The Modern Independent Creator with Jason Brubaker - CAL #032

Jason Brubaker - The Modern Independent Comic Book Creator

Jason Brubaker (@Jason_Brubaker) is an independent comic book creator ("reMIND" + "Sithrah") who built a living for himself creating his own independent comics, making them available to read online for free, and using crowdfunding to support his income. In this episode he joins me to discuss:

  • The lessons he’s learned after nearly a decade of independent publishing.

  • His work in the animation industry & deciding to leave his full-time job

  • Making ends meet by tying together different income sources

  • Lessons he's learned about self-promotion

  • How he's made use of crowdfunding platforms (both Kickstarter & Patreon)

  • How he's thinking about his career moving forward

  • & more...

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QUESTION: How many income sources do you have supporting your creative work?


Launching a New Image Series with Brian Schirmer - CAL #031

Brian Schirmer - Launching a New Image Series

Brian Schirmer (@BrianSchirmeris a comic book creator still early on in his career. But he's already achieved what many creators dream of - having a book published at Image Comics. In this episode he joins me to discus: 

  • His career so far

  • His new series, Fairlady, and how it came to be

  • The work of launching a series in the Direct Market today

  • Lessons he's learned about self-promotion

  • & more...

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QUESTION: If you could work with any single publisher? Which publisher would you choose?


How Artistic Careers & Communities Thrive​ with Ramon Perez - CAL #030

Ramon Perez - How Artistic Careers & Communities Thrive

Ramon Perez (@theramonperezis a talented, Eisner-award winning comic book creator and artist who was worked on projects including "Tale of Sand," "Jane Eyre," "NOVA," "All-New Hawkeye," and more. In this episode he joins me to discuss:

  • The RAID artist studio he runs in Toronto

  • What it takes to build an artist studio

  • His experiences in comic book publishing, from Big Two to webcomics

  • How he's thinking about his career today

  • What he wishes all comic book artists knew about the industry

  • & more...

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QUESTION: Are you part of a creative studio or local artistic community?


March '19 Comic Book Industry Round-Up - CAL #029

Comic Book Industry Round-Up for March 2019

Hello everyone! We're back with another Creator At Large All-Points Bulletin of 2019 to help you keep up with all the news in the comic book industry so you can focus on everything else you already have to do.

As always we discuss the changes actively shaping the comic book industry through the major business news of the last month and try to get some useful takeaways from that news. Here's some of what we cover in this episode:

  • Celebrating experimentation in the Comic Book Industry

  • The Controversy & Criticism around Patreon

  • Challenges of the Comic Retail Landscape

QUESTION: How often do you visit your local comic book shop?


Building Authentic Stories and Careers with Kwanza Osajyefo - CAL #028

Kwanza Osajyefo - Building Authentic Stories

Kwanza Osajyefo (@Kwanzer) is a talented creator who turned phenomenal Kickstarter success into an entire series of creative, original, and politically prescient stories. In this episode he joins me to discuss:

  • How Dwayne McDuffie helped him launch his career in comics

  • The experiences he's had working at Marvel & DC

  • How he's turned BLACK from successful indie comic to trilogy & media property

  • Diversity in comics & how diversity can be done right

  • His role as an Architect of Humanoid's new shared universe of comics "H1"

  • What being an "Architect" of a larger shared universe entails

  • & more...

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QUESTION:What was the last comic you supported on Kickstarter?


Starting from Scratch with Brad Guigar and Dave Kellett of ComicLab - CAL #027

Brad Guigar and Dave Kellett - Starting from Scratch

Brad Guigar (@Guigar) and Dave Kellett (@DaveKellettare both independently successful cartoonists and webcomic creators. Together, they also run the wonderful podcast ComicLab, all about "making comics and making a living from comics." In this shorter episode of the Creator At Large podcast I wanted to bring them on to discuss the following question:

"If you had to start over today, how would you go about building your career?"

Their answers are informed by their own experiences creating webcomics, but don't stay limited to just that. Along the way we discuss:

  • How webcomics have changed

  • Utilizing Patreon & Kickstarter

  • How to use social media effectively

  • Taking advantage of digital formats for comics

  • Patience & prioritization with your own career

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QUESTION: How many webcomics would you say you regularly follow on a monthly basis?


Surviving Indie Comics with Lucy Bellwood - CAL #026

Lucy Bellwood - Surviving Indie Comics

Lucy Bellwood (@LuBellWoo) is an independent artist and self-described “adventure cartoonist.” She’s done a great job of building a career for herself through the clever utilization of social media and crowdfunding platforms. In this episode she joins me to discuss:

  • The path she's taken in building her own career

  • The importance of learning from & giving back to a community

  • Burnout & other harsh realities of creating comics

  • The real work of making an independent living

  • & more!

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QUESTION: Do you have a local community of comic creators around you? Where/How do you spend time with them?


February '19 Comic Book Industry Round-Up - CAL #025

Comic Book Industry Round-Up for February 2019

Hello everyone! We're back with another Creator At Large All-Points Bulletin of 2019 to help you keep up with all the news in the comic book industry so you can focus on everything else you already have to do.

