As of today we officially have a Buy Indie Comics Day mailing list! Why is this a big deal? Throughout the years we've been able to reach our audience but they either forget about BICD until the day of the (event or the day after) or they forget altogether. We believe it's because we're not in the public's eye like, let's say Free Comics Book Day nor we have the financial backing of FCBD; but what we lack financially we make up for heart and enthusiasm. But we can't do this on our own, trust me we've tried. Hence we've created a newsletter, not only to inform all of you about any announcements but also to remind you on a regular basis that we're still here, that we're still working on this initiative and that we still need your help.
You can sign up to the Buy Indie Comics Day Newsletter by visiting: Buy Indie Comics Day Newsletter
I know it's been one month since Free Comic Book Day but as you know life gets in the way and here we are. I have to say this was, by far; the best Free Comic Book Day I've ever been a part of as a fan or as a professional comic book artist. The venue was great (it's my local comic book shop!), the staff was attentive, kind and on point with everything, there was a nice flow of people coming in and out of the shop without it getting too overwhelming and it was just a fun day. Did I mention they had free cake for anyone in attendance? Well they did!
Besides myself there were other talented people in attendance like my Avandrus Theory colleague Brian Lacy as well as Cosplayer extraordinaire Magic Mo amongst others. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there, people who didn't knew each other before where engaging in conversations and connections were being made; it was great to be a part of it!
Last Saturday was Buy Indie Comics Day and I have to be transparent with all of you who rock with us, this year we received the least amount of support from the indie and comic book community since we began BICD; and it stung. I do feel I have to give thanks to the people who did give me support and helped make the few events that happened this year possible. Full transparency, as of right now I think Buy Indie Comics Day has ran it's course; at least in the way we've been doing it thus far. It's puzzling to me, and if I'm being honest quite frustrating; that the same community we've been trying to help for so long has basically turned their backs on us. Let me be clear, I don't say this to garner your pity; I'm just trying to explain how I feel in regards to the indie comics community as a whole... from the creators to the media personalities to the so called fans.
I wonder where all the support, or lack thereof; from the supposed legions of fans and comic book shops that claim to read and advocate for indie comics so loudly went. I also wonder where were all those podcasts that claim to read and love indie comics so much yet never even gave Buy Indie Comics Day a shout out, an interview or a spotlight; total radio silence. It's also mind bending to me how comic shops that claim to be huge supporters of indie comics told me "they don't need one day to promote Indie comics because they sell indie comics all year long" or like one comic shop told me: "maybe we should take every indie comic off the shelves and just put them up the day of the event only". It's even crazier to me that there were indie creators that visit and support said comic shops, when I told them what the comics shop said they reply with "oh they must've been just joking" or "they were probably trying to be funny"; all the while ignoring the fact that they blew me off and had nothing planned for that day.
Another thing that blows my mind is how comic book "fans", indie comics fans especially; will pay $20-$60 to go to a comics show and completely ignore a show they can get in for FREE and actually spend their money on merch and comics. This is actually one of the main reasons I've decided to make some changes on how I'll go about doing Buy Indie Comics Day moving forward, because if you try to do something for free people obviously don't give it the time of day; but I guess if you charge them an entrance fee they'll flock by the thousands. Point taken! I apologize if I sound bitter, it's just frustrating to put so much effort into trying to help other creators to then have them spit in my face. I get it, nobody asked me to make this event, nobody asked me for help; but it's in my nature to help others and who better than fellow comic book creators.
As far as I know there were only three States that celebrated the day in some way, shape or form: California, South Carolina and my home State of Virginia. I've attached some photos of said events below, maybe other creators and comic shop owners will be motivated to do something next year... if Buy Indie Comics Day is even a thing next year. Maybe I'll forget about this disillusion I feel at the moment, maybe the bad taste in mouth will dissipate and maybe my unadulterated love and joy for the event and the community returns this time around next year, but as of today; I don't see it happening. Let me know what your thoughts are on Buy Indie Comics Day as whole. Have you participated in a BICD event? Have you heard of BICD? Should we continue organizing BICD events? We'd love to read your thoughts so please leave us a comment.
Saturday, May 6th, my first time tabling in 11 years. My first time tabling at a Free Comic Book Day in 12 years. My first time ever tabling in NYC (Brooklyn) at Anyone Comics. So, how was it?
