By Justine Chamberlain
Manchester Comic Con hosted dozens of comic book writers and illustrators in its Comic Village and amongst them, I found Victor Wright from Geeky Comics. I asked the award winning author about self-publishing the comics he’s written and if he has any advice for anyone interested in following in his footsteps.
How do you go from writing an interesting story to having it produced?
I self-publish all my books myself. I do it for one reason. I’ve had several offers to be published and I’ve turned them down because the revenues and rewards from being published aren’t as great now as being self-published. I can self publish by myself on Amazon, all over the world. I can self publish on any other website that has the facilities, so I don’t really need an international publisher to publicize me because they simply won’t put the money in. A lot of authors get tied up with publishers thinking they’re going to have this wonderful marketing campaign that doesn’t exist.
You need more than just a writer to self publish your own comics though, so how do you go about finding illustrators?
The internet! It’s really straightforward. Obviously I use people that I know anyway and have worked with before, and then there are people who I chase down because I like their particular style. But I’ll also place adverts on places like deviantART, and I’ll put an advert saying I’m looking for an artist for a particular type of publication and I’ll explain what that is. I’ll probably get around 200 or 300 artists apply, and then I’ll sift through their portfolios until I find somebody that meets my requirements.
By putting all this together yourself, do you think it becomes a superior product?
I wouldn’t say that it was superior. I certainly use a lot of Marvel or DC artists and colourists, but I tend to use artists that I like the style of and everything that I’ve produced so far, sells. I think the audience that follows me like the things that I’m into.
Any tips for any writers looking to self-publish their comics?
Stick at it, because it’s really difficult. There’s nothing easy there. I always think back to when I was a kid. I had a friend called Ian and we used to draw Spiderman and Batman etcetera. Ian went in one direction and continued illustrating, and I went the other direction and started writing. And today, he produces my cover illustrations! His skills have improved and become really dynamic and he’s very well known for his illustrations, and I’ve become an award winning author, so it’s turned out well for us. So my tip is just to stick at it.