New Worlds Comics

Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

New Worlds Comics - Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Can You Guess What’s Going On?

Our brand new SF series, Time Warriors, is about to launch!

Check out this exclusive preview of the first two pages: Can you guess what’s going on? 

Art: Juan Manuel Almirón

Time Warriors #1, Page #1

Time Warriors #1, Page #1

Time Warriors #2, Page #2

Time Warriors #2, Page #2

What do you think is happening?

Leave your guesses in the comments below!

The Big Future of Indie Comics

Who Controls the Comic Book World?

Almost all indies today feel the shadow of the big comic book companies: Marvel, DC, Image, etc.

These companies control almost ALL of the market. Not only that, but they control readers’ expectations: What readers expect to see is what these companies have to sell.

But the truth is the exact opposite!

Here’s why:

The Truth

The truth is that that more than 90% of all the comics that have ever been done fall into a tiny niche called Superhero Comics.

The truth is that Superhero Comics are a tiny fraction of what’s possible to create with comic books.

The truth is that comic books can be about anything, in any style, in any genre.

The truth is that of everything that’s possible

The truth is that the ones who are prepared to tackled all that big space of What’s Possible is not Marvel or DC or any of the big companies.

The truth is that Everything Else belongs to us indies!

Imagine the Future

Imagine a future, where you walk into a comic book store, and the shelves are filled with great comics.

Imagine how only one tiny section (4, 5 shelves at most) are filled with the latest Superhero Comics. Imagine how everything else is not: Everything else is fantasy, science fiction, funny, dramatic, tragic, crime, and whatever new genres in comics haven’t been discovered yet.

The truth is that we indies own those shelves, and the Big Companies don’t. We can carve our new styles and new stories to new audiences, while the Big Companies are stuck, unable to move from their niche, because that is what their readers expect from them.

So come on! Stop feeling small! Indies, look at all that land! Let’s conquer the Earth!

“Comics Are the Perfect Mix of My Favorite Expressions” – Nicolas’ Story

Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Our Comics Empower Project continues!

This time, Nicolas tells his story:

I’ve found in comics the perfect mix of my favourite expressions: drawing and writing.

This union has the potential power to bond readers and creators in many levels, in itsown way. One is transformed into the other, and both evolve by evoking and discovering new thoughts and feelings.

https://www.facebook.com/nc.comics.art
http://nc-comics.blogspot.com.ar/



Check out more more personal stories

Send us your personal story

“Batman’s Anger Empowered Me” – Rene’s Story

Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Our Comics Empower Project continues!

This time, Rene tells her story.

It’s a life-long story from childhood to adulthood, and it’s worth a read:

When I was a little girl, I taught myself to read because I wanted to know what characters in my comic books were saying.

I come from a dysfunctional family in a dysfunctional time and place , which makes me like just about the same as everybody else , more or less .

When I tell people how I grew up , they say , ” Sounds like you were raised by wolves .”

image9.JPG

“Wolves,”  I reply, ” are good parents.” I know this because I loved Jungle Book , Tarzan and wolf man  stories.

It always stunned people how well developed my vocabulary was , and even as a little kid I knew exactly  where I picked up that sophisticated and eclectic lexicon. Comic books.

image1.JPG

 Now I have never been one to hunker down with one thing , you know how kids are devoted to certain things like baseball or Yugio cards. Marvel comics, Star Wars, or Superman episodes with George Reeves. Some kids get  hung up on Archie or Casper. Others were into Barbie and G.I. Joe. Sure , we all have stages and I did too, but to this day I am hung  up on the idea of blending  image with narrative.

Of course the comic book deserves its due because there was never a more versatile medium.

Look how many times Batman has reinvented himself ; he is and was my favorite for a multitude of reasons. I think that darkness that he grapples with is what engages me. I never had much use for Superman, Captain America , Hulk, Wonder Woman , Supergirl, etc. Batgirl, I got , though I thought Batman belonged to Catwoman.

So how did this empower me? Inspiring me to read and to love reading was the first way comic books empowered me , but when I deconstruct Batman , I have to consider his mortal status. He has no super powers and he can die as well as kill (in most versions). That never really happens with the the Justice League, but they were flat beside Batman , who some people say is the psychotic.

I just think he he is pissed off and I can relate to this. Being pissed off can be a very destructive state unless you use your anger to propel change .

