X-mas is here but no rest for the wicked
Christmas is going to be busy.
There is a lot of work involved with putting a book out there into the big scary world. For those aspiring writers and artists who are thinking of starting their own book, the work doesn’t end once you’ve drawn/written it. Responsibility rests squarely on your shoulders for seeing that the remaining steps get carried out properly.
When you publish your own comic, the buck stops with you. Even if you encounter a problem that you didn’t cause, you’re still responsible for sorting it out. You’re constantly being tested on the quality of your response. No one will care about your comic more than you.
There is something liberating about having that responsibility on your shoulders.
If the buck stops with you, then you have the power to fix it. Compare this with, say, working in an office; you might see a way a company could immediately do its business better. But in order to get things changed you have to deal with the politics, the egos, procedures and endless meetings where you’re forced to perform a metaphorical striptease with Power Point slides (yeah, that’s it baby, show me those three year sales forecasts…mmm).
As writer/editor/doorman and cleaner of the London Horror Comic, work for me continues over the holidays, regardless of whose birthday it is. Finalising print dates, checking proofs, advance promo activity – it’s all pretty straightforward once you get started. But at a time when most people are resting, relaxing and making merry, well, you could be forgiven for feeling a bit down.
This is why deciding how important comics are to you before you start on the self-publishing route is important. If you suspect that comics are in fact a passing interest, don’t make the jump. You will fall hard. You must really LOVE comics to see things through to the end in this game, even if that love means working over holidays, shunning loved ones and metamorphosing into a burned out travesty of a human being.
While working over the holidays might grate at me, when I finally get to hold issue two in my hands, I’ll know it will have all been worth it.