The Magic Press returns to print!

The Magic PressThanks to the advent of digital publishing, The Magic Press can now be seen by a larger audience.

Back in 2009 while Anthony was attending SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), he put together a short little comic book for one of his class assignments. He was required to come up with some characters and then to do a short comic book story for a final assignment. As Anthony was bogged down with five other classes (all wanting a final project) he decided to cheat. Well, sort of.

He had already been playing with the idea of using some of his toy stuffed animals as a starting point but he wasn’t finding the right voice for them. He still wasn’t too sure what to even call his  cast of characters. (Somewhere in the past half decade, he came up with the name THE CRITTERS.) As he struggled to come up a storyline, his mind turned to stories that he remembered from his youth. He had created some fantasy stories for various grammar or high school assignment but none of them seem to fit into THIS particular assignment. Somewhere in his ideal brain, he happened to remember a story that Myke, his father, had once told him, at a young age, when he was home from school due to an illness.  Myke had written down the story in a journal many years before but since decades had past, it had been long forgotten. Anthony, remembering where the story was stored, took a trip to his parent’s house and secretly scanned the pages to be transcribed at a later date. Anthony spent a few days trying to dis-cypher  his father’s handwriting and finalized a working script. After a few weeks of illustrating, Anthony paginated a 10+ page comic book and turned into one of his final projects. Copies were spread on SAIC’s campus and one copy is now viewable in their artist’s library BUT not many outside of immediate family or SAIC’s community have ever viewed this story. Now finally after five years, this short story is made public.

“I’ve always intended to print this story again when I had the chance.”, states Anthony. “I figured now would good time to get it “out there”. I’ve done several more things since then with THE CRITTERS in hopes of having enough material to put together. A few months ago, I was going through copies of my old original work and there it was. I read over it again and realized that the art wasn’t TOO bad. Especially since I was trying to finish it in a short amount of time. It felt like such a shame that it may never see the light of day again.”

Another issue that Anthony feared was his lettering for the story.

“As I was rushing to reach my deadline of a final project which also required me to print it for circulation, my penmanship, in terms of lettering, started to degrade towards the last few pages. I was rushing. My only excuse was my deadline.”

Anthony decided to re-do the lettering digitally for The Magic Press. It is the only story in this new volume that has digital lettering.

Digital lettering version of page two verses Anthony's original hand lettering.
Digital lettering version of page two verses Anthony’s original hand lettering.

“I wanted to make sure it was readable as the whole story is very important to me. Not only is it a part of my memory as a child/adolescent, but the publication also had special meaning as I made it for my father as a 50th birthday gift. Unfortunately, he got his copy a year late. ”

The gesture was no less dear when Myke finally received a copy much to his surprise.

Anthony added, “Many comic book aficionados may complain that the lettering causes a distraction now as it looks slightly off from the rest of the art. I believe my original lettering would have been more distracting if you couldn’t read what was going on. I tend to favor original hand lettering over digital especially when it comes to indie or my own art. But I think it works. It’s not perfect as my original word balloons are smaller/larger to compensate for my crappy lettering. But if the reader is only focusing on my lettering  and that is the only thing that they can comment on and NOT the story after they finish, then why even bother reading? ”

Anthony, after leaving SAIC to pursue freelance work, tried a few comic strips and did to more short stories with the cast of THE CRITTERS. They have been posted on his personal Facebook page as well as an online comic through Comic Fury.com. However, with the release of this version of The Magic Press subtitled And Other Critter Stories, they are all now collected together for the first time.

“I may, at a later date, print a “dead tree” version but for now I want to see if a following forms for these little guys. If so, there may be more adventures on the way.”

The Magic PressThe Magic Press is currently available on Amazon.com for digital download to your Kindle or PC/MAC computer/tablet. It features Anthony’s adaptation of Myke Feinman’s short story, The Magic Press plus two other short comic adventures, F.A.S.C. (Free Associated Sequential Comic) and It Happened Halloween Night. It also includes several comic strips , a few one paged two paneled jokes and a couple of pinups. The cover depicts The Magic Press‘s main character of Charlie, an eighty year old newspaper bear who runs his own print shop and newspaper in Depression Era Midwest. It is a children’s comic book/graphic novel and is suitable for all ages. (May have the word “crap” in a few times though.)

