I have been at this for a long time, and the thing that keeps me going is that I have not actually accomplished what I originally set out to do. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of what I have accomplished, the things we’ve been able to do, over time, with the concept of a magazine covering the small press scene. But the big thing… the one that put stars in the eyes of my teenaged self, was to see a world where anyone who wanted to make their own comics would be able to win enough fans to make a living at it. And so, most of that really has come to pass.
Anyone can start making comics. There’re lots of different pathways “in” to it. Is there one GREAT way? Not really. If there were one, I’d be endorsing it/working with it. I’ve been trying to get a freely-available how-to system together online since, like, 2002. If there’s one out there now, no one has told me about it.
Anyone can become successful. Is there one great way to do that? Not really. I still see GREAT comics not become successful. And hear that the majority of creators are doing comics as a hobby, not really making any money at it, but keeping going while they work “real” jobs. And that’s fine… making comics as a hobby is a fine thing and there are some extremely great things out there done by plumbers, restaurant workers, etc, that are done when the creator can, and their fans know that about their work, and appreciate it, and get their stuff as it comes out.
And so, it’s that little niggling “enough fans” that is the unreached goal. We have focused the last few years on making a magazine that can be a launchpad for new titles from new creators, etc. To that end, I thank each and every one of you who has read this magazine, for doing your part, and being interested. If you would, in 2016, if you see anything posted about Indyfest, share it on social media. With a tad more effort on everyone’s part to spread the word, we can blow this thing up and help achieve that unreached goal. That is not something that I ask you to do for me. I am irrelevant. At some point, I won’t be here doing this anymore, I will pass it off to, hopefully, someone or some group, hand-chosen to keep it going into the future for us all. I, frankly, would have been better off working to win my own fans, rather than trying to create a place where everyone else can win fans. But instead of saying I’ve done enough, I am going to double down on the idea that we need this, as a community. For the 1,000-some regular fans we have, I am going to shoot to see us at ten times that number by this time next year. I think this Availability Guide idea I have—and the testing of the software to make it work so far shows it’s going to work—will be a game-changing thing for everyone.
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