Its been a crazy road so far in the last 3 years for us here at Blackhole Comics! We’ve gone from printing a handful ashcans at Office Max to printing full sized issues in much larger print runs, we’ve got our books in multiple comic shops, and we’ve gone from selling nothing at conventions to breaking even! We’ve found some amazing artists to work with like Daniel Govar, Ruben Rojas, Brian Middleton, Luca Cicognola, Anderson Carman, Kieth Silverman, Antonio Crew, JJ Murphy, Chauncey Blakey, and John Johnston! I also like to think we found a little bit more about ourselves as well…
Our tone and our style isn’t the same as Marvel or DC, we aren’t as gritty as Image or Vertigo, we aren’t as dark or as adult as some of the other guys out there, and that’s ok. It’s not to say those sort of stories aren’t enjoyable, or even that they aren’t in our future, I think what it says is we’re focusing on light hearted superhero comics. I think that with the dark overtones in a lot of the superhero stuff out there right now, that’s a good thing.
We know that our target audience isn’t necessarily the guy that picks up 20 books a week at the comic shop, but maybe he’ll like it too, and add it to his list. We’re maybe better suited to some of the younger kids that want to get into reading comics, and need something of their own, something their generation can grow with. It’s good to know who your audience is, and I think we’re starting to figure that out. As we near completion of our 3rd different title, Quinn-Finity, we still have so many characters and so much story to tell, we can only hope you’ll be patient with us as we do our best to grind it all out!!!
Being a small local self publisher, we’re doing our best with the resources we have. We’ve come a long way, and plan to go even farther! We hope you’ll stick along for the ride. 😉 Until then though, I hope you’ll enjoy this teaser poster of things to come by Ruben Rojas! Follow us on twitter @BlackholeComics to get more info on the characters!
And of course remember… The World is Ours to Make!
It’s already been a big year for Blackhole Comics with Proton #0 being released, but that wasn’t enough so we decided to take the show on the road to Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC! Nick Flair, JJ Murphy, and Anderson Carman held down the Blackhole table selling copies of Proton #0, prints, and other cool things! How did it go? Here is the story of our totally awesome adventure!
It started with a 4 and a half hour drive from Richmond to Charlotte for myself (Nick Flair), JJ Murphy, and my lovely girlfriend Brittany! There was almost constant comic talk the entire way there. What’s big right now, what we wanted to happen versus what we thought would happen at the show, and what we’d get from the experience were all topics of conversation. In summation, we wanted to walk away with a renewed confidence, a mistake or two to learn from, and no copies of Proton.
We arrived around 9:45am where we met up with Anderson, and set up out table. JJ and Anderson both had their 11×17 binders full of full of awesome artwork, as well as a few prints. Anderson brought his sketch book, and mini comic, as well as, a series of custom bookmarks he made! They featured characters from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Star Wars, and had cool icons on the reverse side that represented the character or franchise. They were a major hit!!!
JJ was doing commissions, and had a few original pieces of art available. We had a bit of a slow start on Friday, but then a Harley Quinn Cosplayer saw a Graphitist original of her name sake, and had to have it! It was the first of several pieces of original art JJ sold! The confidence boost was strong and almost instantly noticeable! We then decided to hit up the ‘Drink and Draw’ event that night, where artists draw original pieces and they’re auctioned off for charity!
Anderson put up a couple of pieces, and JJ knocked out the new Batman design! I took the opportunity to do a little drawing myself, drawing a Proton pic I forgot to get a picture of and starting an Amp piece, and even Brittany got in on the action! I had some crayons, so she channeled her inner colorist to enhance JJ’s Proton picture! Drawing with a beer under the summer night sky of Charlotte next to a beautifully lit fountain with comic talk a flutter all around was truly a perfect end to the first day!
As for me and my Proton comic, we did pretty darn good in my opinion. After several hours of our slow start, I was pretty concerned. I didn’t want to go home with all 70 copies! Then I sold the first one to a random passer-by who thought the cover was pretty cool! It was big for me because it was the book that caught his eye, not that he was a friend, or someone who I had to talk into buying it. He just saw it and liked it. It was a great feeling!
Here’s the face I made when I sold the first copy!
The real bread and butter came Sunday though. The last day of the convention. I still had a lot of copies, and I really wanted to get them into the hands of potential fans! I decided to offer up a heck of a bargain on the last day; I offered people Proton #0 for $1.00 or for free. The goal was to move books, and this was an effective way of doing it for sure. The thing that surprised me though, and really made me happy, was that most everyone who came up PAID THE DOLLAR!!! I thought that said a lot about the crowd at Heroes Con. When offered the choice between getting something awesome for free, or supporting a small press comic creator, they chose to support me. It was a warm feeling.
