I'm Foggy, a Comic Book Writer and Artist from Israel with two ongoing titles... but that wasn't enough for me. So I relaunched everything in Berlin in a daring attempt to find a publisher and storm the international convention scene. Welcome to #Secret_Journey; Ask me anything!

Guy Fogel
Aug 1, 2018

My name is Guy Fogel, and after five years in hell I have come home with only one goal - wait, that's the other card. I'm Guy Fogel, a comic book writer and artist originally from a city near Tel Aviv, now operating in Berlin. I've been drawing since childhood, wanting to be a comic book creator. By the time I was a teenager I was drawn to Fantasy novels and local comics seemed childish, so I've... written a novel.

You can't read it. It's crap.

But writing 300 pages of prose gets you to appreciate good writing, and bother to avoid tired tropes and obvious twists when you attempt again. Since then I've served in the army, seen a war or two, travelled through Indochina, and moved to Jerusalem to study at the so-called best art school in the state: Bezalel Academy.

My fixation on comics returned towards the end of college; I've convinced my reluctant professor to make a comic book mystery which spiralled out of my army experience. Thus began in 2012 my first ongoing series, Sherman's Pit.


The story revolves around a mentally unstable soldier who is removed from combat duty and assigned to a desk job at The Pit, a top-secret bunker, where he discovers his hallucinations connect with a bigger mystery, and that he's probably not the only crazy man in The Pit.

It wasn't an instant success but I had continued to run with it for two more issues, giving discounts to active duty soldiers. During it's original Hebrew run, it has sold over 1200 copies and became a cult phenomenon within the IDF. I think it's still circulating between bases. 

God, it's a wonder I haven't been arrested.

In 2013 I was troubled by the fact I have nothing in my books that appeal to children, and though the cons were packed with girls and women, Sherman's Pit rarely appealed to them. I made a sketch of a superhero girl whose powers were music-based, and then I stopped developing the idea.

I was terrible at drawing action-oriented comics.

I was terrible at drawing women.

I was terrible at writing women.

And until I was better, I wouldn't be able to do that idea justice.

So step by step, I researched and trained and read reviews, asked my audience for input and mostly drew a lot, until finally, I launched issue 1 last summer. The Hebrew version was an instant hit. And so Sonica was born.


So by that time I had a decent career going back home - that is, I still couldn't make minimum wage. The market was too small and I'm an ambitious sort of guy. So I packed everything, dumped a perfectly good girlfriend, and relaunched EVERYTHING in Germany. 

#Secret_Journey didn't start easy, and it's not getting easier; I entered a new apartment on the same week I was launching my comics; I have been rejected from most publishers in Germany, and logistics are killing me. But I've sold 97 issues of Sonica #1 and 54 Sherman's Pit #1 on my own since the launch in May and I keep attacking everything between queer zine fests, second-hand flea markets and commercial-heavy comic-cons.


You can meet me on Comic-Con Amsterdam, Comic-Con Munich or Comic-Con Berlin in the next few months! And you can also follow me on social media. I have a brand-new Patreon Page where I will be uploading new pages of each series every week for 1$ patrons!


So, to sum it up: I have no idea what I'm doing. That has never stopped me before. Ask me anything.


patreon.com/foggycomics

http://guyfogel.com

http://guyfogel.com/shop

facebook.com/foggycomics

instagram.com/foggycomics


Guy Fogel says:

This AMA will end Aug 1, 2018, 4 PM EDT

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Where do you see the world of comic books going in the future?
Aug 1, 3:54PM EDT0

TO HELL!

Kidding.

Comics aren't as big today as they were in the 80s and before; TV, cinema, video games and basically everything pushed them aside. Same thing that happened to all printed media. That hasn't made them disappear though, And I bet they'll always be there. Maybe there will be less shops, maybe it'll be just a niche but it will be there.

