Season 1 Finale + Industry Round-Up: September 2019 - CAL #052

Season 1 Finale & Comic Book Industry Round-Up for September 2019

Hello everyone! We're back with another Creator At Large All-Points Bulletin 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 (fair warning, I rant a lot here!):

  • Marvel’s New String of Partnerships

  • Comics & Graphic Novels returning to the New York Times Bestseller List

  • The Creator At Large Podcast Hiatus & End of Season 1!

QUESTION: What would you like to see from Creator At Large in the future?


The Graphic Novels & Comics RoundTable with President Amie Wright - CAL #051

Amie Wright - The Graphic Novels & Comics RoundTable

Amie Wright is the president of the ALA's Graphic Novels & Comics Rountable, an advocacy group helping libraries & library staff to engage with the comic book medium in numerous ways. In this episode she joins me to discuss:

  • What the ALA & the GNCRT actually are

  • The functions and various programs of the GNCRT

  • What creators should know about the ALA & the GNCRT

  • Why Amie decided to make comics such a large part of her work

  • How she first got interested in comics

  • The place of libraries in the wider comics industry

  • & more...!



QUESTION: Do you have a library card?

Building Bedside Press with Hope Nicholson - CAL #050

Hope Nicholson - Building Bedside Press

Hope Nicholson is the founder and publisher of Bedside Press. Through the course of her career and efforts to build this company she's charted a unique path in the comic industry. In this episode she joins me to discuss: 

  • How Bedside first got started

  • The importance of finding a niche as a publisher

  • Her work with Dark Horse Comics

  • What goes into running a successful anthology

  • The Canadian grant system

  • Mentorship & sharing knowledge

  • & more!



QUESTION: Do you have any ambitions to build your own independent publishing company?

ComiXology Walk & Talk with Chip Mosher - CAL #049

Chip Mosher - ComiXology Walk & Talk

Chip Mosher is the Head of Content at Comixology and, after 20 years of experience working across various roles, knows the comic book industry well. In this episode we go for a walk - an actual physical walk - and we discuss:

  • What his responsibilities are as Head of Content

  • Many of the various roles he's had in the industry

  • ComiXology's evolution pre & post Amazon acquisition

  • Print-on-Demand and ComiXology's integration with Amazon

  • The ComiXology Originals Program

  • His broader perspective on the industry today.



QUESTION: Have you ever published a comic on ComiXology?

August '19 Comic Book Industry Round-Up - CAL #048

Comic Book Industry Round-Up for August 2019

Hello everyone! We're back with another Creator At Large All-Points Bulletin 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 (fair warning, I rant a lot here!):

  • The relationship between the board game market & the comics market!

  • Lootcrate's Bankruptcy

  • Summarization & responses to a variety of Publisher interviews including Eric Stephenson (Image), Jim Lee + Dan Didio (DC), Mark Waid (Humanoids) & more!

  • How innovation occurs in comics

QUESTION: Are you tired of new superhero universes?


The Nitty-Gritty of Creating Comics with Justin Jordan - CAL #047

Justin Jordan - The Nitty-Gritty of Creating Comics

Justin Jordan is a comic book writer, most well-known for his work on comic such as: The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, Spread, and Reaver. In this episode we discuss:How she's managed to make a living in comics

  • How he juggles so many different projects

  • How tracking his work helps him stay productive

  • How his break out comic changed his career

  • The work of building a successful series in the direct market

  • His experience with Webtoons and other formats

  • How he's approaching trying to diversify his income beyond comics

  • How he would build a career if he had to start over again today

  • & more!



QUESTION: Would you rather have a successful graphic novel released through the book market, or a successful miniseries in the direct market?

Risk-Taking and Healthy Realism with MariNaomi - CAL #046

MariNaomi - Risk-Taking and Healthy Realism

MariNaomi is a savvy, award-winning cartoonist whose work has been featured at/on the Smithsonian, LA Review of Books, Buzzfeed, the Cartoon Art Museum, and more! In addition also manages three databases for diverse cartoonists (Cartoonists of Color, LBTQ Cartoonists, and Disabled Cartoonists). In this episode we discuss:

  • How she's managed to make a living in comics

  • The work of develop the databases she manages

  • How the databases have benefite the artists listed in them!

  • The independent path she's taken in comics!

  • Diversity & representation in the comic book industry

  • & more!



QUESTION: Have you use one of these databases? If not, go check them out!