In a word:
As you can tell by the pic to the left I went pretty minimalist at my table. No prints. No merch. Just straight up comics (and where to find my online).
Since it's been so long that I actually tabled, I went somewhat conservative to the event, basically reintroducing to the scene. And an activity like this one was perfect for me to get my feet wet again at going out to activities.
The experience was invaluable because it put to the test things I have been advising to colleagues for a while now.
Do not take social media interaction (or lack there of) be the gospel truth of what is going to sell and what not. At the end of the day, you can't decide what's going to sell, the customers decide what's going to sell ultimately.
If you read my webcomics, you might recognize one of my more popular webstrips I've done: Never Mind and The Cannon Girl.
And you might also recognize one of my least interacted with and quite honestly my lowest selling comic online, Stupid the Cat.
I was admittedly going back and forth with myself debating if I should take physical copies of Stupid with me, judging by how little reactions it gets online compared to other comics I have online.
It ended up being my second biggest seller of the day and was almost neck and neck with Project: New Wave. Followed by The Cannon Girl and then Never Mind. If I had ignored my gut feeling and not practice what I preached, I would've missed out.
Project: New Wave was talked about quite a bit by the onlookers at my table, and so was Stupid, easily. There are a few factors that I think contributed to this:
1- Amy Reeder was the big guest artist at the activity, and I was tabling next to her. So it was a pretty young crowd and kids going with their parents that were mostly at the activity. Project: New Wave of course looks like a traditional super hero book (with such amazing artwork by Manuel A Carmona and Francisco Rivera), and the people that took Stupid the Cat, just really liked the art style in it, because in their word "it's so different than what's out there!". So being close to Amy Reeder definitely helped with the foot traffic and curious onlookers.
Also, Stupid the Cat was really the only family friendly comic on my table that any kid or younger people could pick up and read, so that definitely helped to at least appeal to that audience as well.
2- As I mentioned earlier: Do not judge everything completely on social media interaction. If I had let myself not take Stupid because it lacked social media interaction compared to other projects, I would had missed out on those sales, and missed out on the in person perception of the comic. As I have always pleaded with other colleagues- please do not be discouraged because you don't have as much likes or shares or retweets that you think you should have. If you're not selling your digital comics as much as you wish you did, still, take a chance and take copies with you along with your most popular ones, because going to an activity like this one or to a comic convention, being at a place with people in real life, you never know if that one comic you thought would sell might not, and the one you think won't just might surprise you.
3- One customer that got Stupid the Cat praised my table because of the variety of comics it had. That doesn't mean you HAVE to dabble in different genres if you don't like it or that you have to have one million comics going on at the same time, BUT, if you at least have 2-3 comics of the same series and also maybe a trade, that really helps make your table stand out and sends a message to potential customers: you buy from me you'll be seeing new material sooner rather than later, so hop on my brand.
4- Having banners and customized table clothes is SUPER nice, but, especially if you're starting out, it's not really necessary. The grand total that I spent on the table cloth, the 4 stands to hold up the comics and the mini lettered board, and the actual mini board itself all together? $17.50 (not including tax and what not). The Dollar Store and 5 Below is your BEST FRIEND when you're starting out or on a tight budget to make your table look nice and stand out in it's own way. I went for the checkered black and white cloth because it was actually on brand for the covers I made of the mini-comics/zines, plus, it made Project: New Wave catch people's eyes because the gorgeous coloring absolutely POPPED off in contrast to the mostly black and white table.
5- You will always run into snarky comments, even in person. Under NO circumstances take it seriously, brush it off, more than likely you will never even see that person again. There was one father with his child that went to get Amy Reeder stuff. The kid was really happy and kind of looking around. The parent was looking at tables and mumbling to himself. He asked the girl if she found anything for herself, she says "maybe one more thing". Then he looks up and looks at a few tables and said pretty loudly "that more than me..." Some people glanced, others kind of looked down, I looked out of the corner of my eyes and chuckled. I thought to myself "enjoy your more mainstream stuff, friend, I'm having the time of my life here!" If you've worked in retail or customer service before, you might know where I'm coming from. You can't please everyone but especially don't take it personally and don't validate snark by even giving mean looks back, keep pushing forward, my friends!
