Sunday, November 26, 2017

Beating Batman

The goal of this post is to bring my own expectation into focus and help me better understand what I should hope for when selling my comics at a store appearance.

About a month ago, I had an interesting discussion with Ray of A Shop Called Quest.  The chat happened towards the end of the IE Zinefest (ZineQuest). I had had a pretty good day sales wise and was happy with the events turn out, but did not get the feeling that this was true for other vendors at the event. There was plenty of foot traffic, but I had spent a lot more time talking to people than selling to people.
Ray had stopped by (as he does with every vendor) to check how things were going and to see if I needed anything. Not sure how the talk got there but we started to discuss the amount of product I had on my table and how this might have played a big part in my success that day. Many of the other vendors had only a few zines on their tables and maybe a box of original drawings. It seems that the amount of choices had led to more sales for me that day. Which is kind of funny because Eric Mengel and I always feel that the amount of product we have on our tables might actually hurt us. But at least for this event it was a huge help.

The conversation then turned to questions about how many items does a person really expect to sell in a day. What would be an accurate number to expect? At that point I asked Ray if he knew how many copies of Batman he sold that day. Batman is the industry standard an usually used to measure the success of other titles. He did not know the number off the top of his head, but did not imagine it was very high. I headed back to Arizona with the following questions in my head, "How many copies of Batman does a comic shop sell an any given Saturday?"  and in turn "How many copies should I expect to sell of my Cousin Harold comic on any given Saturday?"


I asked a few stores about their sales of Batman on any given Saturday and was given numbers between 9 and 11 for the current issue and a mid teens number for back issue sales. What does this mean? Well on any given Saturday a store sells about 10 copies of Batman (which is a comic with a major corporation behind it, that includes a bunch of movies and several different television series dating back over 50 years). I believe it is safe to say that the majority of people walking into a comic shop on any given Saturday know who Batman is.

In contrast the above is probably not true for my Cousin Harold comic. I believe it is safe to say that Cousin Harold is unknown to the majority of people who walk into a comic shop on any given Saturday. I would believe also be safe to say without some kind of I should expect to sell about 10% of what Batman sells, which is only 1 copy of Cousin Harold on any given Saturday.

What does this mean to me? Selling 10 or more copies of my comics at a store appearance should be considered a success. My goal from now on at any store appearance is to Beat Batman and if I do that I will consider that appearance a huge success.

Take Care,

- denny



Saturday, October 7, 2017

Making a Comic this Weekend

This weekend I usually participate in 24hour Comic Book Day, but this year I just wasn't feeling it, but I still wanted to make a story from beginning to the end this weekend. So this is it. I will leave it up here from the week and hopefully have it printed up in time for the PHX Zine Fest.

The origin of this story. I bought a stack of old 1950's and 1960's romance comics and wanted to put Harold into a more real world setting. Hope you enjoy it. This story is planned to run early next year on the Cousin Harold site (which is why I'm only leaving it up here for a week).










That's All Folks! Hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ideas to Life

Things are moving along steady here on the south side of Peoria. Outside it is still HOT, even though the local QT tells me the summer is over (they stopped their summer refill special price). I just need it to drop 10 more degrees so I can start production on figures again. It's just too hot during the times when I have time to work.
 - -- With that said I was able to stay up a little later last weekend and woke up early a couple of mornings to start production on something I have had in mind for a while. My day job is as a mild-mannered high school mathematics teacher. I decided that this year I was going to bring more of my outside of school life into my classroom. One of the things I thought that I would do was make a figure to hand out as an award for the student of the month in my classroom. Our school mascot is the worlverine, so I made a Wolverine Graduate trophy to hand out to those students. Handed out my first two this week to Phillip and Jazmyn. They both seemed to be very happy to receive them. Several other students shared a photo of the statues on their social media and told me how cool everyone thought it was. My social media accounts were blowing up with likes and messages about the idea, including a couple of teachers who want to borrow the idea for their classrooms and change the head to match their mascots.
- -- Not sure how much I have shared here, but I have been invited to contribute a page to the Ravage 2099 Redux project that Brad Dwyer, Damon Begay and Wil Hines are putting together. The page is almost done and coming up super nice. The page will eventually be on display in a gallery show about the project and printed in a comic edition of the project, later this year. More info to follow.
- -- Sticker Mule keeps sending me discount offers and I keep printing stickers with them. The latest Spac eMummy sticker. First time I tried the Kiss Cut style, really like this will probably be doing some of this with a couple other images.

