On Getting Collaborators Paid and Promoting My Work

This is all a bit raw and rambling so bear with it if you would.

 

I wrote a comic in 2014 and someone drew it for me in 2015. That someone was Conan Sinclair, an Australian artist and just a generally cool dude, and I paid him for his work. But I didn’t pay him as much as I feel he deserves. He took the work because he read what I sent him and responded to it. I didn’t know until this year that he got something more out of it than I expected (and that made me quite happy). Turning 21 this year made me freak out the way I freaked out when I turned 20 last year, so I resolved to start putting more effort into my comics career that I had been sheepishly keeping up. I looked at what I had completed: a short comic completed with a great artist that I had complicated feelings towards. Part of those complicated feelings was that I had paid Conan the only page rate I could afford but not the one he deserved. I wanted to get that comic published so I could put “Comics Writer” in my Twitter bio without feeling like a liar and I wanted to get Conan paid.

I found a place online that could publish it, an outlet that wasn’t aimed at the comics internet and stood to grant more exposure to myself and Conan, and I sent them a pitch. I sent them a PDF with the comic and a short paragraph describing a prospective personal essay in which I described the process of creating the comic from my perspective while exploring my complicated relationship with the material. They said they wanted to publish it. I spent a few days working on the essay to accompany the comic. I knew they were buying the essay more than the comic so I knew I had to make that purchase worth it for them and I felt I owed it to myself to express some things I hadn’t really been open to discussing. Shea Hennum, a writer I greatly look up to and someone who I think of as a friend, really helped me in editing that essay from something raw and ineffectual in its communication into something much better. I was proud of how it turned out.

The publication of the comic and my essay was a bit of a nightmare, though. Continue reading

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