View Full Version : Confessions of a Comic Book Creator (update topic)

ty gorton
04-15-2006, 03:15 PM
(had one of these posted before, can't find it so I'm reposting)

I have been working in comics for about 5 years now. Most of that time was spent toiling on submissions and trying to get material in print. Getting Runes of Ragnan accepted at Image/Shadowline late 2005 was a big step.

I am releasing a series of articles that share what I've learned about comics. There is NO reason others should have to suffer the same mistakes I did trying to get a book out there. The articles are full of advice about how to produce comics, how to connect with talent, what to expect, and the essentials you'll need to succeed.

Please check them out if you are interested in a career in comics. I'm putting a lot of hours in for the sole purpose of helping others get a head start on their goal.


7.10.06 - Evolving Beyond the Boogeyman of Idea Theft (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=142770429&MyToken=279c3fec-0265-4f2f-8eb1-90e9679c87df)


5.13.06 - The Value of Truth (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=120639697&MyToken=ead6a744-9912-49d6-af90-f8d210864ecd)

4.27.06 - Changing Perceptions: The Day to Day Battle (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=114918688&MyToken=24e6a51b-520e-437d-9b7d-a6a902882bd4)

4.24.06 - Technology and the Struggle for Control (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=113590331&MyToken=d091c4d6-68ed-4d7f-bc91-595b53b251ae)

4.21.06 - Hello Mr. Deadline, Let�s Do Business (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=112578930&MyToken=d9e5bc0a-5c05-47cb-b8e1-5e43a99b79f5)

4.17.06 - Finding Your Voice in a Culture of Fake Believe (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=110839783&MyToken=c8c6d986-825f-4a2b-bc45-57e09ed62d65)

4.15.06 - Diamond Previews and the Power of Issue #1 (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=110839783&MyToken=b3e7dcd0-6f94-4bd8-b45b-99ff42f123ac)

4.13.06 - Being Good Isn�t Good Enough (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=109491052&MyToken=4767f274-c056-4147-b4c3-83aa2e878f3d)

4.10.06 - MONEY and the Infinite Lack There Of (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=108495383&MyToken=fdaad9be-f3fa-47ce-8f6f-80a25982810e)

4.02.06 - Take Two Ashley Woods and Call Me When You Kick Ass (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=105236545&MyToken=fdaad9be-f3fa-47ce-8f6f-80a25982810e)

3.28.06 - The Art of Productivity: Conquering Creative Block (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=103251975&MyToken=fdaad9be-f3fa-47ce-8f6f-80a25982810e)

3.27.06 - We Are The Guardians of Legend (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=102663587&MyToken=63b2ee82-a495-45d9-84a4-2bc364aa5f6e)

3.23.06 - The Power of Simplicity: Genre and Title (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=101314626&MyToken=c5a3e30a-48a3-4847-b00b-59b987873e04)

3.22.06 - Submissions: The 5 Page Trap (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=100854751&MyToken=6302739d-ad00-428b-b008-1da2613149e2)

3.21.06 - Zero to Comic Book Page Part 02: Stages 4 to Finished (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=100654819&MyToken=f36c304a-ed1e-4181-b2de-cf555a151675)

Zero to Comic Book Page Part 01: Stages 1-3 of Production (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=100337650&MyToken=a6c842de-50b4-4c95-98e2-abcf37178f4f)

The Web Factor Part 01: Connecting With Talent (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=99993102&MyToken=d78d848e-f097-48c1-b68b-900018a07a2e)

The Myth of More (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=99725969&MyToken=46b5512e-89d0-48d9-9a7d-b27c1e058889)

The Art of Collaboration: Writing for Artists (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=99605534&MyToken=46b5512e-89d0-48d9-9a7d-b27c1e058889)

Ten Essentials for Creating Comics (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=99179758&MyToken=46b5512e-89d0-48d9-9a7d-b27c1e058889)

http://www.joshmedors.com/ror/myspace/confessionssubscribebanner.jpg (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ConfirmSubscribe&friendID=44370677)

j giar
04-15-2006, 03:47 PM
Hey Ty, Once again very helpful and informative. How the hell did I miss 4/2-4/13? Dunno! I'm working on my own book now and these articles have been very eye opening. The last article oddly enough was something I was toying with already. I like the idea. Thanks again and keep'em coming! Jim Giar

ty gorton
04-15-2006, 04:38 PM
Hey Jim: You probably missed 'em because I wasn't able to come here and post an update. sometimes I don't have the time. If you subscribe to the blog, then it'll notify you via email when I post a new article.

