New Worlds Comics

The best stories. The best art.

New Worlds Comics - The best stories. The best art.

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!

Let’s Fall in Love: Meet Kioshi

We’ve got the Time Warriors series coming soon!

Let’s continue to meet the team and fall in love!

Meet Kioshi. 

Here is how the script describes him:

KIOSHI. M. 19. Japanese. Kioshi means ‘pure’ in Japanese, and Kioshi is an artist in a world that has no place for artists. He is delicate, sensitive, not very strong, and loves music. Whenever he can, he finds time to play a piano or a guitar. Is the thinnest of them all.

Here is his concept art:

Art by: Juan Manuel Almirón

Folks, want to keep updated? Follow us on Twitter.

The Comic Book Business Plan

A reader asked me on Twitter what the business plan is for indie comic book publishers.

You want an indie comic book business plan? You got it!

 

The Original Business Plan

The original business plan was very simple. These were our assumptions:

  • We’d create top-quality comic books.
  • We would only be digital. Thus saving the massive cost of printing and distribution.
  • Comic book fans are thirsty for top-notch comic books. They’d be happy to find new ones. And once they do, they’ll spread it virally through the forums, the Twitters, and the Facebooks.

That was the idea. Since we were only paying the artists (I employed myself as a writer, at least at first, since I would work for free and I have 20 years’ experience writing science fiction), we didn’t really need a lot of sales to break even.

It looked like this business plan couldn’t fail.

Guess what happened?

 

The Tribbles with Trials and Tribulations

  • The Test: We placed ads on CBR, one of the most popular comic book websites. The results: 14 visitors a day from CBR. Conclusion: Comics fans are wary of new things. Until we grow bigger, ads are out.
  • The Test: Our comic books were reviewed by dozens of websites. One of our titles, Wynter, was hailed across the board as “The best sci-fi comic book on the shelves today.” The Results: No additional sales as results of good reviews. Conclusion: Positive reviews do not increase sales. (I’ve had the same experience with online marketing campaigns of my books.)
  • The Test: We tried working with two popular comic book websites, offering their readers to send an email to get a free PDF of Wynter #1. The results: Very weak. Conclusion: Comics fans are wary of new things.
  • The Test: It’s been shown that if you give something to people for free and then let them pay however much they want, they pay more, not less, than you would have gotten originally. We tried putting our Wynter for free at the website, as a test, allowing people to choose how much they pay after they read it. The results: Very weak number of downloads. Conclusion: Not sure.
  • The Test: We were approached by a major Hollywood studio regarding Wynter, as well as by a smaller production company. The results: The studio thought about it and passed, the production company is still in play. We’ll only be able to see the results of this on sales after signing an option deal, and, even better, after having a Wynter TV show on the air. Conclusion: Don’t give up on Wynter. Ever.
Don't lie down and take it. Wynter.

Don’t lie down and take it. Wynter.

The Latest Business Plan

As you can see, when something didn’t work, we pivoted. There were only two constants: 1) We ain’t stopping; and 2) Wynter always makes waves with people who read it.

Our current business plan is based on what we’ve learned since we launched.

One of the major things we’ve learned is that Wynter is consistently perceived by readers as the best sci-fi comic book out today.

Conclusion: Get as many eyes on Wynter as possible. There are millions our there who would love Wynter if they read it: science fiction fans, Warren Ellis fans, Garth Ennis fans, Christopher Nolan fans, Spielberg fans, etc. Wynter knocks people to the floor. Start-ups talk about unfair advantages. What we’ve learned is that Wynter is our unfair advantage.

Plan of action: We’ve got quite a few of those. The first one is already in action: Our old and new Twitter followers get a free Wynter #1 send directly to their email.

We’ve had 2,000 new Twitter followers since we started two weeks ago. Ten percent took us up on it. And this has translated into testimonials, recommendations, and sales.

Conclusion: Keep going! Get Wynter to be seen by thousands, then tens of thousands, then hopefully hundreds of thousands.

Is that a business plan? If we’ve got hundreds of thousands of devoted fans, it doesn’t matter what our business plan is – we’ll be a success.

Wynter. Our ace in the hole.

Wynter. Our ace in the hole.

