Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: The Fanboy Comics staff found BuyIndieComics.com at WonderCon this year, and we were so excited to find a website that connects independent comic book creators directly with comic book fans. What was the inspiration for this organization?
Dale Wilson: First off, thanks for the opportunity to talk about BuyIndieComics.com. It’s a labor of love and I’m always happy to talk to the world about it.
As for where the idea came from, I’ve been working on comics for several years now, and I have often found it frustrating that there aren’t more people talking about the media of comics. I have a literature and art background and a love for comic books since I was a kid, and comics seemed like the best medium to bring together all of these interests. The problem is that most people don’t seem to see comics as a medium, as an art form. Most people see The Big 2 and stop there.
There is, however, a huge and wonderful world of artists out there that want to go beyond The Big 2 and I want to do my part in getting them seen.
BD: BuyIndieComics provides a variety of promotional assistance to indie comic book creators by way of reviews, event marketing, and three-page book previews. What is the best process for indie creators to take advantage of these marketing tools, and do you find that there is a larger fan response to one marketing tool over another?
DW: The best way to reach out to us is through the website. Please go to our contact form and drop us an email. If you don’t get an immediate response, please keep in mind that there are only a few of us here, so we get swamped at times – but, that’s a good thing, right? We’ve had a huge response to the site and I’m excited about it.
As for what works best. I’m not sure yet. We’ve only been doing this for a matter of months. I suppose it has to do with what you want to get out of it. If you’re an artist and just want to talk about your “mad skills,” then an interview is probably the best way to go. If your book is done and you want to get it seen, then a review is the way to go. If you are about to launch your book, then I think that a 3-Page Preview is more along the lines of what you need.
BD: As suggested by your company’s name, your website also hosts its own online comic book store. Is it possible for creators to sell their work through BuyIndieComics?
DW: We’re still working on this, but the idea is that eventually we’ll set up a storefront where anyone and everyone will be able to post their books for sale and fulfill any orders directly. Right now though, it’s all about getting the site seen. One big step at a time.
BD: The Contributors behind your organization all have amazing and varied credentials! How did the team come together, and how would you describe the creative process involved with maintaining such a successful enterprise?
DW: HAHA, yeah, these are all my peeps. I’m a fan of diving into whatever world you live in and finding the best people. Everyone contributing to the site is someone that I know from my years in the industry. Everyone contributing to the site is someone that I think has something interesting to say or do when it comes to comics.
The creative process? I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but for me it comes from a certain amount of love for comics and a certain amount of frustration with the industry as I mentioned above.
BD: In addition to being the creator and Editor-in-Chief of Buy Indie Comics, you are also a co-founder of DWAP Productions, head publisher at MagnificentCreatures.com, and a Creative Editor at The Search Agency. How do you balance your workload, and do you find that you enjoy staying busy?
DW: HAHA, yeah, I don’t know. I’m a relatively driven person and my wife has a similar approach to things, so she does not mind that I’m answering interview questions on a Sunday evening. I’m devoted to art and writing, and I don’t have kids other than our 10-year-old pitbull, Griffin. I often work 7 days a week but I like working. It’s my way of saying that I did something with my life. Don’t get me wrong, I waste days here and there on video games or some other pointless venture, but I try not to let that happen often cause then I just feel guilty.
BD: Many independent creators have viewed web comics and digital comics as the next best way to make their leap into the comic book industry. What are your thoughts on digital comics and their presence in the industry?
DW: Make digital comics. They are a great way to distribute ideas, to work on your chops, and to find an audience. There is a far smaller overhead than in print – even with digital printers, and it’s a great way to practice which is the most important way to get good at whatever you want to do.
BD: What is the most important piece of advice that you can offer to independent creators who aspire to work in the comic book industry?
DW: I think that I just answered this above by accident. Aside form practicing, the next most important thing is to take small steps. Don’t look too far into the future cause that is seriously scary. Oh and then I would mention networking. This goes back to all of the people working on BuyIndieComics.com – I would not know them if I had not gotten out and shaken hands. You can’t dance if you never go to the prom.
BD: On that same note, which creators have inspired your work?
DW: Influences are a weird thing for me. I am mostly influenced by people outside of comics. John Irving and Kurt Vonnegut were huge to me as a writer, but I write nothing like either of them. Inside comics, I love to read some of the staples like Warren Ellis, Brian Wood, and Alan Moore, but I also like to read guys like Joshua Hale Fialkov and Ross Campbell. I’m really inspired by the new creators that I get to see every day though BuyIndieComics.com.
BD: Are there any exciting updates or plans in the works for BuyIndieComics that you would like to share with our readers?
DW: Like I said above, we’ve only been around for a few months, and I take small, important steps on things. So, for now, it’s all about getting content on the site for people to read and getting seen. Eventually, we’ll be making our shopping cart, so that anyone and everyone can use it. But, that’s going to take some time.
BD: Being that we focus on all things “geek” at Fanboy Comics, would you care to geek out with us about your favorite comic books, graphic novels, or web comics?
DW: I’m not a very good fanboy. I’m actually really bad at “worshipping” creators or specific books. I just read the Batwoman: Hydrology book this morning and that was pretty amazing. I guess I would just say that I usually dig whatever I’m reading at the time and if I love it, you’ll probably see a review for it at BuyIndieComics.com.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about your work with BuyIndieComics.com and your other projects?
DW: Tell your friends about us and come back often.