Inking and Publicity

During the Sunnyville New York Tour, I chatted with Jon Gorga of Carmine Street Comics.  Having created photocomics and being full of ideas, we chatted for awhile at his shop (be sure to swing by there as they sell Sunnyville Stories).

From both of my visits, I came away with a lot of food for thought.  Jon had suggested that I should post up the individual episodes of Sunnyville Stories online, such as here or on my DeviantArt page.  

That is something I debated because I felt like I was giving my work away for free and I didn’t want to do that.  Jon had claimed that the opposite is true, especially when it comes to webcomics.  People who see my work in the form of entire stories may be more willing to buy my books.  That may be worth a shot.  While I have gotten good reviews and critical acclaim, I’ve only made some sales here and there.  The bigger exposure may get more sales for my work.

What I’ve decided to do is this.  When I return to North Dakota, I plan to post the individual pages of Sunnyville Stories #1 on my DeviantArt.  I have also decided that Sunnyville #13 and #14 will be posted up in serial form on DeviantArt.  Posting up the finished inked pages and complete story could be just what I need.

Jon brought up my penmanship.  While I will continue life drawing classes and plan to work on some pen drawing exercises from my books, Jon made a suggestion that I was more resistant with – enlisting someone to actually ink my comics for me.

Hiring anyone to ink my pencil lines or ink my comics in general – this has been an idea that I’ve opposed.  Why?

One issue is money.  My resources are limited and a professional inker can cost an arm and a leg.  Another issue is compromising my creativity.  One of my role models, Charles Schulz, opposed using assistants for any phase of his work on Peanuts.  He felt that was like a golfer using someone else to make his putts for him.  Would an inker ink Sunnyville pages the way I want?  Or would they do it THEIR way?

At the time of this blog post, I’m still on the fence about the issue.  Perhaps having someone else do the ink lines might help attract more attention and improve the quality.  (“Might” is the key word here, people.)  There’s no shortage of a talent pool in the Fargo-Moorhead area.  Both North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University-Moorhead have lots of art students.  They could have considerable skill and probably would want to work in exchange for credit and portfolio pieces.

There are many examples of successful pencil & ink teams in the history of comics.  Look at Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.  Kirby usually did pencils while Sinnott did the inking.  Both of them had their weaknesses with their respective styles.  But when those two worked together, a synergy was unleashed.  A third style seemed to emerge that eliminated all weaknesses.  For a more contemporary example, the team of Dave Sim with Gerhard on Cerebus the Aardvark.

These are ideas I want to think over more carefully.  I am open to having some of my stories published openly online, but am more resistant to working with an inker.

That’s it for today.

Sunnyville Stories Vol. 1 (ISBN 9780615653921) is still for sale on Amazon. Copies of Sunnyville Stories Volume 2 and Von Herling, Vampire Hunter are for sale right now at Great Stories. Check out Direct Textbook too for more details on my books!  And if you have an Amazon Kindle, get Sunnyville Stories Volume 1, Sunnyville Stories Volume 2 and Von Herling, Vampire Hunter for it today!

Comments? Questions? Fan letters? Interested in ordering books? You can write to:

Different Mousetrap Press LLC, 1100 19th Avenue N, #108, Unit J, Fargo ND 58102-2269

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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