I don't know if I've answered this in a blog or not. Not going to go through them all to find out. But it is one I get at conventions.
Why a a graphic novel to start out with?
They're more expensive to produce and sell. Take longer to finish, etc. Yes. I agree with all of that. But it boils down to one thing. Completion.
I wanted a one one and done origin story. A reference point for the characters I'd created. Everyone and their motivations are presented and put front and center. I wanted it simple to follow and while the drama was there, a fun entrance to this world. Also, I knew in the Indy scene, confidence that a series would finish it's run was low. I wanted to offer a reader a whole story and lead into what I planned next. Even though I faltered in my dream by printing low runs of individual parts, the 110 page book was my vision.
I may may have surprised a few who bought it in the direction it went. You buy a mask book you have certain expectations. But at the end of the day, the MAN is larger on the logo. This book is a family drama that has masks. While that won't necessarily be the case in what's next, it is in the case of this book. There is no villain with nefarious plans that complicate matters. I used a storytelling device that everyone can appreciate. Family can be your greatest strength and it can also be your weakness. Most people can relate more with not agreeing with a parent than they can fighting a megalomaniacal masked villain. The big two excel in that. No. I wanted to both show these people as masked figures as a job or responsibility and coping with each other behind the scenes. That's what interested me the most about doing the book. If I did my job decent hopefully the reader does too.
Quick announcement since I'm talking about graphic novels. The next time you see these characters it won't be in that format. I accomplished what I wanted with the GN. Now I'm going to try serialization like the comics I grew up with. It will be both print and digital and I am toying around with a web comic to go hand in hand with it.
Plenty of stuff to plan and I'll announce it here first. Thanks for reading.
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.