I've been writing comics for four years now, closer to five. With two graphic novels coming out within a few weeks of each other (and two more for next year), things are good. Although, I don't know if I've done a decent job finding an audience. Wim and April, on separate occasions, both talked to me about how I should do more to market, brand, sell myself. Being that Wim works in advertising and April is a designer, they should know. It's not as if I haven't tried. I'm just not a fan of shameless self-promotion. It makes me uneasy. I've seen too many of my peers get pegged with the "shameless" distinction -- black listed for their enthusiasm. You let the work speak for itself. I believe that. But if no one knows you're out there, what then? Hard to let anything speak, if it isn't heard, especially anything independent or small press.
The website is in middle of a re-design. Artwork coming around November 12th. Business cards to follow. Beyond this? Post more MySpace and Facebook bulletins? Go on a frenzied "friending" spree? A weekly newsletter? A promotional mailer? Purchase web banners? Go back to writing a column for a comics website? Find an agent? Crime spree? Do more to woo my favorite publishers? Attend more conventions? More store signings? Enlist my friends to the cause? Or simply wait and see?
Things are good right now. And considering my gig at D Magazine: things are really good. (By the end of next year, Paul Milligan and I will be local gods.) However, I'm still looking for my audience... if you exist.
Posted on Drawn!, a commencement speech by Bill Watterson:
"Selling out is usually more a matter of buying in. Sell out, and you're really buying into someone else's system of values, rules and rewards. The so-called 'opportunity' I faced would have meant giving up my individual voice for that of a money-grubbing corporation. It would have meant my purpose in writing was to sell things, not say things. My pride in craft would be sacrificed to the efficiency of mass production and the work of assistants. Authorship would become committee decision. Creativity would become work for pay. Art would turn into commerce. In short, money was supposed to supply all the meaning I'd need."
In a somewhat related post about "selling out" by Steven Grant (click here).