I’m excited…. people around the comic industry know I’ve been yammering about this for years, telling people how great it would be to illustrate classic business and self-help books or topics… and how our industry greats like Will Eisner basically LEFT entertainment comics for “info” comics back in the day…. (as I mentioned in my ebook he actually made more money that way too!) – Will Eisner foresaw the comics medium being WAY more than a throwaway entertainment and he preached it… but not many have ever listened. Scott McCloud came the closest with his “Understanding Comics” books which are fantastic and legendary.
Ever since walking away from drawing mainstream super hero stuff and even turning down some “big” companies offers, I’ve wanted to do “non-fiction” comics. I’ve been quietly working on one big one off and on for some time and figured I’d self-publish it. Most people rolled their eyes when I’d mention the self-help market, business books, health books, recipes, but I know it would be a great success.
And what do you know? A company FINALLY came around to serve this needed market. www.smartercomics.com – Will Eisner would be smiling ear to ear! And so am I. They’re offering illustrated versions of some classic best selling books like THINK AND GROW RICH, and newer stuff by self-help coaches and business gurus. And they are not fooling around, hitting it right out the gate in print, ipad, amazon, barnes and noble. They’ll even be distributed in Hudson News airport shops.
The great thing about non-fiction comics that teach you something or inspire you is that the material won’t be discarded, it will likely be kept and read and referenced again and again, especially pertaining to business and self-help.
I’ve had some conversations with “big” publishers over in comic book land who basically laughed off this idea. But then again, you won’t see their books in airports across the country or buzzed about by Forbes Magazine and on Fox News. It may be too early to tell how well this company will do, but if I had money to bet, I’d bet on SmarterComics.
As for me… I’m still working on my first big non-fiction graphic novel on the side that I was going to self publish, but now I’m really wanting to go through a publisher like SmarterComics who TOTALLY GET my vision for non-fiction comics. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about what comics and this visual medium can do in a very long time. I have no desire to really play or compete in the “comic market” -, I’m sick of making throwaway entertainment, I want to produce comics that help other people. Period.
When I blogged last year about stepping up my game and “taking comics to the next level” this is exactly what I was talking about. Time to get cranking.