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Secrets of The Sire

Hey folks, real quick I wanted to give a heads up that The Sire is on ComicsFix.com. What is ComicsFix? It’s basically Netflix but for comics. You pay a monthly fee and you get to binge on unlimited comics. I gotta say, it seems pretty cool!

Creators get royalties based on how many “page turns” each comic receives. Read a whole book and that creator gets more cash than if someone opens and says, “meh”. It also dissuades folks from abusing the system and opening up each book to collect. Seems pretty smart.

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So for now, you can check out The Sire on ComicsFix here. You can also check out another project by @theCruZader that I did colors called The CruZader here.

The site goes live next week!

UPDATE: We finished with 167 backers for a total of $3380. Thanks to all!

Thanks once again to all who helped us get our first funding goal achieved. I’ll be doing a post mortem sometime next week detailing the saga that was my first Kickstarter. But in the meantime, we’re still not done! More backers = more pages of story and art for YOU!

A typical 32 page comic book has about 24 pages of actual art and story. If we can cross the $3200 mark BEFORE FRIDAY morning then we’ll include pages 1-5 from ISSUE #2 in there as well FREE.

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The Undone:
Dylan Sharpe has the ability to rewind time in 24 hour intervals whenever he wants a “do-over” in life. But when he tries to cash in on his powers it puts him at odds with…The Undone

STRETCH GOAL #1: $3200: If we can break the $3200 goal mark then you will get a five page preview of Issue #2 at the end of the first issue. That’s 5 more pages of story and art! Help make this happen by spreading the word!

KEEP SPREADING THE WORD! To pledge, go to:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mdolce/the-undone-1

Michael Dolce is the creator of The Undone – available now as a Kickstarter! Click here to pledge.

With week 1 of the Undone Kickstarter behind me, I provide a few takeways for others looking to take the Kickstarter plunge for comics:

1) It’s every bit as draining as I was told…and didn’t believe them when they told me
“You’re in for a ride.”

“Get ready to be consumed.”

These were some of the statements (warnings?) I got from those who’ve done this before. That as soon as you hit publish you’ll be consumed 24/7 by backers, questions, the thought, “What else can I be doing to  promote this?” And you know what?

They were right. And apparently the fulfillment part is a whole other struggle. But we’ll get to that later. For now, I’m grateful to have had friends do this before. So advice? Make friends with someone who’s done it so you can have a resource to lean on. @TonyDonley and @theCruZader have been my sounding board so far – and I’m grateful!

2) Tease your followers
I took a few pointers from the folks at @Comixtribe and @JGMComics when it came time to Kickstart. Just observed the way they were persistant in promoting their books. But they weren’t annoying about it. Instead they set up small goals and tweeted about it, teased their followers to help get them over their next hurdle. So far, Ive done the same and it’s paid off.
3) Your promotion for Kickstarter starts well before you even have an idea for one

I’m getting backers from all over the place. The handy Kickstarter dashboard let’s me know that. That being said, I started blogging heavily late last year. I made connections the past 10 years that are paying off. I have tremendous friends and family. It all goes hand in hand. Get social. Go viral. Get out there well before you decide to do a Kickstarter. Because if a project falls in the forest, but no ones tuned in to hear it fall, did it make a sound? Maybe, but I guarantee it won’t get funded.

4) Stay on top of it!

Every time a new backer comes in, i thank them. I post it to my Undone Facebook page. I post it to the invite i created. I write updates. I blog. Again, see the previous note. Bottom line: you’ve got to stay on top of it! This is an EVENT. Treat it like one.

5) It’s promo time 🙂

We’re nearly 60% there! If you haven’t become a backer yet click here to get on board now!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mdolce/the-undone-1/

Michael Dolce is the creator of The Undone – available now as a Kickstarter! Click here to pledge.

So I’ve been pretty wiped as of late. The fact that I’ve been passing out early every night despite the fact that March Madness (my favorite time of year) is upon us means this Kickstarter is definitely taking its toll. But in a good way. My most recent update from Saturday says it all:

KICKSTARTER UPDATE #2
I fall asleep early last night, totally drained from all the excitement this week and I miss a wave of new backers for our awesome new project called The Undone. Well, as I said before in our first update, a big THANK YOU to each and every one of you guys. Be sure to like our Facebook page for The Undone (https://www.facebook.com/the.undone.comic.book) in order to see your name in lights. Also, as a Kickstarter newbie, i just found out i can message every backer, so look for a personalized message coming soon.

