You would think a graphic designer that has spent most of his career in advertising and shaping the marketing messages of other people's projects could do his own.
Not so much.
I was reminded of that fact last night during a recording of a podcast from a couple of guys I met at the Ashland Highlander's Comic Con. Bruce and Chris of CHUBBY WIZARD podcast were nice enough to invite me on their show for their indie spotlight.
I didn't do very well as far as getting the point of the book across. I had rehearsed my spiel all day yesterday, but when I got the actual questions asked to me, I blanked. I loosened up towards the middle of the interview at least. But that experience definitely had me thinking what message I'm putting out into the world about this book.
My main mantra for this book is fun. Not just in the reading of it, but in the creation of it. I admit I have been a little selfish about that part. I've planned this book for so long, I am producing it more for me than I am anyone else. But I do try to offer it to other readers at conventions as well as family and friends.
I do work in a vacuum because of many reasons. In a days time, things compress really quickly and the day is over. As much as I'd like to, I just can't devote a lot of extra time hyping the book, especially when I know it's still undone. I guess in my mind why would anyone want it unfinished. Serialized stories work best when they come out in a decent timeframe. Six months isn't a good time frame. Because of that, I do recoil a bit when it comes to marketing and trying to get buyers or stores to get copies. It's the main reason I'm going to back to the idea of printing larger volumes. I feel secure in selling a whole story than a piece of it, I have no idea when I'll be able to get to the other parts. I'm sure when I was asked where someone could pick the book up and my reply was very sketchy or vague, that raised a few eyebrows. "Why would you produce something, you're not trying your best to get out into the world as much as you can?"
No, I don't have a storefront to sell my books. Or, I haven't approached retailers to stock them on their crowded shelves. It's not like I don't care about those parts of this books creation. My first and only intention is making the best book I can. Once I've gotten to that point, I truly feel everything else will fall into place. Until then, look over me. Check the site time to time. But please feel secure in knowing I'm trying my very best to make a good book I would read. And as such, one I'm proud to hand over to you.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.