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  • Meta:

    Would You Spend $3 for Stick Figures?

    Look, I don’t want you to get the idea that I’m one of those nuts who thinks he’s just entitled to a shot at the big leagues without paying his dues. It’s not like I stepped out of the bathroom on The Strange Night on the John When I Became an Aspiring Comic Book Writer and said to myself, “Yo, Grand Funkmeister General [what? that’s what I always call myself], the smaller publishers are for dorks. It’s Marvel and DC or bust!”

    I didn’t do that for a number of reasons. First off, I’ve long been well aware of my own not-so-subtle dorkiness. Secondly, this was back in my high school years, when my appreciation for indy comics was at its apex.

    All this to say that despite what you might think, it’s not as though I haven’t considered self-publishing.

    I’ve considered self-publishing.

    Can’t do it.

    I can’t, and it’s not just because that type of thing requires significant start-up capital and I’ve only got thirty bucks to my name and bruisers from MasterCard who are only waiting for one more missed payment ‘til they come by the house to make origami swans with my precious limbs. It’s not even that I’m too lazy to come up with original characters because I’d much rather play with the conventions of mainstream superhero fare, utilizing established continuity to address my own thematic interests and concerns (read “Spider-Man poo jokes”).

    Are both of these things true? Well yeah, but it’s not like the whole world needs to know. I won’t tell anybody if you don’t.

    No, the big reason I can’t self-publish is the simple fact that I can’t draw worth a damn. I mean, unless you count stick-figures. Wait, do you count stick-figures? ‘cause if you’re willing to spend 3 bucks a pop for a monthly indy book illustrated with stick-figures, I’m willing to give it a shot. I wasn’t kidding about having done 2500 pages of crudely doodled graphic novels…

    What? Is that a no? Well that just figures.

    Anyway, like I said, I can’t self-publish because I’m not an artist. I don’t have the visual nuance of Daniel Clowes or Adrian Tomine’s eye for detail and clean line work. And while that may not have stopped Harvey Pekar, I don’t just happen to be friends with Robert Crumb. Hell, I’m not even friends with Rob Liefeld for petesake!

    Clearly, I need a partner. (You can thank me later for not making some lame Batman and Robin reference, although honestly, I was leaning more toward a Captain America and the Falcon thing before I just said “The hell with it!”)

    Where are all the aspiring comic book artists out there? I’ve checked the Match-Up boards, and all I see are poor schmoes like me desperately seeking artistically talented gents and lasses we can abuse with our densely plotted and unnecessarily detailed scripts for no discernible compensation other than a share of whatever meager profits we imagine we’ll get when we get these labors of love out in the world. Why aren’t you pencil jockeys banging down our doors?

    You know, I imagine I certainly haven’t helped my case with the “pencil jockey” bit, but I figured what the hell? It’s not like I’ve got anything to lose.

    Posted by Tim Leong on March 30th, 2005 filed in Story Archive |

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