Can anyone give me a rough estimate of what it takes to produce a comic? Say you had a fantasy or SF TV series idea. Say you couldn't sell it to DC or Wildstorm or Marvel etc. Are comic books cheap enough to produce that you could actually finance a run of, say, six issues? 'Cause we all know execs will read comics when they won't read scripts. And (if it's done right) your book can answer a lot of questions about look and visual style that a script won't.
As you can imagine there are a lot of factors involved, including payment to the production team, art, lettering, colorist--unless you can work out a deal with them. Right now I'm working on two books for publication through Image Comics. One book is set up as a split in profits between myself and the art studio, the other is set up so that I retain all control and rights, but the art team takes first time publishing profits.
I don't want to go too far into finances here but email me if you'd like and I can give you examples of other projects and possible outlets.
I would also look around on The Engine (www.the-engine.net) to hook into that crowd. Lots of good suggestions there. There's a link on my blog for it.
I have been doing some poking around in the comics arena as well.
If you're looking to retain the media rights (which I guess is the point here), I'd recommend publishing through Image. In my experience as a comic editor-turned-writer, most "creator-ownership" deals actually only allow the creators to retain the copyright on the comic itself, while the publisher hogs the lion's share of media & merch rights (although your mileage may vary).
With Image, on the other hand, you get to own the whole thing lock stock, while still benefiting from Image's "Premier Status" in Diamond's retail order catalog. You just pay Image up front to publish each issue. On the downside, you need to either a) pay the artist out of your own pocket, or b) find a good artist who's nonetheless willing to work off the back end for a share of the rights.
I've been looking into this myself, as I'm keen to cook up some comic-to-film projects off the back of THE LOSERS. Drop me a line at "blogger1 *AT* andydiggle *DOT* com" if you'd like to dscuss it further.
Love the blog - and the book - BTW :) Andy
Riding on the backs of what Justin, Bill and Andy have said, Image seems to be the best option if your intentions are for it to be a vehicle for a movie option. Although self publishing is an option, the ability to be able to choreograph, market, and deal with distribution is a full-time job in itself.
The Image deal, as it's called, is where Image approved your book for publication and does the printing, distribution, and basic marketing (inside the comic system) for a flat fee per issue. Obviously they wouldn't print if your pre-orders were below their benchmark, but I believe you wouldn't have to worry about meeting that.
Everyone at Image is a receptive lot, and I'm sure they'd be up to discuss this with you directly.
Andy and Chris summed it up well here. I find getting the right team together and keeping the artist moving forward is one of the big hurdles when you're working on back end profits as opposed to offering a page rate.
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