There are already a lot of webcomics and indie artists out there crowdfunding and surviving outside traditional publishing. I can't tell if their number will grow or not; only the most determined ones make it.

The good thing about comics being a niche is that it's a good testing ground for new ideas, and new ideas flourish in Image's books, at smaller publishers and in indie comics. later on TV or movie studios buy the rights because they either ran out of ideas (not as likely - there are probably as many screenplay writers as there are comic writers) or because they want to play it safe and adapt something that worked in print: that way they already get an excited fanbase to see the film. Besides, comic book are very easily adaptable to video form because they often speak with the same cinematic language of camera shots and angles. When Zack Snyder directed Watchmen in 2009, the graphic novel's fans could see clearly how tightly he clung to Dave Gibbons' exact panels from 1986. The production barely needed to make a storyboard.

So I think Hollywood isn't going to stop raiding the comic book shelves for ideas any time soon, it's too easy. More and more stories from the past and present will be adapted to some kind of video form. And hopefully some of the new fanbase would be interested in the source material and create a feedback loop (comic book shops should really open booths at cinema complexes just to drive that point home).

Last edited @ Aug 1, 4:23PM EDT.
Aug 1, 4:22PM EDT0
What do you love about comic cons? What do you love about creating comics?
Aug 1, 3:50PM EDT0

Comic Cons are my chance to meet my audience face to face - pitch them ideas, see them react, geek out about our fandoms, hear their own stories at times. It's also a chance to get together with the colleagues, talk shop and gossip - and of course, geek out about our fandoms!

Crazy things could happen at comic cons. I once saw a parade of girls in Tardis dresses followed by a dancing Doctor. I saw a ten year old girl beating up men twice her size at a foam-stick battle arena (we have those at Israeli cons). I once sold Sherman's Pit to two people who said the identify with him because they're hearing voices themselves, but don't worry we're on our meds today. I once sold my entire collection to a boss who fired me the year before. When it's done right, it's like stepping into another universe. I haven't felt like that in Germany though, everything is so proffessional and civilized and organized. And so heavily merchandized. American visitors told me the germans never captured the right spirit. Good Comic Cons celebrate the geek spirit, not just the franchises. Stuttgart felt a lot more lively though.

What do I like about creating comics? I've always thought it was the perfect medium. It can't carry text as well as a book, but it can carry more than a film. Monologues and descriptions feel heavier when spoken than when read, and using them is cinema is considered redundant. Comics can carry more weight. On the other hand, comic uses cinematic tools like camera angles and shots, set design, outfit design, lighting. It has car chases and explosions and smart paneling which try to emulate dynamic scenes on a static page. The different art styles set the tone and style and add unique flavor.

So you have a medium that combines prose, cinema and traditional visual art. It's a hybrid, and some might say a mongrel, born of all three. Making them work together is the true challenge. When they do, they combine the very best of all worlds, and provide the reader with a unique experience. And if you have some shred of talent and are willing to work your ass off, you can create a story that equals a best-selling novel AND a blockbuster film, in almost zero budget.

Last edited @ Aug 1, 4:57PM EDT.
Aug 1, 4:55PM EDT0
Do you think that aspect of the change disrupts how you write story or are you adapting now to the new market?
Aug 1, 2:46PM EDT0

Perhaps, but not by much. I still use the same layouts and plan the plot points, the twist and the suspense building the same way. Before I go into a new project I have to do my research to get a grip on the tone and the character's voices; I want the girl who reads Sonica to feel connected to her, to feel she could've been her. I want full immersion and I aim for it. Getting that voice right took me four years. I'm still not a hundred percent sure I got it, but no work is perfect. The good news is it only happens when you launch a new project and I have my plate full with these two.

Once you have a basis and a grip on the shape the project will take, you just have to continue the line. Consistency, both in art and in story, is even more important than adapting. Unless the customers vote with their wallets on how much the project sucks right at first. Otherwise too much change might frighten them away. I had mixed reactions to Sherman's Pit #3 when I changed the art to something lighter and smoother.

