Monday, November 12, 2018

RIP, Stan Lee.

You've heard the news, sad but not surprising. Stan Lee has passed away.

So many memories are flashing through my mind right now:

* As an 11 year old in 1967, confined to bed for a few days after surgery to repair a badly broken right arm, my life-long friend Steven brought me two comics, Fantastic Four #65 and Amazing Spider-Man #51, both scripted by Stan Lee. That set me on a path of loving comics, of finding solace and escapism in between the pages of my favorite comics and books. It also set me up as a huge fan of Stan "the Man" Lee and the hall of fame artists he worked with on those two comics, Jack Kirby and John Romita.


* After college, I sold radio advertising and did promotion work for KJOY-AM 1280 in Stockton CA. In 1985, I had the goofy idea to ask Marvel Comics to name Stockton as the "Birthplace of marvel Comics' Fantastic Four" for Marvel's 25th anniversary. Stan Lee was called by the LA Times for his reaction and he said something like "At Marvel, we accustomed to saving universes on a daily basis. This is the least we could for good ol' Stockton."

Shortly after that interview, Stan called my KJOY office and I could hardly believe it! Months later, Marvel sent him to Stockton where Stan and I shared the stage for a special presentation on the steps of city hall. At lunch after the event, Stan said to me "You did a great job with this promotion, kid." And I responded "Well, Stan, if you ever need a public relations' guy, give me a call." I was stunned when he did call a few months later. I wound doing publicity for his lovely wife Joanie's novel, "The Pleasure Palace." Stan called me his "outside man."


* After the success of the FF campaign, Stockton area comics promoter Bill Herrell invited me to a planning meeting for a convention that would start in 1987 with the unwieldy title "The Wonderful World of Comics Convention." Bryan Uhlenbrock gets credit for shortening it to "WonderCon" in 1989. Stan was a guest, at my personal request and his acceptance, at the first three WonderCon events.

* In '88, I made the jump from radio to comics retailing. On the day we opened, October 3, 1988, there was message left on the store's answering machine. It was Stan, congratulating me on getting the store open with his and Joanie's wishes for the success of Flying Colors.

* In April 1990, Stan made his first visit to Flying Colors. It was on a Saturday morning of WonderCon weekend, so it was a short visit. But Stan told me he wanted to see the store, but for me to keep his appearance low key. He told me to invite no more than 20 of my friends and customers... and that became a very special time, when I was able to return the favor to my friend Steve, the one who got me into comics back in '67, by inviting him to the private Stan event.




  * In 1995, when Flying Colors was the recipient of the Will Eisner "Spirit of Comics" Award for Retailing Excellence, I was able to share a moment with Stan, Joanie and let them know that I was grateful to them for encouraging me in comics retail.

* 1998: Flying Colors' 10th Anniversary. I decided to take a page out of the Marshall McLuhan playbook ("the medium is the message") and so we published out first comics book. I was thrilled when Stan agreed to write the introduction for it. I was far less thrilled when the comic didn't sell much. Oh well.

* 2001: Stan was inducted into the Cartoon Art Museum's Hall of Fame with a "Sparky"--- an award named in honor of Charles Schulz. I was honored to give Stan's introductory speech to his induction.




* 2013: The San Francisco Giants did their first "Stan Lee Night" at the ballpark. Prior to that event, Stan returned to Flying Colors for our 25th anniversary and for a whirlwind afternoon of photos, signatures and media.

Look, I could on, but so could everyone of the millions who knew Stan either personally or through his Marvel persona. Stan was wonderful to me and to my family and I'll always be grateful to him.

Stan and Joanie were a wonderful couple, married just shy of 70 years! A friend of mine who dealt with Stan regularly in his later years said "When he was in Los Angeles, Stan would agree to do things as long as they didn't take more than 59 minutes. Once it one hour, Stan would say 'I've got to get back to my Joanie." Stan and Joanie together were a great love story!

I'm sad about this, as are all Stan's fans. But I am grateful for all he did for me and for the wider world of comics and pop culture. I'm happy to have known him and found him to be a good man, a man of his word and a devoted husband.

