Friday, June 30, 2017

Creating something of value-part 2

Now to catch up a little on more recent events of my adventures into creating comics and IPs.

I left comics for about four years. I was pursuing a career as a pastor and needless to say that did not work out due to my divorce. This kind of threw me for a reel and I did not know what I was going to do with my life.

So, I go back into art. It was not something that I had wanted to get back into but it seemed to be the only door that was open to me at the time. When I first got back in I did not do a lot of creator owned stuff. I worked on more freelance work for companies like Upperdeck, Marvel and Markosia. I also had a ton of commission work at the time that just kept me way too busy.

In '07 I got the idea to do an anthology book with a group of very talented deviant art artist. The book would be called "Cereal and Pajamas". The book came out through APE Entertainment and sold pretty. Although we never saw a dime from it. Most the artist from that book went on to do a lot of work for different companies like Marvel, Udon, and IDW. I mean the talent was very heavy in that book. I was by far the weakest of the group.

Then in '08 I was approached by two friends who wanted me to start a studio that would also be a small publishing company. This company would be "Alpha Dog Studios". I spent 9 years building the company with these guys. This is where I did most of my creator owned work. Alpha Dog would produce Grimm, Gun Ghoul, Techlore, Twilight Run, The Dog Pound anthology, and two art books.

Being out of the creator owned game for so long I lost my reputation and getting back in was not a very fun experience for me. It had changed a lot. Many of the indy creators now were more like clicks in high school. Originally indy creators really stuck together and helped each other. That was not really the case with how it is now. Which is sad because most indy press folks have it tough to begin with and they really need others to help.

Just in the last two months I decided to shut Alpha Dog Studios down. It was just too much work for me to maintain and it was something that I never really wanted to start in the first place. I did it because my friends wanted it. I tried to make the best of it but for some unknown reason to me the studio stuff never really took off. We had some fan support but not really enough to warrant us producing books and especially paying for folks to work on our titles. I lost way too much money in those 9 years. No way I am ever going back to that type of stuff. If I can't do it myself or I don't have a desire to do it myself then it will never get done.

Now, I still have somethings going on from the Alpha Dog days. Randy Green, myself, and Bat Hilliard are working on a 36 page crossover book with Gun Ghoul and Cherry Bomb. Those seem to be the most popular characters from the Alpha Dog publishing. The issue though, if you read some of my earlier post about Gun Ghoul, it is a character that I never had a desire to work on. Gun Ghoul was a character that fans from deviant art pushed me to do. In saying that though I understand the business end of the industry and that is sometimes you have to do what the fans want even when you don't really want too. You owe the fans that much for supporting you and your work.

So where does that leave me now? I am not sure. My art has really gone down hill with my health. I can't half look at the work I have done in the last two or so years. It makes me very sad. I either have to really push myself to get better or just stop drawing. I know whatever I do will be creator owned stuff. That is who I am. That is who I always wanted to be when I first started this journey way back in '95. That will never change but my process has to change because it isn't bringing any type of true success.

That is what we will cover tomorrow. The process into creating something of value. Hope you stick around for it.

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