New Worlds Comics

Comics That Empower You

New Worlds Comics - Comics That Empower You

A Family Empowered by Comics – #ComicsEmpower

Welcome to our #ComicsEmpower project!

Here is our first post: a father and three daughters – empowered by comics!

 

Taylor

Taylor

Jess (Artist name: Taylor-San)

How and why comics and heros inspire me…

At a younge age I realized how messed up this world is, and I found the fantasy of comics healing to whatever bad was going on with me. Whether it be a comic of comedy, tragedy, or romance, if it had superheros in it, it made my reality seem better.

Indulging in a comic book or movie of heros makes me feel like I’m with them fighting or saving people. And to make my own heros and villains is even better. Some take after me and my family, and some are just work of my imagination.

But no matter what they are, they are the thing that gets me through good days and bad days. They inspire me to live a fun and creative life, through drawing, reading, movies and cosplay. Without the fantasy of comic heros, life would be a lot worse. Plus, who wouldnt want to be a super-powered being!

Thanks Dad for introducing me to the universe of supers.

 

Berny

Berny

Berny

Comic books have always been a huge part of my life.  Reading about humans that had these amazing abilities and chose to use them for what was right (usually) greatly influenced me.

Although I knew that I didn’t have super strength the ability to fly, etc., I did know I have the ability to always try to do the right thing.  Especially when it came to other people.

My favorite hero is Hawkeye.  I admire that his background wasn’t squeaky clean, and yet he turned that around to do good.  He also is a superhero because he pushed himself to be the best at what he does, and feared by those on the other side of his arrows.

That has always spoken to me because it made me feel like if I just push myself to be the best I can be and not ever give up, I will reach any goal I set my mind to.  I’m over joyed that my father introduced comics to me.

 

EricaErica (Artist name: Malee)

When my dad showed me comics, I looked at the pictures in amazement, not knowing who was behind that beautiful art when growing up.

I looked at the art more than the story, always telling my dad Why doesn’t everyone read or at least see a comic book sometime in their life.

We look at these books and hear the amazing stores of Batman, or the X Men and do not really think about all that went into making that story, all which went into making it come alive.

I would love to be one of those artists one day. I would sit, look through all the pictures, copy exactly what I saw and did that over and over practicing to become the artist I wanted to be. But while doing this I could see that these heroes are awesome they fight daily for the betterment of mankind.

That is what I love and inspires me from comics.  I try to do and be my best most of the time.

I even speak up for those who are too shy or afraid to speak up.

Comics are never ending, and take you wherever you want to go, who wouldn’t love that.  Keep rockin’ the comics, keep rockin’!

 

Pascus

Pascus

Pascus Smith (Artist name: Telemikus)

Comics have been my passion since I was a kid probably around 9 or 10 years of age.

I even had a subscription to the X-Men comics for about 3 years. I was always anxious to get the next issue.  Every Saturday morning I was up at 7ish to watch cartoons.

Even after school I was ready for G.I. Joe, Super Friends, Centurions, Bionic Six, Mighty Orbots, Transformers, Spider-Man and any other superhero cartoon available.

While watching or reading them it always empowered me to always dig deep when I felt beaten. For example if I was hurt playing football I would think of the pain a hero went through and kept going, then I would suck it up and keep playing.

I would use their example of rising to the challenge almost on a daily bases.  Not allowing me being the minority be a bad thing, but turn it into a strength, not a weakness or an excuse to do less cause that is what was expected.

Even supervillans inspired me, because they had such focus, after being beaten time and time again, they would look for another way to accomplish their goals. Always a method to their madness.

Comics are great for so many reasons.

It’s help for that loner that doesn’t quite know where they fit in, because it shows them that they don’t have to fit in anywhere, just be strong, proud and happy standing alone.  It helps give that inner strength that few know they have, because they never tapped into it.

It shows that kid that gets picked on that they can handle it and come out shining, maybe not at that moment but their moment to shine is coming, just stay focused.

It gives imagination beyond the right now, beyond your city, beyond your state, beyond your planet and beyond the stars.  That kind of imagination is what inspired me to draw and keep drawing, I could create my own places, people and universes.  That’s reasons it was empowering for me all these years.

 

Just for kicks, here’s all 4 daughters (and Cap) going out to see the Avengers movie.

