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Author: Michael Dolce

Well, ok not really. I’d lose. Maybe. But I did just take a side gig writing for The Inquisitr.com recently so I’m all about trying to create eye grabbing headlines like these days. I know, I know, shameless. Just shameless. But let’s talk comics anyway.

If you’ve been following this blog recently you know I recently wrote a piece about setting goals for 2014. In it I set myself 5 goals for taking this OTHER beloved side gig (ie: making comics) and turning it into a full time gig. For those of you who missed, here we go:

1) Color 3 Pages Per Week

2) Blog Once A Week

3) Post 2 Web Comics A Week

4) Write 5 Pages Per Week

5) Be Social

Being that it’s the end of the month I figured, what they hey. It’s TALLY time. I’ll break it down by weeks:

Week 1 (January 6th-12th)
Got off to a decent start this week. I colored three pages for a freelance project I’m working on called The Cruzader by The Force Media. I also lettered two pages for a new project I’m working on with @talentcaldwell @Dreamflux and @DarrenSanch. But you already knew that if you saw my tweet on January 11th below:

In fact I was pretty much a working machine this week with the exception of actually drawing. Which is ok, because I didn’t put drawing down as one of my goals…yet. Plus I feel I was productive anyway.

Week 2 (January 13th-19th)
More Cruzader, more Hootsuite setup and more Blog posts. And when it came to writing I was darn near prolific. I re-wrote some script on a project I’m working on with a tremendous artist named Sousherpa called “The Undone.” Can’t spill the beans too much just yet. But be on the look out for a Kickstarter to come.

Week 3 (January 20th-26th)
This is where keeping track all fell apart for me. Did I write a new blog? You bet I did! Did I color more Cruzader pages? You bet I did! Did I keep track of how many? Not a chance! This week is a great example of how it can be TOUGH to stay on target even just keeping track of work i did. So it goes to show, we’re not perfect.

Week 4 (January 27th-now)
So far a lot of good stuff. Will be working on new Mainstream pages and lettering a book called Werewolf Run with @dancomicleister shortly. Also, an article I wrote for AM New York featuring my Q+A with Incubus front man Brandon Boyd JUST went live as well. I also started on more Cruzader pages – one more issue to tweak and then that project will see the light of day.

Ok folks, how’d you do? Did you have something similar? Did you come close to hitting your mark?

The fine folks at Engima Bookstore in Astoria Queens hosted myself and a collection of comic book creators like me for a panel discussion and signing this past Saturday. In one word: AWESOME! Always a blast talking comics with fans, peers and new friends.

Joined by

joined by Jared Barel, Oliver Mertz and Mike Isenberg – See more at: http://mikebooks.com/Enigma_Bookstore_Signing_and_Panel_Discussion#sthash.197J2FuY.dpuf

Jared Barel, Oliver Mertz and Mike Isenberg the four of us dished about our comics, storytelling in general, self-publishing and more. The highlight for each of us I would imagine is actually reading (and in some cases actually ACTING out the scene) from our comics. Have you ever tried acting out your own comic? Or even reading it out loud? Gotta admit it was actually refreshing that when i read from The Sire TP the dialogue didn’t sound corny or cheesy (at least to me 🙂 If there’s one takeaway for up and coming writers I would suggest you do just that. You’d be surprised. Here’s a shot of my fellow creators:

20140120040139-enigma_bookstore

Jared (in mid bite), Oliver and Mike.

Other highlights besides talking about myself (who doesn’t love that :-P) was learning about some cool projects from other creators. Jared Barel has two graphic novels completed, the most recent being “Brielle And The Horror.” It tells the tale of a sixteen year old born with a demon inside of her and let me tell you, the artwork is GORGEOUS! Can’t wait to read beyond the scene Jared read from at the panel.

The other project was “First Law Of Mad Science” by Isenberg and Mertz. It tells the tale of a future where cybernetic eye implants change humanity…and also causes folks to hallucinate like Shatner on an airplane. Are the demons people with implants are seeing real? The creators have a ticking clock to find out just that. The interplay between the guys was fun and as someone who has collaborated in the past, it’s interesting to see that dynamic take shape in others.

All-in-all a fun night was had by all. Got any questions on self-publishing or writing comics and couldn’t make it out? Let me know! I’m more than happy to talk shop. I mean, heck, it beats working…

Want to check out some of the comics mentioned above? Follow & on Twitter!

So picking up where I left off last week, the bottom line for making it in comics is by DOING COMICS. Drawing, writing, coloring, lettering, sketching…you name it. If you aren’t actively doing stuff you aren’t gonna go past your mom’s basement. With that being said, the best way to acheive this is by setting some modest goals for yourself to acheive. Now, mind you these will be amended as I’m working on a paid coloring assignment for  as we speak, but for the purpose of this blog, here are mine:

1) Color 3 Pages Per Week: Again, doing a paid gig right now, so this is pretty essential for making the deadline of mid next month. Not always easy to accomplish with the day job and all (see my previous post for more on that) but hopefully I’ll knock it out as planned. Following the gig, this is getting reduced to one page per week.

