Alliance Chat 24


Welcome to the Alliance Chat: where no topic has gone before!

In this podcast, we’re chatting with Cartoonist Mike Maihack, creator of “Cleopatra in Space”, an all-ages Sci-Fi full-color original graphic novel, now in print via Graphix/Scholastic. Mike chats with Byron about his past webcomics and how “Cleopatra in Space” ended up in a publishing deal. An interesting chat indeed! Find Mike on Twitter: @mikemaihack

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  1. Byron, I found your objections to the word “webcomics” to be very odd. While I do call my comic just a comic (because that’s what it basically is), I think of myself as a webcomicker, and not a regular cartoonist, because the word, for me at least, stands not just for the means of delivery, but also for my ethos as a creator.

    Webcomics, unlike the kindle stuff and pdfs you have to buy, are FREE to read, and that’s the crucial bit for me. I’m not drawing a comic to make a buck (the idea is mildly ridiculous, if one wants to make a buck then there are much more efficient ways to do so), I’m drawing comics for people from anywhere around the world to read completely free of charge. My comic being a webcomic is a fundamental part of what it is, and says a lot about what my goals as a storyteller are (to bring some joy to people’s lives, not to create a career for myself).

    • Potato – Potahto.

      We each look at terms from our own point of view. If you have chosen to do your comic and not make money at it, then right on and more power to you. But to say the idea is “mildly ridiculous” is, to me, just as odd as my objection to the term webcomic is to you.

      From comments here on the WA site, most of our readers/listeners ARE looking to monetize their work in some fashion. For me, I’m a business man first, an artist second. Most certainly I draw “1977” first and foremost for myself. But, I have always stated that my comic is a vehicle to both promote me, and train me as an artist. It has done both of those quite well. AND… our guest Mike’s example of how he started “Cleopatra” as a free webcomic but was monetizing it by printing books and attending conventions (which led to his publishing contract) fits my example as well.

      So, for people like you, the term Webcomic is a perfect fit. Your audience is looking for those free comics created by an artist who is not in it for the money, but rather for the art. As you said, it’s your ethos, which is completely your right to chose, and I again say right on.

      But, for those of us who want to market/brand ourselves as cartoonists and/or illustrators, I don’t think the term fits for exactly the reasons you stated. The term can then indicates an artist who is just doing a webcomic for the fun of it and is not taking it seriously. For me, that’s not why I am in this game. If the term fits you and others like you, then it is not up to me to say whether you should or should not use it. That’s the beauty of what we do as independent artists.

      • *Applause*

        Thank you Byron for once again hitting the nail on the head. I fall into the category like most WA readers that are looking to monetize their creations. Like Mike, I would love to do this the same way, I’m not looking to get picked up by a syndicate per se, but I am looking to print them on my own and if something happens along the way, like a big break, I’m not gonna complain.

    • Ewa,

      I get the point you are trying to make. If you see this as a hobby and not a creative endeavor that has monetary potential, then drawing a comic as a hobby and how you define it has no value to you. You want to be creative and you want to get it out of you.

      The issue is, when you elevate the desire from hobby to a creative business endeavor, there are structures one needs to have in place to ensure they can succeed.

      If an audience is important to you, then defining your work in ways consumers understand them, is a must. Webcomic as a term for comics that I consider to be more of an in house term, than it is a word in the comic consumers vocabulary.

      I draw my comic because I just love getting lost in the idea of telling silly, goofy stories and jokes and drawing and playing with visual elements. As time has gone by though, readers have expressed interest in my work, beyond that of a hobby, or a mere creative project. To fulfill their wants of me, I have expand my readership to make these wants a reasonable request and I have to do that in ways readers can identify with my product.

      Webcomic, to me, isn’t a thing. Authors who publish independent content are not called web-authors. They are authors who e-publish. E-publishing is an industry, just go and buy a literary piece of work on a kindle. Business uses words to identify them, webcomic identifies nothing to a consumer, just to the industry of comic creators.

      With all that said, can I just say I really like your art style and use of color?!? I guess I just did!

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