RIP, Stan. Thank you.
-->




Saturday, November 10, 2018

Sat Nov 17: Liam Sharp at Flying Colors for Local Comic Shop Day!

What: 4th Annual  LOCAL COMIC SHOP DAY

Where: Flying Colors Comics, Treat Blvd at Oak Grove Rd, Concord CA

When: Saturday November 17, 2018, 11AM-7PM

Who: Our Special Guest is superstar artist LIAM SHARP (Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Brave and Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman...and so much more!).
PLEASE NOTE: Liam will be signing from 12 Noon - 2PM.

Why: Local Comic Shop Day is an event conceived and implemented by ComicsPRO, the trade association of comic book specialty retailers.

For Local Comic Shop Day, publishers produce special and limited items exclusively for participating comics shops... including Flying Colors! For a sneak peek at LCSD 2018 items, go HERE! 

At Flying Colors, we're excited to have artist Liam Sharp join us as out guest, especially since Liam is the artist of two LCSD items!
LCSD 2018 BRAVE AND THE BOLD BATMAN AND WONDER WOMAN HARDCOVER
This LCSD exclusive hardcover,  collecting the entire six-issue miniseries, features a stunning black and white version of the cover art by Liam Sharp!
LCSD 2018 GREEN LANTERN #1
Writer Grant Morrison and red-hot artist Liam Sharp launch this new, ongoing series: THE GREEN LANTERN on Wednesday November 7! However, this exclusive and very limited LCSD edition features a foil cover and is limited to just 500 copies worldwide. 
Please note: Everyone attending Local Comic Shop at Flying Colors on Saturday November 17 will receive one entry to win LCSD 2018 GREEN LANTERN #1, a very limited collectors' item! Purchases on LCSD at Flying Colors will also earn shoppers extra entries, so make your plans to be here!

Follow Flying Colors' Local Comic Shop Day event on Facebook HERE!

Local Comic Shop Day is a great day to kick off your holiday shopping for the comics fans and pop culture lovers on your gift list. Our Flying Colors retailing Brigade is always happy to help you find the best comics, graphic novels and other cool stuff for you or for anyone you'll be shopping for!

Local Comic Shop Day calls attention to locally owned independent comic book specialty stores, celebrating their vital role in being the primary fire-starters of pop culture.  Pop Culture begins in your Local Comic Shop!

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Musings & gratitude: Flying Colors 30 Year Anniversary

Our 30th anniversary party is coming up Saturday October 13... but the actual anniversary of the day Flying Colors first opened for business is October 3.

I'm out of profound words of wisdom about this occasion. I'm honestly a bit shocked we got this far since I knew little to nothing about running a business way back when... and I still feel the longer I go, the less I know. But here we are. Phew!

Even without having much in the way of real world business acumen at the time, I can tell you one thing: When my family joined me in this crazy dream to have our own business, we had a plan--- almost a dream--- really.

We summed it up in this line: "Flying Colors is the one comic shop for the whole family."
Our goal is still that no matter who you are, if you like to read, if you enjoy art... Flying Colors is the shop for you, for us... for all of us! That mission statement still guides us after all these years.

Back on Monday October 3, 1988, it was a quiet day. We did all of $63 business for the eight hours we were open. Those early days we operated on the razor's edge, often wondering if we'd make it to our one year anniversary, let alone 30!

Along the way, I have been one very blessed shop owner! In 30 years, we've had just 51 employees--- our fabulous FlyCo Retailing Brigade! Special thanks to Mike Eriksson and Marty Messner for their combined 29 years of service here!! And to Anna and Casey for being the right women for the job over these last three years! Along the way, our FlyCo Retailing Brigade members have become part of our family and we are very grateful to all 51 of you!

Libby and our three daughters, Michelle, Jenny & Cindy, have all worked in the business in one capacity or another. And wherever they travel in this world, they always take in other comics shops to get new ideas, to keep up with their favorite art & stories and to brag about their Free Comic Book Day founder dad. ;)

Libby is the one who deserves heaping helpings of thanks for everything! Especially for going along with the crazy idea to open... a comic book store!?!