REALLY cool that you're getting something out of these. So many of us (comic creators) have been through the "shit" and if something I write can help the next creator avoid some pain, that's why I'm doing this. Selling your #1 for dirt cheap is really important I believe. #1 has to be about exposure and establishing an audience, no trying to break even or make money. I know it's hard to just let the money thing go for a lot of people, but in the long run, having a LOT of #1's out there is going to come back and give you money later on...has to be a long term agenda with a comic book.

Larime Taylor
04-15-2006, 04:45 PM
As I prep my proposal, I appreciate reading these articles.

Good luck with Runes!

ty gorton
04-15-2006, 06:51 PM
Larime: Thanks! Hope they are useful to you as you progress with your project.

Larime Taylor
04-15-2006, 06:54 PM

I'm hoping it goes well. We'll see. I posted sample pages a little while ago in the sequential forum.

I've looked over Runes a week or two ago at Image's preview area. Very nice work. The Norse fantasy genre is pretty under-used and it's nice to see it getting attention.

04-15-2006, 08:01 PM
I really liked your column on writing for an artist. I think writing a script in prose format is a really cool idea.

I hate to admit this, but for a very long time I was completely ignorant of the process. I mean, I knew that in most cases, it takes more than one person to make a comic, but it wasn't until I discovered articles like this that I realized it, if that makes any sense.

Fortunately, I learned at least a little about the technical side of comics before seriously working with anyone, so hopefully, I was saved from my ignorance in time.

ty gorton
04-16-2006, 06:33 PM
Shishio: Hey, we all have to start somewhere :) I remember starting out, thinking I knew some things, but as with everything else in this world, the more you delve into producing comics, the more you realize you have to learn. I'm glad you are enjoying the articles.


To keep the beer flowing, I'm offering an RoR deal at my site. There are only 14 available (well, 13 as of now). I will continue posting these articles, but if you have an extra $12 and would like to check out RoR, this is the perfect time to do it. Thanks for all the support and comments.

RoR #4 Origins Issue + signed Lithograph Special - CLICK HERE (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=110433341&MyToken=60d9639e-e373-4009-8d8e-fbfffb5d3745)


04-16-2006, 07:16 PM
Wonderful stuff Ty. Extremely helpful. I loved this point you made:

"Comic book creators are stitching the mythology of the human race. Everything we hope to become, all the things we fear and embrace, those intensely bitter moments that make us human…they are captured within the pages of comics. The people of a distant future will read through graphic novels and gain an understanding of who we were, no different than the carvings on cave walls studied so carefully today."

04-16-2006, 11:49 PM
If any of you all have NOT been reading Ty's blog, you really should be. I somehow lucked into stumbling upon it very recently, at exactly the right time for it to be most helpful (as I am right at the starting gate of preparing a submission, just having lined up my artist).

I cannot believe you are giving this away, Ty. In fact, when I saw your last entry title, I thought, "oh no, Ty's gonna ask for money to keep reading this thing." And then I decided I'd pay to keep reading it if I had to.

So, all cheerleading aside, read what this man has to say (unless you're Ty, in which case you should just keep pumping those columns out until our brains are full of your hard-earned wisdom).

Elton Pruitt
EltonPruitt.com (http://eltonpruitt.com)

04-17-2006, 07:37 AM

I have to agree--great blog with some excellent advice.

One quick question: I'm really intrigued by your suggestion that creators offer Issue 1 to retailers at a wholesale price of 50 cents. What I wondered though was what you would then use as the cover price?

If I were to offer Issue 1 to retailers at a wholesale price of 50 cents would you then recommend a regular cover price of 2.99 or would you also recommend a lower initial "teaser" cover rate of .75 or 1.00?

ty gorton
04-17-2006, 09:33 AM
sacredsincomics: Thank you. V for Vendetta really struck a chord with me and made me realize how valuable the voice of comic books in our culture really is.

elton: truly appreciate the support and appreciation. every now and then it strikes me that I should try and make something off of these articles etc., but it just doesn't feel right. it's knowledge and ideas that should already be available to others attempting to get their foot in the door.

