Creating Comics, my way, part 4

Creating Comics, my way, part 4

I didn’t expect to have another update on this series today, but the weekend proved otherwise. Sami finished the cover…and good lord is it beautiful.

I promised I’d show it to you, so here it is:


Is it not perfect? Can you honestly tell me that seeing that cover on the stands, you’d be able to ignore it? Even if it was just a case of picking it up for more than just a cursory glance? It stands out. That’s my favorite kind of cover, one that doesn’t blend into the homogenous mess of generic covers on the stands.

So…besides that, there’s no more real progress on Instinct just yet. I still need to nail down a colorist for the interior pages. That cover, however, is not getting touched. It’s perfect. Sami completely outdid himself.

So here’s something else I’m going to try: a help wanted ad in the middle of a blog update.

If you’re reading this and you’re a colorist, or know a colorist, and would like to take a crack at the interior pages, please contact me either through the comments section here, on twitter: @mark_bertolini, or via email at

There is no upfront pay for this. I know that’s a sticking point with a lot of creators and I get it, fully and completely. But I can’t afford to pay, it’s that simple. I’m not getting paid. Sami’s not getting paid. I’d really like a colorist who is interested in a couple of things: 1) doing the work, getting more in the portfolio; 2) getting their work seen at least on this blog on a fairly regular basis; and 3) someone who loves comics and feels strongly enough about the material (and come on, look at the inked page from update #3, it’s fucking gorgeous!) that they’re willing to come on board and help us get this book looking as good as it can so we can start to pitch it to publishers, etc.

I want a really subdued color scheme, a lot of reds and not too much else.

While I’m thinking about it, I want to touch on the subject of paying jobs vs backend jobs. I understand the amount of time and work that goes into creating comic pages. I fully understand that creators should be paid for their time and effort. But at least in my situation I have rent and car payments and insurance and child care. That leaves exactly no money leftover to pay creators. I wish the situation were different. I’d love to have compensated all my collaborators up front. They all deserve it. But they’re all coming into this with a love of comics and a love of collaborating, and I’m extremely lucky to be associated with each and every one of them.

I’ve written countless pages, had multiple comics published, and have been paid for my work exactly two times. Once for a 10-page zombie anthology script, and once for my work in the Oxymoron anthology. And not once have I complained, and you know why?

Because I fucking love creating comics.

That’s the bottom line for me. If I never, ever made a cent off of my work, but I got to keep creating and collaborating and people were able to read my stories? I’d die a happy man. It’s not about the money, for me it’s never been about the money. Would it be nice to make some money from it? Sure, of course it would, I’m not a complete idiot. I’d love to be compensated for my time and effort and hard work. But if it never happens, you’ll never once hear a complaint from my lips or my keyboard. Because I love creating, and would do it even if there was no audience. Because if I didn’t, my head would explode.

Okay, I’m through ranting. I hope you dig that cover (go look at it again. Goddamn.) and hopefully next time I post about Instinct, it’ll be because we’re moving onto a new part of the process.

In the meantime, do yourself a favor and listen to “Streetcore” by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros.

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