Family Assemble!

Family Assemble!


Do you have a personal story about how comic books empowered you? Send it now and share it with the world!

 

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Welcome to the Team: Vincent Kings

New Worlds Comics is proud to announce the addition of artist Vincent Kings to the team!

Vincent is a young artist whose job it is to step into the giant shoes of Aron Elekes as the artist of Wynter.

Vincent Kings

Vincent Kings is an illustrator based in Laguna Beach, CA, where he studies at the Laguna College of Art and Design. He has drawn comics ever since his little toddler hands were ready for a pencil, and recently interned at IDW Publishing. Already a fan of the book, Vincent is beyond pumped to be working on Wynter and is doing everything he can to keep up the quality associated with it.

The art in Wynter #4, which is coming soon, will be done half by Aron and half by Vincent.

Here is an illustrated page from Wynter #4:

Liz, meet Vincent

Liz, meet Vincent

Please make him feel welcome!

 

Sad News: Aron Elekes to Leave After Wynter #4

If you’re a Wynter fan, I’ve got bad news and good news.

The bad news is that, after Wynter #4, Aron Elekes will be forced to leave Wynter due to unavoidable personal reasons.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about the good news, and the supremely talented artist who will take over the art duties in Wynter. But today let’s talk about the amazing Aron Elekes.

Aron Elekes is a genius. He is equal to the top tier of comic book artists, and better than perhaps most of them.

During his time in New Worlds Comics, he made sure that every page of Wynter is a work of art, never a product. He is a true artist and will be sorely missed.

If you want to personally say how much you appreciated his work, please tweet at him and tell him how much you loved his work! His Twitter handle is: @AronElekes with the hashtag #LoveUAron

He will be missed, and we were super lucky to have him!

Here’s some of his fantastic work:

Wynter 1, Page 4

Wynter 1, Page 4

Artist Aron Elekes helps me achieve the dream

The Wynter #2 promo when it came out in April

The Wynter #2 promo when it came out in April

Wynter #2. Art: Aron Elekes.

Wynter #2. Art: Aron Elekes.

Art by Áron Elekes

Artist's Sketchbook: Wynter #1

Artist’s Sketchbook: Wynter #1

Welcome to the Team: Ara Carrasco

New Worlds Comics is glad to announce a new addition to the team!

Everyone, meet Ara. Ara, meet everyone.

Ara

Ara Carrasco is an artist and a writer, currently living in Cambridge in the UK.

New Worlds Comics has just accepted Ara’s graphic novel, an anthology of short stories, to be published in the second half of 2015.

This is another step in our attempt to create Comics 2.0: a new level of storytelling and depth in comic book form.

Here’s the first page of the short story, Jan, about the 20-year-old student who burned himself to death to protest the Russian occupatin of Czechoslovakia.

Based on a true story.

Based on a true story.

Please make her feel welcome, say hello!

 

Why Do People Keep Buying Bad Comics?

You must have seen this: Comic book fans keep picking up issues they suspect are bad even though they’ve heard recommendations of other comics that are probably better.

Why?

Here’s the answer!

Fans don't buy these because they expect them to be good.

Fans don’t buy these because they expect them to be good.

 

The Harsh Realities of Being an Indie Publisher

Here’s one of the biggest fact I’ve learned since becoming a publisher: Good reviews don’t generate sales.

One of our comic book series was hailed as “the best sci-fi comic on the market today” across the board and sales did not improve as a result. Nada. Zilch.

Why is that?

All right, people are wary of trying something new. But there has to be more to it than that, right?

I think I’ve found it!

 

The Solution

Ever hear of ‘loss aversion’?

It’s a widely known economics idea, used time and time again in marketing to get more people to buy.

It basically says that when presented with an option of getting something great or not losing something, people would prefer not to lose rather than get something great.

Sound weird? I know. But it works!

 

The Experiment

Sure, the idea’s been tested to death and it works, but I wanted to try it myself.

On Twitter I was publishing a page a day of the TV pilot script for one of our comics.

When I switched from describing it this way (“Exclusive!” – a word showing gain) to describing what a person would miss (“Don’t miss out!” – a word showing loss) the engagement rate on Twitter tripled.