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Free E-book for a review.

TBC E CoverIF Comics staff has been researching eBook marketing, sales results for other indie authors, and various other outlets for getting our work out to the public. With Myke working on a sequel to The Teddy Bear Conspiracies and Anthony just starting to illustrate the last Terry Freedom story, The B.U.C.K.S. Stop Here, we have been wanting to know what you, the fans, think of our work so far. We’ve run a few promotions in the last few months ranging from free download days to price drops for various holidays. Several hundred fans out there have been downloading our books, which is what we like to see, but it all seems meaningless without feedback. NO ONE IS LEAVING FEEDBACK! (tears welling up) Do you like the work? Should we not quit our day jobs? (we weren’t really planning to) Is the work that we are producing even worth people’s time and effort to check out?

Circa 1947, photographic proof of alien crash from The Teddy Bear Conspiracies
Circa 1947, photographic proof of alien crash from The Teddy Bear Conspiracies

So, in order to hopefully gain some feedback, we would like to offer to all you reviewers and fans of science fiction, young adult, teen adventure to read The Teddy Bear Conspiracies for FREE (ebook normally priced at $2.99, trade paper $19, hard cover $25) from now until APRIL 1ST, 2014! BUT, only if YOU want to. Contact us via the private messaging system here on WordPress, a private message on our Facebook page or send us an email message to: nerwonduh@hotmail.com to receive a FREE copy of The Teddy Bear Conspiracies (mobi or epub fomat) as long as you write us a short review on Amazon.com at some point in the next two months. We don’t want a bunch of five star rating for no reason! We want organic and honest reviews on this story. If you don’t want to post on Amazon, post a response on our Facebook page. Better yet, have a blog you do? We would love to promote your blog IF you write a review about the book. Win/Win for both parties. We’re just looking for some feedback and we would be willing to reciprocate! Anthony loves reading new stuff (you should see how fast he reads books) and would be willing to write a review in return. Any takers? Let us know!

(Next blog will feature news about the next publication Anthony is working on: a re-release of The Magic Press written by Myke and illustrated by Anthony for e-comic and possible dead tree version for the Spring of 2014.)

We hope to hear from book fans soon!

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It’s hip to be square.

Comics are a big deal these days. Everywhere we look, pop culture tees, advertisement, both print, video and digital media, are bombarding the general populace. Plus, 2013 marks the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the best known super hero of all time, Superman. Of course, there have been other large milestones that have gone unnoticed. Characters like The Shadow and Doc Savage and other pulp heroes that spawned the current popular comic stars reached that 75th mark ages ago. But, in their own way, they were celebrated by the fans that cared. Dynamite Entertainment, just a few short years ago, obtained the rights to start printing The Shadow in comic form again which has been a huge success. So much in fact that the character has been guest starring in their other titles (Masks, Noir, The Shadow verses Grendel) and expanded the series into other ongoing books. Hence, the rights to Doc Savage were also obtained with a new series hitting comic book stores in December 2013. Sweet time for comic book fans to be introduced to the original characters! All this and more as the nerds and geeks have come to age to take over ruling the world. Businesses are jumping on the band wagon and commissioning their designers to make “comic book work” related advertising. Pop culture is very flush throughout our world. But how long with this resurgence last?

In the early to mid-nineties,  the comic book industry took a big hit due to distribution technicalities. We won’t go into too many details as anything dealing with the history can be easily Googled. The lapse in bad judgement actually caused Marvel (the company that owns The X-Men, Spiderman, Thor, Avengers, ect) to declare bankruptcy and needed a boost from a toy company. Small comic book stores around the county had to close their doors as the bottom began to fall out. Comic book companies soon had to deal with a monopoly of one company, Diamond, handling all the distribution. Magazine companies (Wizard) began buying up pop culture conventions and then raising the prices for vendors to sell their wares as well as fans to enter through their doors with grandiose promises of getting their favorite actors, artists, and writers to attend. A balloon that seemed to have over expanded itself was deflating. Strange how things have changed in the past two decades. Or have they?

