Revenger 1 by Chuck Forsman Now Available

Revenger.1.prev1_-600x928Revenger #1, the latest comic by Chuck Forsman (from his micro-press, Oily Comics), is now available. Well, to be more specific: the digital version is now available, and the print version is shipping at the end of February.

You can read the comic digitally via Gum Road, Comixology, and Google Play. If you want a print version like me, you’ll have to order it from Gumroad (you’ll get a free digital copy too). There’s also an $18 package that includes a hand-drawn postcard.

Chuck told me he chose to go with Gumroad because it allows him to sell both print and digital editions. Gumroad also allows you to pay above the base price.

Devastator and The Beat Release 2014 Convention Data

consI’m a bit behind the times: Heidi MacDonald just tipped me off that The Beat and Devastator released their 2014 comic convention data. They and I are trying to do something similar: collect data from the indie comics scene so we can paint a better picture of how the small press industry is working. They’ve focuses on conventions and festivals specifically. It looks like their audience is more mainstream/geek culture than my tastes (and according to their data, that’s where the money is). Still, they profile some top small press festivals, and this information is super valuable.

I’ve read their zine, and here’s my takeaway.

1. Shit: I’m not making any money, am I? Their per-show sales average is $1000. I’d kill for those sales.

But, when I take a closer look, I see the top selling shows are ones I hadn’t considered exhibiting at: San Diego Comic-Con, Denver Comics Con, and New York Comic Con. Is is time to reconsider exhibiting at mainstream shows? I used to do that, about a decade ago. I got the sense that my work isn’t interesting to  that market. Maybe I’m wrong?

When I look at the per-show average for indie shows like TCAF, MoCCA, and SPX, my sales are in the ballpark (but still, a little low).

2. Of the small press/indie shows that ranked high in terms of sales and exhibitor satisfaction, TCAF and APE were right at the top. I haven’t been to APE in years. I’d written it off as a financial loss years ago, as a lot of my peers on the east coast did. But it looks like it’s time to revisit this show.

3. What I assumed is true: MoCCA is a show where exhibitors are lucky to cover the $460 table fee (one of the highest table fees in this country for a show of that kind). I keep waiting for MoCCA to address this, but at this point I’m doubtful that the table fee will ever come down. I’m resentful. A lot of creators are resentful. At least, The Society of Illustrators puts on a great show. But how much longer can I throw away almost $500 to spend a weekend at a great show?

You can read The Beat and Devastator’s zine for free (but you should donate a buck or two). I don’t know a lot about this project, but I’m guessing Devastator wrote the zine while The Beat helped promote it. Devestator is an independent publisher of humor anthologies and books run by Geoffrey Golden and Amanda Meadows. I can’t tell if they’d fit my definition of a micro-publishers, but they’re in the neighborhood.


Floating World 2014 Sales Report

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, I held off on posting much in the last week.  There is news in the world of comics that deserves your attention, and it trumps my micro-press musings. But I’m getting back into the swing of things.

sIMG_2472-1024x682In case you missed it, last week Jason Leivian, proprietor of Floating World Comics (which is high on the short list of best comics shops in America), posted his top-selling comics of 2014. Interestingly, not a single book by Marvel or DC cracked the top 25 in terms of net sales.

While Desert Island doesn’t record this kind of sales data, as I clerk there I can report that all of Floating World’s top books were very familiar to us. It seem Desert Island’s sales track in a pretty similar way. The Saga series, The Incal, and Megahex were always in demand. And a fun little zine called How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety (a bargain at just $2) is flying off the shelf.



Brooklyn Zine Fest Applications Close January 14

bzine2Brooklyn Zine Fest’s exhibitor applications opened today, and will close five days later on January 14. Off hand, I can’t think another festival with such a short application window. It must ease the burden of processing applications when the interest is high and the tables are few.

I had a successful show last year (check out my recap), so I’ll be applying again.

2014 Micro-Press Survey

Now that 2014 has drawn to a close, it’s time to get cracking on the next Micro-Press Yearbook. And I need your help!

Are you a comics micro-publisher?


Please complete the survey by February 6. Your input will help me write my next annual report, the Micro-Press Yearbook 2014. (See the 2013 yearbook here.) Thanks!


Whit Taylor on Sustainability and the Convention Model

My boss, Gabe Fowler. (photo by Elizabeth Graham)

Whit Taylor at The Comics Journal wrote this beefy report on CAB and the convention model, and she asked questions that are pertinent to small publishers like me. Is the convention model sustainable? Can small publishers flourish, and can their audience grow? How can the small press stay small without being insular?

It was a great read for me because it got into the mechanics of small press comics distribution, a topic I really nerd out about. For me, an informative article with this kind of scope is pure gold. It would be right up my alley, even if I wasn’t quoted in it a few times.

Youth in Decline Offers 2015 Subscription

I subscribed to their 2014 list and I really enjoyed it. You can get the next four issues of Frontier for $35, shipping included. It’s hard to go wrong with Youth in Decline.

Check out these preview images, including a sexy one by Michael Deforge!

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