- -- Comic production. I finished drawing the interiors of Cousin Harold 14 and I'm already 2 pages into issue 14. Hoping to get back into the Space Monstas universe next week end (now that the Ravage 2099 page is out of the way).

Hope everyone is having a good time and is in good health.

Take care,

- denny!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Always Grinding

Out here on the south side of Peoria, it is still HOT! And I'm always grinding, although there might not be much to talk about each week.
- -- I print my stickers through Sticker Mule and they send out a lot of special offers on what seems to be a weekly basis. I thought that I would start taking advantage of these offers and print up stickers. This was the first one. 
- -- Yesterday I wrote the final page of Cousin Harold 13, which is the 2nd part of the circus storyline. Very excited with how this story is filling out. Last year the story was just an idea and now I'm over halfway through making it. When people ask me how you make comics. I tell them one page a week, which is still the grind I'm on. The one page a week method, lets me work on other projects. Planning on a Kickstarter to help distribute this book in late September, early October. 
- -- The figure above, is something that I recently purchased. The Iron Goth (Night) by Kosrobot. I ordered this figure for a couple of reasons. The first is because it was a little different than the 3.75 figures that I usually purchase and I wanted to see how it was made. The second is a little more serious. As a kid I grew up being told that America was the country where you can do anything you want because of freedom and in other countries things were not the same. As I became an adult I have found out that this was not true, that people in other countries have the freedom to do the same things that I have the freedom to do. In this case, Kosrobot (who lives in Russia) gets to make bootleg figures and sell them to people around the world (the same as I do, living in the United States). I would then assume that his life is very similar to mine and not a horrible prison that I have been led to believe. I'm not sure why this bothers me so much, but I feel like I have been lied to by adults and society regularly throughout my life.

- -- On the super down low, Shawn Demumbrum and I have been recording a podcast where we talk about the comics we have recently purchased/read. This really is just us feeling things out. I feel like the show is a person getting to be a fly on the wall, listening to two guys talk about comics. Both Shawn and I are well read. I purchase comics from around the world (even if I cannot read them). My friends joke that if aliens arrived on the earth the first question I would ask them is "Do you have any comics?" I'm not sure where we are going and what our goals are, but I'm having fun.

Thanx for reading this week.

Take care,

-denny

  



Sunday, August 6, 2017

Another Day, Another Dollar

Out here on the south side of Peoria it is still HOT! Also my summer of being a creator is over because my day job started this past week. And as Murphy's Law states, things are finally starting to happen as I'm now at a loss for time.

- -- Wrapped up a couple of new Space Monstas figures this week.
Zack Zombie is now out there in the world. The character will be featured in the next Space Monstas storyline. He is also one of the original 7 planned figures.
The Invisible Astronaut. I came up with this figure idea after I started making the Space Monstas figures. I had planned on holding off on making him, but then I got several other ideas and I realized by the time I got around to making this figure I would have a couple handfuls of other ideas. So I was a little stuck because I needed to get through the original 7 figures that I had planned. Then I remembered how the Boba Fett figure was introduced into the world, as a FREE figure. So I decided to make the Invisible Astronaut my first free figure. All you have to do is purchase 3 Space Monstas figures at one time and I will include an Invisible Astronaut for FREE (while supplies last).

These figures were released on Instagram and in person yesterday and already 2 people took advantage of the buy 3 get IA FREE deal. The figures will be up in my online store by the end of the day today.
- -- Working hard on Cousin Harold. The Harold at the circus storyline starts up again shortly and I'm very excited about it. Many pieces of this storyline were inspired by the Japanese manga magazine Coro Coro. Check out what is happening with Harold and friends 5 days a week here

Those are the projects that I'm working on personally at the moment. However I have been invited to start working on a podcast (today we record the first episode). I have been invited to contribute to a redraw project (hopefully doing my page next weekend). And there are other things in talk.

Take care,

- denny