Diamond is still the major distributor for comic books and pop culture memorabilia (boosting that sales have been increasing of late, See Diamond Reports), Wizard still holds the market for the largest comic book conventions throughout the country and fans are still being gauged to not only attend but dish out not $1.00 for single issues of their favorites comic books two decades ago but $3.99 or more. Have things really gotten better for the nerds or all we all just deluding ourselves into thinking it’s okay? And to add salt to the wound, digital comics seem to be OUT SELLING their print editions and the comic book companies are making their comic book print editions OBSOLETE by releasing trade paper back editions of a collected series almost IMMEDIATELY after the series hits comic books stands. What’s really going on behind the scenes and why aren’t more people crying “wolf’? Because, it’s all about making the biggest profit. It use to be about producing good work. Don’t get us wrong, there are some great titles coming out with phenomenal art and stories. Of course, these people want to get paid a decent wage for their time and effort. We know that business is business and the whole point of being in business is to make profit. But how far do you need to go so you can edge out the fans that are just starting? (See Who Knew?)

It’s hip to be square in 2013 with comics now available instantaneously via your android phone, tablet, desktop or laptop computer. Sure it seems print sales are picking up, at least according to Diamond with them now allowing comic book stores to return unsold issues. This new news is actually a good thing for small comic book shop owners who are now contending with surplus and overstock of unsold comics.  What we here at IF Comics want to know is how long with this new balloon last? Will the sales still see a rise after another ten years or will the fad fade again as it has done in the past. When will the general public be bored with new television series like Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, Constantine, Gotham Central, Arrow, Flash, ect.? When is the shiny new penny going to wear out it’s shine and become tarnished by the new schmuck who wants it all? We hope the high keeps rising but we also hope that the people behind the scenes don’t pull the wool over their fans eyes and over saturate them too much. We’re already seeing it happen and it’s happening fast. Perhaps a little too fast. All for the love of money, merchandising, and fans?

We’ll be at Collector Con on Sunday!

Collector Con AdIt’s been years since we have done more than three shows in a year. However, for some reason, 2013 seems to be the year to get things started. With Anthony working on a new comic book compilation (not for IF Comics but we will be letting everyone know when it’s released. We have heard it will hopefully be published before Christmas) things may start picking up for more book signings again in the coming years. For the meantime, come by and visit us at Kankakee County Fairgrounds this upcoming Sunday on October 13, 2013. The whole Ink and Feathers gang will be onsite from CEO Cathy Feinman, President and comic creator Myke Feinman, and Graphic Designer Anthony Feinman.

Some of Anthony's artist cards celebrating 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who
Some of Anthony’s artist cards celebrating 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who

All books are still available (some in extremely limited quantities) plus Anthony will have artist cards for sale for $1! Great chance to get some books signed by REAL artists/creators PLUS some original art for an EXTREMELY cheap price. Toys, various comic vendors, and other collectables will be available for the discriminating collector.

We hope to see everyone there!

Fan Ink and Feathers Comics on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest information about signings, book sales, and latest publications! Or just fans to drop us a line. We like talking with our fans! 🙂

Reviews. Are they a good thing?

Depending on what kind of writer/artist you are, you do it for a reason, right? Whether you want to inform the public on some subject matter or you practice your craft as a outlet, you ultimately make the decision on whether it’s meant to be seen. So if you publish your work anywhere, online or in print, you are hoping for someone to respond. The viewer makes the decision as to whether they wish to look or not. Are we ready for the truth? Of course, before anyone can review anything, it first must be seen.

Reviews can make or break any medium. Remember when the movie Borat hit theaters? The movie bombed so fast before it was even in the theaters one weekend due to reviews being posted on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. We, the people, control what we like and dislike by telling the general public what we think. So how advantageous is it to leave a review without knowing what you are talking about?

