Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to Make a Profitable Indie Comic Book


By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for issue 50 of +The Full Bleed. This business issue goes between the panels to explain the one thing you can do to improve your odds of earning profits from your indie comics project. Specifically, we address:
  • Why creative brilliance and finding the right team may not be as important as you think, especially when the web is rich with resources to help you find potential partners. The community at Comics Experience, for example.
  • How the principles in Eric Ries' The Lean Startup can help you determine when to pay for resources to get your work into the world.
  • How $12 and a little creative planning led to the birth of The Full Bleed, all while preserving ownership of and control over the enterprise.
Ready for the issue? Click the video to watch now and then add us to your pull list. Also, be sure to tune in Wednesday for our next industry news issue.

ALSO, A QUICK WORD ON ISSUES: While I've been able to keep up my intended twice-a-week cadence at the YouTube channel, I've had a tougher time getting the show notes ready for publish here. My apologies for that. I hope to catch up over the next two weeks, in time for this site's 1-year anniversary.

The Full Bleed is a founding member of The Geek Initiative, a collection of blogs teaming up like Voltron to bring you the best news, reviews, and analysis of genre entertainment. Click the banner on the right to learn more.

The Back Issue Bin:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How to Make Awful Comics That No One Will Read

superman action cover photo comic .jpg
Superman has changed recently, and that should be a good thing. Credit: DC Comics via Fox.
By +Tim Beyers


Back with another curated post. This time, we tackle a story published by Fox over the weekend. Police in New Jersey are apparently upset that the latest issue of Action Comics has Superman punching a cop:
Patrick Colligan, president of the NJ State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, told FOX411 the comic is disgraceful. "They want to sell comics," he said. "Unfortunately it's at the expense of some very great cops out there every day protecting the public.” ... Colligan ... argued comic books should go back to the basics. “Comic books are taking on social issues lately and maybe they should get back to taking on superheroes and making people laugh,” he said. Representatives for writers Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder did not return a request for comment.
My analysis: First, Aaron Kuder is an artist. Let's get that right, OK? Second, you'll get nowhere making comics that are so vanilla they offend no one. If you're here, you're either a fan or a creative entrepreneur with distinct tastes. Some work you'll love. Other work you'll hate. That's perfectly fine. In fact, it's preferable. As a creator, you should only be interested in serving the audience that's interested in your take on the characters in your book. Everything else is noise.

Key links:
Want more analysis like this? Add us to your pull list to get curated coverage of the industry and two new weekly video issues: business tips for independent creators on Mondays and news analysis on Wednesdays.

The Full Bleed is a founding member of The Geek Initiative, a collection of blogs teaming up like Voltron to bring you the best news, reviews, and analysis of genre entertainment. Click the banner on the right to learn more.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Does It Matter if Fox Kilłs the Gambit Movie?

Would it be so bad if Fox is unable to bring Gambit to life  on the big screen? Credit: Marvel.
By +Tim Beyers


For most of the history of this project, I've been curating stories about the business of comics and genre entertainment at Scoop.it. That won't change. What will change is how stories get to that feed. They'll start here, on the blog, and then get repurposed to other channels. (Special thanks to the folks at Inoreader for making this easier.)

Today's story comes from The Beat by way of TheWrap:
Tonight, TheWrap reported that Channing Tatum might be leaving 20th Century Fox’s Gambit production. Tatum, who was slated to star as everyone’s favorite mutant with a gimmick, is apparently still in talks with the studio, but “something is up” and time is running out, as the movie is scheduled to be release on October 7th, 2016.
My analysis: Fox is being extra cautious, which is exactly as it should be when you look at the numbers in the Marvel Movie Report. Over 11 films, the studio's average box office profit margin for Marvel properties is just 0.80%. And that's with productions costing an average of $125.1 million to make. For perspective, Ant-Man's $130 million budget makes it the cheapest of the MCU films. Letting Tatum leave Gambit to go direct something else is better than agreeing to a money-loser of a deal.

Key links:
Want more analysis like this? Add us to your pull list to get curated coverage of the industry and two new weekly video issues: business tips for independent creators on Mondays and news analysis on Wednesdays.

The Full Bleed is a founding member of The Geek Initiative, a collection of blogs teaming up like Voltron to bring you the best news, reviews, and analysis of genre entertainment. Click the banner on the right to learn more.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How to Use Social Media to Market Your Comics Project

Are you pitching to a crowded room, or an empty one? Credit: Leanne W.Smith.
By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for issue 42 of +The Full Bleed. This week's business issue goes between the panels to explain how focusing your efforts on social media can help with building an audience. Specifically, we address:
  • Why it's important to know where your audience is when you aren't communicating with them, and who they connect with. The latter is crucial intel for when you are creating new content. By including something not just for your readers but also for their friends, you make your story shareable. 
  • How using social marketing tools such as Buffer to publish content at ideal times can boost engagement and grow your audience. You can also use these tools to make it simpler to repurpose old content to reach readers who have yet to discover you.
  • How focusing your social marketing efforts at times and in places where your readers are most comfortable can make it easier to develop the sorts of long-lasting relationships that form a fan base. 
Ready for the issue? Click the video to watch now and then add us to your pull list. You don't want to miss the next industry issue, in which we assess DC's performance at this year's San Diego Comic Con.