I picked that up from Batman.

image3.JPG

While I took Batman seriously , I also had my morbid curiosities like Vampirella with its cheesy sexuality and hilarious Macabre. Takes from The Crypt, Wolfman, and those anti hero tropes played well with me but I moved from one to the next looking for the stuff that took ahold of me the way Batman did . I was a Mad Magazine devotee and suspect my pop culture expertise is largely a result of Alfred E. Newman and the crew of cartoonists who mocked everything.

While parents and teachers sneered disapproval at our literary choices in those days, I noticed as I got older that we comic book geeks always understood literature and history better than our more socially adept peers .

By age 10, I had discovered things that were far worse than the nutty send ups of MAD and the nocturnal misadventures of Bruce Wayne.

I was reading the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Fat Freddy’s cat cracked me up. I cannot recall where these comics came from. We could steal Cracked and DC, as well as the LuLu digests at the 7-11 when pops wasn’t flush enough to buy us copies.

image4.JPG

To laugh the way we did reading those comic books is about the best thing we ever felt and I recall that I began to leave my more classic pencil sketching to make cartoons around 14 .

Despite my constant practice, I had failed to impress art teachers with my warped perspective. My cartoons, on the other hand impressed my peers, who loved the expressions and dialogue balloons I filled with quotes they recognized. I was not cruel or all that clever, mouth U had a way of capturing sentiment we shared  as geeky outsiders .

By the time I was in junior high school, I was not taking any crap from bullies. I felt little fear of these fools who saw my courage as crazy. People are scared of crazy and I was happy to oblige that since Batman was considered crazy too.

I found the Robert Crumb masterpieces before High School and had dived right in when heavy Metal debuted. By then, I was reading classics which were very vivid in my head. from Poe to Dickens, even Steinbeck, I could see the characters in my mind’s eye and more often than not they were cartoons.

image5.JPG

I was not a great student but I was identified as gifted , something my English teachers noted and worked on developing . I had it in my head to become an artist, but everyone else said I needed to write .

All my life I have tried to find balance with the two, but it didn’t matter much because life kind of gets in the way when you’re poor and nobody supports dreams like these. I took my life and made cartoon strips from it then I wrote about it. I knew they both were close but no cigar . So I kept after them both until I finally went to college .

Writing was my thing and ended up with two Masters degrees in Literature and Writing.  I was a part time professor do a time but decided I  belonged with my own kind and began teaching High School in the hood .

What I saw students do with art was inspiring so when Bill Gates came along and wanted to finance his experiments with smaller schools, I knew just what to do.

I wrote a mission statement for an arts based academy and the Gates flunkies approved my idea at the gate .

I have to say pulling kids together around the arts empowered me because I loved empowering them . They got into my favorites : Ralph Steadman , Goya, CRUMB , Pekar,  Lynda K Barry, A West, and Bosch. “Tight!” They’d exclaim as I broke out my Farside Collection. They loved when I made them illustrate literature .

image6.JPG

DRAW Boo Radley.

But what empowered me was what I learned from my students who often doodled much the way I had. I never appreciated graffiti until they told me why they wrote it. A fool for protest and rebellion for rebellion’s sake, I appreciated the super heroic skill it took to orchestrate a tag on billboards, an overpass or a wall outside police headquarters .

They turned me on to Banksy. Suddenly , I was kicking myself for overlooking Tupac and they were becoming an underground book club tapping into my massive private collection. Watchmen never came back. I was buying Cruddy every other week. And these kids liked the literature that read like cartoons: Paradoxia, Perv, Fear and Loathing in LV, the Dark Knight, Biographies of Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop, Warhol, and Charlie Manson.

image10.JPG

I probably should have been worried this  would get me in trouble when I had kids hitting me for more like junkies coming into their habit. Keep in mind these kids saw their homies die in drive-bys that rarely make the nightly news . The only sign of it were the memorials they made in gutters , on corners , wherever the soldier has fallen. It was not rare to spend Saturday’s at a carwash raising money to bury some kid , who was held on the cold slab until their people could scrape up the cash for a plot of earth and a marker fir the graves where the memorial was moved.

There is nothing so sad as the mother of some 16-year-old  kid who grapples with such sorrow and  shame as she hustles for her son’s RIP. Except maybe the dads, who fall apart usually in silence.

I started calling students  art soldiers, which stuck, but it was weird how they knew to refrain from uttering it.

We had this amazing slam where Spike, a black kid who could freestyle and poets performed this very charming and smooth show in concurrency with what would be the last of the art shows. Razo, a renaissance an wuth ms, was on the news as a kool kid. There was was this buzz on the air.