A recent friend to IF Comics just released a first non-fiction book through Amazon.com less than a month ago. This person choose a single day to run a free promo day in hopes of getting people interested in the subject matter as well as receive feedback. I am not privy to how many people downloaded on that particular day but I do know at least one person (maybe) downloaded the book by leaving a review. The review wasn’t about the book or its contents. They were responding to the book being free and that fact that when they learned about the free day, they went to Amazon to download only to find that the promo was over. For this particular reason, they left a feedback rating of “1”. They did this for nineteen different books all of different genres. What’s the point? Why even bother taking the time? And our graphic designer can’t even get a paying client to respond to his emails?! (See If you can’t communicate…) You have time to pull up almost twenty different websites, type your “review and post under you own name. What does this say about us as consumers? To us it says this individual is cheap, slightly a loser, and has too much time on their hands. Perhaps you should spend your time on doing something constructive like actually reading things that YOU WANT TO READ. It seems that this person forgot that they have a choice. This person choose to be an immature, irresponsible, whining nobody. Kudos though for leaving your ACTUAL name in the review. That took guts.

What about the publishing companies that advertise for paid reviews? Is this logical or realistic? It’s deceitful and manipulative to think that people can not see beyond the reality. All one has to do is compare the book sample as well as what the reviewers are actually saying to be able to read between the lines. Did we not all take reading comprehension in Grammer school?

Real reviews are important for everything. They let everyone know the truth about a product good or bad. It is our belief that everyone should log off of Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin to stop whining about how so and so is a schmuck, and take 3-4 minutes out of your precious free time to comment on your true opinion about the clothes you just bought and its quality, the novel that you actually bought or whatever as you felt it was worth your hard earned dollars. This should also be true for the things that you were given for free. Write an honest review of what you thought. We think it’s only fair. Don’t you? Was it worth the time and effort for this to be made public? Do the right thing and let everyone know the truth. Is it good or bad? Stop whining, get out of your little isolated world, and join the human race by participating like a civilized person. Utilize the tools that have been set before you and speak your mind in a logical fashion. Or do you like broadcasting to the the entire world that your ignorant and cheap?

Support Indie Comic Creators!

By Anthony Feinman

Anthony And Julie show off their commitment to the world of pop culture
Anthony And Julie show off their commitment to the world of pop culture

This past Saturday, Julie and I attended DanCon Fall 2013. Its been a long time since we have attended a show without actually having a table. It’s kind of nice to not have the pressure of waking up at the crack of dawn, getting your merchandise together, cash box counted and settled before commuting to a show’s location. One of the main thing that we both love about attending these shows is spending time talking to the various artists/writers/creators. Even though DanCon is small show (something that IF Comics pushes in relations to starving artists..see post Attending Conventions) it makes it so much easier to visit with almost all the creators in attendance. We were only there for a scant 2+ hours and had a kicking time seeing other people’s work, discussing their ideas, soon to be ideas , as well as where the industry is heading for us all as artists. I wanted to share with everyone some of the work that we got this time around from this small pool of talent.

Written by Greg Hiatt, illustrated by Peter W. Caton
Written by Greg Hiatt, illustrated by Peter W. Caton

First up is Greg Hiatt. I am always excited to talk to creators that are really into their projects. Greg pitched his book, Dick Mummy, as Dick Tracy if he was a zombie. For me, I’m not big into the horror comic genre but I’m a fan of mysteries and anything that seems pulp-ish in nature.  I have to admit just thumbing through this full color comic is visual eye candy. His work in this story is gorgeous and I look forward to divulging into this world filled with noir settings and dark yet lavish color schemes. Moon Comics has a few more titles in their arsenal and additional info can be found on their website, Moon Comics. I didn’t get a chance to ask Greg too much about his process as I was slightly distracted by his writer who was standing next to him dressed like a giant carrot. I’m sure it was promotion for their book, The Vegetable Wars. Check out their site for some previews.