Three times as many people clicked on it or responded to it!

Three times as many! Just because of the phrase change. Just because the framing of it changed from gain to loss.

 

How Does This Relate to Bad Comic Books?

Think about it like this.

Why do most people buy all those massive crossovers, or the PR stunts like ‘Female Thor’, ‘Spider-Verse’, ‘Secret Wars’, ‘The New 52′, ‘Death of Wolverine’, and so on and so on?

Why are these such marketing successes and bestsellers?

Sure, some people think they’ll get great stories. But I’m betting most don’t. I’m betting most people know there are really good stories just a bit left or right of those stories.

I think it’s loss aversion.

People don’t expect to get something good, they’re afraid to lose out on something, anything.

It doesn’t matter what they’re afraid of losing. It could be they’re afraid to miss an important moment in the life of a character they love (rather than miss out on a good story). It could be they don’t want to miss out on the one interesting moment they hope will be there. Or it could be they’re afraid to miss out on the conversation everyone’s going to have about this new cross-over/series/whatever.

Let me repeat that.

People don’t buy these comic books by the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands because they expect them to be good, but because they’re afraid to miss out on something.

That’s how loss aversion gets us to buy bad comics. That’s why good reviews for new comics don’t generate sales.

What do you think? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Let me know in the comments!

 

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The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer, and Comics Fans

I just saw Amanda Palmer’s TED talk and it made me think of you, the fans.

If you hadn’t seen it, it’s awesome and thought-provoking. Here it is:

How does this pertain to comic book fandom? I’ll tell you!

In her talk she describes how her fans treated her with kindness, open hearts, and surprisingly open wallets, when she was just starting out. And the bigger she got, the bigger this phenomenon got.

Now let’s look at the comic book fans we know. I’m not talking about my fans. I’m talking about all of us, including myself as a fan.

We are so quick to cut, so quick to burn people who make one thing we perceive as a mistake. So often, looking at the forums, you see fans saying something along the lines of “This writer/artist did such and such and I WILL NEVER LOOK AT HIS THINGS AGAIN!”

So: How is it that fan behavior is so different?

It couldn’t be just Ms. Palmer’s approach to her art – we’ve got so many artists and writers in the industry, at least some of them must be doing something right (from a fan point of view).

Is it that we’ve grown accustomed to behave this way?

Is it that music is one thing and comics another and therefore behavior must be different?

Is it that this is how a left-brain fan behaves vs. a right-brain fan?

Or is it something else?

And does it have to be the way it is?

Can we be more like that?

Do we want to be like that?

I’d really like to know what you think. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Goof TPB Now Available!

It’s finally here!

The Goof trade paperback is now available for direct marketing at My Toy Favorites!

If you’ve got a teenage boy going through the goofiness of puberty, or if you’re a geek guy who went through puberty, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU! 

Description: A hilarious take on superheroes. Nick Knickerbocker is given superpowers as Earth’s only protector. The problem is: he’s a major goof. So now he’s a super goof! Will Earth survive the exprience?

Includes issues Goof #1-#4 in graphic novel form, as well as original artist concept art!

Length: 100 pages.

Free shipping worldwide!

Cost: $12

Reviews: 
“Hilarious!” Nerdlocker
“From the first moment you meet Captain Gorgeous you will have a permanent smile on your face to the very end.” Geeks with Wives
“READ THIS COMIC” The Pop Culture Cafe
“Full of moments that will genuinely make you laugh out loud.” Two Shots to the Head
“Very funny stuff.” Comicbooked

Get it now!

The Goof TPB

The Goof TPB

What are you waiting for? Go over there and get it!

Comic Book Writing Guidelines

A Twitter fan asked: How to pitch a new comic book series?

Here’s the answer!

 

Timing

First of all, check our submissions page for openings.

When submissions are open, the page will also tell you where to send your submissions to.

 

Format

Other companies may care about format, but I don’t. If you have what it takes, you’ll find a way to describe it.

 

Content

All right. Now we get to the writing guidelines.

See at the top of the page there? It says “The best stories. The best art.”

I mean that.

New Worlds Comics is about creating the next generation of comics, a ‘Comics 2.0′ revolution.

We’re about creating standards so high for writing comic books, that they will be a genre onto themselves, a genre of visual literature, with the same depth of character, philosophy, and story that the best literature has, in visual form.

