Strengthening the Weakest Link

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How Indie Link is bringing comic creators and illustrators together

by Megan Combs

JosephAMichael_IndieLinkSo you’ve got an idea for a comic book, but no one to illustrate it. Or maybe your comic book is complete, but now you don’t know how to distribute it.

That’s where Indie Link comes in.

Created by Akron native Joseph A. Michael, the website Indie Link (indielink.us) was created to be a space where comic illustrators and creators can share tools and tricks of the trade for people who are just starting out.

Anyone who joins Indie Link has the opportunity to create a profile and use it as an online portfolio to showcase their talent. Users can then add release dates, convention dates and more. It’s also a place where comic shop owners can create profiles to reach out to users looking to distribute their work.

“There is only one comic book distributing company,” Michael said. “And you have to make a certain amount of money before they distribute you. So it’s hard for people who are just starting out to get anywhere.”

Not to mention competing with the likes of Marvel and DC for shelf space.

Indie Link was born out of the struggles Michael and his comic creator and illustrator friends faced on a daily basis. As the creator of the comic book series “Only Human,” Michael wanted to share his experiences and how he overcame them to help others.

“I’ve experienced years of struggle and hundreds of hours of research, lost sleep and money,” Michael said. “It’s not an easy industry to break into. There is a steep learning curve.”

Michael has asked some more established comic creators to share pro tips on his site in an effort to help others save money on marketing or from making rookie mistakes. There are also tips for creating an effective kickstarter campaign, how to videos, a community forum and more.

“I want the independent creators to have a voice among the big players,” Michael said. “Right now there is no singular voice for us and it’s sad. We all try to support each other and that’s my hope for Indie Link.”

The website is still under construction, and Michael plans to relaunch in about three or four months. Until then, Like the Indie Link page on Facebook to connect with other creators around the nation.

 

Megan loves writing about comic illustrators and creators. Tweet her at @WhoIsMeganCombs if you’d like to be featured.

Joe shares five tips for comic creators and illustrators who are just stepping into the market.

  1. “Make sure your heart is in it. Success won’t happen immediately, but if your heart is in it, you’ll be able to keep going.”
  2. “Have discipline and put in the hours needed to get your work done. Don’t get jaded by other people’s success. If you put in the time and effort, you’ll get there too.”
  3. “Be diligent when it comes to choosing your collaborators. A project can be destroyed by the wrong creator or illustrator. Then be patient with the people you do end up working with.”
  4. “You’ve got to have tough skin. There are always going to be critics and naysayers.”
  5. “Build a strong network of support from local shops and fellow creators. Don’t treat this like a competition, just think of it as a bunch of collaborations.”

 

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