Little known fact, if it wasn't for Libby, we likely would not have gotten a lease in Oak grove Plaza. Our original landlord here was reticent to give a lease to what he thought was a low-brow no-good business... a comic shop. But once he met Libby, then met our three young daughters, he caved in! How could he not?

Libby, as everyone knows, is the sweetest person on the face of the planet! She is the glue behind the scenes of the success of Flying Colors. I'm in awe of her in so many ways... and always grateful to her for understanding that crazy dreams can lead to a business like this, which is a *community* as much as it is a thriving enterprise.

Finally, we THANK YOU, all of you who are or have been a part of our 30 years history, all of you who give us your business month in and month out. Please, more than ever, we need you to continue to hang in there with us as we head into our 31st year of "Slinging Comics to Concord, Contra Costa County & the Cosmos."

And one last plug: We'd really like to see you at our party on Saturday October 13. I'm hoping a good number of our past Retailing Brigade members will be here.
We'll be cutting the cake at 3PM... and it's going to be 30 years worth of sweet!

Peace & love & comics!
--- Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field

(PS: If you have any photos from Flying Colors events or any stories you'd like to share about Flying Colors, please share them on our Facebook 30th Anniversary Event Page or Twitter or Instagram and please tag me "@flycojoe". We will also give you the opportunity to sign, write, draw in our scrapbook on October 13... and we hope you will!)




FlyCo's 30th Anniversary! Join us for all these Special Events!




























We're been planning a ton of fun here at Flying Colors!
Please join us Saturday October 13 when we'll celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Flying Colors Comics! Yowza!

Please stay in touch on our Facebook Events page.







Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Spider-Gwen! Mystique! Seanan Mcguire Strikes Again!

Who: Author Seanan Mcguire!
What: Signing Event
When: Thursday October 25 from 11AM-1PM
Where: Flying Colors Comics, of course!
Why: To celebrate the release of two new Marvel Comics written by Hugo and Nebula Award winning author Seanan Mcguire... Spider-Gwen #1 and the X-Men  Black: Mystique one-shot.
An awesome addition to our signing event: Heart of Hero will be here!
Have your photo taken with Spider-Gwen and her writer Seanan!


Can't make it to our October 25 singing event? Then pre-order your signed copies NOW!
If you're local to Flying Colors, reserve these comics on your next visit to the shop.
If you require the comics to be sent via mail order, please contact us for all the info!



 Here's a look at cover images from to X-Men Black: Mystique and Spider-Gwen #1...






Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Win tickets to the San Francisco Giants Super Heroes VIP Experience!

The San Francisco Giants Super Heroes VIP Experience 
is Wednesday September 26!
Enter to win a pair of tickets NOW in-store at Flying Colors!


Please note: Don't enter if you can't attend this event. Winner will NOT be transferable and must be able to attend the Super Heroes VIP Experience on Wednesday September 26 at about 4:30PM prior to the 7:15 PM San Francisco Giants' game vs the San Diego Padres. Entries open to those 18+.
Winner will be notified on Monday September 24.
Can't wait? Get your tickets now at SFGiants.com.

Monday, August 20, 2018

FlyCo Mini Indie-Con Guests!

What: 4th Annual FlyCo Mini Indie-Con
When: Saturday September 1, 11AM-4PM
Where: Flying Colors Comics, Treat Blvd @ Oak Grove Road, Concord

What It's All About: FlyCo Mini Indie-Con brings together local and independent comics publishers and creators. These artists and publishers will have their comics, prints and books available for sale at Flying Colors during the event.

This is a wonderful opportunity to discover local and indie talent. Today's indie creators could very well be tomorrow's top comics talent!  FlyCo Mini Indie-Con is a great way to
"Expand Your Comics Vision!"





























Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Special Events coming soon to Flying Colors!

Make plans to attend the Special Events we have lined up for you!

Wednesday August 1 at 5PM: Seanan Mcguire's X-MEN debut signing!