6- A lot of people hand a lot of merch and prints, to the point where they had their own comics in a small corner of their table and the prints were prominently displayed. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have no new comic to offer, but, what usually happens and I saw this a lot, people ended up buying more prints and stickers and pins than the actual comic.
7- Just as I said to not judge what to sell solely on social media alone, adjust and pivot depending on what even you're going to and keep in mind what target audience usually goes to those activities/con. And most importantly, keeps tabs on what you sell and how many, because that will help you gauge on what to take more of for the next activity and what to take less of. Adapt.
All in all, I have a FANTASTIC time. I talked to a few colleagues, reconnected with old friends, and started to get less and less nervous as time went on. I probably missed sales I could have made because I fumbled over myself delivering the pitch for the comics I had there. But on the other hand, I had QR codes I made for both the TC site and my personal site, and Instagram, and got quite a few new followers and who knows, maybe potential customers down the line or readers for the webcomics! So bonus observation: always try to have a website, even if it's simple.
That's all from me for now, as always, thank you all SO MUCH for reading, I'll likely make more observations and blog posts, especially after Comics de Mayo this Saturday.
Until next time, take care and stay creative, my friends!
Free Comic Book Day returns Worldwide on Saturday, May 6th and Truthful Comics will be a part of the Global celebration of comics. Alvaro Cortes Jr (Mighty Warlord, Cannon Girl, Nevermind) will be at Anyone Comics in Brooklyn, New York on the Free Comic Book Day and Indie Art Fair. They'll have free comics upstairs for anyone in attendance (while supplies last) and independent comic book creators downstairs selling their books and signing autographs. If you're in the area make sure you stop by and show your support.
**THIS is the official event page on Facebook.
We have some exciting news on our digital front! Alvaro Cortes Ortiz Jr's Fred Peterson: The Mighty Warlord is now #4 in The Duck's Top 10 webcomics! The Mighty Warlord is the longest running Puerto Rican comic book series of all time. You can read the webcomic by clicking HERE!
For those who aren't familiar with The Duck, The Duck Webcomics is a free webcomic hosting site. It was founded as drunkduck.com in 2002 by Dylan Squires, who sold it to Platinum Studios in 2006, and was later acquired by Wowio in 2010, who changed the name to The Duck in 2011.
The most important day in indie comics returns on
Saturday May 27th, 2023!
We started Buy Indie Comics Day with the sole purpose of having indie comic book, zines, mini-comics, graphic novels and comics strip creators around the World synergize on a single day designed exclusively to celebrate their work.
It is our hope that all comic book retailers across the World will take this as an opportunity to promote and stock indie comics, also that consumers will take a chance on new titles and creators they've probably never heard of and lastly that creators take this initiative and organize events created specifically to showcase their work and their colleagues work to a much larger audience than a normal comic book convention ever could.
Here's how CREATORS can make Buy Indie Comics Day a great event to sell a bunch of their books and grow their audience.
If you're a retailer, be sure to let us know about your event so we can spread the word. If you know a retailer, tag them! If you buy your books at a comic book shop talk to the owner/employees about Buy Indie Comics Day and how it would benefit their store.
What can RETAILERS do in their BICD events:
1. Invite local indie creators to do signings and sell their books.
2. Invite local podcasters to record live in their comics shop.
3. Have indie comics sales!
4. Invite local Cosplayers.
5. Do a Q&A with the guests.
6. Do art challenges.
7. Invite a renowned indie creator to do a signing at your location (Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Todd McFarlane, etc.)
8. Do raffles and the list goes on and on...
Written by Manuel A. Carmona
Today I'd like to present to you all what can happen when a few creative individuals decide to unify their efforts and leave egos aside. Enter: The Canadian Comic Book Alliance! Now before we delve into this novel idea, I'd like to talk about what I've always tried to do which is basically what these Canadian creators have achieved in a short period of time; stand together under a unified front and face the harsh comic book industry landscape together as a unit rather than every man for himself. I sat down with Canadian comic book creator Jeff Burton to talk about his book and comics in general. One thing led to another and eventually we stumbled upon this great thing some comic book creators got going on in Canada, our conversation went something like this...
Jeff- So tell me about your work!
