Welcome to the first new edition of Comics Confidential in 2014. I haven’t had too many installments last year because I have been totally busy. 2013 was one of the biggest years for me, with a lot of success and a ton of setbacks as well. After years of work my first graphic novel, Flee was released early in the year. A couple of books I wrote for Bluewater (yes that company) got released this year too. Then a book I worked on for years called, Techno-mancer was finally released by Markosia Enterprises. One of the biggest setbacks for me was the fact I released Techno-mancer late. It screwed up all my marketing plans and I was so busy trying to finish my “masterpiece” that I didn’t have the time to properly market the book to my fans. I personally think it was the best book I’ve created, but because of the delays, and changing artists on the book it might not get noticed like it should have. The other big disappointment of the year came when New York Comic Con didn’t accept me to artist alley. The release of the book and comic con was weeks apart. It would have been great exposure for me and the book, but alas it never happened. However after pushing the book around to various stores I managed to get one the best stories in New York to take notice of this little comic creator and grant me one of my best comic shop signings of my professional career.
That shop is Comicbook Jones at 2220 Forest Ave. in Staten Island, New York. Its a part of a small strip mall surrounded by fast food joints on all four sides. Just stepping into the store you can feel the atmosphere is just different than other comic shops. Most shops are cluttered and the staff sometimes seem more annoyed to have customers than anything (at least with most of the shops I’ve gone to). Not this store. This place has one of the most friendliest staff around and everyone is given cool nicknames. It feels kinda like my ultimate man cave. A nice couch, cool music, a table to lounge and coffee at hand all the time and always surrounded by tons of comics and toys.
I brought along with me my artist partner, Ed Watson. He was the artist on my book, Flee. It took us over a half hour, a toll and a bridge to make the trek to this comic mecca, but it was all worth it. Ed and I signed books, he sketched a ton of stuff and we both promoted out future works. Some of the new fans we met were fantastic. They were all eager to try out the books I had. Take a look at how happy this young new fan was below.
Working to get your book out to the masses as a indie comic creator can be hard. Most times you can’t count on your publisher to always set up signings for you. 90% of the leg work is done by yourself. If you think making the comic is hard, its nothing compared to marketing the comic. There’s so much content and competition it’s hard to make a bleep in this industry. Sometimes some comic shops look down at some indie creators like garbage. I’m not going to name any stores, but they’re out there. The staff of Comicbook Jones treated us like kings. I felt like a comic superstar. If there are any comic creators in the New York area that haven’t contacted the folks here, please do. You won’t regret it.
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We got to meet a ton of new fans at this signing. We sold a ton of books plus at the end of the day the guys at the store decided the invite us to their weekly podcast. Plus we got some free goodies from the staff and got to chat with the owners mom. She was a sweetheart. We were invited back and I hope we can return someday very soon. I have a ton of new books I hope to release in 2014 and I want to make this store one of my first stops.
Happy New Year Comicbooked readers.
Find out more about Comicbook jones.
Follow me on Twitter @RaphaelMoran
You can read my comics Techno-mancer and Flee on comixology.
Read my creator owned series Dream Reavers @ Drivethrucomics.com