2) Blog Once A Week: Um, check. Some will be articles like this (which really are just secretly my way of holding myself accountable mwahahaha). Others will be pages I’m working on, like Sire #9 for example. But once a week you’ll be getting a Secrets of the Sire, a Pipeline or a Convention Sketch Blog (depending on if I’m at a show).

3) Post 2 Web Comics A Week: Is it web comics? Or webcomics? Ah never mind, point is, I’ll be posting 2 per week. Which actually won’t be difficult since I’ve got tons of back material pre-formatted and scheduled to release on the post date. And with 9 issues of material to publish while working on current material I can build a real big head start that will keep this site chock full of content-y goodness for months and months.

20140107050144-todo

4) Write 5 Pages Per Week: Not sure if this includes lettering since I’m currently lettering a book for and working with  and on a new project soon to be announced. So for now, I will. But after Cruzader is wrapped up, I will separate letters and actual writing. Believe me, I’ve got a dozen different projects swirling in my brain (see photo above) that I can’t wait to put to paper. Gonna be a busy year.

5) Be Social: Once a week set my darn Hootsuite to post out all the goodness. And also, stay on top of Twitter. And Facebook. And ESPECIALLY Deviant Art. Feel like that’s a big one.

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? What are your goals? Seriously, let’s get the convo going. Then click on my ads so i make money 🙂

-Mike

It’s Graphic Novel Day Saturday January 18th at Enigma Bookstore in Queens NY. Creator Michael Dolce will be joined by Jared Barel, Oliver Mertz and Mike Isenberg coming for a panel discussion followed by a signing.

Event: Signing & Panel Discussion
Where: Enigma Books Stores, 33-17 Crescent St, New York, NY 11106
When: Saturday January, 18th, 7:00p.m.

Click here for the Facebook invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/716850858348328/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

So many of you are in the same boat as me. You want to do comics BUT you also need to pay the bills. And you’re trying…believe me I know. Whether you are a writer, artist, colorist or swami, the delicate act of balancing comics with making a living is tough. Unless, you reach the ultimate dream, and combine the two. Here’s my plan for doing so.

1) New Years Resolutions Are For Jerks
Well, ok, they’re NOT. But only if you actually keep them. We hate you people that do so. You’re all, “I’m making comics for a living now because I stuck to my resolution to devote one hour a day no matter what to improving my craft.”

Ugh, you’re the worst. You’re also on to something…

2) Devote One Hour A Day, Five Days A Week To Improving Your Craft
I don’t care if it’s 2am, the kids and wifey (or husbandy or doggy or whatever) is asleep and you’re on 5 cups of coffee. The single greatest piece of advice for doing comics is DOING COMICS. Seriously.

3) Stay On Top Of Things
2 years ago I made a resolution to stay on top of all my work-work. But then I stopped doing comic work. So I said “eff it!” to work-work and resolved last year to blow off work in favor of doing comics whenever the choice presented itself. But then that got a tad overwhleming, what with clients calling wondering when their sites were going to get finished. So this year my resolution is to BOTH stay on top of things at work AND make comics.

Really just reinforcing point number 2. Find the time. Set goals. And go out and do em. Everyone needs to devote time at home, to their personal life, to their job. But come on, put that episode of the Kardashians on hold if you haven’t drawn a page all day. Stop watching binge watching Breaking Bad if your script is still on page 14. There’s enough time. Like the Strokes said in this past year’s single All The Time:

All the time that I need is never quite enough / All the time that I have is all that’s necessary

Onward!!

So it’s not even officially launched but I’m blogging on a Friday night. Thanks to @brianbish for inspiring this. (Or is it the Miller lite?)

But 2014 – oh yeah! Feel really good about where things are at – where things are going – and where things can be in the future. But even more important is how renewed to being creative again has felt over the past year. I genuinely enjoy trolling Twitter on a Friday night and looking on at what is going on in comics in 2014.

@HackinTimSeeley posted a great article on diversity in comics on Twitter tonight: http://comicsalliance.com/10-diversity-resolutions-for-comics-2014-dc-marvel/

Lotta fodder to discuss there. But I’ll leave it to folks to comment and I’ll comment back. After all, it’s back to the Twitter feed for me…

Hey folks – check me out on the Comic Addiction Podcast with Mark Poulton. We talk comics, our shared struggles to break into the industry and more!

Download it here: http://comicaddiction.net/2013/07/29/talking-about-our-issues-episode-16-mike-dolce-interview/ – See more at: http://secretsofthesire.com/Mike_Dolce_on_Comic_Addiction_PodCast_#sthash.PwvynCmM.dpuf