Alliance Chat 3

Alliance Chat, where no topic has gone before!

Welcome to the Alliance Chat! This podcast will be about various topics in not only the comic industry, but nearly anything that effects creators of all types. And sometimes just plain old life issues; like stinky feet or that Drezz pees in pools.

In this podcast, we chat about: We all do our “best” imitations of our favorite Muppet or Star Wars characters, Byron talks about driving his son’s Mazda Miata MX5 convertible on a sunny day, then on a serious note Dawn brings up her thoughts on what it takes to be a successful indie-cartoonist and the percentages of talent versus the percentage just dumb luck, and we don’t have an ending for this new Chat format…. still.

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  1. About halfway through this episode, and enjoying it (nice Yoda!) πŸ™‚
    The conversation about luck reminds me of one of the core points made in The Black Swan (a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, not the movie with Queen Amidala): In order to increase the likelihood that you’ll experience good luck (a “positive black swan event”), you need to expose yourself to synchronicity. Give yourself the chance to bump into that VIP at the right time, and prepared for it when you do (perhaps with a good elevator pitch, a bunch of business cards, and a body of work to speak for you). Echoes points Robin, Dawn and others made about going to cons, being present online, etc.
    Thought I’d mention the book in case other folks find it interesting in light of the conversation. πŸ™‚

  2. Are the Alliance Chat Podcasts available through iTunes? They aren’t showing in the regular feed and I can’t seem to find them in the iTunes Store to subscribe.

    • I thought it would show up on the other iTunes feed, but it seems I have to create a second feed for this one. I’ll have it worked out by the time the next Chat Podcast posts. Thanks for reminding me!

  3. Great show guys, I just had something pop in my head while I was listening to this and thought I’d share. You were discussing why the mentality is so much different at a con then it is when you got and approach people about your comic elsewhere I think you missed the key component to that. At a con, you aren’t the one doing the “approaching.” Sitting behind your table at a show, if people stop to see what you have they have already proven that there is at least a small amount of interest there. That’s more then enough of a gateway for many of us to start talking about our work while only placing the smallest risk on out egos.

    However, when you go to say a comic shop and approach them about your work, the risk is all on you. That person hasn’t shown at all that they are interested in your work and you are at a much greater risk of being shut down in that situation. That’s why it’s harder and why you’re more afraid. The entire environment of a comic con is designed to foster interaction, anywhere else is designed for sales.

    Just my two cents, and Robin, your sexy wookie sounds made some nerd very happy.

    • Good points about that, Ryan. I would say, though, that yes conventions make it easier to talk about your work when you’re behind a table and people are approaching you but isn’t that where the differences stop and the similarities between going in a store and selling at a convention start?
      Meaning… sure, the “introductions” at cons are the easy part. No work involved there. People are either going to come to your table or they aren’t but, once they’ve shown an interest in your work, you now have to convince them to buy your stuff. Just as you do when you approach a comic book shop owner… you have to convince them there’s a need for them to put your books up on their shelves.

      Maybe the really big difference is that, at a con, there are so many people walking by your table, if you don’t “hook one fish”, there are several hundred that you have a chance to hook. Whereas, in a comic book shop situation, you have ONE SHOT with ONE person. If you miss, there ain’t another 100 people willing to give your pitch a chance. πŸ™‚

  4. no, i get it. it’s very difficult to make a living as a comics artist.
    it’s a very specific niche market we all work in no matter how big and popular it may seem from the inside. it’s not that way on the outside. but then also within this market/industry we have several dozen sub niches so that any potential audience gets splintered a million fold.
    the best you can do is what you’re already doing. making your voice heard in this sea of creators, by appearing at conventions and letting people know you exist. otherwise you’re left to the forces of comics chaos, and that’s far too random.
    also… you guys have a podcast. that’s one more bonus+ for getting the word out there about your work.
    it’s not about luck. not always.
    sometimes its about who you know. your connections.
    but networking like that and building those connections, works well at conventions. awareness is a key factor. making people aware of your comic. and then making them care about your comic.
    because sometimes it’s about how much noise you’re making in your corner of the universe.

    get out there… make some noise! haha

    • Also good points too, Smars, about the various niches and sub-niches in the comic book/comic strip arena. It’s even worse on the web where you can easily become just one little gold fish swimming in a tank full of a hundred OTHER gold fish too! πŸ™‚

  5. I have a hard time promoting my comic outside the net. I can never walk into a coffee shop and ask if I can leave some of my bookmarks. I always think I’ll get shot down. I think I am not always confident in the art. I figure people will think it’s silly. Which it’s supposed to be. Luckily my wife is more outgoing with people so she helps with the promotion. I really lucked out!!
    Anyways, love the podcast. Lots to think about.

    • Jeff… I never had a problem asking to leave my postcards in other people’s store. It’s only when it comes to money items – like books – where that becomes a problem for me. So i feel your pain, brother. I feel your pain.

      Maybe we need to start up our own support group, huh? πŸ™‚

    • Just remember Jeff, if you ask to leave bookmarks at a coffee shop, and they say no.. it’s probably just a company policy, nothing against your work. I left my bookmarks at a comic book shop, and it resulted in a bunch of sales at local events! Some kid grabbed one, and loved the comic on the back so much, he came to meet me at Free Comic Book day! You have to focus on the good moments, allow them to outweigh the bad.

    • Wanna know how to get over that?

      Ask the first time. If they say no, suck it up and try again.
      Ask someone else. If they say no, suck it up and try again.
      Ask someone else. If they say no, remember that it’s not you, its them.
      Ask someone else. If they say no, you’ve already been rejected three times before. One more isn’t going to kill you. Or once more after that, and again, and so on.

      Remember that, and keep asking. It never hurts. What hurts more is someone telling you your work has no value, because that’s a lie. Eventually, you’ll come across someone who can use your bookmarks AND sees the value in your work. That’s gold.

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