Comic Creator Interview Update
with Brian John Mitchell
City: Raleigh, North Carolina
Comics: Lost Kisses, XO, Worms, Just A Man, Marked, Star, Pow Wow, etc.
Brian – A few questions worth updating since back in 2011.
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Brian – Over the past couple of years I’ve started to put out a lot more comics & either I am getting worse with each one or the novelty is wearing off, but my friends & family really don’t read my comics these days. I’ve had a few friends that have written novels & I’ve bought them, but never read one in its entirety because they’re just not my thing & I lose interest in them & I think it may be the same type of thing. It’s easier to support a cute hobby than an actual career attempt. I think with over seventy comics, I’m at a point where I can’t even ask somebody to read them, I just let them click that they like I have a new book out on Facebook & not worry about them ever actually reading it. In a way that sucks, because I think some of my stuff the past couple years is improved from the things they read 10 years ago.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Brian – I used to send out a ton of books for reviews, but most people just review the concept (comics the size of a pack of matches) & don’t say much about the actual book & since essentially everyone that would review the books already has, I haven’t really been doing much of anything to push the books in that way the past year. However, I did discover Kickstarter & I had a lot of luck with it & through three campaigns for different comic projects I probably sold more comics than I had in the previous ten years.
QRD – What’s the most frustrating thing about working on a Kickstarter project?
Brian – Kickstarter works really great for discovery & all that, but I thought I would generate more long-term fans than I have. A bunch of people ordered bundles of books & subscriptions & such, but I haven’t really seen any increase in people ordering back issues or new subscriptions or even renewing subscriptions. Which mainly sucks because it makes me feel like my work is shitty & after seeing it they don’t want more.
QRD – What have you done to try to level up your work?
Brian – I basically got invited by Nate McDonough to do a month residency at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse House working on my art & I got a ton of work done & forcing myself to draw everyday really made me figure out how to draw in a way I thought was presentable. Lately I’ve come to realize that I am prone to self-pity over people not noticing my work & it makes me doubt the worth of it, but there’s a level of satisfaction that I can get from just knocking something out in six hours that is really rough & raw & if people don’t like it, I can say I only spent an afternoon on it. I’m looking at those kinda like band practice. You need to practice to get good & you need to make mistakes to figure out what works. It’s weird because I’m getting to a thing where it’s like I’m doing drafts of the same story with it morphing. Always something about someone feeling trapped by society, but in different settings. Not sure why that’s all that’s coming out. But basically, just working more.
Other QRD interviews with
Brian John Mitchell:
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Brian John Mitchell: