Sizzle Craft

Things too boring to keep in my head and junk irregular

1,090 notes &

Advice to the mid-career cartoonist who has failed to build an audience

Oh boy, Abhay lays down the law.

twiststreet:

mikedawwwson:

Advice to the mid-career cartoonist who has failed to build an audience

I’ve been publishing comics for coming on twenty years now. It’s hard to pinpoint a start-date, as like many cartoonists I’ve just been drawing my whole life, but sometime around ‘95 would be when I began putting out ‘zines…

Uh, if I can add insult to injury: who did you even think your audience was?

Your graphic novels had a $20 list price, and you hadn’t really made a name for yourself before trying to charge people $20 to find out if you were any good at making comics.  

Did you think there were a lot of people who take that kind of risk with their money, and if so, why?  Is that how you buy comics— you just see books and then spend $20 on them, regardless of if you’ve never heard of who made them, week after week?  What kind of comic-buying budget are you dealing with that allows you to do that?  

If not, why are you selling comics differently from how you’re buying them?   Or did you believe that the comic audience pays a significant attention to good reviews or awards?  If so:  why???  I seriously don’t know what data could have lead you to believe any of that.  The Ignatz awards and NPR??

Plus:  your second comic seriously looks like a children’s comic but its description is “a story as much about adults as it is adolescents, the blurred line between childhood and manhood, and the consequences of authoritative posturing.  Dispensing with idyllic notions, Dawson describes the hilarious and brutal truths about boys and men, the hypocrisy of institutional morality and the resilience of Spam and the human spirit."  First of all, that is basically gibberish.  Secondly:  not kids…?  "All ages"-?  I can’t even tell from all that— all I know is that it’s not going to have "idyllic notions" (which is such a relief).  Your Booklist review for Troop 142 begins with "Be warned: this is not a book to give to prospective Boy Scouts”.  Even good reviews are starting with warnings to prospective audience members to not accidentally buy your comic!?  Booklist suggests it for a young adult audience (Grade 10-12?)— is that indicated anywhere else?  Not on the front cover and not on your publisher page for the book, but maybe on the back…?

Which may not matter because your third book?  Sure doesn’t sound like a young adult book— “In Angie Bongiolatti we get to follow a group of young New Yorkers as they navigate the slippery slopes between work, play, friendship, sex and politics in a post 9/11 world.”  Are you trying to sell “New Yorkers navigating sex” to extremely mature Boy Scouts?  Why did you think the young adult book about camp would build an audience for … whatever (?) this third book was about?  (God only knows with that description— that description could equally apply to the work of Bret Easton Ellis or Jennifer Aniston)(it may be worth noting there’s literally zero about that description where I couldn’t find a million other things to satisfy that niche first, before I turn to something your publishers sets at a $20 list price).  Also your publisher description for your third book starts with “Set in the same universe as Troop 142"…?  I didn’t read Troop 142 so does that mean I have to read that first?  Is it the continuing adventures of those characters?  Comic fans all have some level of OCD so if you say "same universe" (whatever that means), no one is going to start at episode 2— that’s not how our people are built.  And why would you make a sequel to something no one bought to begin with? 

I can’t guess what relationship your publisher has with libraries, who I’d imagine would be a key potential buyer for you(?).  None of the rest of their catalog seems very library-oriented, though. 

(Also it seems like you’re trying to do ensemble storytelling in comics, or at least none of your ad copy except your first book mentions a central character with an interesting dilemma, which … Other than Love & Rockets, who has made that work?  There’s a certain challenge there even if everything else goes great)

What was your business model?

(Source: mikedawwwson)

Filed under Abhay Says it Best

34 notes &

twiststreet:

 Lester!  McCulloch! McMillan!  Stone!  Strain! Witzke!
in… AMERICAN CENTURY — EPISODE TWO!
I made a cartoon a while back, with the help of some folks, and here is the second episode of that cartoon!  America’s beloved vocal all-stars of episode one— Jeff Lester, Joe McCulloch, Graeme McMillan, Tucker Stone and Sean Witzke— are joined this time by the spectacular Tessa Strain!   Holy shit!  Why did any of these people agree to do this?  I don’t know!  But oh boy, we all got lucky because they are all so great in this!  So great!  They will make you cry— I can almost guarantee it!  You won’t cry because you’re sad— you’ll cry because you will be having feelings that you didn’t think you could have anymore!  You thought your heart was broken and suddenly you realize maybe you’re ready to love again… even to finally start learning to love yourself, to finally start forgiving yourself!!!  It’s a cartoon, everybody!  Wheee!
(Also, it’s potentially NSFW because of the drawing(s) of shit-eating or whatever. Be careful!!  Step lightly!!  You work in a Gestapo-like hellscape and you are being watched!  Beware!  BEWARE!).
You!  Me!  Youtube!  

twiststreet:

 Lester!  McCullochMcMillan!  Stone!  StrainWitzke!

in… AMERICAN CENTURY — EPISODE TWO!

