Well, kids…welcome to another “how to Installment”. In the past, I have guided you towards how to write effective super-hero books. I decided to broaden the focus. Today, we address writing indie comics.
These can be the fast track to stardom, more than people think. But it requires a different approach.
1.Black and White: Color is bad, as it suggests your are a slick, big company product. If you color your comic, use something low tech. Like crayons. But uit is best to stay tried and true with the black and white. Want proof? Look no farther than Bone. Black and White? Jeff Smith is n indie saviour. Color? Just another Image comic. Indie fans see black and white as a sure sign of quality.
2.Low Tech: Avoid fancy thinks like decent paper. This is especially simple if you go black and white. You can draw it up, run to Kinkos, use cardstock for a black and white cover and…WHAMMO! Instant comic book. Indie fans distrust anything too slick, so it is best to avoid the appearance of being “bigger” thanyou really are.
3. Super Powers: Spandex is the kryptonite of indie comics. You can certainly write stories about people with other worldly powers. You just don’t want to put them in costume. Nothing will cause your indie audience to turn up their nose like spandex clad heroes. The only exception is parody. If you are mocking super heroes? It’s okay.
4.Write What You Know: Write from real life. No matter how trivial or boring it is. Indie Comics thrive on the miserable lives of their creators. And fans thrill to live vicariously through the auto-biographical accounts of abuse, childhood sexual abuse, drug use, divorce, lousy dates, being gay/straight/bisexual or just growing up in a boring small town. Plus, you are guaranteed critical acclaim.
5. Characters: Your characters should be cynical. Or depressed. Or flat out angry. Use all three and you have a tri-fecta of spite. Use them to express your deepest hate. You despise Britney Spears? Give your cynical, angry character a hateful rant about her. Hate Christians? create a character to represent all Christians and portray him as a bafoon or hate monger. Be very smug. Smugness is made of win. Avoid cheerful characters-unless the intent is to mock them. Indie Comic fans take great pride in looking down on people they consider less intelligent than themselves(read: Everyone). This leads us to # 6.
6. End of Issue Rants: Put rants in the back of your comic. The crazier the better. Write long manifestos about your wacky right or left wing beliefs. These help underscore your “rebel” status. This also helps your reader, in case they missed that you hate cake while reading your indie comics “Why I Hate Cake”. If you don’t have any crazy beliefs? Surf the internet and get some. It’s surprisingly easy!
There you have it. A simple guide to Indie Press Stardom.