Me- I'm involved in a few things, I'm working on my creator owned series Project: New Wave. Issue #4 is 80% finished, already have issues #1 - #3 published and you can purchase them on our website. Besides that I'm one of the organizers of Buy Indie Comics Day; which btw you and every other indie creator should be involved with.
Jeff- Oh I know about Buy Indie Comics Day! I came across that and shared it around a ton last year.
Me- That's a good thing! Thank you for that. I also run a non-profit initiative with my wife called Comics For Christmas.
Jeff- Oooo... Comics for Christmas sounds cool too! That’s totally awesome man!
Me- And last but not least, I'm the President of Truthful Comics, an indie publisher through which me and a few great friends work and put out various titles such as: Fred Peterson: The Mighty Warlord, The Mysterious Exorcist, Stupid The Cat, Cannon Girl, Project: New Wave and a few others. My main thing is trying to establish a fellowship amongst indie creators, through which we can push each others projects, collaborate and be there for each other. Comics can be a very hard and lonely industry for indie creators, but why does it have to be though?
Jeff- Sounds like myself and the Canadian Comic Book Alliance.
Me- Wait, the what now? What's that about?
Jeff- Basically the same idea - a network of Canadian indie creators working together to help promote our work and indie comics in general throughout Canada.
Me- That's the goal! Man that's my dream for us here in Virginia and my birthplace of Puerto Rico!
Jeff- And in our members-only group we share what we are working on, some collaboration happens, we give each other feedback and advice etc. Fellowship. Cuz you’re right, it is a lonely world in comics; so when we can get tables as a group or close to each other at shows man... what a blast!
Me- It is man! It's cutthroat sometimes and it doesn't have to be. That's what I wish to accomplish, but more times than not people focus only on themselves (understandably so) and forget about everyone else; I feel if we'd all push each other we'd be able to reach a much larger audience than if we just stay in our own little bubble. So tell me, how did the Canadian Comic Book Alliance started?
Jeff- Well we started in 2017. A small group of us "prairie" creators talked about something like that, then I talked to a few other creators I had gotten to know and then; I pitched it to them too.
Me- Wow! So it was fairly recent?!
Me- From the way everything looks and how you guys promote each other's work, one would think this has been a thing for many years.
Jeff- The Adventures of Auroraman Annual was a collaboration comic - the characters in the comic come from other CCBA members' books.
Me- I guess great things happen when people put their egos aside and decide to work on a common goal. So, you mentioned attending conventions together or meeting at conventions; do ya'll attend the conventions together as vendors and split the table costs or do ya meet up just as fans?
Jeff- Some of us have split tables, other times we have asked to have our tables close or next to each other; and a couple shows we were guests at and they put our tables in the same area together.
Me- That's awesome man! I'd love to have that same camaraderie here in my neck of the woods. Notice I'm trying to pick your brain to see if we can duplicate your success, because I'm enamored with the idea of helping each other navigate the dangerous waters of creator owned comics. The way I see it, there's enough for everyone to have a piece of the pie; we don't have to kick anyone down for us to get a piece of the action. United we stand; divided we fall. Egos have to be left at the door though, we're all equal partners here; we're not rivals.
Jeff- Bingo! Personalities will be a big part of that.
Me- I totally agree. So, basically the Alliance operates like an umbrella, where many creators benefit from and help each other; but does the Alliance have a monetary structure behind it?
Jeff- No monetary structure. We thought, as soon as we edge close to anything that brings money in; stuff tends to slide sideways a bit. Small things have been ok, but any larger amount of money and things get messy; so we just left that idea alone for now.
Me- That's smart, after all "Money is the root of all Evil" as the say.
Me- Can you tell me who the members of the Alliance are?
Jeff- Sure, the members are (in no particular order): Andrew Thomas, Mark Armstrong Allard, Gary Boyarski, Brayden Martens, Alfonso Espinos, Mart Deschatelets, Elaine M Will, Ryan Howe, Scott W W Sawyer, Kevin Montpellier, Jeff Martin, Gmb Chomichukm, Sharon GauthierJason Sylvestre, Martin Boruta, James Zintel, Nathan Wahl, Davis Dewsbury, Andrew Lorenz, Dan Collins, Donovan Yaciuk, Josh Rose, Jamie Isfeld, Kevin Briones, Justin Shauf and Colin Work.
