UPDATE: NOV, 2011 – HOLYOAK is now available for free digitally at Issuu!
JUNE, 2011 – Other classes from the COMICS EXPERIENCE classes have published their own anthologies and independent comic book projects. My classmates mostly went their separate ways but four of us stayed together with our very different stories and created THE DECEMBER PROJECT. This small collection of five-page comics is now available at Indy Planet. My story HOLYOAK is about a 20-something hereditary witch that has to save her family home from tax sale. I went for a more comedic tone in the style of SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH and was incredibly lucky to nab artist Shawn Harbin for my interior pages. (*Don’t forget you can see Shawn & me at Wizard World Philly, June 17-19).
Each of us was responsible for finding our own artistic teams of pencillers, color artists and letterers. I asked one of my favorite comic creators, Thom Zahler for a favor to design the cover and almost fainted with excitement when he said yes.
If you’re interested in only the HOLYOAK story, all you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask Bill or Stacy for a copy. That’s where I work a few hours a month so if you do order one, I’ll even sketch in back and personalize it for you. Throughout the year of my talking about scripts and indie comic creation with other people, a few had offered to do pin-ups for me which were also included along with concept art. Printing just my story was actually not any less expensive because I only ordered 75 copies.
An important lesson learned is that when it comes to group projects, deadlines don’t seem to exist; not hard deadlines anyway. If you are your own Project Manager, you bear the burden of “cat herding” which means keeping on top of your own artistic team to meet deadlines. With a large group project, each person was responsible for a story and then all of us tried to proof the other stories before wrangling it into one collection.
We also learned that black and white wasn’t really any cheaper than color printing which is something I’m still told to this day by professionals in the industry as true. Did we uncover a comics industry urban legend? Is this something for the Mythbusters? I don’t know.
Despite the months of frustrations from missed deadlines, real life getting in the way for a lot of us, and budgetary considerations, I have not been turned off by anthologies. I’m participating in two others this year though one might not actually get published until 2012. Each of those are completely unique projects which prove how diverse the comics and sequential art medium can be.