a great idea. I have my a small network of reliable folks now, but it's taken me 10 years to build it. Would have been very useful to have this when I was starting out. That first inker I hired... that took a year of posting ads and doing tryouts and I got ripped off at least once, that I recall.





  • edited May 2016

    Also, when I hired the letterer who did RED ANGEL DRAGNET, he routinely tried to re-write my dialog and had to be admonished multiple times.

    WOW. Seriously. WOW.

    Every letterer I've ever heard of who tried that in a pro environment (who numbered about three prior to your post) got fired and pretty much never worked again.
  • I like this idea. My concern is that it's going to be a HUGE amount of work, for very small increments of pay. And that it's going to take a while (and again, a lot of work) to build up your stable large enough so that it's useful.

    I just want to make sure you're ready for how big a bite you're going to be taking!
  • Yeah - -that sounds amazing, considering how comics is increasingly moving toward independent creation.

    Almost like a guild of services.
  • edited May 2016
    What do you plan to do when – despite vetting – there's a problem with one of the matches you've made... e.g. the letterer you recommended (allegedly) doesn't deliver on time, or the writer (allegedly) doesn't pay?

    By the way, if you want help building the web site, or with hosting it: I do that.  (And that might also be a production service to include.)
  • I like this idea. My concern is that it's going to be a HUGE amount of work, for very small increments of pay. And that it's going to take a while (and again, a lot of work) to build up your stable large enough so that it's useful.

    I just want to make sure you're ready for how big a bite you're going to be taking!
    Hence the business partner.

    Well, in part. We are taking steps to minimize the amount of work on our end by making sure we can streamline our processes as much as possible, but, yeah, there's going to be surprises.

    The response from editors I've talked to (two dozen or so) so far could roughly be summed up as "Fuck yes, please do this" so that end is promising.
  • What do you plan to do when – despite vetting – there's a problem with one of the matches you've made... e.g. the letterer you recommended (allegedly) doesn't deliver on time, or the writer (allegedly) doesn't pay?

    By the way, if you want help building the web site, or with hosting it: I do that.  (And that might also be a production service to include.)
    Basically, we'll swap in another letterer if that's amenable to the client or refund their money. Said letterer will be taken out of the recommends. I'm willing to be reasonable, obviously, and if you let us know you can't hit the deadline in a reasonable time frame, that won't necessarily be an automatic out. For this to work well, we're probably going to need to have the work pass through us to confirm stuff is or isn't happening.

    If the writer doesn't pay (and we'll know, because they'll be paying US, and we'll have already paid the letterer) we just eat and expunge them from the system. To limit our exposure there, they're going to need to either pre pay or pay in reasonable chunks (we're not going to foot the bill for 1000 pages of lettering on your good name).

    That's a financial risk, which is in the business model.

    And to the website thing - I will probably take you up on it.

    Right now the initial suite of services is probably going to be:

    Editing (and this is a range of services from story dev to copy editing)
    Lettering
    Design and Production
    Web Design

    For sure the first three, probably the web design as well.

    Beyond that, there's stuff we'd like to do, but we need to see if the above stuff is at all viable first. Those were chosen on account of being the ones where people can handle a higher workload, which gives us more flex.

    I'd also like to find and vet some lawyers and accountants who would be interested in referrals, but that's down the road a bit. Likewise, making available pre made legal forms and stuff is something to explore, eventually.

    Or rather, there's a host of stuff we COULD do but we're trying not to get ahead of ourselves too much.
  • Yeah - -that sounds amazing, considering how comics is increasingly moving toward independent creation.

    Almost like a guild of services.
    This is the the goal

    Quoting us:

    "Providing a standardization
    of rates that will, hopefully, begin to impact the comics industry at
    large over the next couple of years. No one works for free. No one works
    for exposure. No one is paid less than a fair wage. Imagine if this
    company takes off--slowly, people being approached for work will know that
    most other pros are being paid X amount. It will become nearly impossible
    to hire someone for less than that amount. 

    "
  • So, in that scenario the letterer would technically be working for you, and you for the writer?
  • One of the reasons I thought about hiring an editor is more for the project management angle: making sure pages get from artist to colorist to Letterer and that the end results are in good shape. Not necessarily DOING the prepress, but making sure it's BEEN DONE, such that the bleeds aren't all fuckered up, etc.
  • So, in that scenario the letterer would technically be working for you, and you for the writer?
    They would. This is, to my mind, one of the two selling points:

    - One is the convenience of being able to find people who are pre vetted and easily access.

    - The other is security, in a sense. You can feel safe that you're going to get what you're paying for or you will get a discount.

    The letterer and client are actually free to cut us out of the equation - I'm not going to do anything to make sure they won't beyond offering something useful and hoping people view our cut as worthwhile. Likewise, from the vendor standpoint, we make sure you get paid, establish a rate floor and hopefully remove the hassles.