Just to update, we’ve got the first six pages drawn by the awesome Soussherpa. We’ll be rolling out pages periodically over the course of the next week to backers ONLY first, before showing the general public. You can check out more of his awesome artwork here:
http://www.soussherpa.com/

And if you dig his stuff, don’t forget to look at other packages that include custom prints and sketches by this talented artist. You can always up your backer amount if you decide you want one.

Ok, this weekend will be more promotion from me, but I’m also hard at work on issue #1’s script. Todd is busy coloring away as well. And below you get a TINY snippet of things to come.

What’s that? Who’s she? What does she have to do with The Undone? Keep spreading the word so we reach our goal and you’ll find out! (Yeah, that’s right, I’m a jerk 🙂

If you haven’t become a backer yet click here to get on board!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mdolce/the-undone-1/

Michael Dolce is the creator of The Undone – available now as a Kickstarter! Click here to pledge.

Well folks, the first day is in the books – and what a start! We are already close to 30% funded and I am truly overwhelmed by the responses so far. As this is my first Kickstarter ever, I’ll be blogging quite a lot on my experience, both to share for folks who are thinking of doing one themselves and also for those that have that can offer their two cents as well. So with day one in the books, here are a few quick takeaways:

1) It Gets Emotional
I said this in my first project update on Kickstarter – available for all to read – but I can’t help but be filled with enormous GRATITUDE to all who have decided to pledge. I’m also in awe that not only good friends and family have decided to pledge their hard earned money to back this project but also folks I’ve never met before that have sampled the artwork and pitch and have decided to put down some cash to see this happen. Seriously folks, can’t describe to you the feeling when these things happen, it is tremendous!

2) It Gets Emotionally Draining
Everyone who I spoke to that ran their own campaign mentioned how much “work” it is. And in a way it IS work. But I think what they were trying to tell me was, the amount of physical work is nothing compared to the emotional work involved. It’s a mental rollarcoaster. Every other second I was scanning my email, waiting for the next pledge to hit. I got nothing done otherwise. I came home DRAINED. I don’t even remember falling asleep last night. Mind you, these are all great problems to have, but it was unexpected. And this is ony day two…

3) Like Us On Facebook
Ok, this isn’t really a takeaway more than a plug but what they hey! Be sure to jump over to Facebook and LIKE the official Undone page here: http://www.facebook.com/the.undone.comic.book

All backers are being thanked on this site PLUS a final list will be added at the end. Ok folks, it’s back to the grind for me. More updates coming soon!

Michael Dolce is the creator of The Undone – available now as a Kickstarter! Click here to pledge.

Originally working as one cohesive online issue of The Sire, this was meant to be a nice bridge between Sire Vol 1 and Sire: Revelations detailing how Freak landed in Paris and detailing the connection between Zeus Wyndell and Samuel Antonetti.

In the spirit of getting all these files back up on the site, I’ve dug them up and posted them to the SoS Blog. These individual panels were collected as part of the Sire TPB and will also have a home online in Sire #0 – coming soon!

Opener:

Due to popular demand i’ll be blogging on Mikebooks.com twice a week! We’ve already had tremendous responses to previous posts and generated a ton of great feedback and interaction. So why stop there? Starting this week here is the new post schedule for Mikebooks.com:

Monday & Friday: New blog post. I’ll alternate between tackling topics in the comic book industry that I think demand a conversation and projects I’m working on (and believe me, it’s a LOT). Self-publishing tips, tricks, helpful hints. Want to break in? I’ve broken in and out and am trying to break back in again, I can help. Continuity in comics – does it matter? The ever challenging print vs digital debate? I’ve got you covered! I’ll also be using this forum to tackle responses so don’t be surprised to see your name referenced on these very pages..er posts.

So gear up for part three of my digital vs print debate coming this Friday: What retailers need to become to survive. If you missed last week’s entry feel free to click here to catch up:
http://mikebooks.com/golden-silver-age-comicbook-collecting-blog

Michael Dolce is the creator of The Sire for After Hours Press/MBD Studios Inc and Descendant for Image Comics. He’s also got some cool things coming down the pipeline that he is sure to subliminally plug while he merciliessly preaches to you in this blog.

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:

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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.

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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