VANTAGE:INHOUSE PRODUCTIONS
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Liber Distro welcomes V:IP!

Posted On Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The NEW distribution home for V:IP!
Independent distributor, Liber Distro, welcomes Vantage:Inhouse Productions into the fold!  Along with other small-press publishers 215 Ink, Red 5 Comics, Alterna Comics and more, V:IP will be available for INTERNATIONAL distribution through the direct market to retail shops across the globe!  

We definitely feel the privilege of being included amongst such notable creators and take this step forward as recognition that we're on the right track, making solid, entertaining comics for today's readers.   But while we're taking in this accomplishment, we're rededicating ourselves to push further and continue advancing in the world of comics and publishing!


Am I an Indy or an Indie...?

Posted On Monday, September 17, 2012

What kind of Independent Publisher IS V:IP?
It's always been clear that not all comics are created equally -- some are better drawn, better written -- just downright BETTER.  But I must confess, recently, I had my notions of what that meant, nearly shattered!  I learned that a fellow Independent Creator had a bad experience with a local comic shop(LCS) where his work was essentially "rejected" (for lack of a better word).  Now, this same shop has accepted my work and with a bit of fanfare, outright purchasing my books (no consignment deals) and showcasing them at the register for point-of-purchase talk ups -- so obviously, I have an affinity for them (the shop...well, yeah, my books too!).

But make no mistake, the aforementioned creator's work is good -- VERY GOOD -- so I'm not even pondering whether my books are better in anyway shape or form...well, except for being stylistically inclusive to what comic shops are looking for.  This other creator would call his books a bit more "underground" in nature and in knowing that, I can say that perhaps his books may not do well at LCS, where they mainly push Mainstream titles (Batman, Superman, Avengers, etc.) -- it's the wrong crowd, I suppose, because just as not all comics are equal, neither are their readers.

Still, it took me back a bit -- if his work didn't stylistically resonate and my work did, should I call/consider myself an Independent Creator like he does or am I something different?  In all honesty, I don't know how to answer that question -- there are so many facets of things to sift through and apply that I may never know.  But in the world of small press, alternative comics, underground comics, indie books or indy books, I have to wonder if there is a way to better define what kind of books we're individually making, so that we can grow and empower the form in ways not yet imagined.

I'm certainly up for discussion on this and I hope to hear from you other creators out there and see how YOU define what type of books you make!

V.


When Bad-Ass Meets Hell Yeah!

Posted On Sunday, September 9, 2012




Twilight Star, one of the premier small-press studios in Central Ohio is publishing The Villain in their upcoming fifth issue of Pandemonium Spotlight!  Studio Editor-in-Chief, Bill Gladman bought a copy of our ash-can release earlier this year and was absolutely floored by it -- so much so, that he wanted to give it even more press under the Twilight Star label!  And this version features a NEW cover, penciled by series artist, Miguel Barriga and colored by Origins Unknown artist, Jacob Newell!  It's a VERY exciting development for us and we can't wait to see it on stands!
The reddish, monochromatic coloring
style adds drama AND just looks
cool!


But don't think we're letting Twilight Star have ALL the fun!  I'm currently working on a new mono-chrome color edition of The Villain, which will be available later this year!  In fact, check out the completed first page!   We'll have more info coming in soon, so stay tuned and get ready for one of the coolest studio team-ups in the small press!  

For more information on Twilight Star, visit them at www.twilightstarstudios.com or head over to Packrat Comics in (Hilliard, OH) on Oct. 6th for the third annual STAR CON -- a 
celebration of the studio's continued success!

Unconventional - "Making Comics MY Way" pt 2

Posted On Friday, September 7, 2012

     I spent about 3 months putting together Omnibus #1 -- certainly a far cry from the production schedule of a mainstream comic book, but somewhat common of small-press books -- it was a definite learning experience, with me taking on roles that I wasn't AS familiar with, filling in as illustrator, inker, colorist and print setup.  Admittedly, it was at a GREATLY reduced workload than your typical comic -- there were only 9 pgs of sequential work, with a few pinups.  The rest were more like pulp stories with spot illustrations to accompany them.

Final two-page splash of Chronicles of Legend from Omnibus #1


     But also during that time, I spent a few hours at a local theatre (about 6 hours total) drawing sketches to raise money for the print cost.  In my initial article, I talked about creating your own con space [For a reminder, check HERE].   What that meant, in this regard specifically, was not waiting for someone else to create an opportunity FOR ME.  I had already setup, years before, a con of sorts, when comic-based movies came out.  So, with that already in place as a resource, I simply used it as my fundraising platform.  I stated with a $5.00 investment and was able to produce 50 or so "sketch cards" -- these were pretty big (8.5x5.5"), but could hold more info about the project, though now, 'd use the standard sketch car size (3.5x2.5").

This Wonders of the Great Beyond piece was
one of the pinups featured in Omnibus #1 
     The plan was to raise $50.00, charing only $1 for each custom sketch card.  I know that seems like underselling, but I was taking both my need and the environment into account -- be honest, after paying for tickets and getting candy, popcorn and a drink, you have little more than a dollar to spend anyhow!  In retrospect, considering how long it took to do each piece (about 20-30mins), I really should've had a higher price tag, but still...you live and you learn!  (Actually it was at such an event that I launched the "Fetch-A-Sketch" campaign, where sketches were sold for a donation, the minimum bid being $1!)  Luckily, there were some who valued what I was doing and why, that graciously gave more than what was being asked (sometimes without making a purchase at all!)

     So, like I said, in about 6 short hours, I made about $65, which not only funded my first comic book, but also covered the shipping AND the initial investment of $5.  I purchased my print run through print-on-demand (PoD) site, Ka-Blam.com (because they have a sister site, Indyplanet.com that acts as an online store) and got them (about 20 copies) on March 18th, 2010 -- a poignant date for my personal comic career, but that's a story for another time.  And because I didn't have to pay for the run out of pocket, I divvied up the copies between a few local comic shops -- this was a radical move because I gave them away FOR FREE!
      But in just a few days time, with a bit of promotion on my blog and Facebook page (I wasn't on Twitter at the time, yet), I made my first online sale, and then my second and then my third!  Granted, I've only sold 5 copies total of Omnibus through Indyplanet, netting a sales profit of $4.35.  And again, it's obviously not much, but it proves me right -- I made a comic that was immediately proiftable.  And once I figure out a solid way to do it on a(n) (inter)national level -- WATCH OUT!

     Since then, I've played more to the original plan of using ad space sales to fund print runs, but soon, I'll be going for the gusto, combining both efforts (ad sales AND fundraising) and seeing what that does for me.  Of course, sharing this means someone else may beat me to it...so I better get back to work!  See ya!
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