Arvidland.com The online home of Arvid Nelson, writer of Rex Mundi & Zero Killer

Don’t Do It!

Don't write write and produce your own comic books. Don't do it.

If I can scare you away, I've done you an enormous favor. If I can't, I've done you an enormous favor. Consider all the difficulties of self publishing: first of all, you're competing with the big boys, Marvel and DC. Comics from Marvel and DC are really, really good. It's easy to complain about the quality of "mainstream" comics until you make one yourself. Then you realize just how good the Big Two really are. If your comic can't stand up, no one's going to read it.

Finding an artist, someone who's fast, talented and reliable, is the first step, detailed in the "Finding an Artist" section. It's not easy. Robert Kirkman (very wisely) said "if you're an artist, and you're trying to break into comics, chances are you really suck". That's just the brutal truth. There's a huge gap between being the talented kid in high school art class and being a professional artist. Most people can't make that leap.

Assuming you find someone talented enough to make your story competitive with the big boys and hungry enough to work for virtually nothing, maintaining a happy relationship once the pressure of deadlines kicks in is an enormous challenge.

Finally, consider this: the readership for comics is a lot smaller than it was in the "good old days" 20 and 30 years ago. The readers aren't coming back any time soon.

First of all, there's video games. There was a huge crash in comic book readership in the United States right when the Playstation debuted, and the market never recovered. Second of all, piracy of comic books is rampant. I don't know who these people are, but they scan entire issues of comics and then upload them onto BitTorrent. Contrary to popular belief, piracy hurts publishers. A lot. That is a fact, I have observed it first hand, and I'm not willing to debate it any more than I'll debate the fact that water is wet and the sky is blue.

You can save yourself a lot of heartache if you try to turn your ideas into novels or short stories instead of comics. You won't have to rely on anyone but yourself. Success is possible in comics, but you have to be extremely devoted. If you really want to do it, no one can stop you. If you don't want to do it, no one can help you.

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Aw man, wish you had told me this ten years ago!

    In all seriousness, I like your style and your advice on this blog is solid. I especially liked the carpentry post. Looking forward to featuring you on comicsforbeginners!

    Thanks.

    -Palle

  2. Thanks, Palle! Your English is better than mine, sad to say, so I really appreciate it. World, meet the incomparable Palle Schmidt. Palle graciously included moi for a little interview on his comicsforbeginners.com, coming soon…

  3. Palle, you have excellent taste.


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