In previous articles I’ve covered how to make comic books and comic book covers. Now I’ll show you some ways to get your comic book out to the public, whether you are publishing it yourself or looking to have it published by a comic book company.
Creating and publishing a comic book yourself can be a pretty quick and easy way to get your work out to the public. Unless you have a lot of capital to invest in a large-scale, multi state venture, you should think very small scale.
The best place to start with self-made comics is at a comic shop. You can try at hobby shops, independent bookstores, or art supply stores, but really comic shops are your best bet. It also helps if you are a regular customer at whatever comic shop you are looking to sell your wares at.
All you can do at the comic shop level is talk to the owner and ask him to put your comic on the counter or with the new books where it will get the most traffic. Expect to give the owner a portion of your profits, especially since comic shops tend to have very limited space for new items.
Don’t expect overnight success, as comic readers are often wary of buying comics not published by the mainstream companies. But you can help your chances by pricing your book competitively (i.e. lower than other comics) and by informing readers about the book. A great way to convey what your book is about is to put a short synopsis on the back of the comic, as well as a little information about yourself.
Be prepared to meet demands. If your book becomes successful, you should be prepared to make follow up issues and reprints of the current book.
Finding a Publisher
If you want to find a publisher for your comic, you may be in for a long, hard fight against companies that are not interested in new talent and ones that cannot afford to take chances.
The big two comic companies (Marvel and DC) will not take unsolicited samples. That means if they did not ask you for some art or a comic book, then they do not want it from you. Image, however, encourages independent writers and artists, and will be much more open to sales pitches and samples. There are a few smaller publishers that may take a chance on you, if they find your work compelling. These include Top Cow and Harris, or you can look at ComicVine.com’s list of publishers.
Another way to go about getting your comic published is to appeal to an established comic book writer or artist. Many of them have real clout at major publishers, and if they like what they see they might recommend your work to someone who can get it published.
Whatever you do, don’t despair. Getting an original idea published as a comic book is difficult in today’s economic climate. If what you are doing is not working, try changing and experimenting with what you have. Hone and rework characters, artwork, covers, and dialogue until they shine. You may find your hard work pay off one day.