Aug 1, 3:42PM EDT0
How has the way you think about money in comics changed over the course of your career?
Aug 1, 2:25PM EDT0

Since that's what I really want to do with my life, I either need to find a willing, capable publisher to see any money that might, at some point,  reach minimum wage; Or become my own publisher. Before I started really publishing, my comics were for me. Now they are primarily for the customers. I'll never create something I can't stand behind or that I don't like, but I have to think "would boys and girls of this or that demographic like to read this?" "Should I show blood if there is an injured person on-page?" "How much flirting and romantic innuendo can you do in a preteen book and still be appropriate?" while going through it. By the way, knowing most preteens (at least in Israel), they don't mind using very inappropriate language in real life, but if I write the script like that, no mom would buy it. I did include the aforementioned blood though. The romantic subplots are still irrelevant at this stage so I'll cross that bridge when I get there, I guess.

I also started to pay a lot more mind to diversity. Publishers love diversity nowadays, not because of any liberal agenda, but because it pays off commercially. Identification is a strong force and people like to see themselves in characters on-page/screen. For that reason I would have to roll with diversity even if I didn't like it. There are reason for a mainstream artist not to like it. It makes their job harder and longer, drawing people of different body type, clothing style, coloring, and so on. As a writer you'd have to go out of your comfort zone and research them enough to reach a level of authenticity portraying them. My next big challenge is writing a gay character, I'm terribly afraid I won't get them right, or that I write them too stereotypically.

Lucky for me, I have my own reason to like diversity: because I like art that reflects reality. I grew up with people from diverse background. There are students of Bielorussian and Morrocan and Ethiopian descent in Sonya Sol's school because there were students like that in my school, and I wanted to showcase that weird Israeli social makeup.

Now, if we're talking about money, let's talk about the elephant in the room: FANART. A decent artist can make a lot of money just selling Batman posters, for example, as long as its his/her take and he didn't photocopy it or anything. If he's small-time enough, no one would even mind. I could have made a lot of money by abandoning original comics altogether and selling prints at the same price I sell posters without the expense on printing more artwork and without needing to promote a new brand. I see those people at cons and they sell a lot more than I do while investing less. And that hurts, yeah.

Eventually I have made some fanart that I could sell, functioning the same way that cover bands in youtube introduce their viewers to their original work and occasionally work their way to their first original EP. I just don't want it to be the center, that's not why I went into this business. So yeah, comics is a business but and it's a tough one. But sometimes you need to stand your artistic ground.

Last edited @ Aug 1, 3:25PM EDT.
Aug 1, 3:23PM EDT0
Comic books for children can be a little tricky especially since kids associate particular comic books for a particular gender. Do you think you would sell more if you wrote comic books for theboys and another for the girls or maybe find an in between to appeal to both sexes?
Aug 1, 12:33PM EDT0

I suppose I could, but "Sonica" is actually bought by a lot of men and boys as well (also feminist moms who want to educate their boys to see the girls as badass too), and I try to keep it gender-balanced. Part of its charm is the clash between male and female thinking, specifically between my two main characters, Soni and Shai. Sonica isn't meant to be "DC's Super Hero Girls" where it's really all very girly and everyone looks like a barbie (I keep buying their action figures for my nieces though! They love it!).

If I would have made comics for elementary school children under 9 or even kindergarden age, I'd seriously consider it though. I used to teach comics to the younger classes and the girls gravitated to the girly stuff while the boys were fighting over the burly superhero type books. The older demographic doesn't really need the division.

Last edited @ Aug 1, 12:55PM EDT.
Aug 1, 12:54PM EDT0
Where would you say you get your enthusiasm from especially in the midst of adversity?
Aug 1, 3:18AM EDT0

My Audience. 

I take strength from all the people who has been believing in me, buying my stuff and asking me when I'm gonna publish the next one.

