A lot of you write me with questions on how to launch your own comic, in print or on the web. Comics reporter, Jennifer Contino, posted a great article over at The Pulse today and, well, she says it all, and she says it really well, so I thought I’d link to it. There’s a lot more to ‘making it’ than just having a good product. And most of us creative types are shy and have a hard time self promoting. I count myself amongst you. But my good friend Beau Smith who is a marketing master hammered into my brain long ago that no one else is going to push your book for you–not even your publisher. So work hard, get the word out there and, you know, talk to people at conventions. There’s nothing that drives me battier at a convention than seeing some depressed, dejected artist at their table looking like they’re about to burst into tears because no one is buying their stuff. I won’t lie, I walk to the opposite side of the aisle and avoid eye contact with those people. If you’re really interested in marketing your comic, you should pick up Beau’s book No Guts No Glory.
On a completely unrelated note, one of you reminded me that today is the 239th anniversary of the infamous Boston Massacre. You remember, back on March 5th, 1770, it was a cold and icy New England night, and the British army was occupying Boston, and the Bostonians were none too happy about them being there. Some boys picked a fight with the British Regulars, threw ice at them, called them names and shouted really brilliant things like, “Fire!” and well, surprise, they did. Five people in total died, and you can still visit their grave in Boston today (I did!). The spot where it happened is commemorated by a plaque in the middle of a busy intersection, and I remember trying to contemplate the event I had just learned about in my history class there, noisy cars buzzing by all while I was trying not to get hit. It wasn’t exactly a, uh, profound experience.
In any event, John Adams eventually successfully got an acquittal for most of the British Soldiers he represented in the trial, even though his cousin Samuel and his roguish friends Paul Revere and The Dreamer’s favorite patriot, Dr. Joseph Warren, had gone to great lengths to inflame the populace over the incident. Paul Revere engraved a lovely, and infamous piece depicting, err, not very accurately, the event, and then distributed it around town:
If you’re interested in the Boston Massacre, the first episode of the HBO John Adams mini-series covers it, from John Adams’ perspective anyway.
My favorite part of the “Bloody Massacre” is that on the five year anniversary of the event, Dr. Warren gave a commemorative speech which, though full of cliche political rhetoric and also not exactly politically correct (by our standards), was peaceful. Crowds swelled at the Old South Meeting House in anticipation of his arrival, so much so that Dr. Warren had to climb in a window to get inside and give his speech. He came dressed in a toga, appearing before the crowd as Cicero. British Regulars patrolled the event, and one officer sat in the front row with two loaded pistols on his lap as a warning to Warren that if things got rowdy, there was a musket ball or two with his name on it. Warren, seeing the man’s threat, stepped down from the podium and dropped his white handkerchief over the pistols in an act of assurance that the night would be peaceful.
You know, a month or so later, I don’t think he would’ve made that same promise…