Now let's talk money!
Making comics is a whole art: you must have an idea for a story, believe that it is worthwhile to write and draw, document for a long time, check your sources, write a script, throw it to the trash can, write another one, be a little happier, read it and correct it, review it and correct it, change it a little, review it and correct it, be reviewed and corrected, add details, translate it, correct the translated version, cut the scenario into pages and panels, draw a storyboard (a sketch of the defintive drawing) panel by panel, assemble the panels into pages in a first layout, redo the script and the storyboard, redo some panels, delete some, add others, redo the layout and then finally start the drawing of every page one by one, inking first (the line), then coloring and make the final layout, plus the cover and presentation pages, correct one more time, then prepare ebooks and print-ready files, and the same for the translated version, and finally publish, print, distribute, display, upload, upload elsewhere, and also do your small advertising on networks... and finally have a break, before restarting !
All this, it's long, it's tedious, but it's also a pleasure when you enjoy to draw and you want to tell a story, and this is a great reward when you can read your own finished story.
- The Project
- Fan Based Patronage
- Rewards' Description
- Digital and Free (as in Freedom) Comics in the XXI Century
- How Will the Funding Be Used?
- About Me
Mokatori is my first comic book project, a (not so far in future) science fiction story on the theme of climate change:
And if the inhabitants of tomorrow sent us letters? From 2054 to 2084, from Iceland to Afghanistan, from cataclysms to utopias, five stories draw our possible futures during the "Mokatori", the word for climate change among Amazonian Indians Ep. 0 - "The End" - Mexico City, Mexico, November 27, 2015 Ep. 1 - "Business as Usual" - Reykjavik, Iceland, March 20, 2054 Ep. 2 - "Time Machine" - Taipei, 臺北市, Taiwan, November 13, 2084 Ep. 3 - "In the Shade of Fig Trees" - Farsala, Φάρσαλα, Greece, July 17, 2077 Ep. 4 - "Masters of the Stratosphere" - Walvis Bay, Namibia, February 29, 2060 Ep. 5 - "Living" - Kunduz, کندز, Afghanistan, April 3, 2072
In addition to the satisfaction of achieving my first comic book, and the assumed activist side, I hope this will allow me to give body and emotions to abstract scientific concepts that become too progressively our reality, and that we have difficulty to picture in tables of numbers, or in IPCC's scientific texts and graphics. It's not numbers which make us change, it's our feelings and emotions!
The idea took shape late 2014, I started writing and story-boarding in 2015 and published a small comic "aside" on the same topic in October 2015 before COP21, which allowed me to test the process of creation and publication of a comic from start to finish. Following my participation at the COP21 in Paris (at Place To B !), I completed the script in 2016, to publish this episode 0 digitally in September 2016. I'm drawing episode 1 and the others will follow in the coming months depending on my availability, also published on the web and as ebooks. I aim at the publication of all episodes for the end of 2017, and I hope to print the comic with all the episodes at that time.
Fan Based Patronage
Yes, I said I was going to talk about money! Because during all this time, I must also eat, sleep, care for children, and the bills are recurring. And then all the freelance work, interesting but not personal. And then everything else. Then the comic progress within the interstices, when a few days or a few hours become available. One small thing a day if possible, even 5 minutes. But it's been two years since the idea took shape, and I finally published the first episode.
Today, I earn 450 €/month of net salary with my freelance work, also paying my dues and my fees otherwise. Fortunately, there is one that ensures behind (and phew, she also does what she likes!).
With my first small comic, for now, I have repaid the costs of printing and mailing that I had to distribute it.
I could go and beg for a contract with a publisher who may want my story. Who will judge the quality. Probably my presentation file will not even be open, in the mass. Maybe it will be open, and maybe a publisher will be interested and will be willing to pay me €10,000 as a "royalty advance", will "accompany me" and will release at most 3,000 copies of my comic book in bookstores, hidden behind the best sellers. If ever it's a success, if he sells more than 8 333 (a very big publishing!), then the royalty advance will be exhausted and I would be entitled to 1 euro and 20 cent by comic book sold €15 (8 %). Needless to say I would never get over €10,000, or really if it's a very big success, maybe €10,120. And I should go to the conventions, and my own advertising on the internet, at my own expense.
With €10,000, I hold about 10 months by paying my salary and my current expenses, and refusing any freelance contract. In other words, just enough to finish this comic project, not counting time served, shooting myself a bullet in the foot with my few clients. And I waive the ownership of my own creative work… Meaning that depending on the signed contract, I probably will not be allowed to publish my own comic on the Internet for example, it will go through the publisher. These restrictions of copyright that are supposed to guarantee me an income will so prevent me from doing what I want with my work, and wouldn't get me anything worthwhile.
In short, being an artist is no profit, nothing new, but please don't push Godot in nettles.
Maybe this copyright system worked in the last century, but this is clearly no longer the case today.
Fortunately, we are in 2016, and Internet exists. And self-publishing too. And there are lots of people who have good ideas and show the way (Jason Brubaker, David Revoy, Maliki, Bookelis). So I have another solution: to turn to you, dear reader, to ask for your support.
It's called fan based patronage. You heard about crowdfunding? Where a creator speaks to "the crowd" via the Internet to fund a project punctually, such as printing a comic album?
Well, fan based patronage, it's almost the same, but it's not punctual, it's "sustainable" (wow, well placed word!).
You, dear reader, you become a co-producer of Mokatori by becoming my patron on Tipeee. Each month, a small amount of your choice will help me to drive away the everyday worries to focus on the creation of this project. From small beginnings come great things, and €1 per month, that's already a lot!
