Most fans start San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday. The hardcore SDCC-goers get in a little early with Preview Night the Wednesday before. The super-nerds (two thumbs pointing at this guy, then they point to the side at Joel, who’s pointing at himself) kicked off SDCC week on Tuesday. We attended The Lindley Lecture of Law & Comics: The Business of Comics, at the San Diego Public Library, hosted by San Diego Law Library.
The panel was made up of Ryan Benjamin (20 year comic book illustrator and creator, one of the original artists behind the start of Image Comics/Homage Studios), Rob Salkowitz (author of Comic-Con and The Business of Pop Culture), and Stu Rees (Specializes in newspaper cartoon syndication contracts).
This experienced panel covered a wide range of legal questions and scenarios for new creatives trying to get into the comic industry. One thing they all agreed on was the rise of the digital age and how it has changed the landscape for comic creatives, writers and illustrators, to their benefit.
Unlike the music industry where digital pretty much destroyed the stores, digital only helps the creatives more while leaving room for physical comics and stores to thrive. A new pattern out there is getting your work (Web comic, or as an artist, on Instgram or DeviantArt) out into the digital world. Over time your work builds a following, the work gets noticed, and then you’re approached to either join a creative staff or get your story published. You have work, you have an Internet connection, then you have a chance to get your work noticed.
I’m an Art Director by trade and love what I do in advertising but now I’m just tapping into my writing side and have been slowly creating stories I plan on sharing later down the line. Panels like this help me make smarter decisions about how to put my work out there. It’s one thing to be a great artist, it’s rare combination to be a great artist and business person.
With the first panel for SDCC week in the books, it’s time to hit the ground running at Preview Night tomorrow. Hope my fellow nerds warmed up and stretched it out, ‘cause I’m coming in hot for some panel-learnin’ and toy (ahem, collectible) buying!