Saturday September 1, 11AM-4PM: Our 4th Annual FlyCo Mini Indie-Con!



Saturday October 13: Mystery Event! Stay tuned for more info!


Saturday October 27: Halloween Comic-Fest at Flying Colors!

Saturday November 17: Local Comic Shop Day! An awesome kick-off to holiday sales with unique and exclusive items for comics fans!


Please connect with us on Facebook for the latest info.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Seanan Mcguire Comes Home to Flying Colors

X-MEN GOLD ANNUAL #2 Writer Seanan McGuire Returns to Her Hometown Comics Shop










Hugo and Nebula Award Winning Author grew up on X-Men comics she found at Flying Colors when she was a young girl.
 


This is a signing event nearly 30 years in the making! Read the sweet story HERE!

For those on Twitter,  click HERE to how this all unfolded.

Be here on Wednesday August 1 at 5PM as we welcome Seanan back to Flying Colors and pick up a copy or two of  her first X-Men writing gig in X-Men Gold Annual.




Saturday, June 30, 2018

Flying Colors OPEN July 4th from 11AM-5PM

The comics wedding of the century happens Wednesday July 4th when Batman marries Catwoman in the pages of Batman #50. 

Be here at Flying Colors on July 4th at Noon when we cut the very special wedding cake for this momentous occasion. You gotta be here!

Also debuting on July 4th is the new Catwoman #1 by artist Joelle Jones. We know you're going to want to read this one right after Batman #50. 

And, hey, it wouldn't be the 4th of July without Captain America, right? Best selling writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and fan favorite artist Leinil Yu team up to bring you new adventures of the Star Spangled Avenger! 







Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Free Comic Book Day videos!

We hope you had a great time here on Free Comic Book Day at Flying Colors. Check out the fun videos here!

The Hulk was here! 


Captain America, Star-Lord and FlyCoJoe give a tour of Flying Colors FCBD party!


The Geek Speak Show at Flying Colors' FCBD Event!


Saturday, May 05, 2018

Contest! Draw Captain Four-Color!


Hey, artists! Get your pens and brushes ready!
Draw CAPTAIN FOUR-COLOR!
You could win a prize! Your art could be published!
Entry deadline is Sunday May 20.

Vote NOW! Vote HERE!

Read these Contest Rules carefully and fully:
1) Draw Captain Four Color! He's Flying Colors' official Super-hero mascot. He's known throughout the universe as the sworn protector of comic books and all those who love to read comics!
2) Bring your original Captain Four Color drawings to Flying Colors for contest submission, starting April 16, 2018. Entries will only be accepted in person in-store at Flying Colors.

3) Each contestant must completely fill out a contest registration form. Incomplete and incorrect entry forms will lead to disqualification from this contest.
4) The maximum size your drawing can be is 8.5" x 11" (can also be "landscape at 11" x 8.5"). Larger pieces will be disqualified from contest entry.

5) Contestants agree to have their original art displayed in-store at Flying Colors and on Flying Colors social media.

6) Limited to one original art entry per person, please!

7) Get creative! Your Captain Four Color contest entry can be a single image, it can be a joke panel or a multi-panel comic page with many characters. Feature Contra Costa area landmarks, like Mount Diablo! Feel free to use images of the Flying Colors' logo and store, too.
8) You may also use well-known copyrighted comic book characters in your original art, but you cannot use your own original characters. Entries with original characters will be disqualified.
9) Contest voting begins May 8, 2018 when entries will be displayed in-store and on Flying Colors social media. Voting will end on June 2, 2018.

10) Voting will occur both online and in-store. Each Facebook "like" will count as a single vote. Each in-store paper vote will count as two votes. One in-store vote per person per week is allowed during the contest.
11) Total number of prizes awarded will be determined by the number of contest entries received. Flying Colors will award at least one $100 Flying Colors Shopping Spree.
12) Flying Colors reserves the discretion to classify original art by the age of the artist.
13) In the event of a tie in the voting, tie-breaking votes will be done by Flying Colors staff.
14) Final judgments regarding entries, eligibility and prize-winning are at discretion of Flying Colors staff.