Gilby: Well, that is entirely up to you. My advice is to set a cover price of $1.00 and offer it to retailers for .50 cents. It is up to each creator to offer their book at whatever they feel is right. You could offer it to retailers for .25cents with a cover price of .50cents. The lower the initial price to retailers, the more orders you are likely to have. The more orders you have for #1, the more you are likely to have for #2 and beyond. It really comes down to how cheaply you are willing to let your #1 go for.

ty gorton
04-17-2006, 09:34 AM

4.17.06 - Finding Your Voice in a Culture of Fake Believe (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=110839783&MyToken=c8c6d986-825f-4a2b-bc45-57e09ed62d65)

04-18-2006, 06:48 PM

Never saw the blog before, but it's really got some great stuff. You guys got me to actually buy some Runes at Wondercon with your consistant hounding ;).

The story is really good and it's cool that Image picked it up. Good luck and keep sharing your experiences with us.

ty gorton
04-21-2006, 04:50 PM
Phatman: Yeah, we're relentless. Glad you dug the book though, and thanks for checking out the articles.


4.21.06 - Hello Mr. Deadline, Let's Do Business (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=112578930&MyToken=d9e5bc0a-5c05-47cb-b8e1-5e43a99b79f5)

ty gorton
04-24-2006, 12:17 PM

4.24.06 - Technology and the Struggle for Control (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=113590331&MyToken=d091c4d6-68ed-4d7f-bc91-595b53b251ae)

j giar
04-24-2006, 12:30 PM
My sentiments exactly Ty. Well put, and a call to arms. We all now have the capability to put out a quality product. I look forward to these articles. Thanks again! Jim Giar

04-24-2006, 10:19 PM

Gee, you only tackled two huge topics in this one -- you're slacking off, man!

Re: technology leveling the playing field and increasing opportunities for creators to get their work out there, I am SO glad that I am trying to break into comics now rather than 10 or 15 years ago.

There's a strange and semi-frightening synchronicity with your columns of late and my personal journey into comic book writing. I ordered a book from both Ka-Blam and ComiXpress not three days ago, to evaluate their production values. I'm eager to see how they stack up next to, say, an Image book like Fell.

And the last two days I've been exchanging emails right and left with the artist who's working on this proposal with me, who happens to live in Australia (I'm in Little Rock). It's a great time zone differential. When I leave work at 5:00, it's 8:00am the next day where he lives. So all evening long (my evening), we can email back and forth as he sends me character design stuff.

Of course, it goes without saying I found him online.

Thanks for another thought-provoking column!

P.S. I forgot to say in my original post, in relation to your comments on the DC/Marvel monopoly and the direct market quicksand we find ourselves in, have you heard of this Postcards anthology? I'm excited about that, and there's another anthology I know nothing about that was mentioned on here. Both are trying to open up new markets, which I agree with you is critical.

ty gorton
04-27-2006, 07:43 PM
Hey Jim: Thanks!

Elton: I know, I know...I am getting way lazy :) Great to hear that you've connected with an artist in Oz, good luck with your project. I haven't heard of the Postcards anthology, is there a link to more info?


4.27.06 - Changing Perceptions: The Day to Day Battle (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=114918688&MyToken=24e6a51b-520e-437d-9b7d-a6a902882bd4)

04-28-2006, 12:14 AM
I haven't heard of the Postcards anthology, is there a link to more info?
There will probably be a feature on ComicBookResources.com any day now, but until then, this link will give you the lowdown on Postcards. It's being put together by Jason Rodriguez, the editor of Elk's Run.

POSTCARDS Anthology (http://postcards.jasonrodriguez.com/2006/03/all-you-leave-is-paragraph.html)

It's an exciting project with a lot of potential for reaching new readers, I believe.

ty gorton
05-13-2006, 02:55 PM
elton: Thanks for the link, looks like a great project.


5.13.06 - The Value of Truth (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=120639697&MyToken=ead6a744-9912-49d6-af90-f8d210864ecd)

j giar
05-13-2006, 04:52 PM
Great article as always Ty. During my 5 year down time I asked myself. Am I no longer an artist if I am not making money at it? Am I a failure? You're only a failure when you quit trying. Having the desire, the need to create. That's what makes us artists. No matter if it's writing, singing, drawing.. you get the idea. Although monetary compensation is not a dirty word. :cool:
As always, keep up the great work!

ty gorton
07-10-2006, 07:40 AM
j giar: Absolutely right, and thank you.

It has been awhile, but a new article has been posted:


7.10.06 - Evolving Beyond the Boogeyman of Idea Theft (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44370677&blogID=142770429&MyToken=279c3fec-0265-4f2f-8eb1-90e9679c87df)

07-10-2006, 02:43 PM
Good to see you updating this again.