I am no “industry expert” especially for my tender age of 40, I’m fairly new to the local comics scene. There are a lot of younger folks who have the passion and wherewithal to break in the scene, and these are the guys who have more right to speak their mind about this topic.
Nevertheless, I’ll still write this series of articles because I know I can always contribute. For this first part I’d like to discuss one key aspect you should have: Focus.
I’ve been doing comics since I was a kid, starting with anthropomorphic animal characters until I was able to draw full human characters as I finished high school. Eventually a couple of years down the line I was able to come up with RaveForce but things got in the way.
There was the internet though, but my access was limited. I didn’t have a scanner, I didn’t have my own PC, I spent hours on an Internet cafe away from home just to finish a website. I was struggling to make my web presence felt but other distractions came. I was more interested on getting laid than getting my creations out.
I have no regrets though. A few years would pass by and I got an opportunity to break in. I got a scanner, I got a printer, I had my own website and I even got a high-speed internet (384 Kbps was already fast in 2002) but still other things were getting in my way. Maybe I wasn’t just competent enough to push my works or maybe my daytime job was taking a lot out of me. I was working as an artist for a stationery company, doing coloring books also for an arts and crafts brand so from there I’m already spent. Whatever excuse I may have, I clearly lacked focus and that was a bummer. It will take another 15 years until I get my first comic out in the public – in digital format and online.
If there’s a will, there’s always a way – as people would always say. I had to shift my focus from the events entertainment/nightlife industry to the local comics scene as my passion for the former isn’t as quite excited as today. Don’t get me wrong, the party scene is very alive and well – it’s just that it’s no longer for me and I’d rather chill alone in a coffee shop late at night than go drinking and getting crazy with friends.
So you wanna do “komiks”? – I say focus. Focus on your story, your art, your creation. Focus on getting it published and how you will earn from it. Focus on how you will create a following and make a dent in the scene. My greatest contribution in the nightlife and events entertainment scene was I was one of the first to make nightclub photography a thing in the industry. Before a club would only have promoters, DJs and MCs – but because of me and my GimikZone co-founder Alliz Xerxes, photographers are part of the talent roster. Some of our successors are even better and are well established already. I made a name for that because I focused on that industry. Now its time to focus on comics.