    Some people are going to cheap out and just go around, I'm sure.
  • One of the reasons I thought about hiring an editor is more for the project management angle: making sure pages get from artist to colorist to Letterer and that the end results are in good shape. Not necessarily DOING the prepress, but making sure it's BEEN DONE, such that the bleeds aren't all fuckered up, etc.
    This is what Sebastian does for us on Spread, and is generally what I use editors for. I'm not against the other stuff, but keeping the wheels turning is what I am not good at.

    (Which again, is ALSO why I'm not doing this business thing alone)
  • Yeah -- this should be huge.  You'd' be providing what a number of smaller companies can't provide.  I have an ear on local Canadian publisher Chapterhouse, and I know they just hired an editor for this sort of thing after a year of operating and they're still sorting things.

    I can see already established Image books taking advantage of this to make the wheels run better, not just people starting up.
  • This sounds like a lot of hard work but, in the end, it would really be a godsend.
  • I imagine you'll start out intending to create this service and end up accidentally founding a publisher.
  • The more I hear about this, the more I visualize you buried in work and complications.

    BUT it would be a really useful service if it existed, and I would happily use it to connect with collaborators!
  • The more I hear about this, the more I visualize you buried in work and complications.

    BUT it would be a really useful service if it existed, and I would happily use it to connect with collaborators!
    Hard to say. I'm hoping that we can minimize the complications with a slow build out, and the customer service aspect will be handled by not me. That said, I do have a decent sized time allotment for it, and I do have a goodly chunk of experience actually running businesses, so I have at least some grasp on the time sucking possible.

    But I'm not risking anything I can't afford to lose, so worse comes to worse, we shut down.
  • I imagine you'll start out intending to create this service and end up accidentally founding a publisher.
    Yeah, this has occurred to me. I'm trying to avoid this, but we'll see.
  • This... this is veeeerrry interesting.
  • I would be interested in tapping your knowledge on overseas publishing and licensing tips. Not sure if you're planning to include that in the beginning or eventually roll it out down the road, but very curious about it. 
Sign In or Register to comment.

Debug Trace

Notice
The addon in /plugins/AboutMe has 1 issue(s).

#0 [internal function]: gdn_ErrorHandler(1024, 'The addon in /p...', '/home/steve55/p...', 795, Array)
#1 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/Addon.php(795): trigger_error('The addon in /p...', 1024)
#2 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/Addon.php(829): Vanilla\Addon->triggerIssues()
#3 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/cache/addon.php(1582): Vanilla\Addon::__set_state(Array)
#4 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(319): require('/home/steve55/p...')
#5 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(740): Vanilla\AddonManager->ensureMultiCache()
#6 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1094): Vanilla\AddonManager->lookupAddon('stubcontent')
#7 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1074): Vanilla\AddonManager->lookupByType('stubcontent', 'addon')
#8 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(247): Vanilla\AddonManager->startAddonsByKey(Array, 'addon')
#9 [internal function]: {closure}(Object(Garden\Container\Container), Object(Gdn_Configuration), Object(Vanilla\AddonManager), Object(Garden\EventManager), Object(Gdn_Request))
#10 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/vendor/vanilla/garden-container/src/Container.php(723): call_user_func_array(Object(Closure), Array)
#11 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(308): Garden\Container\Container->call(Object(Closure))
#12 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/index.php(22): require_once('/home/steve55/p...')
#13 {main}
Notice
The addon key must match it's subdirectory name (about me vs. AboutMe).

#0 [internal function]: gdn_ErrorHandler(1024, 'The addon key m...', '/home/steve55/p...', 797, Array)
#1 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/Addon.php(797): trigger_error('The addon key m...', 1024)
#2 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/Addon.php(829): Vanilla\Addon->triggerIssues()
#3 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/cache/addon.php(1582): Vanilla\Addon::__set_state(Array)
#4 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(319): require('/home/steve55/p...')
#5 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(740): Vanilla\AddonManager->ensureMultiCache()
#6 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1094): Vanilla\AddonManager->lookupAddon('stubcontent')
#7 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1074): Vanilla\AddonManager->lookupByType('stubcontent', 'addon')
#8 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(247): Vanilla\AddonManager->startAddonsByKey(Array, 'addon')
#9 [internal function]: {closure}(Object(Garden\Container\Container), Object(Gdn_Configuration), Object(Vanilla\AddonManager), Object(Garden\EventManager), Object(Gdn_Request))
#10 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/vendor/vanilla/garden-container/src/Container.php(723): call_user_func_array(Object(Closure), Array)
#11 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(308): Garden\Container\Container->call(Object(Closure))
#12 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/index.php(22): require_once('/home/steve55/p...')
#13 {main}
Notice
The addon in /plugins/Emotify has 1 issue(s).