ALL entries will be considered for publication in an upcoming Flying Colors' "Captain Four-Color Capers" comic book!



Saturday, April 28, 2018

Free Comic Book Day 2018: You Gotta Be Here!


Free Comic Book Day is Saturday May 5 at Flying Colors Comics!
• Thousands of FREE comics for readers of all ages & interests!
• Special guest artists:
From 11AM-3PM
   • Mick Gray (Superman, Batman & Robin)
   • Jeff Bonivert (TMNT, Fun Boys, Captain Four-Color)
Get your FREE copy of the exclusive Flying Colors Sketch Comic (while supply lasts)
From 3PM-6PM
   • John Hageman (Charley & Humphrey)!
   • Matt Harding (Pop Apocalypse) drawing sketches to benefit The Hero Initiative
• Get your FREE copy of Flying Colors' exclusive edition of DC Nation #0!
• Costumed characters!
• Kids Costume Contest!
• Cool deals!  
• Fun for everyone! Bring your family & friends!

Visit our Facebook event page!





 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Five Great Comics That Should Be Made Into Movies!

FlyCoJoe was interviewed by Jim Harrington, the music critic and pop culture writer for the San Jose Mercury News.

The task Jim gave Joe was to name Five Great Comics That Should be Made Into Movies.
Here's a link to the article:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/04/26/here-are-5-great-comic-books-that-should-be-made-into-movies/

And the video to go with the article:



Remember, the greatest ideas Hollywood has come from comics! isn't it time you visited Flying Colors to find out what the Next Big Thing in Hollywood is going to be?


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Announcing Flying Colors 2018 FCBD Sketch Comic!













Here's your first look at Flying Colors exclusive 2018 Sketch Comic. Get your copy ONLY during our Free Comic Book Day signing with artists Jeff Bonivert and Mick Gray on Free Comic Book Day, Saturday May 5 from 11AM-3PM.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

New Free Comic Book Day Guest Announcement!




Flying Colors is pleased to welcome artist
John Hageman Jr 
to our Free Comic Book Day festivities.

John brings professional-grade cartoon silliness to our event.

Big news here, especially for Bay Area kids of a certain vintage--- John is working on a revival of a Bay Area favorite for decades... Pat McCormick's Charley & Humphrey!!

The TV kids' show fave is returning, this time in comic books!

Be among the first to get a free taste of the soon to be released Charley & Humphrey comic book. John may just have more cool goodies for FCBD fans at Flying Colors!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Free Comic Book Day Guests!

We hope you're making plans to join us on Saturday May 5 for the 17th annual Free Comic Book Day.  


Our Special Guests for FCBD 2018 are two titanic talents who also happen to be some of Flying Colors favorite pros! Please welcome ink artist extraordinaire Mick Gray ( Promethea, Batman & Robin, and so much more!) and Jeff "JayBee" Bonivert (TMNT, Atomic Man, Fun Boys and co-creator of Flying Colors' mascot super-hero, Captain Four-Color!)


Mick and Jeff will be signing at Flying Colors' Free Comic Book Day event on Saturday May 5 from 11AM-3PM. Stay tuned for more surprises!

FCBD is the world's largest annual comics' related event drawing nearly 1.5 million visitors to more than 2000 comic book specialty shops in over 60 countries all over the world.

...and it all started right here at Flying Colors! Read the FCBD origin story is right HERE!

















Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Binge on SitComics!

Try these comics!
FlyCoJoe tells you a bit about SitComics... now available at Flying Colors!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Save the date: Saturday May 5 is FREE Comic Book Day!




















Stay tuned for announcements related to our 17th annual Free Comic Book Day!

Our FCBD party is a big event with lots of fun things happening.

We'll be giving away THOUSANDS of FREE comics for readers of all ages and interests. We sure hope all you long-time comics fans will invite your friends who aren't yet into all the cool things happening all across the comics spectrum.

