Response to coverage of Micro-Press Panel at Comics Beat
I’d like to dispute the suggestion that all the answers from the labels were more of less uniform outside of Koyama. The reason the panel was so good, to my eyes, was that we all came from different points on the micro-publishing spectrum. Example: Koyama never sells direct online, the rest of us do, yes, BUT, Oily makes most of their sales online, Drippy Bone makes most of their sales at shows, 2DC sales are split between online and direct a bit more evenly.
Funding: I don’t think that is the main problem for micro-presses, at least not for 2DC. Marketing and Distribution I see as far larger problems for sustainability for the micro-press / alternative comics scene at large.
Concerning contracts, an FYI: 2DC has been using contracts with our artists since 2011. We’ve tried a bunch of different things over the years, but once we got into individual creator / vision books we have stuck w/ paying artists a percentage of sales and provided copies of the their books as a part of that deal. The specifics have fluctuated relating to us figuring out with the author what feels most appropriate and fair.
Submissions: we take them anywhere, but it is a rare thing indeed that visions match — that is, that the submission are actually appropriate for our label. I’d gather this is also something true amongst most micro-publishers. We all absolutely search out artists and books we want, books and authors we love. There is so little money in this thing that only going after what you love, well, is a rather silly prospect. ADDENDUM FOR CLARITY: pursing work and authors that you do not love is even sillier. It just does not make sense to do anything that you don’t have your whole heart in, bc there is so very much heart break in this field.
While there are some authors we only do a couple things with, as they have relationships elsewhere and not all of their work would be appropriate at 2DC — personally, I am much more interested in retention. I want our artists to grow with us, I want to grow with them.
Robyn Chapman led a fantastic panel. A lot of great discussion, I was really really excited to be involved and think that there should be a lot more discussion and collaboration happening within this scene. If you agree, you should totally go buy Robyn’s Tiny Report Yearbook. Looks pretty fantastic.