Hence: Comics 2.0.

Here are the most basic criteria for Comics 2.0 stories we’re looking for.

  • Use Yourself as the Original Material. Does it come from you? Does it come from your gut? Is it about your experiences? Is every panel unique and special to how you see the world? – If the answer to all of those is Yes, keep reading.

 

  • Expose Yourself. If a story doesn’t expose a deep truth, it’s no good. A story can expose things you think, things you’re afraid to look at, or the truth about the world. But if it’s not scary to write it, to think that people would read it, then you haven’t dug down deep enough. After you expose yourself, you hide it. It’s a story, after all. You can hide anything behind characters, plot, and background. But your story should feel like an exposed nerve. You should feel like a truth-teller. Your readers should feel elated to have experienced such truth-telling.

 

  • No variations on existing comic book series. What’s a variation? What if Thor was a woman? What is Superman was also the smartest man on the planet? I could do a Batman that’s better than any Batman ever done! – Those things are variations. So, yes, no superheroes. But no other variations, either. No ‘this is my take on So and So’ or ‘this is how I would have done That Thing right’. We’re looking for truly original material.

 

  • All our stories have endings. You need to have a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It can take 4 issues or 12 or 50. But we only accept stories that have the arc most basic to all stories: A beginning, a middle, and an end. A series that lasts forever? Not here.

 

  • Characters should have depth. All your characters should be real and three-dimensional in their depth. If they only serve a purpose for another character, you’ve built the story wrong. Every character is the lead in his/her own story. Every character is different. Every character has depth. Every character is a real, live human being (even aliens, monsters, vampires, or robots). No one is one-dimensional, or even two-dimensional. Every character has contradictions. Every character has flaws. Every character has weaknesses. Every. Damn. One.

 

  • If you write a line you’ve heard/seen/read before, erase and rewrite. To write for New Worlds Comics, you have to be original. Being original means finding a way to be you, and there is only one you. If a line comes out of you that you’ve seen before, then you didn’t dig deep enough into yourself to find how you would act/talk in that same position, if you were that character. You are different from everyone else around you. Writers who use lines they’ve heard before are lazy.

 

  • Your first 5 pages should be the essence of your entire series. The first 5 pages (usually the first page) should include the following elements that ANY good literature has: 1) A hint of the basic conflict of the series. 2) A hint of the basic philosophical theme of the series. 3) A clear feeling of what genre the story is in. 4) A clear feeling of the emotional core the story is about. 5) The most subliminal of hints about where this story will end. – Don’t do this technically. Find the beginning of the story that encompasses all your story. Oh, yeah, and one last thing: 6) Your beginning should suck the readers right in. Reading your beginning should make it impossible to stop reading the book.

 

  • Don’t drag things out. Every panel and every page must have a clear purpose that advances the plot and is worthy unto itself. If you create a panel or a page whose only reason for existence is that they pay off later, erase them. Build the story so that every second feels good for the reader, as if it is the reason for the story. And then surprise your readers. Another example: If your readers have to ‘wait’ for the ‘big ending’ or a big moment that really pays off, don’t send your script. Readers should never wait through something bad or boring. Make every second worth it, and then have something that pays off all those great moments!

 

  • Assume the reader is smarter than you. So many twists, turns, progress of characters, and dialogue are bad in stories because the writer assumes the reader doesn’t know something or hasn’t thought of something, even though the reader saw it coming ages ago. The readers of today have read/seen/watched thousands of comic books, movies, TV show and (some of them) books. Assume your readers are smarter than you and push yourself to find twists and turns that people smarter than you would never see coming.

 

  • Use both storytelling channels. One of the first things you learn in theater is that the text people say and the physical actions they perform can’t be the same. It’s the same here. Use your words to describe/tell/say something that is not what the readers are seeing. You have two different storytelling channels: the visual and the textual. Don’t make them tell the same story. Make each tell a different story. You can use the tension between them to add interest, understanding, or to make a point. These two together will form your story. Using two channels to tell the same story makes a story shallow. Using each of them to tell a different story in each panel gives the story depth. Come on, it’s a tool, it’s right there – don’t waste it!