#0 [internal function]: gdn_ErrorHandler(1024, 'The addon in /p...', '/home/steve55/p...', 795, Array)
#1 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/Addon.php(795): trigger_error('The addon in /p...', 1024)
#2 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/Addon.php(829): Vanilla\Addon->triggerIssues()
#3 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/cache/addon.php(1806): Vanilla\Addon::__set_state(Array)
#4 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(319): require('/home/steve55/p...')
#5 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(740): Vanilla\AddonManager->ensureMultiCache()
#6 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1094): Vanilla\AddonManager->lookupAddon('stubcontent')
#7 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1074): Vanilla\AddonManager->lookupByType('stubcontent', 'addon')
#8 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(247): Vanilla\AddonManager->startAddonsByKey(Array, 'addon')
#9 [internal function]: {closure}(Object(Garden\Container\Container), Object(Gdn_Configuration), Object(Vanilla\AddonManager), Object(Garden\EventManager), Object(Gdn_Request))
#10 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/vendor/vanilla/garden-container/src/Container.php(723): call_user_func_array(Object(Closure), Array)
#11 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(308): Garden\Container\Container->call(Object(Closure))
#12 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/index.php(22): require_once('/home/steve55/p...')
#13 {main}
Notice
The addon should have at most one plugin class (EmotifyPlugin, EmotifyPlugin).

#0 [internal function]: gdn_ErrorHandler(1024, 'The addon shoul...', '/home/steve55/p...', 797, Array)
#1 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/Addon.php(797): trigger_error('The addon shoul...', 1024)
#2 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/Addon.php(829): Vanilla\Addon->triggerIssues()
#3 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/cache/addon.php(1806): Vanilla\Addon::__set_state(Array)
#4 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(319): require('/home/steve55/p...')
#5 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(740): Vanilla\AddonManager->ensureMultiCache()
#6 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1094): Vanilla\AddonManager->lookupAddon('stubcontent')
#7 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1074): Vanilla\AddonManager->lookupByType('stubcontent', 'addon')
#8 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(247): Vanilla\AddonManager->startAddonsByKey(Array, 'addon')
#9 [internal function]: {closure}(Object(Garden\Container\Container), Object(Gdn_Configuration), Object(Vanilla\AddonManager), Object(Garden\EventManager), Object(Gdn_Request))
#10 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/vendor/vanilla/garden-container/src/Container.php(723): call_user_func_array(Object(Closure), Array)
#11 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(308): Garden\Container\Container->call(Object(Closure))
#12 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/index.php(22): require_once('/home/steve55/p...')
#13 {main}
Notice
The addon with key GoogleSignIn could not be found and will not be started.

#0 [internal function]: gdn_ErrorHandler(1024, 'The addon with ...', '/home/steve55/p...', 1076, Array)
#1 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1076): trigger_error('The addon with ...')
#2 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(247): Vanilla\AddonManager->startAddonsByKey(Array, 'addon')
#3 [internal function]: {closure}(Object(Garden\Container\Container), Object(Gdn_Configuration), Object(Vanilla\AddonManager), Object(Garden\EventManager), Object(Gdn_Request))
#4 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/vendor/vanilla/garden-container/src/Container.php(723): call_user_func_array(Object(Closure), Array)
#5 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(308): Garden\Container\Container->call(Object(Closure))
#6 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/index.php(22): require_once('/home/steve55/p...')
#7 {main}
Notice
The locale with key SequentialWorkshop could not be found and will not be started.

#0 [internal function]: gdn_ErrorHandler(1024, 'The locale with...', '/home/steve55/p...', 1076, Array)
#1 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1076): trigger_error('The locale with...')
#2 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(249): Vanilla\AddonManager->startAddonsByKey(Array, 'locale')
#3 [internal function]: {closure}(Object(Garden\Container\Container), Object(Gdn_Configuration), Object(Vanilla\AddonManager), Object(Garden\EventManager), Object(Gdn_Request))
#4 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/vendor/vanilla/garden-container/src/Container.php(723): call_user_func_array(Object(Closure), Array)
#5 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(308): Garden\Container\Container->call(Object(Closure))
#6 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/index.php(22): require_once('/home/steve55/p...')
#7 {main}
Notice
The locale with key SQWSHP could not be found and will not be started.

#0 [internal function]: gdn_ErrorHandler(1024, 'The locale with...', '/home/steve55/p...', 1076, Array)
#1 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/library/Vanilla/AddonManager.php(1076): trigger_error('The locale with...')
#2 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(249): Vanilla\AddonManager->startAddonsByKey(Array, 'locale')
#3 [internal function]: {closure}(Object(Garden\Container\Container), Object(Gdn_Configuration), Object(Vanilla\AddonManager), Object(Garden\EventManager), Object(Gdn_Request))
#4 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/vendor/vanilla/garden-container/src/Container.php(723): call_user_func_array(Object(Closure), Array)
#5 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/bootstrap.php(308): Garden\Container\Container->call(Object(Closure))
#6 /home/steve55/public_html/sequentialworkshop.com/forum/index.php(22): require_once('/home/steve55/p...')
#7 {main}