How did I get it into print? I cheated.
Well, not really. I’m still looking for a hard-copy publisher, but in the meantime I wanted some hard copies of the comic for the Buck’s County Free Library Comic Con. In the worst way! I’ve had a few ventures with self-publishing with Lulu. I knew that the cost for such a large comic book in full color would likely be prohibitive, but I explored it anyway. I was right! The price was far higher than the $22 it is on Amazon right now. I was talking to a Lulu staff person about my frustrations on that issue and others and she admitted that in some ways, Lulu wasn’t really set up for comics. I asked her for an alternative, not really expecting a reply, and she mentioned “CreateSpace.”
That rang a bell. Last Christmas, some generous artist friends, Kathleen Dugan and Mark Tourney of Noblesville, Indiana, sent me some wonderful graphic novels and comics. One, called “Boy Maximortal” by Rick Veitch, seemed a little outside of my usual range of interest. It’s an entirely professional book and has some interesting stuff in it, particularly about Veitch’s take on the comic book industry, but it’s not the kind of comic I would usually be on the lookout for. But inside the comic, Veitch describes how he’s searched for an alternative to the mainstream comic book industry and how he’s happy with CreateSpace.
Veitch’s 100-page comic retails on Amazon for $9.95, quite a reasonable price, but the interior is black-and-white, not full color. Even so, it seemed worth a shot. It took me a while to format my comic appropriately. I could have customized my comic’s size to the industry standard like Veitch –6 11/16 x 9 5/8 –but instead I went with a standard offered on CreateSpace of 7 x 10.” It was a sentimental favorite. As Hillary Chute notes in her excellent book, Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere, the first “real” independently sold comic book was “Famous Funnies #1,” published by Dell in 1934 and sold for a mere 10 cents. It was 64 pages and the format was 7 x 10.”
I’ve got a copy of my comic right in front of me and it’s gratifyingly tangible. My inexperience as a graphic artist has cropped up again, however. The interior is fine –the color is good (not perfect, but good). The cover is good too, but it lacks perfection too, because my comprehension of what I really wanted and needed wasn’t quite up and running. It’s take several tries, but now I’m happy. The entire front-back design looks like this:
Yeah, kind of intricate, I know. That’s me all over. I’ve just resubmitted this new cover design to CreateSpace. I’m waiting for an email from them to approve the proof. Please stay tuned –I’ll post when it’s been incorporated in the comic. In the meantime, if you just can’t wait, you can buy the current edition HERE>>
Now, I’ve got to see if I can figure out how to get some copies for the Comic Con!
UPDATE: The new cover design is in place. Please feel free to place your order!