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Sunday, 22 February 2015

US or UK Business Entrepreneurs and Comics In The UK -How Can They Be Successful?

I think I have said all I can on this subject over at the old WordPress CBO and also here.  There is an assumption that if you have a "great character" then that is it.  You are going to be a huge success.  No.

Look at Jack Staff from Paul Grist: a wonderfully original and fun series published in black and white under his Dancing Elephant imprint.  It moved to Image Comics and full colour.  "Success!" you may shout. According to Grist at a Bristol Comic Expo panel "I didn't make any more money than when I did this solo but now Image goes all the promo and publishing side."

At Long Last! The Return Of The Improbability Of The British Super Hero

If I take a look closer to home, hey, I never hide these things and it's easier to speak from personal experience as a creator/publisher, a point is proven.  Firstly, I wrote two very best-selling, uh, "adult erotic fiction" books that still sell (first published in 1991) and illegal downloads out-pace most others.  Yes, there is a story in the books though I think a lot of buyers were not that interested in stories!  Other strips and comics I wrote sold well. 

Be under no illusions, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I have never ever considered myself the greatest comic artist/writer.  I do the job.  That's it.  But look at the other creators involved in Black Tower Comics and you have some great talent producing just as great, fun comics in various genres and styles.  Return Of The Gods has never been reviewed in the UK and various reasons are given which, being honest, are total bull-shit. You can afford to read Marvel, DC or Dark Horse and Image comics but not a home-grown comic (unless it's from one of the new trendies who are just waiting until they find something new to do)?

Outside of the UK the book has received rave reviews -as have other Black Tower books.  So why am I, and those working with me, not rolling in bank notes? 

Firstly, this is comics.  Despite what fantasies you hear the chances of becoming rich in comics are about 98% against. 

Secondly, UK blogs have become more American comics orientated (a good few European blogs, too). "We DON'T review super hero books" they say -having been sent a horror and a sci fi title!  "It's black and white. I don't like that" said one who seems more interested in Marvel and DC. 

Bloggers who asked for review copies never reviewed -it's a grab-a-freebie mentality and they just do not care that it is costing the publisher a lot of his own money -"so what? You sent it!"

At events it is the same thing.   Basically it comes down to bloggers and media brain-washing people into believing only US colour comics are worthwhile.  No support for Independents (Image and Dark Horse are NOT independents!).  Independent films used to suffer from the same thing but even they get more publicity than Independent comics do.

I could go on but, as I pointed out in my posting regarding entrepreneurs -you need the businessman: WHY Are UK Business Entrepreneurs NOT Getting Involved in Comics?
You see, an entrepreneur may not know the first thing about comics but he/she will know about organising publicity, distribution and getting the books out there.  The Managing or Senior Editor (seriously, I think there really should be only ONE editor of titles) puts together the comic and gets it to the printers.  All finances are in the hands of the business boss -though they need to accept that creators own all the rights to their characters.

You can have a great "product" but you really need to shove it under the noses of the comic public and for that you need to be at all the events, selling, talking and making sure people understand you have a great book(s).

And it can be done.

Where are all the British superheroes? Here Is My Angry, Naked (its a theme -roll with it) Response

But in the UK the biggest problem is finding that entrepreneur.  The money to push things.  Someone who deals with the money but does not interfere with the comics (sure disaster).  I seriously cannot see such a person being really interested in such a project -otherwise why have they not popped up yet?

Having dealt with Robert Maxwell and his then competitor, Rupert Murdoch's company (Maxwell wanted to own a comic business and Murdoch wanted to jump in and beat his rival) I know the pit-falls and I am certainly thinking thatit is far more likely interest would come from US business entrepreneurs than those in the UK.

Those are my thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. This blog is very interesting on the topic of British superheroes. Liked Successful stories of UK entrepreneurs.