June/July '19 Comic Book Industry Round-Up - CAL #045

Comic Book Industry Round-Up for June/July 2019

Hello everyone! We're back with another Creator At Large All-Points Bulletin 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 challenges of unionizing in comics

  • Vertigo's Closure

  • DC's Reorganization

  • ComicHub & an overdue evolution of comic book retail

  • The ALA Graphic Novel Roundtable

  • & more... !

QUESTION: What are you most excited about in comics?


An Evolving Comics Career with Stephanie Cooke - CAL #044

Stephanie Cooke - An Evolving Comics Career

Stephanie Cooke is a comic book writer, editor, and ally to comic creators everywhere. She takes on a frankly stupefying amount of projects all in an effort to support the comic industry and push forward positive change. In this episode she joins me to discuss:

  • Why she keeps taking on new projects & can't slow down!

  • Her own career & progression from assistant to writing, editing, and other side projects!

  • Creator Resource and the work of supporting comic book creator

  • The Page Rates Survey

  • The growth of the graphic novel kids market in comics

  • & more!



QUESTION: What resource do you wish existed to help you with your comic book career?

The Case for Unionizing Comics with Sasha Bassett - CAL #043

Sasha Bassett - The Case for Unionizing Comics

Sasha Bassett is a comics scholar, PhD student in sociology, and instructor at Portland State University. She’s also an unabashed supporter for the unionization of comics and just led a huge study on what it’s like to work in the comic book industry in 2019. In this episode she joins me to discuss:

  • Her own career & progression into the industry

  • The Comics Workforce Study

    • Process of putting together the study

    • The results (piece by piece)

  • The case for unionizing comics (as befitting the episode title!)

  • & more on her perspective of the comic book industry!



QUESTION: Do you think comic creators should form a union? Why or why not?

Being a Comics Ambassador with Chris Arrant - CAL #042

Chris Arrant is a writer, editor, and self-described Comics Ambassador. He’s the Editor of Newsarama, where he started in 2003, and was a judge for the 2019 Eisner Awards, awarded at San Diego Comic Con. In this episode he joins me to discuss:

  • The process of judging comics across the Eisner's 31 categories

  • What makes an award-worthy book

  • The state of comic book journalism

  • How creators can better get coverage from comic news sites

  • What it means to be an ambassador for comics

  • The American Library's Association Graphic Novel & Comics Roundtable

  • & more...



QUESTION: Are you going to San Diego? I'll be there wandering around. Hope to see you there!

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum with Caitlin McGurk - CAL #041

Caitlin McGurk is the Associate Curator for Outreach at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum and an assistant professor at Ohio State University - the university that the library is a part of. As part of her role, she takes part in many of the library & museum's different functions, including developing the library's collection, organizing exhibits, and leading research using the library's extensive collection of American comic art (the most extensive collection I'm aware of). In this episode she joins me to discuss:

  • Her career up to this point

  • The mission of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

  • The importance of comics as a medium

  • The evolution of formats in the American comic industry

  • How the museum develops its exhibits

  • The integration of comics' as learning materials in curriculums across different fields

  • Her experiences working with artists at the end of their lives to discuss the future of their work beyond the extent of their own lives.



QUESTION: Have you been to any exhibits of comic arts? Which ones & what did you think?

Passion, Profit, and Practicality with Jim Zub - CAL #040

Jim Zub - Passion, Profit, and Practicality

Jim Zub (@jimzub) is a comic book creator who’s had not just one, but two 30+ issue creator-owned comic series (Skullkickers and Wayward). Ever since his first comic in 2001 he’s built a career for himself utilizing his experience as an artist and the security of a day job to build a creator-owned career on his own terms. In this episode he joins me to discuss:

  • The long path to his career in comics

  • How his love of Dungeons & Dragons has shaped his career as an artist & writer

  • His experiences working on licensed properties (in particular on the D&D comics)

  • His mentality behind why he continued to invest into Skullkickers even after it stopped being profitable and how it paid dividends

  • How he would go about building his career today if he had to start over

  • Why he's glad he's kept his dayjob & how he's utilized it to help progress his career in comics

Listen on iTunes

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QUESTION: Do you have a dayjob? How do you fund your comics?


Making Art and Commerce as a Comic Book Creator with Jim Rugg - CAL #039

Jim Rugg - Making Art and Commerce as a Comic Book Creator

Jim Rugg (@jimruggart) is an independent creator who’s never been afraid to pursue projects he’s scared about. As a result he’s assembled an interesting catalogue of work including comics like Street Angel and Afrodisiac, as well as other comic-related projects over his long career in comics. In this episode he joins me to discuss:

  • How he got his start in comics

  • The evolution of his comic "Street Angel" since he first published it in 2003

  • Straddling the line between independent and mainstream work

  • How he makes a living from his patreon, comic sales, digital store, and other sources

  • His other comic-related projects (like his podcast & YouTube channel)

QUESTION: Who is your favorite new comic book artist?


