So, David Walter writes to ask two questions I hear a lot, meaning a lot of people wonder about this, so I’ll answer them publicly:
|I’m and budding writer and poet and I have written an few pieces of poetry and short stories, There is a couple questions I want ask:
1) As an independent creator what reliable steps did you take to get your grachic novels and comics into the comic shops?
2) I’m a better writer than artist, and I want to turn my written stories into graphic novels. Whats the best way and the wrong way to forge a partnership with someone where we can bounce off each others talent?
I think you would the perfect choice to do a Blade Runner grapic novel.
1. A quick study of the comic book business will reveal that it relies on one main distributor, Diamond Comics. Diamond publishes a monthly catalog of new books and merchandise offered in the near future. Retailers selectively order from that list. There is actually a printed version of this catalog that fans can read called Diamond Previews. For example, the catalog for January will list all books and merchandise shipping from Diamond warehouses in March, so you have a two month lead time to place your order with your beloved retailer who will then order the books for you through the distributor and have them for you in March.
That is the system you, the creator, have to plug into. So the simple answer to your questions is, the most reliable way to get your books into comic stores is to be carried by Diamond Comic Distributors. The trick is, Diamond has the right to refuse you. They must first approve of your book(s) based on content, quality and professionalism. You can’t show up brand new with just one book because they want to see proof you can do more than one (too many people only make a first issue or two then disappear). And if they do list your book, it must collect a cash minimum of orders. You would have to check with them for the current amount required. You can contact the Diamond home office and speak to a rep at (800) 45-COMIC, or (410) 560-7100. They’re nice people and if you have a great new book or series, they would love to know about it. We all would!
2. For a writer to find an artist they can bond with, they’re going to have to go where the wild things are… like the “artist alley” section at comic book conventions—always a ton of talent behind those tables just looking for opportunity. There is the classic website, DeviantArt, where artists have pages with their own galleries and easy contact/interaction. And, this would require some shopping around but, I have to tell you, Tumblr is jammed with artists posting their work. It’s a big universe so you have to surf around, but the tumblr system is easy to navigate and you can see more artists in one hour than you could in a year of flipping through books. To get you started, the link I’m giving for them is set to show results for comic artists. Happy shopping!
If none of that works, try the hotel bar at your local comic convention and be prepared to buy drinks. A lot of drinks. Artists are notoriously bribeable.
And just in case you ask, sorry, I’m not available. I’m in a relationship with some dead characters right now.