 

Let’s Fall in Love: Meet Rodrigo

We’ve got the Time Warriors series coming soon!

Let’s continue to meet the team and fall in love!

Meet Rodrigo. 

Here is how the script describes him:

RODRIGO. M. 19. South American. Brown in color. Muscular. Full of testosterone. Wants to fight. Loves to fight. Wants to chase women. Has a big male ego.

Here is his concept art:

Rodrigo

Rodrigo

Art by: Juan Manuel Almirón

Let’s Fall in Love: Meet Alexei

Our new Time Warriors series is coming soon.

Let’s meet the team!

Today We Meet Alexei. 

From the script:

ALEXEI: M. 19. Of Russian descent. He’s 19, but he’s an old war horse. He is a soldier in his bones. He drinks like a soldier, smokes like a soldier, and does not let anything affect him too much, like an old soldier. He does not get excited from war but will be the best soldier he can be. All his family, for generations, have been soldiers.

Here’s the original concept art for Alexei:

Alexei Concept Art

Alexei Concept Art

Alexei Sketch

Alexei getting ready for something big

Art: Juan Manuel Almirón

Calling All Comic Book Clubs!

Howdy Comic Book Clubs!

Are you in a comic book club? Do you know anyone in a comic book club? Then this post is for you!

New Worlds Comics would like to be in touch directly with the readers. This is the time to do it, as we are now shifting from being solely a digital comic book company to creating trade paperbacks of our comic books.

First out is Goof (see the cover and the reviews below), which has been resoundingly hailed as “hilarious” and “laugh-out-loud funny” across the board. The Goof TPB has Goof #1-#4 as well as some cool original artist concept art.

If you’re a comic book club, we’d love to send you the Goof TPB directly.

We'd love to send this to you

We’d love to send this to you

What Is Goof About?

Goof is a lighthearted slapstick comedy about the goofiest superhero in the world.

Meet Nick Knickerbocker, an awkward guy who is chosen by aliens to be Earth’s protector and only superhero. He has graduated from being a goof to a super goof. He can’t stop bumping into things, doing things the wrong way, or even saving cats from trees without killing them. Since his powers don’t work on his family, his older sister still beats him up, usually in front of camera. The media makes fun of him. And then one day… he falls in love… then messes everything up.

This is not a comic book about fighting. This is a comic book about Nick’s personal life and how hard (and hilarious) it is when you’re the clumsiest superhero anyone has ever seen.

 

No Risk

You don’t know Goof, I know that. You don’t have to take a risk. If you’re not sure, we’ll love to email you a free PDF copy of Goof #4 (a stand alone) so you can share with your group and see if you’d like to collectively order a few TPB’s for your club.

 

As Cheap as Possible

We want as many people as possible to enjoy this wonderful comedy.

So we will send it to you as cheaply as we can. You decide how many copies you want. The price will be at the cost stores buy it from us (cheaper than store price, obviously), and we will charge you nothing for shipping.

Interested? Email us here.

Check out the reviews on the back cover:

Check out the reviews

Check out the reviews

 

A Glimpse at How We Create Comics

How would you like a glimpse into how comic books are created?

Here’s something really special.

The artist Juan Manuel Almirón, who is now working on our newest series, Time Warriors #1 does something that has never been done in New Worlds Comics. In fact, I’ve never heard of it being done anywhere in the comics world.

Rather than send a draft of every page for approval, Juan sends different alternatives of drafts to every page, allowing the writer to choose which is best.

Here are some examples.

Look at the different choices he makes, the different stresses and angles. And as you’re looking at these options, ask yourself: Which would you have chosen? Which option do you think is best?

Here are the two options for page 2 of Time Warriors #1.

Time Warriors, Page 2, Option 1

Time Warriors #1, Page 2, Option 1

 

Time Warriors, Page 2, Option 2

Time Warriors #1, Page 2, Option 2

Here are the two options for page 3 of Time Warriors #1

Time Warriors #1, page 3, option 1

Time Warriors #1, page 3, option 1

Time Warriors #1, page 3, option 1

Time Warriors #1, page 3, option 1

Now you be the writer/editor. Tell us which ones would you have chosen?