I have decided to go forward with Quiet Desperation. No publisher wants it and I'm not waiting for any comic book creators to step up and offer cover blurbs as it doesn't look like it's going to happen. This book's journey has sent me spiraling into depression so it may be the last book that I print. I know I've threatened that before and I really don't know why I keep putting myself in the same situations but it feels like the last one. I will be conducting a Kickstarter for the book in May (hopefully) or at the latest June for a July release. This will be the biggest Kickstarter campaign that I have attempted and I hope that I can get some support to make it a reality. I have submitted information to the Library of Congress and acquired a bar code and ISBN number which is something I've never done before. I'm going to make this book legit even if it kills me! So look for me to be bothering everyone about this book for the next few months. Let the begging begin!
Yesterday, in a stupor of depression and ennui, I made a passionate plea to the comic creators on Twitter for blurbs for my book Quiet Desperation and I got back pretty much what I expected, nothing helpful. Hey, who am I? No one to them it seems. It does seem odd that someone would respond to the tweet(s) with no intention of looking over the book to provide a cover blurb when that's all I asked for in the tweet which I provide for you below:
This is not my normal type of post so please bear with me. Recently, after the passing of my younger brother, I began to think about unrequited ambitions and legacies. You see, my brother was a prolific writer whose work remains largely unrecognized. His best friend brought a stack of his unproduced movie scripts to his funeral and laid them out on a table for others to view. It was a sad display. It made me think about my own work and the possibility that someday someone would do the same for me. Much like my brother I too have produced a large amount of work over the years that is largely ignored by the general public. My work is writing and drawing comics for the most part and I have been at it since the late 80's. I have self-published many books but have never been embraced by the greater comic book world. Believe me, I understand. The arts are a rough industry to break into. Artists, musicians, poets, and all manner of creative types struggle to "break through". I'm no exception and I should stop trying after all these years but, once the arts grab you, they don't let go. So I started work on a book that dealt with my early struggles with trying to break into the comic book industry. It also addressed my depression and insecurities (which forced me to abandon drawing altogether for a great number of years). I went through and cleaned up all of my early work from 'zines, mini-comics, and early self-published stuff. I interspersed personal recollections and tidbits about the comics and my experiences throughout. It was the most personal I ever got with my work. when it was finished I had high hopes that it might be good enough to be published by someone other than me. Well that was another pipe dream I guess. Ironic that a book about not being able to get published can't get published but whatever. Thankfully, we live in a world where there are alternative avenues to publishing. I'd done it before so why not? All of my crowdfunding for books in the past have been successful but with small runs (less than fifty copies on most). I wanted to go big this time and actually get this book out there in bigger numbers. So I reached out to other comic book creators. This is where the story turns to concern about the industry itself and why there isn't more of a community among artists. Being part of a community of artists is probably more appealing to me that "making it" honestly. But that's neither here nor there. So I put out feelers to comic book creators that I felt comfortable approaching about getting some blurbs (y'know the accolades that don the back cover of books) to help with the campaign and lend an air of respectability to the project. And, honestly, I yearn for someone, anyone, to tell me that I'm not still working in vain. I need validation! LOL. So the nicely worded pleading for blurbs went out to many a creator. And this is where my faith in the industry wained. I received exactly one kind offer to look at the book and render judgement upon it. Thanks
Monty Nero! All the others? Nothing. It's disheartening. Some said they were far too busy to help as if reading a comic and offering a word or two was so hard. Maybe it is, what do I know.? It is sad to me though that artists and writers who were one day in the exact same place as I am can't be more sympathetic to my situation. A nice reply about how they couldn't help would have been nice though right? I don't know. The whole process has been a little depressing. Only one publisher responded to my book submission! And that was a polite "no thanks". Which is better than not knowing so thanks Chris Staros and Top Shelf Comics! Anyway.... I guess this turned into a rant about my disillusionment with the industry but I think I'm more upset that artist aren't willing to help other artists more. The real reason for this wasn't to gripe but to make an impassioned plea for help. It's a weird way to go about it I suppose but I wanted to share the backstory before I begged for help. Is there anyone out there in the industry willing to look the book over and share a word or two to help me out? A quote to share on the book? As undignified and rude as it may be I'm going to ask anyway. It's come to that. Getting this book out there may be the deciding factor in whether I keep on keeping on with comics or not. I know this is taboo and probably not very cool but here it goes. To all of the artists on Twitter who I follow or who see this post. Please message me if you're willing to take a look at the book. I regret this but now I list people I follow in desperation (I then tagged over fifty comic book creators). I know most of the tagged people will not care or may be upset that I tagged them. But, honestly? I'm both ashamed and desperate so there you are. I apologize.
And then I got notes from creators about networking on social media, how to design my cover better (I shared it along with the post), and sympathy for the loss of my brother. All of which I was not asking for and was not the point. Was I asking for too much? I was also told that writing a blurb for a book is a very personal thing and that I didn't seem to understand that. Really? I love comics and would be willing to read them for FREE to provide a nice quote to help a fellow creator out....wouldn't you? Maybe I'm missing the point and I'm sorry but the whole process has gotten me down.