Thursday, August 27, 2009

0002 - A rundown of where things stand today.

0002 - A rundown of where things stand today.

Here's the usual disclaimer: I don't claim to be an expert on any of this, but with a bit of confidence, smarts, and help from my friends, I can probably work my way through most of it. These journal notes are NOT intended to be perfect, essay style entries. Comic book deadlines are hell, so I make no promises on the quality of the information I'm presenting. You'll find typos, grammar problems, logic errors, constantly contradicting information, and all sorts of things that will annoy and offend those with an eye for perfection. I publish these entries in several different places, please feel free to choose your favorite and stick with it, or jump around if you'd like.

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So toughen up, don't sweat the small stuff, and enjoy the process of making comics, presented in no particular order:

SWEETS - This new project is all about story, and until my story is solid, the pencil stays in the box. I've been rolling this script idea around in my head for about 6 or 7 years. I had a few false starts and it's been shelved a dozen times so I could take on freelance comic work.

But as of today, I've written the script. It's done. It's 5 issues, about 116 pages. I sent it out to a few friends for feedback and got some amazing notes. For the last couple of weeks I've been going through those notes and making tweaks, moving a couple of things around, and overall I think it's headed in the right direction. A big thanks to everyone that contributed their time and passion to reading this thing: Josh Fialkov, Rob Levin, Keven Gardner, Ford Gilmore, Chris Kirby, Troy Wall, and my amazing wife, Kristie. It's nice to have friends, ain't it? The script was written on my very old titanium PowerBook G4 also known as the Ti-Book.

[ TIP ] Use a crappy computer for writing so you don't get distracted! Apple makes a great product, and the fact that this old PowerBook is still running after all these years of heavy use and abuse really impresses me. I ran my graphic design studio with this machine for many years, and it's served me well. But with an 800MHz processsor and 768 of RAM, it's a relic. The reason I use this old PowerBook is because it's amazingly outdated, and therefore, painfully slow. Doesn't perform well doing anything except text. So it's a GREAT writing machine, and a BAD design/game/video/web browsing/music/torrent machine. Great way to eliminate distractions, yes? [ END TIP ]

The script is a detective story, set in New Orleans. I'm going to do my best to dance around story spoilers, so forgive me if I write cryptically about story points. I'll discuss story in more detail once it hits the shelf and everyone's had a chance to read it. So in the meantime, this creative journal will focus on actually making the comic with a few hints here and there to keep it interesting.

One of the big goals of this journal, and the comic itself, is for me to keep learning and growing as a creator. I've made a lot of friends through the years, and one of the side effects of making friends is you end up with a network of professionals you trust and respect. Along with other comic creators, my professional network includes marketing professionals, graphic designers, engineers, software developers, social networking gurus, accountants, investors, lawyers, small business owners, etc. I'll be reaching out to this network and bringing them in for short interviews and tips. My gut tells me this is going to be a whole lot of fun.

Here are a few bullet points about what's already happened:
  • I've talked with a few publishers that have shown great interest in this project, haven't officially signed with anyone yet. No need to rush through this, but I'm certainly leaning in a certain direction.
  • I've done five full color test pages for the story, but will likely redraw them because of story revisions.
  • Everyone that's read the story seems to be impressed. I'm not sure if they're impressed with the story itself, or the fact that I actually finished it. Time will tell.
  • I've played around with logo designs, and I've got one that I've been using as a temporary logo. I'll be redesigning this eventually. You'll see the progress throughout.
  • I've had conversations with retailers about marketing and promoting creator owned work, and some of the things they respond to and the things they're likely to ignore. 
  • Through the years, I've been compiling a detailed spreadsheets of retailers and media contacts. I've been tweaking it through the years, adding and removing as I go. No, you can't have it.
  • I have also been developing a detailed marketing plan. This includes a timeline of when things need to happen, and where information needs to go. Once I establish a marketing budget, this marketing plan will evolve and expand. I haven't yet decided if this is something I want to share in public, or keep to myself. It's been a very large investment of time and something I'll continue to use and develop as I move forward with new projects. 
There's more to come, but deadlines call.
Thanks for reading!

— Kody

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