DarkseidJuan Gomez is the next artist we visited with and I was surprised to learn that there is a good chance he and I meet when I was in my early teens! I handed him one of IF Comics business cards and he immediately recognized Terry Freedom. A FAN FROM THE OLD DAYS! Sweet! Even though I had purchased this gorgeous rendering of the new DC 52 version of Darkseid, we ended up trading the sketch card for a copy of Blitz Howser. I am stunned to see artists create these fantastic works on canvas’ no bigger than 2.5″ x 3.5″. I myself have illustrated a few artists cards but am nowhere near the level of Juan’s artistic talent. I had to have this piece as it just stands out as extremely powerful. It just great all around. We (Julie and I) conversed with him for some time talking about his current work and his hope to start churning out content as time allows. We hope to be seeing more his work in the future as it is my belief that it needs to be shared at all costs. Check out his work via his blog: Gomez 13

Writer, Austin Allen Hamlin has already contributed to two comic issues in hopes of bringing the topic of bullying to higher awareness.
Writer, Austin Allen Hamlin has already contributed to two comic issues in hopes of bringing the topic of bullying to higher awareness.

Austin Allen Hamblin is a true example of someone who has been influenced to share his talent with the world through his love of comic book artists through their visual storytelling. This nineteen year old (probably the youngest exhibitor at this functioned) has been recruited to participate is an extremely noble cause, stamping out BULLYING! He was contacted by the organizer, Pam Harrison (her work can be viewed via clicking on the comic cover to the right) to contribute to this publication which is given away to kids and young teens to help them deal with bullying at school. Mainly, to let them know that they are not alone and that this type of behavior should not be tolerated in any form. An extremely noble cause as Pam sends all her contributors free copies of the books for them to distribute or sell to help cover their efforts for their contribution. Austin was even nice enough to share with Julie and I his portfolio of original comic book work from well known comic artists. His portfolio alone could easily pay for ones full semester of credit hours in college. Check out more of Austin’s work at: Hamblin Comics

Russell Lissau contributed his writing talent for a short story as well as Denver Brubaker his writing and illustration talent to this brief anthology.
Russell Lissau contributed his writing talent for a short story as well as Denver Brubaker his writing and illustration talent to this brief anthology.

As anyone knows, I am immediately drawn to anything remotely cartoony in nature. So I couldn’t pass up the chance to check out this comic with writing by Russell Lissau as well as writing and illustration work by Denver Brubaker who were both attending this con. Cats and other small animals dominate this book which will make my tiger, Nerwonduh, extremely happy while Julie’s kitty, Goobers, may sniff it as it’s something new in the house. Goobers mainly tolerates my comic collection more for the fact that I occasionally feed her once in a while. She also seems to think that I have a warm lap.

Russell Lissau has also written a few other works for Omega Comics. They can be discovered at: Pop Goes the Icon. Check out Denver Brubaker’s blog at: Tales of a Checkered Man. I love the drawing styles in this comic and definitely looking froward to reading this.  More of Art Baltazar’s work can be found at:
Art Balatazar’s Electric Milk Creations Studios. Franco can be found at: Blindwolf Studios

Illustrator Christopher Mitten has an infinity for undead creatures
Illustrator Christopher Mitten has an infinity for undead creatures

Christopher Mitten is well known for his work for Dark Horse. Julie and I have seen him at two cons so far. We first got a chance to talk to him at the Kankakee Fantasy Con this year but had to cut our chat short since we had to get back to our table to meet fans. However, since we were not displaying for the Fall show, I finally was able to grab a copy of one of his comic stories. Christopher is awesome each time we have met him, he is always glad to be out and about with humans and not stuck in his office with gallons of coffee at his disposal drawing. He also seems to like to writhe his hands together much like Mr Burns from The Simpsons. I think he needs to get out more. Regardless, he is a great illustrator and I hope to start collecting more his work when I can afford it. The downfall of being a starving artist unfortunately. His work is totally rocking! Check more of his work on his personal website: Christopher Mitten

Written by John Metych, illustrated by Bill Maus
Written by John Metych, illustrated by Bill Maus

John Metych has his whole line of comic book creations under his company Beta 3. He is writer, letterer, editor, and publisher of his work. I picked up his crossover story with previous existing characters left over from the old Malibu Comics days. Anyone remember Malibu Comics? They were based out of California and at one time published stories for a big named property called Star Trek via Paramount. Strange that they went under. Anyway, John dug up a copy of his crossover that also had a signature from his illustrator. Why did he go through the trouble? I have an extremely adorable face! Plus it helps to have a booth babe dangling from ones arm dressed like Batgirl!

