Comic Book Conventions, Magazines, and more

Building a Cartoon Entertainment Website for Fun and Profit

Part Three — Promoting the Website (cont.)

Comic Book Conventions, Magazines, and more

Also consider magazines and other publications that focus on the subject of your cartoon. It might be worthwhile to draw a page or two of a comic strip that best represents your cartoon and also uniquely suits the magazine in question, and offer to let the magazine print your page or two for free. That way you can attract the attention of thousands of readers, however many people read that magazine. Be sure to include a prominent mention of your website’s name (its URL) so that people who are intrigued by what they see in the magazine will know where to look on the internet to find more. Also include the word “free” so that people know they won’t be obligated to sign up for a subscription service.

Sometimes promotion can come in unexpected ways — for example, this true story of the birth of the underground comic books. Back in the mid 1960s in San Francisco, cartoonist Robert Crumb independently drew and printed a black-and-white comic book, for which there did not exist a ready market. There were no comic book stores or comic book conventions back then. Crumb walked the streets of San Francisco, with a baby carriage full of his comic books, trying to sell copies to passersby. Initially he sold very few. His comics, however, contained stories about characters engaged in sexual situations, and soon a publisher of a weekly giveaway newspaper with a large press run, which specialized in sex ads, began ripping off Crumb’s comic book stories, printing them without permission or compensation. Crumb was so broke at the time he couldn’t afford to file a lawsuit. But surprise — thousands of people saw Crumb’s comics in the giveaway newspapers who otherwise would never have heard of them, and it created a huge demand for more comic book stories by Crumb, which launched his career as the first and foremost artist and publisher of what became known as underground comix.

Today some independent cartoonists are making a fair living by renting a booth at various comic book conventions, to promote their work. Of course it helps to have printed material to sell, such as a comic book. But the main thing is to promote your work to potential audiences who haven’t heard of it before. And presumably, everyone who buys your comic book will show it to their friends, so be sure to have prominently printed on the book’s cover the name (the URL) of your website. Every year, usually in the summer, practically every major city in the U.S. has a comic book convention. A list of these conventions, with dates and addresses, is updated a few times a year in a magazine titled The Comics Buyer’s Guide.

Weekend swap meets could be another outlet to promote and sell your comic book. Remember that the real purpose is to promote your website, where you can hopefully sell additional character merchandise.



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