As always we discuss the changes actively shaping the comic book industry through the major business news of the last month and try to get some useful takeaways from that news.

Here's some of what we cover in this episode:

  • IP Opportunities for your comics

  • SerialBox partnership with Marvel

  • Considering ComicsPRO and the state of comic book retail

  • Patreon's trials & tribulations

QUESTION: What is your favorite comic book shop?


Creating Comics & Building IP with Andy Schmidt - CAL #024

Andy Schmidt - Creating Comics & Building IP

Andy Schmidt (@ComicExperience) has had a long career as an editor. He's worked at both Marvel and IDW on major properties there. Since then he's built a career for himself as an independent creator and consultant in the entertainment industry, all while running Comics Experience, an online school for comic book creators that provides the support & instruction necessary for aspiring professionals in the comic book industry. In this episode we discuss:

  • Considerations to keep in mind when trying to create a comic with ambitions for other mediums

  • The founding & evolution of ComicsExperience

  • The importance of understanding your personal goals

  • How creator ambitions have evolved over the last few years

  • What he wishes all comic book professionals new

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QUESTION: How are you continuing to improve your craft?


Angouleme Special Feature Part 2 - CAL #023

Angouleme Special Feature Part 2 of 2!

Hey! This week we're back with the second part of the a two-part Angouleme Special Feature on the podcast! In this episode we continue the interviews & discussions on the global rights & licensing market for comics, all recorded at the Angouleme International Comics Festival (FIBD).

However, now we're broadening the conversation looking at:

  • The Italian Comic Book Industry

  • The Hong Kong Comic Art Scene

  • The Perspective of an American Creative Team on Angouleme & the Global Comics Industry

Check out the episode & let me know if you learned anything new!


Angouleme Special Feature Part 1 - CAL #022

Angouleme Special Feature Part 1 of 2!

Hey everyone! Things are a little different today! We've got the first of a two-part Angouleme Special Feature on the podcast! In these episodes you'll find interviews & discussions on the global rights & licensing market for comics, all recorded at the Angouleme International Comics Festival (FIBD).

I think you'll find these episodes extremely insightful - this is not information that's easy to find and I'm really excited to be able to bring you the perspectives of professionals working from across comic book industries around the world.

QUESTION: Check out the episode & let me know if you learned anything new!


January '19 Comic Book Industry Round-Up - CAL #021

Comic Book Industry Round-Up for January 2019

Hello everyone! We're back with another Creator At Large All-Points Bulletin of 2019 to help you keep up with all the news in the comic book industry so you can focus on everything else you already have to do.

As always we discuss the changes actively shaping the comic book industry through the major business news of the last month and try to get some useful takeaways from that news.

Here's some of what we cover in this episode:

  • The Prizes at Angouleme!

  • DC's Reorganization!

  • Robert Kirkman's Perspective on Creating & The State of the Industry

Sorry for missing last week's episode & turning this one in late! been a struggle between travel & being sick after. We're back on track now!

QUESTION: What do you do when you're sick?


Hard Work and Passion with Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou - CAL #020

Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou - Hard Work and Passion

Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (@HassanOE) is prolific. The projects he’s created, including the video series Strip Panel Naked and the comics magazine Panel x Panel, are some of the highest quality comics media being made today. In addition to all that, he podcasts, letters comics, writes and edits. In this episode, he joins me to talk about where his passion grew from and break down how he’s developed all his projects to where the are today.

  • The craft of making comics (a rare type of conversation on this podcast!)

  • What led to the creation of Strip Panel Naked

  • Panel x Panel and what the future holds for this great comics magazine!

  • Realities of making a living from your passion

  • What we’re excited about seeing in the comic industry in 2019

I'm a big fan of what Hassan busies himself with & I hope that you'll check out his various projects if you're not familiar with them already!

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QUESTION: Where do you get your comic book industry news?


Building a Business and Audience with Jake Parker - CAL #019

Jake Parker - Building a Business and Audience

Jake Parker (@mrjakeparker) is an independent comic book artist and a veritable comic industry entrepreneur. He has been extremely smart and proactive about building a large following for himself, making it possible for him to create his own comics independently through crowdfunding and pre-orders. He's also started initiatives like Inktober, which he's turned into popular movements throughout the entire comic industry. In this episode he joins me to discuss his projects and how he's built his audience.

  • How he balances business and art

  • The rise of Inktober

  • The development of his latest project: Art Drop Club

  • The value of having an agent

  • How he would go about building a career as an artist if he had to start over today

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QUESTION: As of this date, I'm off to France for Angouleme. Do you read any Franco-Belgian comics? What are your favorites?


Turning Failure Into Success with Roye Okupe - CAL #018

Roye Okupe - Turning Failure into Succes

Roye Okupe (@YouNeekStudios) is a Nigerian comic book creator & entrepreneur who's done an incredible job overcoming the obstacles in his way towards telling his stories and sharing them with an audience. Through those experiences he's learned about hard work, perseverance, and the effort it takes to build an entertainment company production both comics and animation.

