6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (PDT) | Thursday 23 July 2020 (8:00pm – 10:00pm):
Panel Description: Legendary indie comics creator Brian Pulido (creator/writer of Lady Death, Evil Ernie) has over 28 years in the game and has raised over four million dollars for comics via Crowdfunding in the last five years. Want to know how it is done? Pulido details his eight rules on how to thrive in the ever-changing landscape of indie comics. Get all the inside info on how to get ahead of the pack! (Link: https://youtu.be/t-GFmSgGSGo)
Brian Pulido has defined a set of rules that he attributes to his success as an Indy Comic creator:
Rule 1: Educate Yourself!- It seems obvious but it really isn’t. You need knowledge in a multitude of areas but a good place to start is researching the form of comic books and how they work. One of the easiest ways to do that is self-research. One of the things the host did was take his favorite comics and scripting each page in something similar to a screenplay format. It helped him get a sense for story telling in a comic format and in general. As a note, a comic is usually made up of these skills: a writer, a penciler, an inker, a colorist, a letter, a graphic designer to put it all together, people to make dressings (logos and such), a graphic designer to make it go to the printer, a relationship to the printer, then printing it and getting it out into the world. Manufacturing of the work is an important part to learn. AS IS MARKETING! The host likes to think of it as a band. You set up a tour, get the word out locally at different shops and conventions. It starts with barely any interest, but you show up and you come on time, and you build a name for yourself, your brand, and your comic.
Rule 2: Provide Something People Want – What do people get by encountering your brand? What entertainment/knowledge/service are you giving to the audience/reader? Additionally, don’t let the fans down. You need to give your fullest to that mission statement that you create. Is your brand fun? Embody fun. If you have a bad day, you can share that BUT you don’t do it at the conventions as people are meeting you. Define your Mission Statement, Vision Statement (what you hope to be later), and Core Values. If you provide something of value, your audience will come and it will last the test of time.
Rule 3: The Customer Is KING – “The customer is always right” mentality because as an indy creator your business is dependent on customer interest. Crowdfunding is hugely tied to this idea. You need to provide service to the customers that they want and you need to treat them well to continue gaining their patronage and to have them advertise you by word of mouth.
Rule 4: Build Trust – Make sure that you are always on time. The customer should trust your word. If you can’t keep a promise, you should be as transparent as possible about that inability. Honesty is key. If you keep and by your word consistently, you’ll build that trust.
Rule 5: Work Hard/Work Smart – There is no exchange for hard work in this industry. You have to do your research. You have to plan, strategize, and you need to create systems to make it easier and easier to streamline your process. Be thinking about the 3Ps. People (your staff and the people you work with), Process (the system of getting from idea to published and promoted work), and Products (the work being published – where is it? Where is it going? etc.)
Rule 6: Be Methodical, Be Responsible, Be Consistent – Methodical? There’s a lot of refining all of the time. Every time, the system gets a little smoother each time and it’s important to improve. Responsible? Take the premise that you are always responsible for the bad and good. Think about it. “You are to blame/I am to blame” will help you see where you are making mistakes to improve. There is responsibility on both sides–sometimes it’s not your fault but you still have a fault/responsibility even then because you may have and probably did put yourself in that situation. Consistency? Make a schedule, stick to it.
Rule 7: Have Fun!
Rule 8: Rules 1-7 – Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!