The first step we took was to embark in a massive amount of research aimed at answering some very specific questions:
1 What are today’s best practices to write and make a comic book?
2 What’s the state of the market for print and digital comic books?
3 What are the options to publish and distribute a comic book?
4 How to market and advertise a comic book or graphic novel in the age of social media and digital marketing?
To answer the questions, we used three basic avenues of research: the Internet, books and face to face talks with people in the industry, mainly at small Comic-Cons where it was easy to make contacts and talk. It must be said that the amount of information available can seem overwhelming at times, but little by little you are able to separate the wheat from the chaff and isolate a number of facts that step by step start giving you the basis to draw your road map.
Maybe the the first truth that becomes apparent is that the proposition of making and publishing a commercially viable comic book series is extremely difficult. The major obstacles quickly become self-evident. The market is crowded and dominated by the two big publishers, Marvel and DC with their extremely powerful superheroe universes, backed by monumental advertisement campaigns and major media exposure. Their overpowering presence makes it very difficult for a new arrival to make itself heard or seen. Another factor that makes things even harder is the tight integration of the major superhero properties with the film and TV industries, which add their mighty marketing muscle to the equation.
In future posts we will talk about how we have answered not only this questions but the many other that cropped along the way and the decisions taken to navigate around the major rocks and shoals.