Friday, February 6, 2015

How to Get Stores to Care About Your Creator-Owned Comic (And Other Dream-Enabling Wisdom)

By Liz Baker

It seems like everyone is trying to write a comic these days. With so many publishers out there, along with the power of the internet, there is now more of a chance than ever to get your story out into the world! The problem is, pretty much everyone has that golden idea that could make the best comic or zine ever to grace the history of the written world. And although there are a lot more outlets for writers and artists, the comic book market has also gotten increasingly competitive to break into as a result. Luckily, you found this article, so you are ahead of all those crazy creators who want to write stories about their toasters coming to life or cops with killer chicken sidekicks.

Here are a few tips and step-by-steps for getting your comic into your local Comic Store:

1) Get in the Game! Prepare for Battle!

Every soldier must prepare before they head into battle. In the case of the comic book business, this means getting to know your environment. You wouldn't just walk up to a volcano without wearing some seriously heavy-duty sneakers, would you? Of course not. That's ridiculous. Treat your local comic book stores like your ultimate volcano (they're hot stuff.) Create a relationship with your favorite shop that--this is important--has the capacity to distribute your book. Once you find your one and only, the next step is to become a customer if you aren't already. I know this sounds like a "no duh" kind of tip, but not everyone does it, and it can greatly help out your chances of your book being carried by a shop. This does not mean you should spend your entire savings account at a comic book store in the hopes that they throw you a bone. That's just bribery, and since comic book stores aren't Congress, it just doesn't work that way. Being a customer just helps the store get to know you and who you are. And really, if hanging out at a shop and talking about things like whether or not the Scarlet Spider has the best costume ever (No, he doesn't) with the coolest people on Earth doesn't sound entertaining to you, you're gonna have a bad time. 

This is what giving up looks like.

2) Don’t Ask For The Owner

Now that you've created a blood oath with your store of choice, it's time to think about how you're going to approach talking about your incredible ideas. The first tip here is, please, DON'T ask for the owner. I know it sounds strange, but asking for owner is just about the equivalent of asking to talk to the President in the middle of an Area A crisis. While it seems like a good idea, the reality of it is that if you ask for the owner, you’re basically taking them away from something that is almost definitely more important to them than your comic book pitch. There’s a good chance that, being the owner of a small company, they've probably been dealing sales people, both on and off the internet, and have been saying “No” for the past few hours. It’s crazy, even now with caller ID, how many people desperately NEED you to change phone services or radio services or delivery for your Beet of the Month Club services. If you absolutely must ask for the owner, always ask for them by name. This shows that at least you did some research before showing up and trying to convince them to join the cause that is your awesomeness.

"Which one do you like better? Beets me."

In case you're wondering, don't ask for the manager either. Most shops don't actually have managers, and those that do probably do more nah-saying than the owners on the daily. Sure, they'll listen to you, but it might just go in one ear and out the other if they've got a stack of projects on their hands.

Bottom Line: don’t ask for the owner. Talk to the representative who is at the shop instead. They are as good a source as any.

More Awesome Tips, after the jump!

Friday, November 7, 2014

6 Must-Have Holiday Gifts That Will Make You The Best Gift-Giver Ever

Or, "How I Became The Favorite."

By Liz Baker

Now, we know it's only November, but we figured since Christmas decorations go up for sale even before Halloween, we want to make sure you have the correct advantage when it comes to actually awesome presents. Since the real purpose of giving gifts--aside from bring joy into the hearts of our loved ones and showing our affection for one another--is to become the coolest person on the face of the planet, we've thrown together a list of some of the best gifts for 2014 that are bound to get you on the "Nice" list for life. Or at least land you a few extra pieces of turkey at dinner. 

5. Bone Graphic Novel Box Set

Written/Illustrated by Jeff Smith
ISBN: 978188896327415000

Think about every daydream you've ever had where you get to wander around in your own fantasy world, fighting bad guys, and taking names of anyone who gets in your way. Now put those adventures into a graphic novel, and prepare to have your brain electrified! This charming collection of all 10 Bone graphic novels is a perfect set for almost any age, and doesn't fall short in the humor department either. It's full of whimsy and wonder, as well as quizzical quests and heart-warming heroes, You really can't go wrong here. 

4. Munchkin (The Card Game)

From Steve Jackson Games
ISBN: 978155634473252495

More Awesome rec's after the jump!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

5 Horrifying Graphic Novels to Satisfy Your Twisted Soul

By Liz Baker

Well, it’s almost here again! Yes, its Halloween time, and no Halloween is complete without a gripping graphic novel putting some much fear into your heart that you’re afraid the book might actually suck you and all your dreams into it. If you’re looking for a great last minute book to satisfy your literary sweet tooth this Fall, look no further! Treat yourself to one of these graphic novels, and just try not to scream!

  1. Fatale Vol. 1: Death Chases Me

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Illustrator: Sean Phillips
ISBN: 978160706563051499

If you like classic noir and big bad scary monsters from the Underworld, this book should be at the top of your reading list! Brubaker and Phillips drag you into the perfect mix of Lovecraftian horror and old time murder mysteries, and give you a taste of the nitty gritty underground that even most forensic teams never get to see. At the very least, it will keep you away from dark alleyways at night, if you value your sanity that is.

More horrifying graphic novels, after the jump!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Top 5 Graphic Novels to Ease Your Tired Brain

Because sometimes you just want to read something fun!

By Liz Baker

Are you tired of reading books for school or work on material that feels basically pointless or forced upon you? Of course you are, who isn't! Well, here are a few top picks for those moments when you just want to turn off your brain and enjoy some of the more fun things in life. Or procrastinate, either way.  
  1. Adventure Time, Vol. 1 (Kaboom!)

Written by Ryan North
Illustrated by Shelli Parline and Branden Lamb
ISBN: 9781608862801

This book is full of some serious fun! Not only is the artwork incredibly colorful and bubbly, but the story is pretty much an exact example of what it would be like to live in your favorite childhood dream. With big bad monsters, and a dog that can morph into anything, you’ll have a tough time reading anything else after this one!

  1. Deadpool: Dead Presidents (Marvel)

Written By Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn
Illustrated by Tony Moore
ISBN: 9780785166801

Nothing says epic escapism like zombie presidents and Deadpool in my book! With presidential resurrection upon us, Deadpool is our only chance to make our history…history once again! If you’re looking for something that packs a punch with some gory details and witty dialogue, this is an awesomely quick read. Plus, Harry Truman’s ghost has lightening powers in it. So there’s that.

More Brain Relaxers, after the jump!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Gift Graphic Novel Recommendations

By Corey Shroeder

The holidays can be a stressful time for shoppers and part of that is knowing, exactly, what to get someone without tipping your hand TOO much so the surprise can remain intact. Worry not, stalwart shopper, for Two Cats Comic Book Store has you covered. This is a list of comics for people with specific, discerning tastes, or just anyone looking for a great read over the season.

Chew Vol 01 Trade Paperback (978-160706159)- A massive avian flu outbreak not only killed millions, but made the FDA the most powerful organization in the US, giving them power to arrest and even use lethal force in the line of duty. Jon Layman's tale follows Agent Anthony Chu, a being dubbed a "cibopath," who can interact in strange, unique ways with food. Specifically, anything he eats (besides beets) gives him a strong, psychic imprint of how it came to be. This includes humans, leading to some grotesque humor. The book could have been a dark, dramatic tale, but instead is played almost solely for laughs, thanks to over-the-top cartoonish art by Rob Guillory. This is a perfect book for someone who likes their humor a little bit dark and a lot gross, but with plenty of wit and...BITING satire.

More Holiday gifts, after the jump!