Before Sherman's Pit's original launch at Animix Tel Aviv 2012 I was really afraid of the reception. Is it too political? Is it not political enough? Is the art crap? Is it too personal? Would people even connect to all that grimness? If they do, is it grim enough? I managed to sell 28 issues of Sherman's Pit #1 that con, plus 45 issues of a 3-dollar Zine that I will not print again because one mom commented that the aliens' heads look like dicks and their mouths look like vaginas, and I realized I sold that thing to kids as a coloring book. I'm getting off-track, am I?

Anyway, I had proof that my projects could be bigger than me. And the more cons I was in the more apparent it was that I nailed something right. This sort of proved to be the only thing in my life that went right for several years. I haven't managed to fit in in any other field. You can only get so much negative feedback until you've had enough of one field, and you can only get so much positive feedback until you build up enough confidence in another to leap into an adventure with only an Israeli "it'll be fiiiine" mentality in hand, a less-than-foolproof plan and not a lot else. I believe in me because other people did.

I wouldn't be that brave otherwise.

Last edited @ Aug 1, 7:40AM EDT.
Aug 1, 7:39AM EDT0
I actually enjoyed reading your ama and think you would make a great novelist. What makes you think you are not destined to be a great author?
Aug 1, 12:30AM EDT0

Thank you Daya! I appreciate it.

I think I'm a decent writer but I don't think I've earned "great writer" yet. A great writer is someone who either makes "literary art that gets you to think and most people would rather not" (another Eddings quote), or makes literary art that is innovative in terms of story, setting, characters, characterization, world mechanics. J.K Rowling is an innovator. Joss Whedon was an innovator back in the "Buffy" and "Firefly" era. George R.R. Martin is an innovator. Diana Gabaldon is an innovator (at least at the first few Outlander novels). Granted, Sherman's Pit is pretty unique but it came from a unique experience. It's not easily labeled, and therefore not easily marketable. I really can't tell how it could do on the international market.

But dear Sonica - that I love with all my heart - is the child of market research and disassembling and reassembling known tropes into something original and with its own heart; her powers are going to be fun to play with and show on the page but her journey is a classic Hero's Journey (it's a familiar story structure, look it up).

It's a strange line - commercial success comes mostly from unoriginal stories, people always want to read the same things (that's why superheroes took over the cinema and why Hollywood loves sequels so much). But great authors break that mold and make something new; the critics appreciate it more but the audience doesn't always.I think that for me, being great would mean having a piece of  both those cakes.

Aug 1, 7:19AM EDT0
Do you think traditional publishing houses will be the biggest losers in the long run with many authors and writers choosing self-pulishing over the constant rejection received from publishers?
Jul 31, 11:49PM EDT0

I don't think so... back home the book market is on the verge of collapse in the comic market... well, you're better off being indie in Israel. But having a publisher should get you their marketing resources, their reputation, access to selling in popular book chains, and better editing so your work is likely to improve. Yeah, you have to share the revenue, but a status of a published author looks really good on an application. You can get more commissions and you're likely to publish again, it should be well worth it.

As for the publishers - the big ones have all those cross merchandising deals and Hollywood and TV contracts. They're good even if they're losing money on the comics themselves. The smaller publishers are in trouble, I think.

Aug 1, 4:15AM EDT0
People in the army sometimes need a little comic relief. Do you think you will continue giving them that with the Sherman's pit series with soldiers as your target audience?
Jul 30, 11:19PM EDT0

Oh yeah! Sherman's Pit has those comic Army-absurdity catch-22-style moments, though they're not central. I'm trying to shake off the "lazy spoiled Jobnik" stereotype that's common in Israeli culture. Sherman's Pit is about to go very dark starting from issue 5 but the humor will always be a staple of the series, even in the darkest moments. And the series will continue. I will start working on Sherman's Pit #4 right after Sonica #2. it might not be as comercially successful, but it's important to me to tell it. A Hebrew version will definitely be produced, but I don't know yet if it will be digital only or printed.