I would like to include his web page however, as of this time, it’s currently having technical difficulties. In the meantime, do a Google search for Beta 3 Comics.

Illustrated by Christopher Brault
Illustrated by Christopher Brault

I saw this card on Facebook way before the show started and wanted this piece. Does it not look exactly like Brian Cranston as Walter White?

I was fortunate that no one had bought it when I found Christopher Brault sitting with his long time old friend, Andrew Winkel writer and creator of Raceboy and Super Qwok. Christopher’s work is, like all the other artists displaying this past Saturday, is fab! Check out his work on his DeviantArt Page. Also make sure to check out Raceboy and Super Qwok Adventures available as a print edition or a digital download from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Itunes. Andrew’s 300+ page is filled with short super hero adventure stories based on his four children. It’s a great read and one that people should check out and recommend for children 12 or under. Also check out Breaking Bad on AMC. Only Two episodes left!

Here are a few more artist that we got a chance to chat with but were unable to purchase as I ran out of funds. Collecting comics is like the worst vice ever!

Cory Amos is currently working on a succubus/ vampire character with an interesting twist. Check out his work at: Cory Amos

Mat Fasta does a variety of fantasy work that can be viewed at: Tiamat’s Garden

Brian Lee Martinez has a number of interesting projects lined up that I hope to see really soon. With a blend of anime and manga to his art style, I’m sure he will soon be an up and coming rising star in the indie scene. Check out his work at: Zanamaru

Thanks to all the creators for taking the time to answer my questions and share their thoughts with me. Hope we get a chance to do it again.

Buy more independent stuff my friends! 🙂

Quality over Quanity

In today’s economy, we are seeing more and more companies doing promotion for sales, deals, anything they can think of to get people into their stores or to buy from them online. How does this affect us all as artists?

For the month of September (2013), Ink and Feathers Comics is running a promo for all our publications through Amazon.com. Look for any of our titles and you can see 90% of our graphic novels/books are priced at $0.99. We are saluting our past fans as well as trying to hook new fans to our work in celebration of starting up a fan page. Plus if its not obvious, we are finally digitizing our work. But, is the reduction in the price of our books devaluing their worth?

If you were to do a search online for comic, comic books, graphic novels, pulp, we guarantee that your search engine will give you millions of listings. How does one weed through everything to find something that is truly worth their time and energy? It’s not possible. Much like the observation that we made in a previous post about mainstream comic book conventions (see our blog about comic book conventions) , the number of options at their fingertips overwhelms fans. There is just too much stuff! Is the explosion of POD (Print On Demand) and Ebook publications killing art? We are all fighting it out in our little corners to get a piece of the pie whether it be for financial gain, feedback on work, or some kind of recognition from someone. So, does lowering our price to compete seem like a good idea? In our opinion, yes and no. Let’s examine the pros and cons on how we view things as they are mid 2013.

PROS

Low Prices draw attention.

Lowering your price or doing a free promo day(s) allows readers to choose to take a chance on your work, as it seems affordable. Just recently we did a free promo that allowed readers to download our first two ebook conversions, The Teddy Bear Conspiracies and Superlative Tales. As both books are tied to each other via a continuing storyline, our hope is that people will actually read the book(s) and give us feedback helping us determine whether or not we should truly continuing marketing and making work or hang up our hats. The great thing about having a publication available for download is that fact that now our work can be accessed by the ENTIRE world. Well, at least to those people that shop online. Before, we have only been able to do self-promotion within our own state. Now, we have the entire world at our fingertips.

