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?

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!

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

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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?

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

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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

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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

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QUESTION: Do you buy zines?

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?

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?

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?