As for Israel - I'm giving my remaining Hebrew stock this summer to a local, talented collective who could market it at local conventions in addition to their own comics. I don't know if they will give the soldier discount that I used to, that's up to them. My comics will be available at Local Comic Book Shops like Comikaza and CNV.

Jul 31, 7:24AM EDT0
What are you hoping to achieve during your participation at the upcoming comic conventions in Berlin, Munich and Amsterdam?
Jul 30, 10:44PM EDT0

Sales and exposure, mostly. In previous cons I pitched both comics to various publishers in Germany; I'd like to also try to see if I can find publishers in Holland (it's not likely in Germany - they never really embraced the new, hypercommercial comic cons). I feel right at home at Comic-Con.

Jul 31, 6:46AM EDT0
As a writer, how do you approach building not just the story involving five or 10 or 15 different characters but building up this entire world?
Jul 30, 10:44AM EDT0

Unless it's heavy Sci Fi, a Space Opera, or a Swords & Sorcery sort of adventure, and it's on earth (or some version of it) like most superhero stories, I don't have to go allllll the way. Eddings, one of my favorite writers, had a worn-down formula but it worked, for the most part. He gathered 10 items, but he wrote Fantasy (where world building is more important) and that's harder. I'll knock at least two off.

1. The Quest - The main storyline, in comics will go for at least one arc and we'll have some kind of resolution by the end of it, even if it's "the journey is much longer than you think, naive hero!" or a simple police investigation turning into a giant conspiracy.

2. The magic thingy - The Holy Grail, the Ring of Power, The Infinity Stones. Usually the object of The Quest but not always. Could be the good guys defend it and the bad guys want it or the other way around. doesn't have to be a physical thing. Could be one of the characters themselves.Footnote - I'm adding "The Force" to the list as my own item. In a lot of stories the heroes and the villains special gifts come from the same otherworldly force that makes for a great plot device. There's The Weave in D&D, The Force in Star Wars, The Speed Force in The Flash, The X-Gene in X-men, Superman's yellow sun and kryptonite rules. Mine is "The One True Sound", the origin of all music - which gets me to play with a diverse power set for both Soni and her villains. In Gaiman's "The Sandman" I liked that Morpheus's power is the king of dreams is poorly defined, and I wanted to bring that obscurtiy into Sonica.

3. The hero - Eddings used Knights Of The Round Table parallels when he wrote this. I quote: "Galahad is saintly; Gawaine is loyal; Launcelot is the heavyweight champion of the world; and Perceval is dumb--at least right at first. I went with Perceval, because he's more fun. A dumb hero is the perfect hero, because he hasn't the faintest idea of what's going on, and in explaining things to him, the writer explains them to his reader." I tend to agree with Eddings. However, this isn't the only way to do things. For example, some detective stories revolve around the case rather than the detective so your protagonist isn't even the focus. This also happens a lot in Video Games - if the player character is very customizable, it would be hard to write him/her/it dialogue lines. Also, anti-heroes are great characters because they can go either way and they seem more human and relatable. You can't always be a hero.

4. The Wizard - a mentor character meant to guide the hero through his adventures, provide info, moral support and maybe be a father figure. You can also play with this item to create warped and misguided mentors who either cheat the hero or disappoint him when they don't do the right thing. I have someone like that for Sonica.

5. Love Interest - I don't write romance that well so I can't provide a lot of insight. I prefer proactive characters with power of their own to damsels in distress. I can't stand a traditional princess.

6. Villains and minions - I think a good villain is a human villain, not an evil force of nature. You may not agree with Magneto's anti-human sentiments but as a Holocaust survivor you can see where it comes from. Lex Luthor can't trust that almighty aliens won't turn on us. The Templars believe they're fixing the world. Thanos did it all for love. You can always do unfathomable evil like Sauron or The Joker, but I'd like a logical motive and backstory. Lower level minions and villains don't have to be deep, though.

