8 Steps to Comics Success – Comics for Beginners podcast episode 24

As you may know, my first monthly book Thomas Alsop is out from BOOM! Studios and is doing very well. Hooray! But how do you get there? In the first episode of this podcast, I discussed the three biggest mistakes of my comics career. But it was a different time back then. In this episode I go into what I would do if I was starting out making comics today. Follow these 8 simple steps and your comics career is guaranteed! Er, no… But there are some good tips in this episode, that’s a promise.

Related podcast: The Three Biggest Mistakes of my Comics Career


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14 Responses to “8 Steps to Comics Success – Comics for Beginners podcast episode 24”

  1. Line Gregersen June 25, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    Palle, im getting nervous here…. out of 8 steps, 6 was about your online/social appearance and creating a fanbase online. Im following a writing block too, and here maybe half of the posts is related to that subject as well (especially the blogging part). This makes me nervous because Im really not that into social networks, or posting or blogging. I do have facebook (of course) and instagram (the idea of posting artwork here is really great though, that I can do) but a blog? I really hate the idea of having to create a blog. every artist needs a webpage i think, but is it really that important to create a fanbase online? will I have to put an effort into this despite my lack of interest in being online? 😛 sight..succes is blogging?
    (this ended being kind of a “ask the doctor” reply, but I have really been thinking about this.. XP )

    • Palle Schmidt June 25, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      Well, posting your comic online – I wouldn’t call that blogging. But I guess it is in a way.

      The big thing here is obviously no. 1: producing the comics. If it was a cake diagram, no. 1 would take up 75%

      I realize there are people out there who don’t care about building an audience but are just making art for art’s sake. Don’t know how many of them follow this blog…

      Then there are people who seem to spend all their time and effort going on Facebook and yelling “look at MEEEE!” And then when you look, they don’t have a lot to show for themselves.

      I guess you find a middle ground you’re comfortable with – or can learn to be comfortable with! Us Scandinavians don’t have a flair for self-promotion, but I think it’s neccesary if we want to make a living from our art. Either that or stay a hobbyist.

      PS: The better your art is, the less self-promotion you can probably get away with 🙂

      • Line Gregersen June 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

        I like the idea of the cake diagram ^^
        thank you Palle, even though this is kind of logic its very nice to hear from a pro. I think i will go for the “better art”-part, and I guess i must learn the self-promoting along the way among other crafts, despite the jantelov 😉

  2. InkPuddlePat June 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    Palle, great podcast as usual. I think the only point I would disagree with would be having a stockpile of comics before posting them. I think this works if you are already in a peer group where you are getting constructive criticism from other writers/artists/creators. If you are not in such a group, I say go for it and post away. I create my comic “on-the-fly” (granted, it is not a long form narrative), and I see it as a work in progress and have gotten great support and creative criticism from other comic creators as I go along. Obviously, everyone has their own level of self-motivation and time management, but for me, creating comics as I go has worked. I also hate to think that someone is holding back their comics when they should be posting them!

    • Palle Schmidt June 30, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

      Oh, I totally agree you shouldn’t hold back! My advice was merely to protect against burnout and dry spells. If you want to be consistent, I think the most sensible thing is to have a buffer. We all have “off days” or weeks when we’re too busy.

      Thanks for your input, Pat!

  3. Casper Høg July 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Hi Palle
    First of all thanks for a great site, its awesome!

    I was wondering if you take patent on your main characters, Character Design before you start posting???
    Because on many social media, you click “agree” to the Company owns the rights to everything you upload!!!

    Now if you were to do a hit comic, would it be a problem with the rights in terms of merchandise?
    I have seen a lot of people on the net, selling others drawings on t-shirts, posters a other stuff!

    Do you automatic have the design rights to other media, when you make a comic??
    I thought you bought them when you were finished drawing the “secret” comic book (if you can afford them)
    Maybe you could make a podcast on the topic 🙂

    • Palle Schmidt July 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      Hi Casper,

      The way I understand intellectual property, IP rights, is you automatically own the characters you create. Patenting is for Disney and other large coorporations 🙂 If I blatanly (or accidentally!) base one of my characters on Mickey Mouse, I could get in trouble. If someone copies one of my characters, I have to get a really good lawyer and pay a ton of money to drag them into court…

      What you describe sounds like rather scammy websites. I know Facebook theoretically own whatever you put on there, but generally speaking, what you create you own. And I’m guessing social media sites have better and more profitable things to do than create or sell comics based on someone else’s IP.

      In a world where everyone and their mother is putting everything online, I wouldn’t worry too much about protecting your artwork or character designs – because you can’t. But get something in print or on your own website first and you own it.

    • Palle Schmidt July 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      In terms of merchandice on a “hit comic”, it all depends on the contract you sign with the publisher. As a rule of thumb: The rights are yours until you sign them off to someone else.

  4. Xavier September 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Great advice, very inspiring. I’m just going to follow the steps!
    Thank U very much!

  5. ball September 20, 2014 at 3:28 am #

    This article is truly a nice one it assists new internet viewers, who are wishing for blogging.

  6. kevin May 20, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

    Same stuff i have been thinking a good deal about recently! nice of you to do the work on it. i think its building an online presence that seems daunting? don’t know why?
    I am thinking the way you have gone about it seems to be somewhat within the boundaries of self-respect, but you already have a good body of work and a recognizable style. Anyway keep up the good work! thanks

  7. kevin May 20, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

    one question; when you talk about a comic blog, what kind of content do you imagine?

    • Palle Schmidt May 26, 2016 at 10:25 am #

      Hey Kev, sorry I missed this question.

      I guess what I’m thinking off is a daily strip, a weekly page or something. Letting the world see what you’re up to while at the same time working towards your long term goal, whatever that might be. Hope this anwers your question.

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