I made a cartoon a while back, with the help of some folks, and here is the second episode of that cartoon!  America’s beloved vocal all-stars of episode one— Jeff Lester, Joe McCulloch, Graeme McMillan, Tucker Stone and Sean Witzke— are joined this time by the spectacular Tessa Strain!   Holy shit!  Why did any of these people agree to do this?  I don’t know!  But oh boy, we all got lucky because they are all so great in this!  So great!  They will make you cry— I can almost guarantee it!  You won’t cry because you’re sad— you’ll cry because you will be having feelings that you didn’t think you could have anymore!  You thought your heart was broken and suddenly you realize maybe you’re ready to love again… even to finally start learning to love yourself, to finally start forgiving yourself!!!  It’s a cartoon, everybody!  Wheee!

(Also, it’s potentially NSFW because of the drawing(s) of shit-eating or whatever. Be careful!!  Step lightly!!  You work in a Gestapo-like hellscape and you are being watched!  Beware!  BEWARE!).

You!  Me!  Youtube!  

Filed under Abhay Says it Best

125 notes &

On terminology

supervillain:

Oh I get it. “Art-horror” is a great term for you to write around the idea that you just like horror films, intellectual cowardice runs deep y’all. There will never be anything more obvious than your shame for liking genre by writing about the respectable end of that being “different”. Of course,…

Too fucking right!

30 notes &

christophersebela:

TERRIERS feelings

Literally, just slowly watching Terriers for a second time when this was posted. Just hit the slightly rough post-ep 6. patch. The end is totally amazing, but a complete swipe from 12 hours.

(via supervillain)

8 notes &

twiststreet:

I’m a little tired of hearing guys talk about how they escaped their saddo childhoods through the magical powers of Over-focusing on Bullshit. Still, watching the world transition into this place where you can make anything, and there’s a billion tutorials to help you do it and all these free tools and… I grew up in a world where people could stop you making things, or there’d be natural limits on what you could do.  (I guess cartoons and games were never like that, if you think about Bill Plympton or Jordan Mechner but… it felt that way).  Special effects technology— Blender’s free; games— Unity or AGS or whatever else is out there is free; cartoons and comics and movies— you can put whatever you want on Youtube and it’s all free.  I don’t know— I just find it really interesting.  Where does it all go next?  It’s kind of the only thing I want to hear about or talk about or think about anymore…

Filed under Abhay Says it Best

8,931 notes &

tomewing:

alewing:

kittytumbling:

feuervogel:

gryphynshadow:

madgastronomer:

madmaudlingoes:

beedibix:

everythinginstatic:

"The day of limbo".
I mean… I guess? Except I’m in a happy committed relationship, so erm… no longer in limbo?


But are you dating Hermes Conrad.

"We would design our fictional study around two points of data collection: measuring the proficiency of both experimental group and control group before the new law comes into effect, and afterwards, let us say in 6 months time."
You hear that, lofrothepirate? We need to start using a lab notebook.

"John, there’s the lagoon."

"Okay… this looks bad."
closest book was the Hawkeye ‘My Life As A Weapon’ book. la la la.

My closest book is a Berlin travel guide.
"Menus increasingly champion traditional (and long underrated) ingredients such as root vegetables (like parsnip, turnips, and parsley root), old-fashioned grains like barley and buckwheat, and game and other meats like Blutwurst (blood sausage), Zickleinleber (baby goat liver) or Ochsenbäckchen (ox cheeks)."

My closest book is a colour-by-numbers with no words in.  HA!

"He won’t take much convincing - it’s a show about selfish boasting."
oh dear

"PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON"

"Gradually with increased experience, this will change from the "on/off" style to an "ease-on/ease-off" style."

tomewing:

alewing:

kittytumbling:

feuervogel:

gryphynshadow:

madgastronomer:

madmaudlingoes:

beedibix:

everythinginstatic:

"The day of limbo".

I mean… I guess? Except I’m in a happy committed relationship, so erm… no longer in limbo?

But are you dating Hermes Conrad.

"We would design our fictional study around two points of data collection: measuring the proficiency of both experimental group and control group before the new law comes into effect, and afterwards, let us say in 6 months time."

You hear that, lofrothepirate? We need to start using a lab notebook.

"John, there’s the lagoon."

"Okay… this looks bad."

closest book was the Hawkeye ‘My Life As A Weapon’ book. la la la.

My closest book is a Berlin travel guide.

"Menus increasingly champion traditional (and long underrated) ingredients such as root vegetables (like parsnip, turnips, and parsley root), old-fashioned grains like barley and buckwheat, and game and other meats like Blutwurst (blood sausage), Zickleinleber (baby goat liver) or Ochsenbäckchen (ox cheeks)."

My closest book is a colour-by-numbers with no words in.  HA!

"He won’t take much convincing - it’s a show about selfish boasting."

oh dear

"PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON"

"Gradually with increased experience, this will change from the "on/off" style to an "ease-on/ease-off" style."

(Source: thatweirdsmithgirl)