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KOMIKON: 15 Ways to Suck at Making & Marketing Independent Comics

KOMIKON 2007 is coming this November and we know what that means — Independent Komiks! We want them to be seen, we want them to be bought, we want them to be good! But if you’re the independent creator who likes to keep his/her work sucky for the KOMIKON… here are some tips!

You suck old man

The Art

  1. Risograph or mimeograph your pencils.
    No one has time to ink anything these days. A little pencil here, a little Photoshop there and you can pretty much tell your story anyway. Don’t forget to shade and crosshatch while you’re at it. Inking only slows down production.
  2. Patronize a photocopier that produces nice accidental dots, patterns and lines on the art.
    It adds some design.
  3. Have a bunch of poorly drawn talking heads for your entire comic.
    Keep them in the same familiar angles all the time. Throw in some angel wings for that shojou anime feel.
  4. Have mindless gun-shooting or ass-whoopin for half of the comic.
    If you’re not making a sequel, just charm your reader with some really stiff action poses. Have showers of comic book blood across the pages.
  5. Never draw a background.
    Characters and words are all you need. But if you feel the need for some setting, you are always free to draw a brick wall as background, just make sure it’s parallel to your comic book panels.
  6. Use the Comic Sans font.
    The font is lovable and it has the word “comic” in it. What other reason do you need? Use it whenever you make comics. Be careful not to adjust it to make it look any better, because it can happen. Just leave it the way it is. The world will love you to death.

You suck 02

The Story

  1. Introduce all your characters by putting their faces and one-paragraph bio all in one page.
    Given the possible (untimely) demise of the comic, it’s best you introduce everyone all at once. If the readers don’t form a bond with the cast by the first page, all is lost.
  2. For your prologue use paragraphs. Lots of them.
    You need to tell everyone your story idea and the spectacular world where it happens on the very first page. If you let the readers wait until the storytelling, they might get bored.
  3. Have your comics be forever “TO BE CONTINUED”.
    Why bother making a second or third issue? Leave everyone begging for more and googling your name. Besides, your day job keeps you too occupied anyway.
  4. Just have NO story.
    Focus on surreal and abstract visual gratification.

You suck

The Marketing

  1. Put together an anthology that makes your art & story look better than it is
    No need to practice your hands off or wrack your brain, just find creators for your anthology that aren’t as good as you are.
  2. Have an emo or brooding person sell your comic.
    Look for someone who doesn’t talk much, if at all. If you can be so yourself, well then even better! Many artists adore the whole forsaken artist aura, it gives starving artists a feeling of camaraderie.
  3. Keep drawing, the whole day.
    That’s what independent artists do best after all. Why use your voice when your hands can do all the talking? Booth visitors just block your light and you can barely hear them over the noise anyway .
  4. If you have them, keep your website or contact info a secret.
    You don’t need people getting in touch with you about your comics… you can always get feedback from your mom. Don’t bring a calling card. Keep everyone guessing just who you are and what you do. You don’t want people to think you were actually serious about comics!
  5. Reveal nothing about your comic book story.
    Watch out for people who ask you what your story is about! They only want to steal your ideas! Tell them to buy it if they want to know why they should.

26 comments to KOMIKON: 15 Ways to Suck at Making & Marketing Independent Comics

  • yo I wanna distribute some of my copies what will I do?

  • Wahahaha kulit. Parang kilala ko yung Vampy sa 3rd cartoon mo. hahaha!

    pero seriously, these are all very valid points. 😀

    where do you stand on copypasted backgrounds?

  • Ha! Natawa ako run sa first illo, parang nanariwa na naman yung prejudice sa mga inspired sa manga…

  • Copypasted backgrounds can work. But if these are very BUSY backgrounds… it can suck especially when
    1. They are poorly photocopied and in digest size.
    2. The foreground elements are just as detailed or BUSY.

  • (“Parang” lang Jhomar…. hehehe)

  • brilliant!

    this stuff should’ve come out before the philippine graphic (aka alex nino) awards last year.

  • I purchase an indie comics once. At the back of the comics was their email address. I tried to email them to congratulate for their work. But when I press the send button, it bounced back. It so happens that the email address was bogus or had a typo error.
    Better add that one to the list.

  • Gio, yes that’d be corollary to tip #14.

  • Addison

    Was that Gerry on the first cartoon? 😀

  • No, Addison. Gerry’s not that bald. But the one with the chickens … well… it’s very much a Komikon thing. It could mean quite a few things.

  • Addison

    Thanks for spoiling Elmer for me? :p

  • Actually Addison, there’s much more to Elmer than talking humans. Nothing is spoiled. Go grab yourself a copy!

  • Jon

    thanks for the tips. sometimes we did many of the things mentioned. it’s to be reminded.

  • Jed V.

    hmm, nice. Are these from personal experience or just personal observation?

    U know, you could make a story out of these(an anthology even) and sell it at the next komikon. Just imagine the reaction from the other creators faces. Yeah, u talking bout them for some epic LuLz.

  • It’s from personal observation. I’m sure others can think of more!

    I won’t have to make an entire comic or anthology out of this because independent komiks creators get better and smarter with their komiks. Sana!

  • Ed

    Gagawa ako ng pinaka pangit na komiks sa Komikon! (not being sarcastic) Mwahahaha! >:)

    Salamat sa tips. 😛


  • Heehee~ i luv this!! *thumbs up* Never joined a Komikon, though…
    I really like the Comic Sans font, unfortunately, no matter what anyone says. =)

  • KC, the way you used your Comic Sans doesn’t suck. Like it was implied in the article… a little adjusting can make that font work to a degree.

  • Hahahahah! 🙂 Great tips, especially the one with the angel wings. 🙂

  • Haha! You’ve noticed the angel wing fever too!

  • what ages do your workshops cater to? my boys are ages 13, 11, 10 , 9 and 6.

  • frederick david

    hello…ok yung tips ah …hmnn… i got an idea!

  • frederick david

    thanks sa idea.

  • […] Read Joel’s “15 Ways to Suck at Making and Marketing Independent Komiks.” […]

  • I agree on the first pic, the dude plainly sux..

    move over japanophiles~desu….waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!11

    on personal experience, these annoying japanophiles break my artistic streak….they say it’s not japanese enough….like i’m gonna place a jeepney in the bustling streets of tokyo (lmao)…and magically it’s OMG~waiiiiii!!!11


    but honestly, cliches, badly made, plainly sucks…*cough* shojo *cough*

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