The Full Bleed is a founding member of The Geek Initiative, a collection of blogs teaming up like Voltron to bring you the best news, reviews, and analysis of genre entertainment. Click the banner on the right to learn more.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Robert Kirkman: King of the Comic Book Moguls?

Super Dinosaur is one of a growing number of Skybound properties. Credit: Skybound Entertainment.
By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for issue 41 of +The Full Bleed. This news issue goes between the panels to explain how Robert Kirkman won this year's San Diego Comic Con, and why I think he's shaping up to be one of a handful of comic book moguls. Specifically:
  • He's making huge strides on TV. As of this writing, over 1.5 million have viewed the trailer for Fear The Walking Dead, which premieres on Aug. 23 on AMC. Outcast also got a trailer in advance of its 2016 debut on Cinemax. Season 6 of The Walking Dead falls in between, returning on screens in October. More than 4 million had tuned into Friday's Comic-Con trailer as of this writing.
  • Skybound is doing nearly as well. Kirkman's comics imprint celebrated five years at SDCC by showing off the sorts of projects you'd expect from a full-blown studio, including a licensing deal with Telltale Games to expand The Walking Dead narrative video game world with a Michonne mini-series. 
  • Finally, there's Skybound's first movie, Air, produced in concert with Sony Pictures. Only 17,000 had tuned in as of this writing but that's as much due to the sensory overload of Comic-Con than anything else. 
Admittedly, I'm a bit of a Kirkman fan. He was kind enough to sign my youngest son's copy of an issue of Super Dinosaur at SDCC 2013. He'll read as much SD as I can get for him. (For now, we have every issue and the collected works.)

A photo posted by The Full Bleed (@thefullbleed) on

The point here is that Kirkman's brand is bigger than the genres he serves, which I think is good news for independent creators. Success may not come quickly or easily, but with time and consistent effort, it is possible to get your stories in front of a wide audience.


Ready for the issue? Click the video to watch now and then add The Full Bleed to your pull list. Thanks for tuning in, and if you like what you see, please share with a friend.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How to Use Digital Exclusives to Sell Comics

Digital exclusives are no longer tough to find. Credit: Dynamite Entertainment via ComiXology.
By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for issue 40 of +The Full Bleed. This week's business issue goes between the panels to explain how digital exclusives can help market your comic book project. We review three ideas in particular:
  • Deleted scenes aren't just for movies. Scan (or, if already working in digital, reformat) unused panels as wallpapers available for sale at your website. Don't offer an immediate download. Instead, collect the order and an email address and add a special watermark to the wallpaper signifying it as one of a limited number, and then send it via an expiring Dropbox download link.
  • If you're making motion comics, consider extracting the soundtrack or a character's voice as a downloadable ringtone. Sell it cheap and at an unusual price -- $0.19, for example -- to drive up volume and get your material in front of more readers.
  • Finally, consider adding extra pages specifically for your digital customers. Dynamite did this recently with its comics adaptation of Bob's Burgers. Boom Studios did something similar for fans of the Fox drama Sleepy Hollow. Think about ways you can give fans more in digital form and then encourage them to share widely. 
Ready for the issue? Click the video to watch now and then add us to your pull list. You don't want to miss the next industry issue, in which we handicap the winners and losers at this year's San Diego Comic Con.

The Full Bleed is a founding member of The Geek Initiative, a collection of blogs teaming up like Voltron to bring you the best news, reviews, and analysis of genre entertainment. Click the banner on the right to learn more.


Monday, July 6, 2015

San Diego Comic-Con May Be Less Important Than You Think

San Diego Comic-Con kicks off with Preview Night on July 8, 2015. Credit: Comic-Con International
By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for issue 39 of +The Full Bleed. This news issue goes between the panels with survey data on the business of fan conventions from fellow analyst Rob Salkowitz and Eventbrite. 

Rob was kind enough to preview the following data exclusively for readers of The Full Bleed:
  • Of the more than 2,000 event attendees polled, 72% said they had purchased tickets for at least two shows in the past year. Nearly 19% reported attending five or more events.
  • Comics (19%) and comics-based media (21.1%) were primary interests of those who attended three or more events, although most who attended that often preferred events covering the whole pop culture spectrum (70%) to shows built around a single genre or focus (30%).
  • And finally, 60% of those attending three or more fan events per year attend at least one located 100 miles or more from their home city and stay overnight. Of those, 38% spend $250 or more per show.
As I see it, the data suggests that regional conventions may be even more important than SDCC for indie creators hoping to build a following. Watch the accompanying video to find out why. 

And if you want the rest of the story, Rob will be at San Diego Comic Con this week presenting the data and what it means. If you'll be at SDCC, be sure to check out the panel "The Future of Fan Culture" on Sunday at 3:30 pm in room 26AB. Heidi MacDonald from The Beat will also be on hand, as well as Brett Schenker from Graphic Policy. Michael Cavna of The Washington Post's Comic Riffs will moderate. 

Ready for the issue? Click the video to watch now and then add The Full Bleed to your pull list. Thanks for tuning in, and if you like what you see, please share with a friend.