Comics Lowdown: Don’t quit the day job

Jim Zub has advice for an aspiring creator. Also: Best comics of 2017, trends to watch in 2018.

Sitcomics, a comics publisher based in Santa Monica, is rolling out Binge Books, a line of 64-page comics priced at $3.99, with a new strategy that they call “Sell-Through Distribution”: Bypassing the usual distribution system, they will go directly through retailers. They will start distributing a free catalog to retailers on January 3; customers can order the comics until January 25, and they will be delivered on January 31, a much faster turnaround than standard distribution. The comics will also be returnable by retailers.

Advice: Jim Zub, who manages to write three or more comics a month without quitting his day job, has some advice for someone who is considering cashing in his 401(k) to pursue his dream of being a comics writer:

“If only I had time-“
Make time. Set an alarm and wake up an hour early or spend an hour each night before bed. Write.
Make it 2 hours on Saturdays. That’s 8 hours per week.

“If only I could dedicate myself-“
You can and it doesn’t have to be with the shadow of financial ruin looming over you.

“I’ve always wanted to-“
Cool. Do it. Make a thing. Finish it.
Learn from it. Do it again. Keep doing it.

Comics: The Orthodox Union picks up on some mentions of Orthodox Judaism in the comics.

The Biz

Trends: Rob Salkowitz ushers in the new year with a look at five trends to watch in 2018.

Media: Chris Hassan talks spoilers with Word Balloon podcaster John Siuntres. Specifically, they discuss comics and movie spoilers in the mass media, and whether or not that affects the Wednesday Warriors.

“We as comic readers have to accept the fact that what was the dog wagging the tail has now become the tail,” Siuntres said. “Comic books are just part of the massive media corporations’ exploitation of an intellectual property and it’s the last rung on the ladder. That’s just the way it is, so they need to excite the TV viewers, the animation viewers, the moviegoers. ‘Hey, you like the Avengers? You won’t believe what’s happening in the Avengers comic–pick it up today.’”

Reviews, Roundups, and Commentary

Best of the Year: The staff of The Beat pick the best comics of 2017. This is a particularly worthwhile list as the Elite Beat Staff’s tastes cover a wide range, so the picks are appropriately varied.

Best of the Year: Graeme McMillan breaks down his top comics of 2017 by category.

Best of the Year: Hillary Brown picks the top ten children’s comics of 2017 and comes up with an interestingly eclectic list.

Best of the Year: It was a very good year for yuri manga, with North American publishers picking up a host of titles; Erica Friedman posts her list of the top 10 yuri manga of the year at Okazu.

Best of the Year: Here are my own personal favorite manga and kids’ comics of 2017.

Best of the Year: Comicosity looks at an oft-ignored category with their list of the top editors of 2017.

Review: Terri Schlichenmeyer reviews The Encyclopedia of Black Comics.

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