Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Welcome to The Comicpreneur

Welcome to my new blog "The Comicpreneur".

My name is Karl Altstaetter and I've been working in comics since I was 12. Yes that's right 12! I started working at a retail comic store as a kid where I learned the ins and out of selling comic books. I later moved onto working in comics. I've done work for Marvel and DC as well as Image. I eventually started my own comic publishing company where I published my own comics for almost 8 years. I recently spent 6 years working in the toy industry where I created the Marvel Authentics Die-Cast collectable car line. I walked it from pitch to shelf. I am now working on a new comic project called Me2 with MTV. It will be distributed on various digital platforms.

At least once a week I get an email a PM or note on Deviant Art where someone wants my advice on the business side of comics. There is a growing trend in comic books which I call "Pro Am" creators. Creators who don't do comic books for a living but as a way to express themselves as part hobby part small side business. Many creators are starving for information about the business of comics. They want to know how to get the most out of their work financially and at very least not lose money on what they are doing. I decided to create this blog to to address some of those questions and hopefully create a resource for creators to ask questions and get answers and new ideas on this subject.

I've spent a lot of time on the business side of comic books and I've seen trends come and go and I've seen independent comics be big hits and fail miserably. I've also learned that it's not as random as one might think to create a successful comic. Like any creative endeavor it starts with a strong idea and a dedication to making it happen. There are market factors involved but like most businesses those are issues you must consider and factor into how you will market your product. I use the word "product" loosely. I don't see comic books as a  pure "product" like a can opener or trash can. Yet I do believe that you must consider the product development side of any creation you plan on taking to market. In fact I believe that this lack of consideration of the product development of comics is one of the key factors why so many comics fail or run out of gas.

I see comics as an art form that can tell almost any type of story and has yet to even be fully explored in print form and even more so in digital form. On one level there is a huge amount of creative potential yet very little of it is being expressed to larger audiences due to the structure of the mainstream comic market.

I'm going to start out by doing a series of articles on the business of the mainstream comic business. I want to paint a realistic picture of the market as it stands so we can start talking about how to change it or move around it to reach more readers and hopefully sell more comics.

From there I'll just post ideas and tips I think are relevant and important.

I also hope to have guest blogs by various comic creators talking about their experiences with self publishing as well as people from around the comic world and beyond with tips and information.

Some of the subjects I hope to get at.

Where to find good deals
Digital distribution
Selling directly to consumers
Selling to the direct market
Product development
Selling your intellectual property

I'd like to ask you to help me by posting your ideas and experiences.

I believe in the collective power of creative minds. Let's do this!

Comicpreneurs are GO!


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