Can I help you break into comics?

I get some form of this question fairly regularly, so I thought I’d answer it en masse.  I pity those poor wayward souls who find themselves begging my help since they obviously have gone awry at some point.  But since you are reading this, I’ll assume you want to know what I can do for you.

First off, a number of people have come to me hoping I will publish their comics.  In case you don’t know, I’m a SELF PUBLISHER, I do not publish other people’s work.  A couple times in the past when people have approach me about publishing their comics I’ve tried to help, and it’s come back to bite me in the ass.  Basically it came down to them not really wanting my creative input (despite what they claimed at first) and just expecting me to act as some kind of business manager while they make whatever comic they want.

I hate the business side of comics.  I can barely stand handling it for my own work, I’m certainly not going to do it for someone else.  You should also consider who you are asking to handle things.  I’ve been doing this for roughly 15 years now and never made any profit.  So I’d be a little more careful with who you trust the promotion of your comics to.  Hell, I’d love to find someone to handle it for me.  The small publishers who’ve shown interest in my work in the past didn’t have stellar track records or all that much to offer when I really dug into them, so I chose not to work with them.  You should do a little research like that yourself.

Also consider this, at this point Black Snow Comics is basically just me.  Originally it was me and my friend Alex who handled the writing, but the current state of things is that Alex is more of an occasional collaborator.  Beyond that I’ve collaborated with a few other people over the years, most notably Mark Egan, but that’s about it.  And remember that part where I said I’ve never profited from my comics?  I work a full time job (and some side jobs) in addition to working on my comics.  My time is somewhat limited, so unless I think your comic is the greatest thing in the world it is probably not going to get enough of my attention.

You can still send me your comic if you want my opinion or advice, but don’t come to me expecting that I’ll somehow make you rich and famous.  If I knew how to do that I’d do it for myself!  As mentioned, I’ve been doing this for awhile and over those years I’ve gained some experience you might find helpful.  I’ve tried many promotional things and have some idea of what works and what doesn’t.  I’ve made contacts at companies big and small, gotten to know other webcomic creators, and am familiar with the submission process for the major companies.  So I may be able steer you in the right direction.

That said, I am always available to take a look at your stuff and I’m open to collaborative projects.  I’m a comic fan and I mainly do this for fun, so if you bring me something fun to work on I’ll probably say yes.  I can both write and draw, so depending on what you are looking for I may be a good fit.

So, to sum up an answer the titular question “Can I help you break into comics?”, probably not, if you mean can I get you a job at Marvel or DC, get your comic printed and distributed around the world or make you famous.  But I can help if you are looking for some general advice or you just want to start a comic for the fun of it.

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