Issues of diversity in comics and finding the big why’s behind the comics and projects you create is the focus of this session with special guest Kwanza Osajyefo. Plus: ComixLaunch listener voice mail!
Today’s Session is Sponsored by
Rocketbook Wave, a Cloud Connected Microwavable Notebook currently on Kickstarter. Get yours at ComixLaunch.com/rocketbook
Session Table Setting
Welcome back to ComixLaunch!
We have a great show and a great guest today, and we’ll be talking about the bigger why’s behind our work, diversity in comics, and a whole lot more.
But before we get into that, I want to start by saying thank you. I want to say thank you for joining me and for all the feedback, emails, reviews, re-tweets and so on.
I’ve said it before that creating, even in a collaborative medium like comics, involves a lot of time being alone, staring at a computer screen or our desks… in the winter especially, when conventions less frequent, days are shorter, nights are colder… it’s tough! But making connection, even virtually, is one way to keep at it and keep going… and you guys definitely keep me going.
SpeakPipe – Last episode, I shared news of a new ComixLaunch feature, that makes it super easy for you to become a part of this show. I’ve installed SpeakPipe on the ComixLaunch.com website, and now, with a couple of clicks, you can leave me voice mail…
Jim Whiting, creator of Margo – Intergalactic Trash Collector
“I recently received a mixed review from an online comic site, it wasn’t all bad. After my initial hurt and rejection, I listed his points and looked at them as teachers. I emailed the guy and asked to quote him and to exchange banner ads. Now he is gung-ho to promote my up coming book and will run my press release as is.”
Hey, I love the idea of banner exchanges. I also love how you turned what could be a negative (a critical comment) into a positive — constructive crits to learn from, an opportunity to engage a fellow person in the industry further expanding your network, and a banner exchange!
A ton of lesson’s there!
When you share your own vulnerabilities, transparencies, struggles… a funny thing happens. Other people are drawn to it, share their similar experiences, and how they handle them. Yet another part of the ROI of being transparent.
Check out http://margocomics.com/ for more of Jim’s work.
One more SpeakPipe message, this one from a creator named – Daniel Brodie
Thanks for the tips, Daniel, and congrats on your KS success and good luck finishing strong.
If you’d like to leave us a message and be a part of the show, go to ComixLaunch.com/voicemail and follow the super easy instructions there. I look forward to hearing from you.
Now, let’s get to the heart of today’s show and an awesome conversation.
My guest today is a former digital editor at Marvel and DC Comics – best known for launching DC’s Zuda imprint, which published series like the award-winning Bayou, High Moon, Night Owls, Superton, Celadore, Black Cherry Bombshells, Bottle of Awesome, and I Rule the Night. He is also the Creator and writer of BLACK, his first Kickstarter project with art by Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, and Khary Randolph, which is currently crushing it on Kickstarter, having raised more than $53K from the support of more than 1500 backers.
Welcome to ComixLaunch Mr. Kwanza Osajyefo
Anything else you want to tell the ComixLaunch audience about yourself?
What is Today’s Episode About?
Guiding Discussion Questions
Black has a strong, “get it instantly” high concept — “In a world that already fears and hates them – what if only Black people had superpowers?” that seems to have really resonated with backers. Were you surprised at great start to your campaign?
One of the exercises I have my students do prior to launching Kickstarter projects or new comic series is really hone in on the “Big Why?” behind their work. I’m interested hearing about your why? Why tell this story, why tell it now, and why are you and your creative team the right people to tackle this story?
Have you received any backlash for tackling issues of racial injustice, police brutality, etc. since launching?
You seem to be taking an unconventional approach with Black. What’re your plans with it post Kickstarter?
Now, in a past life, you were an editor at Zuda Comics, which was a short-lived DC’s webcomic imprint and initiative. (Zuda was also the first time I cashed a check for my comics work, having finished with the bronze in two Zuda competitions…so thanks!) While Zuda was a somewhat controversial initiative… in a lot of ways I see Kickstarter as a spiritual successor to Zuda, at least in terms of opening up opportunity for new creators that wasn’t there before. Thoughts?
When it comes to diversity in mainstream comics, are things getting better, worse, or about the same as they were five years ago? It seems like every single year, when asked what they want to see more of in the comics industry, “more diversity” is almost a stock answer, lauded by most. Five years from now, what has to happen to definitively say the industry has made true progress?
1) Finish this sentence: “Kickstarter is _______.”
2) Let’s the pretend the powers that be at Kickstarter are listening (which you know they are)… if you could change one thing about the Kickstarter platform, what would it be?
“Being able to determine when your project starts and finishes.”
3) What’s your secret weapon? (Meaning a tool, resource, app, etc. that you couldn’t make comics without?)
“Google Docs and Messenger.”
4) Promotion is where even successful Kickstarter creators often drop the ball… Do you have a promotion tip for our listeners?
“Definitely understand who your audience is.”
5) Can you recommend one comic (not done by you) more people need to check out?
“Brian K. Vaughn’s Paper Dolls.”
In a moment, I’m going to give you today’s ComixLauncher, but first, we need to thank our sponsor…
You’ve got to check out the Rocketbook Wave, a Cloud Connected Microwavable Notebook which is currently on Kickstarter.
The Rocketbook Wave provides the freedom of a traditional pen and paper notebook, while instantly blasting your notes into the cloud using your smartphone.
When you use Pilot Frixion pens with the Wave notebook, you can erase your notes using your microwave oven and reuse your notebook.
The Rocketbook System is the combination of a special notebook and a free mobile app. Write notes and create designs in your notebook with a pen. Then, using patent-pending image capture technology, the Rocketbook app accurately and quickly captures and sends your notes to pre-configured cloud services.
In an instant, the Rocketbook app crops and enhances each page so your digital notes are more crisp and vibrant than the real thing.
Possibilities are endless
Daily Warm-up Sketch pumped out to social media or your tumblr in record time.
Layouts and cover concepts sketched by hand, and then lightning synched to dropbox to share with your team.
Combines the freedom of sketching anywhere, with the comfort of a digital archive.
Get yours at ComixLaunch.com/rocketbook which is our Kickbooster affiliate link.
It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can and should do right now, or immediately after listening to the show. They’re all activities I’ve done myself, and will get you one step closer to a successful ComixLaunch. They’ll transform this Podcast from a passive, lean back activity centered around Tyler James, into an active, lean-forward activity centered around YOU.
Today’s ComixLauncher — Three Whys?
Why this project?
Why are you the one to make it happen?
All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. [NA — What comes out on paper may surprise you. And if you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #33.]
Wrap Up Questions
1) What’s one thing that creators do when interacting with editors that drives editors crazy?
2) What’s the best place to keep up with you online?
Thanks for Listening.
We’re going to go even deeper into both mindset, strategies and tactics for making KS work for you.
Have You Subscribed, Rated, or Reviewed ComixLaunch Yet?
If you’ve enjoyed this Session of ComixLaunch, I need you to do me a favor… actually, I need three favors. Please Subscribe, Rate and Review ComixLaunch on iTunes.
They’re the rocket fuel this show is running on, and the sooner you do it, the more powerful your action will be. Don’t wait to give us some love!
Provide a rating, 1-5 stars and leave an honest review.
This can be done in less than 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.