Me- Wow there's quite a few creators in the Canadian Alliance. So, to round this conversation; what advice would you give someone who's trying to create a group like the Canadian Comic Book Alliance?
Jeff- Egos at the door and make sure that everyone is friends going into it. All on the same playing field and page - no one is better or deserves more. You’ll grow better together.
Me- Better words were never spoken! Thanks for taking the time to talk comics my friend, I'm sure it won't be the last. And to you that's reading this, now that you know who the members of the Canadian Comic Book Alliance are, here is some of the work from many talented Canadian creators and as always... keep it Truthful!
Written By Manuel A. Carmona
So... a while back I reached out to some colleagues to discuss the possibility of working together on a brand new project as a collective. This is the first time in the thirteen plus years (at the time) living in Virginia that I've actually gone out of my way to collaborate with local artists. Now you may be asking yourself "why now?". Why after so many years is he finally reaching out to other comic book creators in the area?" Well, I did this for a variety of reasons:
1. I (like many comic book artists) tend to keep to myself and I'm trying to change that. Being a comic book artist is a lonely endeavor, you spend hours upon hours working on your books, you tend to become a hermit; especially if you do most of the work yourself. But in order to build community you need to socialize, create a network for yourself; at least that's what I'm hoping for.
2. I've been meaning to work on a project with brand new characters and add it to the Public Domain. I know for a fact that thousands of artists would love to work on a project and be allowed to use Batman, Superman or Spider-Man but obviously can't. I also know there's thousands of characters in the Public Domain that can be used by anyone, although there's no way to know for certain which characters you can use on your own projects and how; even though they're in the Public Domain.
So I thought to myself, why not come up with a new legend, a new story and new characters and allow anyone to use them? I reached out to my colleagues and to my surprise a few of them really liked the idea... so we went to work. We came up with a main character, a main villain, supporting cast and a fun concept that will allow for any artist to jump in at any time and not be jarring. I can't give you all the details at this moment but as soon as we have something more concrete we'll let you know, just know that we already started drawing pages, so this is coming sooner rather than later.
3. Why add it to the Public Domain or Creative Grounds? Simple, I want these characters to live on forever, I want people years from now to be able to use our characters and come up with their own adventures; I want these characters to live on through the minds of generations to come. Maybe they'll be set in a parallel Universe, maybe on a different Planet; but all part of the same legend. And lastly and more importantly, it's not all about money for me. Money doesn't drive me; creating a legacy that will live on through the ages does; I'm sure my Avandrus Theory colleagues feel the same way.
So, last month C.L. Zeno, Brian Lacy and myself launched our first Kickstarter together to produce the first issue of The Avandrus Theory. We set a goal of $2000.00 to cover printing and to our surprise the book was fully funded in less than 12 hours! By the end of the Kickstarter we had surpassed the $6,000.00 mark, more than tripling our original goal and allowing us to cover printing costs for issues #1 and #2. Humbled and grateful can't even come close to how we feel, ya'll really showed up for us and we've put our hearts and souls into this project; we hope you all enjoy what we've made for ya'll! From the minds of C.L. Zeno, Manuel A. Carmona and Brian Lacy comes... THE AVANDRUS THEORY!!!
Written by Manuel A. Carmona
Since today is #throwbackthursday I decided to review an older book... let's review Boom Studios' The Anchor!
Published by Boom! Studios
Writer by Phil Hester
Illustrated by Brian Churillo
First things first, this book was a pleasant surprise! I don't know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't anything even remotely close to what this book brought to the table. At first glance this book is merely a punch up story and although it most definitely has plenty of fighting in it, it also has bits of religious overtones sprinkled in with some history as well; making a delicious stew of a beautifully illustrated religious carnage.
The story revolves around a stoic behemoth of a man with amazing powers who's sole purpose is to destroy these monsters that have suddenly appeared throughout the World. As the story progress we see more of his backstory and his reasons for being hellbent (no pun intended) in destroying these creatures.
Incorporating theology, history and very stylistic art, The Anchor is a book worth checking out. The art reminds me of Hellboy and with the inclusion of demons, ghosts and a monster hunter; any Hellboy fan would be pleased with this title. The book is fun, fast paced and beautiful to look at; overall a very entertaining read.