Robot 6

Indie Comics Magazine offers easy way to get published — pay for it!

While flipping through Diamond’s Previews catalog, I’m often confronted with new material that sends me scouring the Internet for more information, and this month was no different. One of the many things that popped out at me was Indie Comics Magazine, a 64-page anthology with a striking cover. Researching it, I found the upcoming Issue 6 had a host of new creators with some great looking work and past issues have showcased Tim Vigil as well as Rich Koslowski. I’m a sucker for anthologies, so I pre-ordered it.

But then digging deeper into Indie Comics Magazine‘s website I found the business model: The creators pay for it. Creators paying to self-publish is nothing new, but seeing creators buying into a magazine — in effect, buying ad space — struck me as a unique system. The 64-page comic has eight spots for eight-page comics, with each slot costing $393.50. Creators then get an official published credit (almost a prerequisite for landing work in the comic industry),  but also a share of any profits. Indie Comics Magazine has a minimum print run of 1,000, and the creators also receive any of those Diamond doesn’t order from them on behalf of retailers. Interesting.

Indie Comics Magazine is published by Xeric winner Gary Scott Beatty’s Aazurn Publishing. If he sells all eight spots then he receives a total of $3,148 to cover the Diamond listing, the printing and fulfillment of 1,000 copies of the Indie Comics Magazine issue and the cost of him promoting it via press release.

It’s an interesting and surprisingly upfront business model. If you’re a creator, would you consider this an opportunity? And if you’re a fan, have you read an issue of this anthology or would you give it a chance if you saw it in stores?

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Comments

16 Comments

wow – printing comics is cheap. So much for the $4 cover price apologists

sandwich eater

June 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I don’t think I would want to read this. Basically, by allowing people to pay their way in, there’s no quality control because the magazine will want to accept all the stories that it can fit in. If I were a creator, and I’m not, I think I’d rather do a free webcomic to try to get recognition and hopefully use that notoriety to get paying gigs.

@sandwich

Yeah – there is so much quality control at Marvel and DC – LOL

I bought and read the first issue. There was not enough that caught my interest to make me pick up the second issue.

How is this model different from the Image model where you pay a flat fee (used to be $5000, not sure what it is now) and you get your book printed and a spot in Previews? You are responsible for doing all your own promotion and writing of press releases.

While this is not NEARLY as high profile as having an “I” on the cover of your book, $395 is a lot less than $5000 to get your foot in the door.

As an aspiring comic book writer, I would usually say that any opportunity that gets you any closer to breaking into the medium is a good thing.

However, there is something to be said on getting published on merit alone. The business model where you have to pay up front simply requires you to have money, not skill.

I managed to get published a couple of months back in FutureQuake magazine, a small press publication and to do that on the strength of my own writing made me feel like I’d really achieved something.

Which of course isn’t to say that the stories published by Indie Comics Magazine wont be amazing, however, if you’re a truly talented writer or artist I don’t think you should have to pay to get your work out there.

I bought the first two issues of the anthology. The stories were all pretty awful except for one, which I think was the Tim Vigil one? At any rate, I don’t think I’d consider buying the comic again, although it is a very interesting business model.

RegularSyzedMike

June 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I think what would really be telling is how many issues they’ve sold so far. That’s where this business model would show whether it’s a success or a failure.

@RegSizeMike

Good point. But they may not be in it for profit. With writers paying their own way – the publisher may have a much lower break-even, and they probably exist because they believe in getting new talent out there – and not to make big cash

As an aside – weird how much scorn a refreshing business model like that draws – particularly in a creative endeavor.

I bought the second issue when I saw it. So may cool / fun / creative comics are out there self publishing or posting online that I was sure there would be some gems.

There weren’t.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this business model. They’re much more honest & realistic about it than you’ll find in many, many, many corners of the industry (any creative industry). And if there IS profit, it gets split between the creators.

I almost wish a group of talented, hungry creators hijacked all / most of the spots in an issue for themselves and then promoted the hell out of it. It’d be a cheaper “in” to comic shops.