7. Allies and Companions - helping the hero fight the good fight, all have a strong backstory and characteristics. The Comic Relief character often steals the scenes. I support friendly bickering and Whedonesque dialogue. Just don't overdo the jokes, unless it's an adventure comedy and it's meant to be lighter.

8. Everyone in between - One issue characters, Case-of-the-week witnesses, people who die on-screen for shock value, anti-heroes and vigilantes, side characters' love interests, Lois Lane style reporters, police contacts, The President - everyone else who populates the world.

I hope the list helps, because that's the very basics. The other rules change by genre. If it's a fantasy with strange lands and seas, you'll need a map, create races, histories and a magic system. Probably for a space opera as well, minus the map. If it's historical or historically inspired, you need to do heavy research in the field for authenticity's sake. Read essays on how other authors did it and do your own research.

Last edited @ Jul 30, 1:09PM EDT.
Jul 30, 1:07PM EDT0
Is there someone helping you to draw Sonica and Sherman’s Pit?
Jul 30, 3:50AM EDT0

In Batman's voice: "I work alone".

Jul 30, 6:53AM EDT0
What benefits does one get from patronizing you?
Jul 29, 4:09PM EDT0

1 dollar per month gets you access to both Sherman's Pit and Sonica. Right now I'm uploading the first issues of both, A new page of each of them will be published weekly.

Sonica #2 isn't ready yet (still inking) and Sherman's Pit #2 is made but isn't translated to english yet. By the time I reach the end of the buffer (20 weeks) They should already be done. I don't have a webcomic site yet so Patreon serves as the webcomic.

2$ gets you access to art that I don't post on Facebook or Instagram, or rather an early exclusive look for art that I plan to.

5$ gets you inking, pencilling and just process examples... and later on, videos. I haven't really started on videos, the page is still fresh.

Please don't donate more than 5$ right now unless you really want to altruistically support me... I'm still figuring out the content for the higher tiers.

Jul 29, 4:33PM EDT0
What steps did you take in order to improve your skills at both drawing and writing female characters?
Jul 29, 1:09PM EDT0

In depth? Okay, in depth. I started watching, reading or rewatching and rereading stuff with female protagonists or stuff that were notable to have a strong female character in them. Then I watched the reviews, mostly reviews on what worked in the series and what the critic liked about the character.

I watched Buffy because... obviously. I watched Gravity Falls for the brother-sister dynamics which I wanted for Sonica and Shai. I read recent runs of Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Squirrel Girl. I researched the origins of Wonder Woman, starting with essays on what W.M. Marston was trying to accomplish. I read the mocking reviews on 90s era objectifying comic art on Eschergirls. I started reading The Mary Sue. I tried to think like a feminist (which in turn got me to be an actual feminist, so - added value!)

I have watched the entire Disney Renaissance movies to figure out Princess Characters and then I compared them to Contemporary Princesses. I haven't gone all the way back to Cinderella and Snow White, they weren't the independent mold I was looking for.

As for the art, I just practiced. I needed to shake myself out of cartoony preconceptions of the female form and just look and sketch. I wanted Sonica to look ok, not be a 90-60-90 babe - I needed girls to see an average girl who could've been them, or someone they know; identification is a strong force. What I learned is that drawing women as scantilly-clad babes would attract men to read your comic, but not that many women. That was lesson one.

Lesson two was that I should include more body types and skin tones with the general cast, not just because diversity is key in modern comics (comic publishers, Hollywood studios and TV channels really love that buzzword as a buzzword), but because I think it adds to the believability of the world. I really wanted Sonica to combine the realistic and sober with the fantastic and cartoony, not just another comic about underwear models punching each other.