I think they understood that the end was near for me better than I did. You see I was at odds with the toad to principal, but that is a very long story and so is this.

I was sent to teacher jail a couple weeks later. Thank the gods my students schooled me in facebook or I may have lost my mind. The suits didn’t give me a chance to say goodbye, but I did get a chance to embark on this:

image7.JPG

I think my tour of duty through the district of the Damned will be illustrated , as I got my pencil skills going thanks to iPads, a paradoxical foil in my post modern memoir. A whole new comic book is being born without me, I know , but it’s all right. Comic books evolve in many ways. They are, however, one thing that is here to stay.

image8.JPG

Check out Rene’s link: www.hemlockontherocks.com



Check out more more personal stories

Send us your personal story

 

“My Allowances Went to Comics and Ice Cream” – Jeff’s Story

Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Our Comics Empower Project continues!

This time, Jeff tells his story:

Comics.

From the moment I could read I was interested in comics. When the daily paper would come I would turn to the comics page first. And when the weekly edition showed up with the colour comics in them I was over the moon with joy!

I started reading comics when I was about 8 years old, maybe even sooner, with the usual Casper The Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich. Oh how I wanted to be Richie Rich!

I soon graduated into the Archie comics franchise and knew by that time I was hooked! While I don’t have any of those left, I remember them fondly especially the issues that seemed to tell a story outside of the usual adventures in Riverdale.

Of course we’ll forgive that bastard son; Archie Meets The Punisher.

It wasn’t until Christmas of 1988 that I was introduced to what would become my lifelong passion. Superhero comics.

In the Sears catalog that came out that year there was a “Comic Collection Starter Kit” that my parents got me for Christmas and while it had 25 or more issues of various comics the one that stuck out the most in my mind was West Coast Avengers #30 by Al Milgrom and Mike Machlan. There was just something about that single issue that drew me in and wouldn’t let me turn away.

Of course I knew who the typical heroes were. Everyone knew Batman and Superman at that time but I had never heard of Hawkeye, Tigra, Moon Knight, Wasp, Mockingbird, Iron Man or Hank Pym up until that point. These characters! Oh my they were unlike anything I had ever seen or read!

The trouble with growing up in rural Newfoundland, Canada is that comic shops (until recently) were unheard of so now I was hooked and needed my regular fix. Luckily you could buy newsstand editions of comics at the local pharmacy, or the small book store and for years that’s how my comic book addiction was fed.

Yes, I could buy comics at the local pharmacy and buy an ice cream soda while I read it. In fact most of my allowances went to comics and ice cream sodas when I was a youngster.

As the years went on, my taste in comics remained pretty much the same. I was a Marvel Fan Boy but collected enough of the Distinguished Competition to know what was going on in both companies.

I also found that comics were my retreat.

I was never good at sports. I didn’t excel at it like a lot of my contemporaries did. I didn’t care for the competitive nature of it and I was an awkward sort, physically, growing up. “All arms and legs” as my dad would say. I experienced a growth spurt and shot a full head and shoulders above my contemporaries so I just didn’t fit in.

My physical size meant that I didn’t get bullied physically very much, but mentally and socially I was tortured on a daily basis. I did have my close group of friends but even they didn’t understand my love of comics. We were all in a national youth program (The Royal Canadian Air Cadets to be specific) so they “got me” most of the time, but I had one friend who shared my love of comics and it’s what we bonded over.

Even today separated by thousands of kilometers we still talk about comics and put together our “fantasy teams” or wonder what it would be like for Marvel and DC to combine forces permanately.

We are now in our 40’s, by the way.

Comics didn’t just give me an outlet, they inspired me as well. I drew and I wrote and while that has since fallen to the wayside I still appreciate great art and great stories.

My focus in recent years has been bringing my love of comics to my community in the form of a fan run science fiction / comics / fantasy convention held every fall for the last 3 years (going into our fourth this year). I also encourage people to be themselves and to not allow their love of something other people consider “odd” to get them down.

Loving what you love is not a “problem” or “condition”. It’s something to be embraced and enjoyed and damn to those who make you feel bad about that.

I also host a podcast called Sunday Night Geek with 3 friends I have met while bringing convention empowerment to the people of our community. While we chat mostly about general geek-itude items I manage to get a few comic book related items on the table from time to time, especially seeing how most of the things we talk about have their basis in comic book lore and mythology!