Gradually, Inshallah, I can dedicate more time to this project, and the following episodes will come out faster. You start when you want, you stop when you want. And you participate in the creation as co-producer: I will publish the state of my work behind the scenes (into Tipeee News), and you will be able to give me your opinion, or even modify or add sentences, panels, and even characters. Because I am convinced that you can enrich my work, and Mokatori will become gradually a collective work!
To be honest with you, there are many other reasons why I choose self-publishing. Here's how I imagine
Digital and Free (as in Freedom) Comics in the XXI Century
as a reader
- I want to read the comics I like.
- so I want to access it easily, by means of my choice (bookstore, online ordering, digital…).
- I want to be able to read them on the media of my choice (paper, screens of all sizes), and even change media (and it should remain readable!).
- I don't have a big budget (there are other priorities!).
- I want to be able to to discover new works (read an excerpt, browse a comic) without having to pay.
- I want to support projects that I enjoy by means of my choice.
- I want the lion's share of the money I pay to go to the author.
- I understand the need to pay the bookseller, the printer, the distributor, the publisher and any other intermediaries for the work they have done, in the right measure of their work.
- I do not want to pay the "risk" that takes a publisher or, if it's necessary, minimally.
- I want to be able to lend or give my copy to my family and friends without asking permission from anyone and as many times as I want.
- I will not hesitate to copy all or part of the artwork by caring for my surroundings, for educational purposes or for use in a non-profit project that I think is right.
- I don't want to compromise my privacy or have to give my name to read a comic.
- I'm not interested in the subtleties of copyright.
- I don't want to pay a rent to "rights-holders" who provide almost no work.
- I believe in the necessity of access to culture for all.
as an author
- I want to be creative.
- I want to make a quality work as much as I can.
- I want my creation to be read.
- I want to be acknowledged for the work it represents.
- I respect the freedom of my readers.
- I respect the wallet of my readers.
- I want to be able to make a living from my art.
- I do not search unnecessary and illusory wealth, but the means to live properly and to exercise my vocation without excessive dependency, in money or time.
- I want to focus on creating rather than marketing.
- I use tools that respects my freedom, free software, and guarantee me a sustainability of my digital creations.
- I don't know how to make everything, and I don't know how to make everything well.
- I will not yield my copyright to a third party under some pretext for him to become the sole possessor, whatever the medium or the scope of the proposed contract.
- I will always be free to choose with whom I work, and I will not sign exclusive contract with a particular intermediary, regardless of its position or the work he provides.
- I'm taking care of the social and ecological impact of my work.
- I know that peoples close to me is and always will be my greatest patrons in every sense of the word.
as a professional of artistic creation
- I consider the most difficult work of the book chain is creation.
- I wish the whole sector to be sustainable, and that everyone will be paid up to his work in a spirit of fairness and balance
- I consider that some intermediaries have abused their position and impoverished writers by not paying them properly, and that many authors have accepted unfair working conditions.
- I consider that environmental issues are essential, and I am attentive to the ecological cost of medias (so to use harmful inks or scarce resources, destroying unsold books, or to travel a physical medium thousands of kilometers away is not an option).
- I believe it is high time to face the challenges of the digital revolution (the web was born in 1991 and is 25 years old!).
- As far as possible, I set my prices so as to be better paid than my intermediaries.
- I publish my work under a free license (Creative Commons By-Sa, the same as Wikipedia), to respect my readers, and ensure their present and future liberty regardless of their jurisdiction, ensure that the artwork and its derivatives will remain free and offer them the opportunity to share with their loved ones and beyond.
- I encourage my readers to give me the means to continue my artistic creation in the way they consider the most appropriate (tips, gifts, proofreading, suggestions, translation ...).
- I practice pay what you what prices when possible.
- I publish on all the medias which my readers can choose, but I discourage them from cheapen their freedom (please, don't buy works with DRMs!).
- I choose independence, self-publishing, digital formats and print on demand.
How Will the Funding Be Used?
Your tips are primarily intended to give me time to write and draw. Today I make a living from my freelance contracts, and each tip move away from the obligation to seek and carry out contracts to give me more time on the comic. Additionally it also allow me to make bonus illustrations, and share with you tools (brushes, textures, typeface, page templates…) and the "making ofs" that I hardly have time to realize otherwise. A small part of the funding will also come from the sale of ebooks on large online bookstores (Amazon…) and another from the sale of printed comics. Note: 8% of the amount of tips goes to Tipeee because they also need to eat ;)
My name is Nylnook (aka Camille Bissuel), I'm an illustrator, grew up and live in the French Alps and I'm interested in the issue of climate change since I understood this incredible challenge by watching the snow melt, by self-constructing my bio-climatic house, and having two little boys. Since then, ecology has become a recurring theme in my drawings and my artistic projects.
In 2008, after studying philosophy and graphics, I settle as a freelance graphic designer and select digital drawing and free software as tools. I work from my home, in team as soon as I get the chance, and specializes in illustration in 2013 under the name Nylnook, the name of a fictional character, a gnome from the North Pole, also touched by climate change.
I have already published a small comic and many freely licensed illustrations to download as wallpaper on my website, and I participated in writing three textbooks on my everyday tools (Scribus, Blender pour le jeu vidéo, Creating Point and Click Games with Escoria).
- Why per month, not per episode?
the episodes are of unequal length, if I ask for pledges by episodes, it would force me to rush through the longest episodes, which I don't want to do.
- What is the difference between signing up to the Newsletter and behind the scenes posts in the Tipeee News ?
I'll post the same things in the newsletters and in the Tipeee news open to all, but the sketch, scenario and unfulfilled things we can still change will only be published in the news reserved to tippers.
- I prefer to support you with US dollars, is it possible ?
Yes, I've created a Patreon page if you prefer, even if the main one will be the Tipeee one.