Thanks to the internet, you don’t even need to do this. Make a comic, post it online. Cheap as hell.

Yeah, I guess the title is INDIE. There are a lot of indie comics out there that are not great. They are not mainstream as such. I had a look through the first 2 issues at my local comic shop and didn’t see anything jumping out at me. However I picked up issue 3 and the first story was pretty damn good. Tight story and great detaled artwork. Really stood out from the other stories, although it lost a little impact being B & W. I have found some color versions online and it looks really good. Yes I did buy issue 3. Oh… the story was called ASTRAL CRUSADERS. I see that they have another Astral Crusader story listed in this months issue and the cover looks pretty awesome too (see top of this page). What the hell, it’s only a few bucks. I am going to give it a go and order a copy this month.

“Thanks to the internet, you don’t even need to do this. Make a comic, post it online. Cheap as hell.”

The article clearly refers to being published (Marvel for example won’t consider creators who haven’t been published), and the internet does not count as publishing.

I publish Indie Comics Magazine and I think there is a misconception here. The content is edited — not everyone who submits is accepted.

Content is based on tight, done-in-one storytelling and superior art. This is where submissions fail. Creators I turn down aren’t skilled at telling a story in eight pages and much of their art is undeveloped.

We’ve included indie comics heavyweights like Arsenic Lullaby’s Doug Paszkiewicz, The Three Geeks’ Rich Koslowski, and syndicated cartoonist Aaron Warner. We’ve also accepted submissions from creators who are regionally known and are looking to impact the Diamond market. I like a variety of styles and the books reflect this.

The buy-in price includes a half page ad in Previews ($750), web listing at http://indiecomicsmagazine.com/, news release program, video preview, and quality printing. Creators split the Diamond invoice eight ways. I’m very transparent about this and the whole program, including what creators have received from each issue, is online at http://www.aazurn.com/ICM.html

There’s no trickery here, just a program to help creators connect with new customers and reach the Diamond market. Anyone on the Indie Comics Magazine website will vouch for me.

If I am, somehow, trying to rip people off, I’m the world’s worse thief. Ad revenue in the latest issue will finally begin to pay me back for a minuscule portion of the two years’ time I’ve devoted to Indie Comics Magazine and the creators that appear there.

If creators are interested in submitting to see if their eight page story will be accepted for Indie Comics Magazine, they can read the submission page at http://www.aazurn.com/ICM.html

Gary Scott Beatty
Indie Comics Magazine
Xeric Awarded Writer and Illustrator
Comic Book Coloring and Lettering
http://indiecomicsmagazine.com/
indiecomicsmagazine@yahoo.com

garbonzo: “How is this model different from the Image model where you pay a flat fee (used to be $5000, not sure what it is now) and you get your book printed and a spot in Previews?”

At Image, your fee comes off the back end: you never actually pay them anything. Once they agree to publish your book, they pay all up front costs. Once Diamond pays Image for your books, they take their cut and you get the rest….and if you never fully recoup that cost, you don’t have to cut Image a check, either. Never having to part with any of your own money is a pretty fundamental difference between the two.

RegularSyzedMike: “I think what would really be telling is how many issues they’ve sold so far. That’s where this business model would show whether it’s a success or a failure.”

Over at Aazurn’s website, they break every issue in terms of what creators cost to be in it, how much they made back, and how many copies of the book they received.

http://www.aazurn.com/ICM.html

Looks like creators made their money back on the first two issues, but not on any of the ones after that.

@Paul Penna – Paul has an amazing book that we are publishing,

and as a publisher there is no system to buy your way into Diamond, there is no requirement to print a 1,000 copies. You can give them all the requirements that they request and still be kicked tot he curb.

Good info here, we are currently self-publishing and feeling the burn of the constant and tedious fight for exposure. I have considered buying into indiecomics, kinda glad I waited on it though. Btw, if you are into anthology comics, check out my site!

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