May '19 Comic Book Industry Round-Up - CAL #038

Comic Book Industry Round-Up for May 2019

Hello everyone! We're back with another Creator At Large All-Points Bulletin 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 state of comic distribution & retail

  • Baker & Taylor's cessation of wholesale distribution to retailers

  • The Oni + Lionforge merger

  • The indie mentality necessary to build a career in comics

  • One of the best ways to stay motivated over the long journey of creating comics

QUESTION: What do you make of the merger news?


Diving Deep Into Comic Book Retail with Steve Anderson of Third Eye Comics - CAL #037

Steve Anderson (Third Eye Comics) - Diving Deep Into Comic Book Retail

Steve Anderson of Third Eye Comics (@thirdeyecomics) founded the comic book shop back in 2008. Since then, the store has grown rapidly - moving four times in the last nine years and expanding across multiple locations. In a time when retail and comic shops have struggled, Steve and Third Eye have thrived. In this episode he joins me to discuss.

  • His journey in retail all the way to starting his shop

  • How comic book retail works

  • The challenges facing comic book retail today

  • The best way for comic book creators & salespeople to pitch their books & work with them

  • How publishers can help or hurt comic book stores

  • What is (and what isn't) bringing new readers to comics

Listen on iTunes

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


Licensing, Editing, and the State of the Comics Market with Sarah Gaydos - CAL #036

Sarah Gaydos - Licensing, Editing, and the State of the Comics Market

Sarah Gaydos (@SarahGaydos) is the Editor-in-Chief of Oni Press, with a long career behind her in the comic industry, including work at IDW and at DC Entertainment (and Wildstorm within it!). Through that she has incredible experience with corporate-owned characters and licensed publishing. In this episode she joins me to discuss:

  • The work of an Editor-in-Chief

  • Her journey to that position

  • The propagation of publishing imprints among publishing companies

  • Staying competitive with larger publishers coming to comics from the Book Trade

  • Her experience working on licensed properties and hiring creators for them

  • Her hopes for the future of comics

Listen on iTunes

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QUESTION: Do you read licensed comics? If so, which ones?


Indie Comics Distribution with Anne Bean of Emerald Comics Distro - CAL #035

Anne Bean (Emerald Comics Distro) - Indie Comic Distribution

Anne Bean (@AnneBeanTweets) founded Emerald Comics Distro in 2016 to help independent creators and small press publishers with their distribution efforts. Since then she’s built a distribution network across the Pacific Network. In this episode she joins me to discuss:

show to share what she’s learned about comic distribution and give advice to independent creators looking to self-distribute their work.

  • What she's learned about comic distribution

  • Advice on creators interested in self-distribution

  • The state of comic distribution in the comic industry

  • The work of building an independent distributor

  • The place of alternative / indie comics in the comic book market

Listen on iTunes

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QUESTION: Do you buy zines?


April '19 Comic Book Industry Round-Up - CAL #034

Comic Book Industry Round-Up for April 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:

  • Recent investments in comic book businesses

  • Creating comics for IP's sake versus their own sake

  • One of the largest independent artistic successes of the modern era

  • Avengers Endgame & the role of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the comic industry

  • Some very cool personal career news!

QUESTION: Do you play D&D?


Sharing the Medium of Comics with Andrew Woodrow-Butcher - CAL #033

Andrew Woodrow-Butcher - Sharing the Medium of Comics

Andre Woodrow-Butcher (@Dixitque) is a bookseller & industry professional who not works at The Beguiling, a fantastic Toronto area comic book store, as their Director of Library Services, but also at TCAF (The Toronto Comic Arts Festival), as the programming coordinator for their Librarian & Educator programming track, Kid's programing, and the TCAF Abroad program (more on that in the show). In this episode he joins me to discuss:

  • How comic festivals & conventions compare to each other

  • How he thinks about professional programming in conventions

  • The importance of librarians & educators with regards to the comic industry & how they work with comic professionals

  • How he helps libraries of all types build compelling comic collections

  • His perspective on book buying, informed by years of experience

  • The recognition of sequential art as a medium of literary merit

  • & more...

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QUESTION: What kind of professional panel would you love to see at a convention or festival?