 

  • Be cinematic. Okay, this one is not a Comics 2.0 criteria. This is a preference. It is my solution to the question: What can comic books do that film or prose can’t do better? The New Worlds Comics solution is: Be cinematic in a way even the screen can’t. Write your film for Spielberg, Nolan, Cameron, etc. but you have a wider canvas: You can use 12 issues or 50 issues or 100 issues to tell your cinematic story. You can write a series of 15 or 30 movies that are all one big story, for example. (That’s our Lost in Dreams series,  btw.) And you can do it for a much lower budget than them, and much faster! Yours and the artist’s salaries do not amount to 800 million dollars!

 

Do you feel your writing answers this criteria? Let me know in the comments! And when submissions are open, send them!

Lastly. Do you want to know what Comics 2.0 looks like? Do you want to see why our writng guidelines are so strict? Click here to email us and you’ll get a free PDF copy of Wynter #1, a Comics 2.0 book!

Are Indie Comics Worth the Effort?

A fan on our Twitter page asked for an “honest, detailed account of the financial/emotional/time liabilities involved” in creating indie comics.

You ask, I answer!

The Financial Cost

Here’s the bottom line: You cannot expect to publish an indie comic book, out of the blue, and succeed financially. It doesn’t matter that your book is God’s gift to comic books. It doesn’t even matter that everybody who reads it likes it.

It’s just not going to happen, because comics fans are very wary of new things.

So, unless you are a known name or have a known name working for you, unless you have a known brand you’re working on or for, expect to sink money into your comic until it succeeds.

You’re going to have to work on building communities of fans across the world from scratch:

  • You’ll have to find people across the world willing to pick up a comic they’ve never heard of.
  • Of those, you’ll have to find people who love it so much they’ll evangelize the comic.
  • You can’t let your evangelists run dry with inactivity. You have to find ways to keep them interested and active.
  • You have to keep producing new issues to prove you can sustain quality, to give the fans more of what they like, to have new things to talk about, and to show that you’re a serious publisher worthy of attention.
  • You’l probably do all that on various social networks. So you have to know how Twitter is different from Facebook, how that’s different from Tumblr or Reddit or what have you. You’ll actually have to do some reserach to discover how best to phrase things in each of these to get the best results.
  • You have to make your comic books secondary in the conversation. If you sell, sell, sell, no one will buy. You have to build trust. You have to trust that if people trust you, they will eventually buy (but not now).

Only when you reach a community big enough will you be able to break even.

By that time, at least a year would have passed, if not two or three or four. And you’ve paid for the new issues and everyone’s hard work during all that time.

Which brings us to the next issue:

The Time Cost

The least above of things you need to do is so great! You need to do those on a daily basis!

You probably have keep on working in a ‘real job’ while you’re doing this. You probably have to keep on writing or doing art or editing future issues of your comic books, which is another time-consuming job.

You’re basically doing three full-time jobs that are not earning you money, while having to support yourself with your ‘real’ full-time job.

Which brings us to the next issue:

The Emotional Cost

Look at the huge list of stuff you have to do above. And I haven’t mentioned sending your comics for reviews, trying to get blog/press coverage, or going to cons.

Do you understand what it takes? Do you think you have that?

What’s the emotional toll? Well, I can only answer for myself, of course.

I’ve been writing for more than twenty years. My first play was shown in a festival 23 years ago. My first story was published 20 years ago. My first book was published 13 years ago. My first script was commissioned 10 years ago.

During all that time, I strived on the one hand to create true art. And at the same time, I went out of my way to create things that couldn’t be marketed in any way.

If I published one SF book for adults, the next one was for teenagers. If a drama I’d written appeared on the stage, the next one would be a comedy for children. So fans that that I gathered in one project would be lost in the other.

I did this over and over and over again, in many different ways, for more than twenty years.

I’ve been on the fringe for for over 20 years, and I kept putting myself there as I created art.

But now I’ve figured out how not to do that, while keeping my artistic integrity.

I’ve created New Worlds Comics as a place for me, and others, to have artistic integrity while doing things right.

So here I am. And emotional cost, time cost, and financial cost – I’m just not going to stop doing it. Stopping is not an option. I get up every day and I do this.

And I’m not. Going. To stop.

 

What about you? Please share with us in the comments!