You can find out more about the convention at www.atlanti-con.com and listen to nearly three years worth of podcasts at http://feeds.feedburner.com/SundayNightGeek or www.stitcher.com/podcast/sunday-night-geek



Check out more more personal stories

Send us your personal story

Help Us Name Our Podcast!

Hi everyone!

We’re starting a weekly podcast! Help us choose a cool name!

First, let me give you a peek at what it’s going to be about so you can help find the right name.

The podcast will be:

  • A behind-the-curtains look at what it’s like to run and grow an indie comic book company.
  • We’re going to keep it 100% real about everything: the process, the disappointments, the business plans, the comics, the teams, the fans, everything.
  • We will also cover the Comics Empower project weekly, sharing some of last week’s stories.
  • We will also cover the Indie Power Initiative, sharing some info about the latest indie titles out there.
  • We’ll tackle issues no one talks about in comics and keep it 100% real.

So: Can  you think of a really cool name for us? Write it in the comments below!

“Comics Helped Me Get Acceptance” – Benjamin’s Story

Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Our Comics Empower Project continues!

This time, Benjamin tells his story:

I learned to read and gained most of my vocabulary from comics.

They were a particular help to me during my childhood due to the fact that I was an outsider as a result of my Autism and Aspergers.

Comics especially helped me when I spent time being properly diagnosed in a mental hospital at age 8.

Comics have helped me get acceptance as an adult and jobs writing and editing for companies like Sequart Organization.

My name is Benjamin Hall and my current story, like the comic community, is ongoing.

 

Find out more about Benjamin on Twitter or at his website.



Check out more more personal stories

Send us your personal story

“Comics Allowed Me to Create Worlds” – Mortalshinobi’s Story

Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Our Comics Empower Project continues!

This time, Mortalshinobi tells her story:

From a young age I was introduced to comic superheroes and heroines, being first introduced to Batman and the X-Men.

They seemed so powerful and strong to me, both the female and the male characters, that it pushed me to learn to draw human anatomy and progress in how to draw expression and appearance.

Later, as I became more drawn into the worlds of gaming and comics and manga, they also taught me how to create not only characters, but worlds – worlds I could immerse myself in and create a reality, not only for myself, but for any reader who looks into my work.

Comics allowed me to create worlds, to be able to speak with these characters and push my talents further. I continue to do so as I try to bring these worlds to life in both my art and my writing.

Though I have since moved from Western comics into the more Asian branded type of comics known as Manga, each continues to teach, entertain and inspire, showing me more styles, more worlds and more characters to become involved with.

Whether it be the X-Men or Mortal Kombat’s Lin Kuei or Saber from Fate Stay/Night, each character brings their own world to life and continues to show me how to make a world of my own.

Hopefully, one day, I can bring this world of my own to show everyone and inspire others as I have been inspired myself.



Check out more more personal stories

Send us your personal story

 

 

6 Harsh Ways to Become a Successful Indie Publisher

In my last article, I wrote about the 6 harsh truths of the indie comics publisher.

Basically, they are:

  • Good reviews don’t help sales.
  • Ads don’t help sales.
  • It doesn’t matter that you’re good.
  • People will refuse to read you for free.
  • Fans don’t care about previews
  • Talking about your comic book makes people want to not buy it.

Harsh, right? But true.

And most of the people who have commented on it on Facebook and Tweeter seemed to have had the same experience.

At the end of that article I promised there was a way to become successful and to get people to appreciate your comics and to buy them.

I also shared with you some of the stats that I’ve experienced after making the change, the surge in followers, traffic, sales, and word of mouth.

So. Here are the 6 harsh ways to become a more successful indie comic book publisher:

Continue reading

“Tarot Witch and Black Rose Opened My Mind to Kick-Butt Women” – Late Nite Draw’s Story

Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Our Comics Empower Project continues!

This time, Late Nite Draw tells his story:

I didn’t realize there were other kinds of comics outside of superheroes until I picked up a few back issues of Tarot Witch of the Black Rose.

It opened my mind to kick butt women who were no longer objectified but empowered.

I stopped seeing heroes as men and women as things to gawk and stare at but fully-developed characters.

I grew an appreciation for female lead stories like Grimm Fairy Tales that excited my imagination and fully immersed me in them.

My twitter is @latenitedraw, my website is latenitedraw.tumblr.com



Check out more more personal stories

Send us your personal story