The last bit is probably the toughest chore. My day job had been the backbone of Nix Comics. I could pretty much do whatever I wanted without worry about whether or not it sold well. That’s going to have to change some. It’s a safe assumption that if you’re reading this blog that you’re familiar with the ins and outs of small press and DIY culture. In the case of cartoonists and comic makers, the proceeds of one comic pays for the next, so if something doesn’t sell, it’s a big deal. That’s a big part of why crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are so popular with artists but also why they often have a sense of desperation to them.
So what’s the plan to keep my comics going while I'm unemployed?
Even before my decision to leave my job, I had been wrestling with the notion that I needed a way to fund Nix Comics, so when my friends who run the gift Boutique, What the Rock?! Offered me some space to set up within their new store location in my neighborhood, I jumped. Basically I have a 10x10 room within their store sell whatever comics, records and artwork I want to. Like a lot of flea market and antique mall set ups, I’ll work a few days a month, but mostly they’ll run the register and tracking sells.
This is a real throwback to the origins Nix Comics, since I funded the first year of publications by selling off the merchandise from my last record store, Evil Empire Records. The big difference will be that I want to focus on a lot of direct from artist/label/distro exclusives.
The grand opening date for the new What The Rock?! Space hasn’t been set yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s coming!
Don’t take the comments above as an indication that I’m abandoning crowdfunding. Right now it is simply the most productive vehicle for getting a project completed in a timely manner. I think, though, that I want to put a different spin on what I seek crowdfunding for in the future. Instead of asking for funds to put out a single issue or even a series of issues, I am only going to ask for funds for things that will help me build the infrastructure that will sell comics without Kickstarter.
What am I talking about? Well, for instance, Recently I received an invite from Kickstarter to take part in their Make100 project, which is pretty much what you’d expect it to be: A request to run campaigns with the purpose of making a limited run of 100 for specific items. Right now my plan is to launch a kickstarter that will fund the production and provide postage for 100 wholesale Catalogs with sample copies of my 1st four issues to record stores outside of my normal reach. Backers will have the option of sticker sets, trading cards and Nix back issues to help me reach my goal. Expect to see me pitching this to you on social media within a week of this post.
The biggest expense for making an issue Nix Comics Quarterly or Nix Western is paying the artists involved. I’m not willing to lower the rates that I offer for stories, so while I sort out my I’ll have to focus on low budget items I can produce, titles like Tales from the Crate, Buck Slaughter’s Book of Rock N Roll Facts and Belligerent Kitties.
I have all of the materials for two issues of Tales from the Crate and Buck Slaughter #2 is scripted. Belligerent kitties will be done in what I hope will become traditional slap-dash manner for that loathesome-but-high-reward-to-effort-ratio publication.
Watch for Tales from the Crate #2 in early February and the other titles to follow soon afterwards!
Finally, expect to hear a lot more from me. I’ll be doing a lot of writing and a lot of drawing, sharing it warts and all. (A least a rockstar drawing a day, which those of you following my instagram already know!)
I’ll be shilling for merchandise in the What The Rock?! Shop. So there will be a lot of info about records for sale and non-Nix comics. I would understand if you tune out, but please trust me to do this in a fun and/or informative way
Along those lines, I also hope to do some fun stuff like some music podcasts, trivia contests with giveaways and maybe some art shows.
Basically, in a month or two you’ll be sick of me and ready for me to take a new day job!