Another warm feeling came from a someone I didn’t expect at all though. If you’ve ready Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra, you know those two guys have talent. I know this, because I pick up that book in collected editions every time it drops. Einstein, chainsaws, aliens. That’s all you need to know. So I walked by the “Hickman” table with Nick Pitarra and Ryan Bodenhiem (From the Dying and the Dead, also pretty awesome in its young run), and was like ” Hey you guys are awesome! Here, have a copy of my comic!”
These guys are pro’s on the comic scene. They create books with arguably the hottest writer in all of comics right now. I just liked the idea of them reading my book. Nick Pitarra started joking with me, “Is it really a two dollar book, or is this like the thirty-eight dollar Con variant?” I laughed, and confirmed the book was only two dollars. So what did he do? HE GAVE ME TWO DOLLARS!?! I was like “I’m not pushing my book on you man, I just wanted to give you a copy!” He then told me to shut up, and take his two dollars. That was a huge sign of respect in my eyes, and probably my favorite part of the weekend. I’m keeping those two dollars as a memento.
As I offered copies of Proton to other artists and vendors, they all responded in a similar fashion. People wanted to trade me their comic for mine, prints, or buttons! It was a really cool feeling of community the way it went down. Maybe it’s a silly thing for me to be really excited about that, but I don’t care. It was awesome!
On the return trip, JJ and I again talked comics the entire way home. All four and a half hours of it. What we did right, what we could have done better, and what we want to do next. This Blackhole Comics thing is just getting started, and the plan is for it to get bigger and better. Keep an eye out for what’s on the horizon!
Thanks Heroes Con for reminding us the World is Ours to Make!!!
This weekend, Blackhole Comics will be fully represented in Charlotte North Carolina at Heroes Con! I’ll be bringing copies of our first BIG release Proton #0, a limited supply of Blackhole Comics T-shirts, and a great pair of artists! JJ Murphy and Anderson Carman will be at the Blackhole table taking commissions all week!
The pricing is super great, and for super limited time, with $5 head shots, $10 bust shots, and $20 full figure (no background) sketches of your favorite characters! (Shipping costs not included.) If you have quirky or elaborate requests pricing will be handled on an individual basis.
-JJ is constantly honing his skills, and I’ve been lucky enough to watch the constant evolution of JJ, aka The Graphitist, for the last few years! It’s only a matter of time before I’m hyping up our first team up on a comic! He recently donated 9 awesome commission pieces to the Proton #0 Kickstarter campaign! He was a large part of its success, and why the book will be available at Heroes Con!
Purchase his 24 hour Comic, Djek: Destroyer of Earth from Comixology Here!
-Anderson is currently blazing a trail of success through the halls of S.C.A.D. (Savannah College of Art and Design), where he constantly feeds his ambition to be the next Skottie Young! He has a great talent for drawing “Chimera” pieces, where you suggest two animals and he amalgamates them into one! The results are often amazing! Anderson recently drew the ominous variant cover to Proton #0!
-John Johnston is a Heroes Con vet! I first met him there a couple of years ago as my table was next to his. I was proposing several “Versus” match-ups including Dazzler vs Booster Gold, Zatanna vs Scarlet Witch, and Damien Wayne (Robin) vs Jason Todd (Red Hood) and he couldn’t help but add his thoughts. He even drew some awesome art to accompany the debates! (Pictured below!) Recently he donated some commission work to the Proton #0 Kickstarter campaign, and will be doing a variant cover for an upcoming Blackhole Project!
Blackhole Interior/Cover Artist for Proton #0, Commission Artist
-Connecting with Daniel for Proton #0 may just prove to be the best decision I’ve ever made! His awesome style and use of ink wash gives a unique and classic feel that really add character to the book. His work is almost always instantly recognizable too, which is one of the toughest things to do as an artist! To have a personal style that can be identified right away is invaluable, and he has it. Working with him on Proton was a great experience, and one that I am surely better for!
I’m not as talented in the art department as the guys above me, but I do like to sling some ink from time to time! Here are some highlights from last year’s #Inktober! I’m proud to say I did indeed post an inked picture every day of the month! I drew a lot of my original characters that’ll be showing up in future comics, so check them out!
And here are some teases for my in progress works on Cynical and The Brick mini comics with Ruben Rojas and Manuel Bracchi!
Stay tuned here for updates on how Heroes Con went for us, and follow us as it happens on Instagram and Twitter with #HeroesCon and #BlackholeComics!!!