Worldwide availability

Our books can now be downloaded by folks in Europe, Japan, Mexico, ect and it’s translated. Pretty cool! Anyone can find it and make a decision on whether to take a chance and buy our books. This does include our paperback versions as well. Marketing that was once limited to a population of 12,869,257 people is now global (Potentially in the billions).

Self publishing is easier to do than it was 10 or even 20 years ago.

When we started publishing, ebooks were nowhere near the efficiency or availability that they are today. If you wanted to self publish, most publishing houses required a minimum print run of 3,000 copies. If you don’t have the reach or money to afford a publicist, you are on your own with everything. Marketing is a lot of work. It requires time, energy, and a lot of patience. In the early nineties, scanners and computers were mostly limited to business and personal computers were still fairly unaffordable to most middle class families. It’s not like today where most everyone can write from a personal laptop or even a mobile phone.

Peer Grading

Fans make the decision as to what is good or bad rather than some high and mighty editor who believes he or she is king of their domain. Readers decide what they like if they have access to it.

CONS

Downloading a free book is too easy.

People tend to see the word “FREE” or $0.99-$1.00, fizzle out from the overload of adrenaline (I GOT TO HAVE IT!), and start downloading everything they see. There is no guarantee that these people will even get to reading what they have just downloaded as the temptation of getting things free or cheaper than usual can become overwhelming. (We ourselves have fallen into this trap and now have over a dozens novels that may take months for us to eventually get around to reading.)

Anyone can do it with the right software

Due to the advances in technology and the availability of desktop publishing programs, anyone, without proper training and editing, can pop out books in a moments notice. Since everyone can do it, there is now an over saturation of literature out there. Some of it good and would never have been seen by the general public due to being turned down by a publishing house that didn’t want to take a risk. However, just because you THINK you can write a book or draw a story or whatever, doesn’t exactly mean you are good at it. There are people who spend four years or more of their life studying and refining their craft in a university setting. Most tend to get a little pissed that some yahoo from the sticks pops out a book and is an instant success. How would you feel spending time and energy on something you went to school for only to be out shadowed by someone who has less training or little respect for the craft they have just now contributed to? We personally believe that it takes skill and training to use these tools properly resulting in professional publications. We personally get irked when we see or are asked by clients to make “stick figures” for their ad work or publications.

Peer Grading again

Since anyone and everyone can now do what a big named publishing house could only do 10-20 years ago, we are now saturated with art in all forms. Instead of an editor deciding what is good or bad, it is left up to the public. And there are haters out there. People for whatever reason due to jealousy or nothing else to do like to troll the Internet and try to degrade anything or everything they see. With the advent of being connected all the time through ones computer or cell phone, any form of art is now subject to immediate critique.

You are one in millions upon billions of people doing the same EXACT thing.

We are now all doing the same thing: creating and pouring our hearts in our work and wanting to share it with the world. The competition is staggering.

So the question is what’s good and what’s bad? We are now part of a society that is pouring out information, technology, and art at an alarming rate that it’s too over whelming for people to fathom and process. We are losing our identities as humans by limiting our interactions though our devices. Instead of remembering the pleasantries of “Thank You”, “Please”, and Respect, we are devaluing our society by not stopping and smelling the roses. We are all whipping material out and bombarding each other with our work in hopes of getting noticed. Is it working? We have no idea. Quantity is taking precedence of the quality. We are losing the value of art by overwhelming our readers/viewers. Is it a good thing? Not from our view.

We, here at IF Comics, try to value our work by doing our best. We are, by far, not perfect. However, we try to tell good, fun stories that we hope will entertain our readers. We are never going to make millions of dollars as we doing this for fun. But, we value the importance of the time and effort anyone and everyone who creates art in any form. If done correctly, your work will shine. Don’t devalue it by churning it out and bombarding the public. Take your time, do the best job, you can and people will see its value. Be respectful of others and their time and effort. We should all have a fair chance to be noticed. It’s still a big world no matter how small the digital revolution has made it.

View this additional blog and opinion by Laurie Stevens called What’s a Good Book Worth?