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Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Call to Arms: Let's Make More Comics!

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything new on the site and since I don’t have any other project announcements (for now), I thought I’d respond to the most common thing that I’ve heard since launching the site (and in true Ryan Schrodt fashion, I’m going to turn that into a call for even more work).  After posting the announcements for my various comics, I’ve had ton of people ask me about how I keep everything straight and about why I would push myself to do so many comics while juggling a personal life and a day job.

The short answer is pretty simple: I’m addicted to telling stories and making comics.  I love the medium and I’m bound-and-determined to tell as many stories as possible, which means working on as many projects as possible. 

As of today, in various stages of production (by that I mean they are with artists), I have 3 miniseries, an original graphic novel, 3 short comics (one is a back up story, the other are anthology contributions), and a webcomic that I write and draw each week.  In addition to this, I’m planning to edit and launch a major anthology comic in 2013.  To me, though, that isn’t enough.  I want to do more.

A few years ago, I had what I thought was going to be the biggest step forward in my career writing comics turn into the biggest setback I’ve ever had.  While I was writing my review column for (the Comic Book Review Power Rankings, which I ended in mid-2011 to focus on writing comics), I was in regular contact with a hot new publisher that was making all sorts of splashes in the industry about reviewing their books.  I inquired to them about their submission process (they didn’t have an open process listed on their website) and was invited to send some ideas over.  I pitched an idea to my regular contact and was told that the company loved my ideas and style (I had some short comics posted online), but that the comic I pitched wasn’t a good fit for them.  I was invited to pitch more and spent an entire summer developing new ideas and concepts that I “shopped” to this publisher.

Then my contact was fired from the company.  Then I heard rumors that other young creators were being told the same thing I was and that, in all likelihood, no one in editorial ever saw our pitches.  Needless to say, I was devastated.  I had been so focused on developing concepts for this company that I hadn’t been hunting down artists for traditional pitches.  I had wasted months of my time chasing a phantom.  It completely derailed me for quite a while. To this day, I don't know how much of the situation is or isn't true, but it's aftereffects were apparent.

The good news is that this entire process caused me to really push myself creatively.  I came up with dozens of concepts and full outlined quite a few of them.  I had comics of every genre prepared.  Some were great ideas and some were fairly crappy.  I became a better writer because of it and I’ve never stopped putting together as many ideas as I can.  I now have more comic ideas than I’d ever been able to publish in a lifetime and I’m still coming up with new ideas every single day.  Some of them will make amazing comics some day.  I’d like that someday to be soon.

So here is my “call to arms.”  There are dozens of small press companies out there that are hungry for new comic ideas.  Companies like Action Lab, Comix Tribe, and 215 Ink have shown that you don’t have to be the biggest dog in the fight to get noticed.  Companies like Monkeybrain, Inc and Double Feature Comics have changed the way we look at delivery.  There has never been a better time to want to break into comics.  So, let’s quit talking about it and start doing it.

If you are an artist and you want to create comics, let me know.  I have dozens of ideas that we can work through.  I can guarantee that no matter what you want to draw, I’ve probably got an idea that will fit what you are looking for.  Let’s flood these publishers with pitches.  Let’s get as much work as we can in front of as many people as we can.

To be honest, I can’t pay you…but I’m not getting paid yet either.  Let’s make comics because we love them.  We’ll share ownership and we can split profits based upon workload (which means you get more money than I do).  If you can only do a page a week for now, that’s fine.  If you are an inker, colorist, or letterer, I want to hear from you too. 

You want to make a comic? Come find me.  Email me at  Find me on Twitter @RyanSchrodt. Hit me up on Facebook:

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