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Thursday, 25 August 2016

This Is A REALLY Bad Time To Be In Comics

Out of the blue a woman stops me.  "You're the one does comics, aren't you?"

Now, let me point out that in my mind that could mean three things:

(1) I am either a male prostitute or have a bent to  "do" (having sex) with comedians.

(2) I am psychotically deranged and "do" (as in kill) comedians

or, far more likely:

(3) I "do" (as in write, draw, edit and publish) comics or "create".

As it turned out the woman was not the representative of a famous comedian looking for sex and neither was she a police officer about to arrest me for being a serial killer specialising in comedians (and that cannot be legally taken as a confession of anything!).

"Our boy wanted to work in comics -who would he contact?" she asked.  I did not scream "**** OFF!" in her face. I tend to be polite unless it's some bloody comedian but lets not go back to that.  My advice was to tell her "boy" to look for another career.

I pointed out that the UK does not have a real comics industry. I told her that if he had a brilliant and novel idea not to tell anyone involved in comics because they were far more likely to steal the idea.  I pointed out he had far more chances of fame and fortune in the over-crowded "Street Art" scene. That or he should move to the United States and vanish amongst the thousands looking for work in comics there.

If he was any good then he ought to think about self-publishing. Definitely not a guarantee to find a steady income.

I did, of course, the usual "spieler sprechen" of check company web sites, look at what is on the shelves in shops and see if there is a company whose comics he likes or a style/genre he prefers.  But I made it clear that it was far better if he had a full time job while trying to make it into comics.

"Okay. Thanks"  That was it.  Gone.

If you want to make a career out of comics don't bother. In the United States some of the greats who have not been kicked out, are working tidying, to make publishable, the crap work current young "big names" are turning in.  Di$ney/Marvel and DC are not going to be interested.

Honestly, if you really -really- want to draw comics then self publish with the knowledge that maybe 1 in ten thousand make a living from what they do.

In 1920s Germany a wheel-cart full of Deutschmarks might get you a loaf of bread. In 2016 a wheel-barrow full of comics might give you a hernia.

Below: "What do we want? Not Comics! Jeez, my old VHS tape of Terminator is worth more than a hundred of these things!"

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