Ever get that bit of advice or just a little nudge to help your brain? I got it right before I had the best shower I've taken all year. Yeah so it's only almost a month into the year...it was awesome.
So, as some of you know, I write for a comic news site called Newsarama. Now of course working there you get to talk to creators and artists and etc. Some are awesome, some are good...some are...reclusive. Since I've been working there (almost a year now), I've made several rapports with people who I've admired since I could buy my own comics. One of them in particular is Ron Marz.
I'm reviewing one of his projects, Dragon Prince and as our convos usually do, they trail off and he ends up being the Obi-Wan to my Luke.
ME: So I'm caught up and working on the review right now. That Hunter must have been tough to have survived with a whole fucking building crashing on him. Is this the end to these characters or do you plan on bringing them back whenever? Also, in your Top Cow exclusive contract, this was one of the creator-owned projects you were guaranteed...is there another one?
RON: We have plenty more stories to tell, but it's a matter of whether there's an audience. Or at least whether there's an audience in this market climate. So, we'll see. I'm hoping to do a new short story for the TPB collection which will likely be printed at the size of the Bone color volumes.
There are more creator-owned projects in the pipeline, but again, we're planning to take a step back and see what the market is like before we nail down release dates. At the moment, ANY kind of new material on the market is just tanking, no matter which publisher.
ME: That's not very encouraging news for a guy who wants to take a chance and put balls to the wall and try to get published, but I have to know: at the end of the day, is it worth it? Like I've said you're one of the guys who do what I want to do with my life. I try and do reviews on lesser-known books just to get their name out. It just seems like the right thing to do.
RON: It's a bad market right now, and publishers are starting to feel it. The news of layoffs at Top Cow, and DC and Mad today, are just more evidence of it. So I think publishers will circle the wagons and try to ride out the downturn. Less experimentation, less "new," just more of the same comfort food that sells to the every Wednesday crowd. It's happened before in comics, it will happen again.
That said ... is what I do worth it? Absolutely. I make a very good living doing something I'd do for free. However, you have to be realistic about the odds faced by everyone who wants to do this. It's a bit like being a pro baseball or football player. Everyone wants to do that job, but just a small percentage actually get to do it. That doesn't mean it's not worth trying ... far from it ... but these days it's a long, hard hill to climb, with a lot of people trying to do the same. You have to outlast them and be better than them.
Go in with your eyes open, but be determined.
(I had a bit of a cry after I read that. I guess from being sick and all the thoughts in my head now...it's just something I needed to hear.)