The Small Press community

I was inspired to do this update by Frank Barbiere (Image’s Five Ghosts) after he tumbled this:

It’s true that the comic book industry is a horrible place to be most of the time. There’s so much jealousy and in-fighting and back-stabbing and general shittiness going on that sometimes we can lose focus on what ELSE is there.

Like amazing creators, incredible books, and a hell of a community, if you’re willing to work at it.

I love being part of the small press community. I do, without question, without reservation. I’m proud to be counted among the ranks of the Small Press Commandos, my brothers-in-arms who constantly create and inspire and work hard and produce things of value. I’m proud to be a contributor to FUBAR. I’m proud to have books published by 215 Ink. I’m proud to have books published by Markosia.

I love being approached, from time to time, about my opinion on comics. I’ve been asked more than once what it takes to break in, and my answer is always the same: “I’ll let you know when it happens.” But the fact that I can be seen as someone who is approachable, well, that’s half the battle. It’s pretty easy to generate a shitty internet presence (that’s where a lot of this originates, right?) So it’s nice to know that the hard work I put in to be pleasant and hard-working and committed has actually worked. It’s not always easy to NOT be a dick. I admit to a good amount of snark on the internet, but I try to be honest and open and clear with people when I’m interacting. Not being a dick can take work.

Because it IS a community – and a small one at that. And I’m pretty sure the guys and girls who walk around with a stick up their ass about their own work, those people who have attitude problems and skin that’s too thin for this industry, they probably won’t last long. Comics is a small pond, and the fish here have long memories.

I get psyched about my friends’ work. I see guys out there hustling, making things happen, and I can’t contain my excitement. I get more excited for the artist I collaborate with, when my comics come out, than I ever do for myself. I can’t wait to show off artwork created by these geniuses I work with.

But I also love the work my fellow writers do, and how it inspires me to work harder and be better.

There’s a paradigm shift coming, I can feel it. We’re on the cusp of the new wave of creators that will be rocking the bells of the comic industry over the next 5-10 years. And hopefully I can be part of that.

Because I love the community, and work hard every day to be worthy of it.

Do yourself a favor and go listen to “Dare to Be Surprised” by the Folk Implosion. You can thank me later.


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