Now let’s talk about setting up a studio.
The idea of setting up a studio is that you no longer have to specialize in every aspect of producing a comic book. You can bring in talent that can help you with the process that slows you down or have less interest in doing.
Let’s say you want to continue to write your comic but you believe bringing in an artist will help to speed up the process. You could continue to ink the artwork this way and still have a connection to the artwork.
This is what I did when I created SkyStorm Studio. Brad Gorby penciled the first mini-series and I inked the issues and another person in the studio colored the pages using Doc Martin Dyes (Valiant Comics had just released some comics using the process and they offer a looser style of coloring that I thought was good-looking) over printed bluelines. This was before digital coloring.
I’ll have to dig out a couple samples and post on the site it was a complicated process using negatives, etc. I believe Steve Stegelin lettered the issues or Mike Maydak.
Finding someone to handling the coloring and lettering can take more jobs off your list. This will give you more time to spend on PR and Social Media. If you take nothing else from this blog remember the readers/superfans want to support you. They want to hear from you, to see what you’re working on and how it’s being done.
Even if you produce it with a studio you still have to be the one between the fans and buying your comic. I have tried to produce other creators’ projects over the years and not matter what we do, it’s hard to get readers/superfans with Social Media and how we connect directly with each other.
The readers wants that connection. Not some publisher trying to profit off their favorite creator. Believe me, I never profited off of another creator. Most of the time, we lost money and spent way too much time on a losing battle.
You don’t have to personally be the one designing and sending out the actual posts and press releases but you need to have a say, a voice, within them.
So, a studio should speed up the process of producing a comic. Something I’ve encountered was that some want to goof off and spend more time gaming or socializing than producing. This was when everyone was all in the same building. Nowadays a studio can be run with everyone in their home with large scanners and digital art. We paid a ton of FedEx bills moving artwork from one creator to another back in the day. Once digital arrived and the internet sped up enough to send larger files via ftp we quickly got rid of our FedEx account.
The one thing that helps keep everyone moving forward is something we already discussed: “scheduling”. A general calendar shared between the creators works great.
How does each creator benefit from producing the comic book?
This total depends on you and the other creators. One examples is you pay them for their work and you recoup with selling the end product. This way you keep all ownership of the IP (Intellectual Property). You could profit-share while you still own everything or each creator could receive a share of ownership. There are many different ways so you need to decide which works best for you.
No matter if you decide the do this solo or as a studio you are going to need a good editor. We’ll tackle that next.