Sunday, July 24, 2011

When the Cause is Comics

Too many times, people envision work within the comic book industry to be endless fun, convention appearances, fame, and riches. Having gotten to know a number of comic book professionals at various stages of their careers and learned a bit of the industry's history, I can safely say that's too often far from the case. Oh, sure, writing or drawing comics is fun and rewarding emotionally if not always financially. That's what keeps a lot of creators going. But there isn't much job security, the pay can range from pretty good as long as the work keeps coming to nonexistent, and we can just forget about retirement and benefits. That's why a lot of comic book creators maintain businesses on the side, do commissioned artwork, or else depend on other more reliable jobs for their living. Theirs is often a precarious existence- like that of too many others living from paycheck to uncertain paycheck- that can be too easily derailed by a medical emergency, disaster, family crisis, or job loss. The Hero Initiative serves to make the lives of our heroes in the comic book industry much less precarious.

For those getting started in the comic book industry, getting a job can be hard enough, often requiring no less than a number of lucky breaks. It may be easier to find work with small press companies or to self-publish, but getting the scripts or the pages done isn't even the half of it, and it won't amount to much if you or the company lacks the funding to print, distribute, and market the book. This is where Kickstarter can help out. Not only devoted to comic books, Kickstarter provides opportunities to support new projects in film, music, fashion, conceptual art, game development, anything creative, really. If you deem a project worthy of your support, you can pledge as little as a dollar or as much as you'd like. You can help get the word out and get your friends on board. And that's exactly what I'll be doing in future entries- giving my two cents figuratively as well as maybe a bit more literally to the Kickstarter projects that catch my interest, doing my part to help newer creators get a good start.

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