On behalf of my fellow comic books pros…
I understand that I don’t have a “real job”. I understand how someone who works a 9 to 5 job views what I do. I’ve had 9 to 5 jobs. I’ve been everything to a short order cook in a Mexican restaurant, to a grunt in a factory, to an auto mechanic, sometimes two of those things at once. I understand full well how someone with a “real job” would view what I do.
Let me, on behalf of those of us who work in the comic book industry, put your mind at ease that we do in fact actually work for a living, and explain why your are maybe not hearing from the roughly 50% of us who will be at Comic-con International In a week and a half.
Mankind has been telling stories for the sake of entertainment since before “the odyssey” by Homer. There is 6000 years of story telling out there and available. Our job is to come up with something NEW. Something that hasn’t been thought of by anyone on earth in 6000 years. We literally have to invent something that didn’t exist before on a monthly basis AND make it entertaining. As an independent publisher it is also my job to then draw it, to ink it, and to letter it. It is also my job to fill out all the forms for the distributor to carry it, it is my job to advertise it, to get it ready for printing, to coordinate with the printer, to coordinate with the shipper, to sketch in and autograph all the books directly ordered through me, and then to pack and ship those books. That is my job on a regular basis.
CURRENTLY, because Comic-Con International is around the corner my job ALSO includes …making travel arrangements, hotel arrangements, making a display for a booth that won’t look like a joke be next to the booths of multi million dollars companies who have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on their display. It also includes making t-shirt designs. “making ” in this case means coming up with something no one has ever ever ever thought of putting on a t-shirt yet, drawing it, and modifying it form whatever format the screen printer needs. I also means getting other miscellaneous merchandise designed and ready, getting those designs off to the various vendors and coordinating with them so it gets done in time, getting prints and artwork ready, packing all these things (along with the actual comic books I make), making sure all these things get half way across the country on time for me to pick it all up, drag it to, and set it all up in a convention center that is seven city blocks long. IF I do all this correctly, and actually manage to move all this merchandise while directly competing for fan’s dollars against whatever DC Comics, Marvel Comics, SONY, Paramount pictures, numerous video game companies and 600 other booth are selling, I won’t be bankrupt and lose what amounts to roughly a 7000.00 investment in this five day convention. Aside from the planning and stress involved I spent Tuesday unloading literally 1500 pounds of comic books, I will be reloading much of that 1500 pounds along with another 500 pounds of merch to UPS…it that “real job” enough for you?
I say all this not only for myself and to complain (although it has become cathartic) but on behalf of the nigh 50% of comic book professionals who are going through the same thing this summer and countless summers before that. So those of you who are having trouble getting a hold of us or may be put off that we didn’t hang out on the fourth of July, or think our job is all laughs and drawing funny books can now maybe give us a little credit and cut us a little slack. Abandon all hope of reaching us until August for anything that isn’t directly related to business. Furthermore if you are one of the 160,000 people going to CCI and you come to our booth and say something like “how come you don’t have blah blah blah” or “how could you forget to bring blah blah blah” expect to get anything from a dirty look to a punch in the face.
Thanks and hey…see you in San Diego.