Sunday, June 22, 2008

Humm, what to do, what to do...

If you look back to the beginning of my blog back then I was just playing around.
The quality of the jpegs was pretty bad, and I didn't care.

It was just for fun.

But I got into it a bit more, started to try a little harder, and thought that maybe someone would want to publish Spleenal.
This was pushed by my wife going on about money all the time. I started to think that if I showed enough people, someone would want to take a chance on it. Not the big majors (Marvel, DC, Dark horse) but one of the indie publishers.

I thought that it wouldn't mean a lot of money. Certainly not enough to quit work and do cartooning full time, but it would mean a bit of extra cash. Maybe enough to shut her up.
I'm not interested in trying to change what comes naturally from me. To try to fit with what publishers want, just to get published. But I did think that... well you know.

When I first started showing people the stuff on this blog they all came back saying stuff like "No" but a few said that they liked it, and if I ever did anything long enough to fill a comic they'd like a look.

Humm, long enough to fill a comic.

I'd thought that they could just fill something with all the little short things. Obviously not.
I could do something of length without changing what comes naturally. All it would require is to not stop the story at 3 or 6 or whatever panels.

So I did the spanky comic.

I really enjoyed doing it. It was nice to do a proper story with a bit of a twist, and I liked avoiding turning it into a morality tale.

I'd always liked those confessional, autobiographical comics the artist exposes how screwed up and pervy he is Joe Matt, Dave Cooper The problem was that my personal life and sex life wasn't enough of a mess to be entertaining, so I'd have to make some stuff up. An affair with extra spanking seemed like a good thing to go with. Spanking, as a sexual "thing" would be something I could show without being too X-rated, and it would link nicely to the "frustrated" feel I already had going on in the blog.

I liked it. You liked it too.

They didn't though.
Looking back at it. I thought I knew what was "wrong" with it.
Maybe it was a bit one note. And maybe Spanking's a bit niche.

That was no problem though. If I was going to do something else it wouldn't continue striking the same exact note.
So maybe I could do another long comic length one. And while I was doing it I could leave out the box around the panels (wasn't keen on those in the spanky comic)
So I did Un-bound and was really pleased with it. It seemed to have a real life feel about it. A lot of people thought I was making it up as I went along, which I took as a good thing, because life makes it's self up as it goes along. I had a couple of things going on in spleenals life, arthritis and his wife's need for more money. Two seemingly separate story lines. but the arthritis led to the wrong pills which led to him quitting his job which led to them offering him more money which solved the money problem.

I think writers call it convergence.

I liked it. You liked it. They didn't.


So maybe that's it. I don't have anything different to do with spleenal that will get me published. I'm not interested in changing it to fit anything.

So the question is what now? Could I go back to just doing it for fun alone (like when I started) Or is it time to stop and do something else?

Humm, I don't know...


Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

I'd hate to think of you shelving the Spleenal comic; it's just too damn good, even if the publishers don't appreciate it. It's sometimes "politically incorrectness" is what makes it funny.
However, I truly think you should pitch them your "really long comic" idea. It's unique and incredibly well done, and I think it's the kind of thing that they would consider because it's edgy without the sometimes "raw" edges that make Spleenal not work commercially.
That said, I think that if you manage to get someone to consider publishing your other stuff, eventually someone will take a chance with the Spleenal comics, and all of us fans will be the happier for it!

Miz K said...

I agree with Jim's post - also if you love doing it, you definitely should continue (I admit I say this with not just a little bit of my own selfish interests in mind as I really enjoy your work) I think this is one of those things that just takes a while to come together - keep doing what you love and eventually the right people will find it!

Leann said...

Do whatever is the most fun. All the time.

nothingmuch said...

As long as you do something you will have my readership (or whatever form of consumption applies).

I think "real" comics have this pretentious immaure (and not tounge in cheek immature) vibe that the industry can't really ditch, and I think that makes it easier to sell it. Sometimes it's more subtle, but generally it caters to a teenage boy's sense of humor, excitement, whatever. The good comics manage to remain interesting despite this, in other layers. I haven't seen any comics lacking this literary simplification except for Alan Moore's work, and things you see on the Web. What I'm trying to say is that you're too good for them (them being the publishers, the market, whatever).

Sam said...

As long as you finish the Cop/Addict/etc. story, I agree. Do what you think is fun. If you do it to get published, you'll be banging your head for nothing. If you do it for fun, the publishing world may come banging on your door, wanting a piece of the action.

Oh, who am I kidding? Just do it for me, because I can't get enough SPLEENAL!!

Wayne Taylor said...

It's your spelling you bald twat!

Terry said...

I'm afraid it's time to give it up, old boy. Time to move on to something more rewarding, like stamp collecting, or playing darts.

But don't feel bad, Spleenal, ya had a good run while it lasted. Kinda.


sahana said...

why cant you 'print' it on your own and maybe sell it in a few places.... just wondering...

Anonymous said...

We've printed and distributed Spleenals stuff in the past and so have a few other publishers. Unfortunatly in our case it was strictly small press and we did the best we could with very little money.
I still believe Spleenal has larger appeal and would do well with larger distribution, but that involves a much bigger company than us taking a much bigger risk..
I have a lot of faith in Spleenal's talent and i visit the blog daily as well as recommending it to everyone i can.
I have always maintained that for Spleenal, it's only a matter of time until greatness, but i understand how frustrating that can be!
Stick with it and don't give up! There are an awful lot of people quietly watching and hoping for your success.
Keep the fire.

Herge Smith said...

Have you really exhausted all the small publishers out there Speenal?



You're absolutely right to stick with what you love though, sex, time machines and guns. A winning combination.

looney said...

You are awesome. Don't give up. Do what you want, but don't kill the idea.
Maybe start a cafepress account to sell Spleenal items from? Terry sold some S.O.S.A.D. stuff that way, and Spleenal is MUCH cooler.
What about Spleenal for kiddies?

looney said...

Hey--what about the clerk in the Really Long Comic??? Doesn't he get some recognition??

Paulina said...

how about webcomics like gocomics or do they pay? you have all these shorties, that should work.

lassmann said...

yes! do it for the fun, dude! and when the oportunity arises, grab some cash with it! try gagning up with other artistes maybe - the terry border pal of yours is a pretty awesome example, even though he does stuff more easily accessible to people in general, whilst yours is for us with a weird sense of humour.

if you know what i mean..?

anyway, please rock on!!!

Jonathan said...

Look, if you can't get it published in paper and ink, why not put them up on a web site and at least try and pull in some ad revenue? Maybe not enough to make a living, but certainly more than you'd get from just putting them out for free on blogger.

Jonathan said...

One thing I forgot to say...this is one of the very few comics - in any medium - that makes me laugh uncontrollably.

Craig Conlan said...

There's no point in trying to second-guess what you think a publisher might want in the future once you've hit a certain number of pages. You'll just drive yourself mad. Don't shoehorn something in to be 'commercial' if it doesn't feel a comfortable fit to you. Just be yourself. Yourself is good!

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some sort of artist or something. with problems and issues. I draw stuff
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