Independent comics and publishing is, frankly, where you will find some of the best comics and original ideas on the market. Sure, there is some stuff out there that is just not up to snuff, but this day and age, if you have the drive and the skill, all the tools are out there for you to create, publish, market and distribute your own books, comics… whatever. DIY comics gives creators the freedom to control every detail of their story and presentation, but it also means wearing many hats.
Over the course of the past 15-20 years, I’ve taught myself graphic design, how to letter comics, script formatting, website design, pre-press and more. That’s just for creating the books. I’ve also acted as a salesman, social media and digital content manager, distributor, accountant and more. The business side of making comics can be daunting and every year at tax time I usually enjoy a wave of anxiety just making sure I’m doing everything right.
That’s not to say I haven’t submitted to publishers and formulate pitches – I have – but time not always on my side with a full-time job and three kids. So going for it at my own pace has allowed me the freedom to do what I’ve got to do.
All of this also makes me think about other creators. My good friend Mike Kingston is well-known in comic and wrestling circles for HEADLOCKED. Mike is a hustler. That’s a compliment. He does a con or multiple wrestling shows every week, wrangles professional wrestlers (which can often be tough) to write stories for his books and do signings at cons… he is really just a perfect example of a true DIY comic creator. He was doing wrestling comics before anyone would touch them and he has grown a massive fanbase in the cross section of comics and wrestling.
Often times at cons, creators like myself who are more than “just the writer” often go unappreciated. That’s not to diminish the artists without whom we’d be nowhere, but people generally don’t understand the heart and soul we pour into these projects and the insane amount of time, effort and ultimately skill to make a truly great product. Books like HEADLOCKED and my own are ones that are on the same level and/or surpass releases from major publishers.
Anyways, this is a long-winded way of saying, “WELCOME TO THE NEW SITE!”
If you’ve been to this site before, you might notice for the first time in quite a while, it looks a bit different. Essentially, I’ve streamlined everything. The main site and the store now share the same look, feel and functionality as opposed to before when they looked totally different. There are a couple reasons for this, but mostly because I wanted everything to be uniform and just look different.
This is also the reason why I got on track with the newsletter for three weeks and then have missed the last two weeks!
After releasing Patriot-1: Ultimate Edition, which is truly the definitive version of my magnum opus, I have a renewed drive for the future of TJ Comics and my projects.
As a result, I’ll be keeping up the newsletter, be a bit more active on social media and I’ve opened up a TJ Comics focused Instagram.
I’m still in the process of updating and working out some kinks to the new site, so it will continue to evolve, but it is 100% functional.