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Secrets of The Sire

Got some great responses to our latest blogs! Here are just a few snippets from social media on the topic of print vs. digital and what retailers must do to survive:

Stacy Korn from Comic Fusion – another fantastic store in New Jersey had this to say on some of the suggestion posted:

To serve alcohol you have to have a liquor license. Not always easy to get. I think the key is to not have all your eggs in one basket. T-Shirts, Action Figures, Statues and games are all good sellers for us in addition to comics. I see Trades as a more viable print option long term. Single issues will die out or just move online. My current customers are die hard buy the issues types, but those will thin out over time. Gaming is thriving now that we have the space.

We are trying to work out a kids art class with the local business here in Turntable Jct as well. I am a big believer in promoting other local businesses. It works out for both of us.

My Response: Good stuff Stacy! Gaming is a HUGE draw and worth it. It’s that kind of thinking that keeps stores like yours going while others fade away. And as for incorporating other businesses, networking is the best way to grow.

Victor Dandridge, president of Vantage InHouse posted:


My Response:
Good to hear! Some might have found my suggestions to be too extreme, but it looks like I’m not alone! Ok folks, more follow up in this Friday’s blog. Cheers!

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.

Got a lot of great responses to last week’s blog. So here’s a follow-up question tackling even more concerns with print vs digital comics. Do people even collect modern comics anymore? And more importantly, storage: what the heck to do with all those hard copies?

Andrew Lovuolo from Graphic Illusions Studios (and also the fine gentleman who created both the Sire and Descendant logo for Mikebooks) brought up an interesting point on Facebook:

“I’m making the switch to digital not really by choice, but out of necessity. There’s not much room in a 2-bdrm for all of these toys and Im trying to lock it it in 4 long boxes. There are still fans who prefer printed books, but more and more people are doing apps.”

And that got me thinking…do people still collect comic books anymore? Now obviously there is still a vital back issue market when it comes to Gold and Silver age books and it makes sense. Long before the days of speculators in the early 90s the number of hard copies for comics, especially those from the 40s, 50s and 60s, were slim to none, thus creating a demand. (Economics 101 here people, low supply + high demand = big market) The problem, as most comic fans are repeatedly reminded, is that people outside the comic book industry started planning their retirement funds around new issues. When a million copies of Superman dying or being reborn are printed, the supply side of the equation kind of goes away no?

So with that being said I look at my collection (or what’s left of it after having donated or trashed so many books I used to collect. Generation X? Come one Mike, what were you thinking?) and honestly I don’t consider myself much a collector anymore. I consider myself a reader. Forget the fact that all my Image books i bought in 1992 are pretty near worthless as are any Marvel book post X-Men #1 too. Now they just take up space in storage. Which my fiancee constantly reminds me that we need to empty out. (Really I should be consulting my friend Matt Baier who is a professional organizer, but that’s a blog for another day.)

So what do you guys think? Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter or in the comments below. Do you still collect modern day comics anymore? Is there any value in doing so or do you collect because you’re a reader?

Tune in next week as I discuss another hot button issue in our industry: The future of brick-and-mortar retailers: what comic book shops must become to survive.
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.

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.

20140627-SireonComicsFix

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.

20140414090450-TheUndone-KS1

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?