Jul 29, 4:59PM EDT0
What aspects of your personal life helped you get the right mindset to leave everything and relocate to Germany?
Jul 29, 5:05AM EDT0

For a dayjob I worked as a software developer on and off for two years. Before that I was a freelance graphic designer.

That's the version I tell people.

What I don't usually tell them is that my freelance days were a hilarious fail, and that my software dev career includes getting fired five times in the span of two years because I was, and I quote at least two of my letters, "proffesionally inadequate". The money was good, and if I ever got good at coding I might have stayed and wondered what it would be like to follow my passions completely, not just do six local cons a year.

I genuinely tried to reassure my jewish mother that I could be a corporate coder with a steady job - and maybe later on a suburban wife and 2.4 children. But apparently I'm bad at it, I have no passion for it, and I can't go on with it anymore.Apparently I suck at the normal and possible. The only other option is to do the extraordinary and impossible. I won't say I'm an expert at that either, but I'm trying.

Last edited @ Jul 29, 4:34PM EDT.
Jul 29, 4:20PM EDT0
For someone starting out and dreaming about working in comics, what advice would you give them to get their foot in the door?
Jul 28, 10:26PM EDT0
  1. Try your hardest.
  2. FAIL MISERABLY.
  3. Figure out what you did wrong and do better next time.
  4. Repeat.

That's the most basic thing. Plans fall apart or encounter delays, and sometimes you make something that doesn't work with the audience or a publisher or a client, or you're not at the level you need to be; and then you get your ass handed to you. It happens and you need to make decisions and stick to them. The only decision you're not allowed to do is give up entirely. You can shelf a failed project, but if you're really meant to be a creator, you will never be able to shelf yourself. I learned that the hard way.

Now for some practicals:

A comic book solo operation requires you to be skilled at writing, managing layout. pencilling, inking, coloring, lettering, graphic design, a bit of language editing if you don't have someone to ask.

Otherwise you outsource, and that's heavy on an indie's budget. However, don't ask people to work for exposure, you gotta pay 'em. 

Budget management is important as an indie, if your comic has not covered its prints within a year it's my mark for a failed project. It could still be in the convention booth or in the portfolio if it has artistic potential.Networking is also very important. Surround yourself with other proffessional indies, ask them for advice, even join a collective and work on an anthology together. That'll teach you teamwork, something I've never learned. If you go to the same cons you will eventually bump into each other year after year, you might as well be friends.

YOU HAVE TO BE AT CONVENTIONS. Online marketing isn't enough, and meeting your audience face-to-face and hearing their input on your work is priceless, even though they're not "from the field". Make that especially because they're not. Remember, the comic is for them, not for you. You have to produce something that is relevant and interesting to your target audience. You have to win hearts and minds before you win publishers, and you are not allowed to carry vanity projects without some commercial justification.

Even if you have to man an indie booth, make time to chase down editors and publishers and pitch them your thing. Organize a project presentation beforehand, a few pages of sample artwork and a good fucking speech. This way when you get rejected (and you will at first) it won't be a laconic email message, it would be a flesh-and-blood editor telling you to your face what you can improve, in detail.Commissions are good money and I'm still learning how to promote myself in that field, I don't have a lot of input other than no freebies. However, keep your eyes on the prize.

I see two kinds of artists at German cons: the Fanart Print guys, whose booth is filled with beautiful renditions of Deadpools and Harley Quinns, or Naruto and Lauffey. but they won't invest in comics because why would they when they make similar money for less effort and expense? So what if they have nothing original, they are here for the pay, and the pay comes from recognized brands. Promoting your own is a bitch.

Then there are the Hardcore Ziners, who are so original that their low-cost low-quality Zine is bursting with original, non-PG content that doesn't speak to a lot of people other than themselves and their social circles.Your job is somewhere in the middle. You are here for the money and you are here to build a legacy. You have to balance both sides, create an original comic that appeals to an audience wide enough to eventually mark success.

Good luck,

and don't quit your dayjob.

