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Kick Start Your Art!

Comic books are dying. The industry is crashing. Pineapple belongs on pizza. All these lies, and many more, can be found on your local internet. While it’s true that the industry isn’t selling the same number of issues per month that it did in its heyday of the late 80’s / early 90’s, it’s also true that the landscape has changed. And it’s changed to the benefit of indie creators if they’re paying attention.
You’ve probably heard the phrase there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. It’s true. If you have enough water you live. Too much and you drown. The same applies to comics. There are currently fourteen monthly Batman related comics out. There are an additional sixteen related Iron Man comics coming out every month. That’s thirty comics a month you need to buy if you’re going to keep track of just those two heroes.
And that doesn’t count the one-offs, graphic novels, alternate whatevers, that come out as well. Add in the fact that publishers are demanding that stores purchase “X” amount of an issue before they can get a variant cover and you have a lot of product, concerning a limited number of titles, taking up shelf space.
“AH HA!” I hear you type in caps, “YOU’VE JUST PROVED OUR POINT!”
Nope. Feel free to follow along as I do no such thing.
Back in the halcyon days of yore, each comic book character had one, maybe two, titles released each month. That allowed readers to stay abreast with their favorite heroes, or villains. Something that, as noted above, is nigh on impossible now.
Indie distributors have discovered that by promising new product every month from multiple titles and, at least, three issues per year from each title they carry, they can get spinners (stand-alone racks) placed in stores, as well as some dedicated shelf space in stores that can spare it.
Fans can follow each title and not need a second mortgage to do so.
And, guess what? It’s a strategy that’s working and gaining national support.
It was that fundamental truth that led to the creation of ICC Magazine. While there are numerous blogs, fanzines, and Facebook pages dedicated to the joys of indie comics there was no, consistent, national outlet for promotion and fan education.
ICC Mag, wisely in my opinion, does not do reviews. Instead they focus on the creators, the projects they have out for public consumption, and how said putative public can buy their work.
Also ICC ties in national media campaigns into their issues so that casual fans will have the chance to check out the newest and coolest comics out there while still being comforted by content they’re already invested in.
But all that takes money. To give you an idea how this all works, allow me to quote Carlos Raphael from Champion Comics.
“For those of you who don’t quite understand how Diamond Distributors works, I know exactly why Pam (Harrison, Managing Editor) has worked the ICC magazine the way she has. So when you get listed in Diamond catalog, usually it’s with a two-three month leeway (August posting is released in November). So in August, ICC mag is listed, and say, orders come in at 5,000. So Diamond invoices with the order amount, and the publisher is responsible for the cost of printing.
So whatever it costs the publisher to print 5,000 copies of ICC Magazine, is what is owed Diamond. Now, in 60-90 days after, Diamond will then send the publisher the check for (their share of) that amount of the orders. So a publisher must be ready to drop whatever $$$$ it will cost to cover printing for the orders, and then get reimbursed a couple months later. What if ICC Magazine is a smash dark horse hit? 20,000 orders? 40,000? Someone’s gotta pay to cover that order, before reimbursement happens. It’s why creators love a company like Image and Dark Horse, who cover those costs for the creator off the top. So that’s the reason for the Kickstarter. That’s the reason for the need for greater support. It’s also a reason independent publishers have a hell of a time surviving in Diamond Distribution catalog, and prefer Kickstarters and crowdfunding. Thanks for the time, and God bless ya all. Good luck with all your projects and dreams.”
ICC Magazine is now a part of the regular Diamond offerings. Four times a year stores will be given the chance to purchase it and help their customers learn more about the comic world at large. There is another consideration: ICC Magazine is slick and professional. It’s clearly not a zine or printed blog. It is a well laid out, easy to read venue for artists to look their best. It’s an eye popping, attention getting publication.
Think of ICC this way. It’s your first chance to make a national impression. Just like you don’t show up for a first date in homemade cut-offs after not showering for a week, you shouldn’t let America’s first look at your comic come in scattered dribs and drabs. ICC allows you to make the first impression you need to start taking your work to the next level.
Simply put, supporting ICC is the easiest, and classiest, way to help your career. So go ahead, be selfish, and support yourself by supporting ICC Magazine.

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I write sci fi. Sometimes people read it.

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