  • How to turn failures into successes (absolutely vital!)

  • How Kickstarter has made his ambitions possible

  • Why he's self-publishing

  • Strategies for getting publicity

  • The comic book market in Nigeria

  • How to become more skilled with business & marketing

I think you'll find his enthusiasm as contagious as I did!

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QUESTION: What international comics market are you curious about or reading books from?


December '18 Comic Book Industry Round-Up - CAL #017

Comic Book Industry Round-Up for December 2018

Happy New Year! Back again for another episode, the Creator At Large All-Points Bulletin is here to help you keep up with all the news in the comic book industry so you can focus on everything else you already have to do.

As always we discuss the changes actively shaping the comic book industry through the major business news of the last month and try to get some useful takeaways from that news.

Here's some of what we cover in our first episode of the year:

  • Reflecting on the recent interviews on the show with Spike Trotman & Karl Kerschl

  • Shonen Jump's massive news & the mechanics of comic book piracy

  • The rapid launch of TKO studios (+ an interview with the Editor-in-Chief!)

  • and some personal reflection and insights on the year that was & will be to help you develop your mindset to take 2019 by storm!

QUESTION: What's your number one goal for the year?


Career-Building and Self-Awareness with Karl Kerschl - CAL #016

Karl Kerschl - Career-Building and Self-Awareness

Karl Kerschl (@KarlKerschl) is a Canadian comic book artist/creator that I've been a fan of for a long time. He's not only created (or co-created) his own independent webcomic - the fantastic "The Abominable Charles Christopher" - a very cool DC Comics title - Gotham Academy - and most recently ISOLA, at Image comics. But on this episode, we don't chat about the way he approaches his work creatively, instead we have a great conversation in which Karl reflects on his career and we discuss:

  • How Japanese Manga has influenced his work

  • His thoughts on self-publishing vs. working with publishers

  • His experience working in webcomics

  • The ways he's seen his audiences carry over between his different projects

  • How publishing has changed over the course of his career

  • The work of building an audience as a career

...And he even turns one of my questions on changing the industry back on me near the end... 

I'm sure you'll enjoy this one! If you're not familiar with Karl's work yet, I highly recommend you check it out!

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QUESTION: What's your favorite webcomic you're reading right now?


Indie Publishing Master-Class with Spike Trotman - CAL #015

Spike Trotman - Indie Publishing Master-Class

Spike Trotman (@Iron_Spike) is a cartoonist and the founder/publisher of Iron Circus Comics - Chicago's largest alternative comics publisher. She's an indie powerhouse who transitioned from self-publishing her own work, to publishing amazing comics by other creators, raising more than a million dollars on Kickstarter in the process. I could talk about how impressed I've been with what Spike has accomplished for a very long time, but I'd rather let you listen for yourselves.

In this episode, she joins me in an extra-long episode of the show to talk about:

  • Iron Circus' evolution over the years and where it is today

  • Her plans for Iron Circus' future

  • How webcomic business models have changed

  • The evolution of the comics industry through the rise of digital and crowdfunding platforms

  • What she would do if she was starting over today

  • Her top self-publishing / indie publishing tips

  • & the Creators for Creators grant (which just might be right for you)

It's a packed episode that I'm sure you'll get a lot out of!

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QUESTION: If you could emulate the career of any one creator, who would you choose?


November '18 Comic Book Industry Round-Up - CAL #014

Comic Book Industry Round-Up for November 2018

It's hard to keep up with all the news in the comic book industry. Especially when you have to work on not only creating comics, but marketing yourself, or learning the business skills that are often necessary to being a successful creative professional.

To help address that, this is another edition of the Creator At Large All-points Bulletin! A monthly round-up of comic book industry news where I discuss the changes actively shaping the comic book industry through the major business of the last month. In these special episodes we also look back on the interviews that have been released in the previous month to consider some of the takeaways that can be pulled from them.

Things seem to be quieting down for the end of the year, but I hope I've made up for it with some deeper dives into November news.

Here's a sneak peak at some of what's covered in this episode:

  • The Riot Games & Marvel Partnership on League of Legends Comics

  • Lionforge's Layoffs

  • Cinedigm's purchase of ComicBlitz

  • and some personal reflection & insights on building a creative career pulled from a fun side project i haven't talked too much about before...

QUESTION: How do you measure your success in comics?


The Evolution of the Comic Book Industry - CAL #013

Heidi MacDonald - The Evolution of the Comic Book Industry

Heidi MacDonald (@comixace) understands the comic book industry. She's seen it change over the years, inside and out, and has the kind of expertise you only get from the combination of passion and years spent working professionally in the industry. In fact, she's not only worked on the journalism side - culminating in her founding of the great comic news site ComicsBeat, but also as an editor.

She joins me in this episode to talk about her journey in comics and:

  • Evolution of the comic industry

  • The changing state of Comics Journalism

  • The sale of ComicsBeat to LionForge

  • The things every creator needs to know about the comic industry

  • What makes comics special as an artistic medium

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QUESTION: There's only one month left in 2018. What's one thing you want to get done before the New Year hits?