Last edited @ Jul 29, 4:04PM EDT.
Jul 29, 4:02PM EDT0
What other artists and comic books have influenced your current drawing and storytelling style?
Jul 28, 6:17PM EDT0

When I grew up I was mostly exposed to the limited Israeli scene - American comics were not translated though I knew Superman and Batman from the movies, and X-men and Spider-Man from the 90s animation shows. I read some Tintin, some Asterix, whatever was in the comic section of my hometown library. 

My art was heavily influenced by Israeli cartoonists Uri Fink and Michel Kischka; later on, Kischka became my proffessor at college and Fink currently publishes me on his magazine. Things kind of went full circle there. 

My story inspirations are all over the place. From "Harry Potter" to "Dexter" to "Gravity Falls" I analyze every show, film, comic or film I consume and read further reviews to check if a critic noticed something I didn't.

Sherman's Pit's visual style and dealing with hallucination sequences were influenced to an extent by BBC's "Life On Mars" and it's sequel "Ashes To Ashes".While researching comics and shows with a female protagonist, I encountered G. Willow Wilson's "Ms. Marvel" (2014-now) and it was exactly the tone I was aiming for. I proceeded to steal several themes, characteristics and storylines shamelessly. Sorry, Mrs. Wilson. Sonica's visual style doesn't take a lot of inspiration from american mainstream comic art even though it's a superhero genre. I wanted something that feels a little more fun, cartoony and PG; Plus, I never really learned how to draw all those muscles. I can't do Jim Lee; and I'd rather not, I think he's boring. I'd rather do me. I may lose some north-american commissions over that, but I stand behind it.

Jul 29, 2:24PM EDT0
Do you recognize yourself or others around you in the characters written in your comic books?
Jul 28, 10:04AM EDT0

Yeah... it's even kind of a requirement. To get a good grip on a character, especially a protagonist, you have to have something of yourself inside it. Sherman was easy - it spiraled out of my own story. It gets harder to channel my 19 year-old as I get older, and recreate the situations I was in back then on the page. But the fact that some of the side occurences in the series actually happened gives it an authenticity it couldn't get otherwise.

As for Sonica, that was tricky. I think both Soni and her tech support, Shai represent parts of my personality which have been wrestling inside my head for years. Soni is a dreamer; optimistic, determined, brave to the point of reckless, and sometimes emotional. Shai is th analyst, logical, pessimistic and a little paranoid part who points out all the flaws in any idea Soni makes and likes to cover all the bases. Together they make a functional team. I hope.

Last edited @ Jul 29, 1:58PM EDT.
Jul 29, 1:56PM EDT0
Why did you consider your novel to be bad?
Jul 28, 7:56AM EDT0

Derivative, predictable, jokes that fall flat, plotlines that don't go anywhere or don't make sense. I probably made all possible mistakes.

The unspoken rule of writing is that the first thing you write is always crap. You have to seriously practice and research to become a better writer. No shortcut around it.

Last edited @ Jul 28, 8:30AM EDT.
Jul 28, 8:29AM EDT0
Besides the music-based superpowers, what are the most important traits of the main character in Sonica?
Jul 28, 12:13AM EDT0

That's actually what issue 1 is about, I wanted to show what she's like before the powers. Soni is willing to stand up against bullies no matter what, she's loyal to her friends, she's a bit of a spoiled Mommy's brat and she starts out very naive. What sets her apart from most protagonists is her strong connection to her dog Sookie, which she takes everywhere (including lab explosions, apparently).

Once she gets her powers though she becomes overconfident, reckless and convinced she has it all figured out; Part of her story arc is realization that crime-fighting and terrorist-hunting isn't all about using super-powers to kick the bad guys' ass - there are more tools in the toolbox and morally difficult choices to make. That's what's going to define her hero's journey.

Last edited @ Jul 28, 8:30AM EDT.
Jul 28, 8:26AM EDT0
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