Word Balloon Podcast

Word Balloon Podcast – Ed Brubaker Part 2, Sam Humphries, and Josh Blaylock

Show Notes

Today on Word Balloon, we’ve got more conversations about the how comic book business is changing and what factors new creators should consider as they try to put their books in the hands of consumers.

Ed Brubaker is back for part 2 of our marathon discussion. He gives the reasons why he left DC to join Marvel in an exclusive deal that included taking advantage of the ICON imprint, which led to books like Criminal and Incognito.

Sam Humphries talks about the new status quo in The Ultimates #16, as Captain America becomes president of the United States and takes a hands on approach to settling the current US civil wars. We also take a look at his BOOM! Studios sci-fi series Higher Earth. In the pre-tablet world, MySpace was a big player in the digital comics arena, and Humphries as manager of content development was a big part of MySpace Comics. He tells us about the heyday of the social media site, specific promotions involving Dark Horse Presents, BOOM! Studios, and Marvel, and what lessons can be learned from that digital initiative comparing it to today’s marketplace.

Josh Baylock , Publisher of Devils Due Publishing talks about his imprint’s transformation into a turn-key operation set up to provide not only publishing but other direct marketing services for a comics creator who wants to self publish. He has a current Kickstarter project for the web comic western Plume by¬† K Lynn Smith, and talks about how crowd funding has impacted the comic business.

Blaylock and DDP skyrocketed to audience awareness in the early 2000’s when he got the G.I. JOE license to publish new comics from Hasbro and his DDP line expanded with more original titles along side the JOE books. He also created an early digital comic market called PullBox Online, but factors from the US economic crash of 2008-09 including the eventual decline of bookstores like Borders left Blaylock with a list of creditors and creators who had to come to terms regarding DDP’s outstanding debts. Blaylock says “It was combination of a lot of things. I can’t go into details but I finally settled a lot of that stuff that allowed us to get back into distribution.”

Josh also wrote a book in 2006, How To Self Publish Comics, Not Just Create Them, and would hold convention seminars helping new creators get started in the field. The business has certainly changed since then, and Josh has updated the book for new print and digital editions debuting in October. He shares some of the revisions to the book and his observations on what today’s challenges are for aspiring creators.


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  1. Really great episode John! There’s a lot of fantastic insight into the future of digital comics. Thanks again for all of your hard work.

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