Over the next week, we'll be announcing our FCBD guests and more! You'll never know who you'll meet on Free Comic Book Day at Flying Colors!
Make your plans to be here!




Flying Colors CLOSED on Easter Sunday


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Reading Comics Opens Up New Worlds to Explore!






















Your Local Comic Shop --- and we hope that's Flying Colors!---  can guide you and everyone in your family to great art and stories in comics! Give us a try!

For fun shareable memes throughout the year and new about Local Comic Shop Day, follow Local Comic Shop Day on Facebook and Twitter.




















Saturday, March 17, 2018

To Do March 21: Batman, Wonder Woman & artist Liam Sharp!




















Meet artist/writer and FlyCo Favorite LIAM SHARP for the release of issue #2 of his new DC Comics six-issue miniseries---
The BRAVE & the BOLD: BATMAN & WONDER WOMAN!

A bit about this series: When a Celtic god's murder leads to a war between the fairy folk and a possible breach between worlds, Wonder Woman must find the murderer and keep the peace while Batman investigates strange occurrences in Gotham City. As Diana must turn to the World's Greatest Detective for help, the two heroes quickly learn their cases may be connected. 



Thursday, March 15, 2018

Advice for Aspiring Comics Artists

For the 8th year in a row, I had the honor of talking to a group of Diablo Valley College students, many involved in creating their own comics through a contest combining the English and Art departments. To learn more about the James O'Keefe Prize and see some of the comics work of DVC students, go HERE!

The goal for these students is to work some comics magic--- combining words and images into stories. I see my job there as to be encouraging to anyone and everyone wanting to do their own sequential storytelling.

This year,  rather than give the same talk I've given the previous seven years, I asked comics professionals who were kind enough to give me some words of advice for anyone wanting to work in the comics biz and do their own work. 


The advice was too good to let go into the wilds of the Twitter-sphere, so I'm posting it here with my thanks to all the comics pro who shared their wisdom.

Advice about the art & craft of comics creation...


The first bit of great advice comes from Dave Sim (creator of the 300 issue 1977-2004 Cerebus epic series), though it was indie self-publisher Randy Reynaldo (Rob Haines Adventures) who shared the advice:
"Get your first 100 pages out of the way."

Steve Lieber (artist of Whiteout, The Fix, Superior Foes of Spider-Man, etc):
"Start short: Do 4, 8, 10 page stories that hit an ending. The stories will improve a lot over time, and it's not fair to shackle the reasonably-skilled creator who is drawing page 100 to the awkward amateur who drew page 3." 

Jeff McComsey (Alterna Comics)

"1.Start small. I mean tiny. Jumping into doing work at 11x17 when starting out runs a lot of people off. Start off with 6x9 art areas and see how it feels.
2. Publish or self publish. You’ll hate it but there’s nothing else like it.
3. Thumbnail. Thumbnail. Thumbnail."


 

















Christos Gage (TV writer of Luke Cage, Law & Order:SVU, Comics: Buffy, Marvel, Valiant)

"Let the making of the comic, in the best way you can make it, be the goal. Not getting published, or working for a specific company, or appealing to a given audience. Do what inspires you and do it the best you can. And don’t quit your day job."



Marc Laming (Planet Hulk, Star Wars)

"Unless you are writing & drawing comics is a team sport. Remember you will be called on to draw everything so get good at drawing buildings, cars, trees, jungles, animals and real people wearing street clothes."



Jeff Parker (Batman '66, X-men First Class)

"Absorb any good story rules you can and then remember there's also No Rules- what matters most is to be interesting and engaging by any means necessary. Don't play fair!"




Patch Zircher (Superman, Green Lantern)

"Have a reason for your choices; think about why you are choosing a long shot, close-up, extreme close-up, aerial view, character point-of-view. Every panel is informed by the panel before it."



 






Dan Brereton (Nocturnals, GiantKiller, Batman Thrillkiller)

"Be fearless, inventive and skilled!"


Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan, The Boys, Happy, Harbinger Renengades)
"I tell aspiring comic artists of the internal experience of being an artist. You live with that more than the external bits. The hours of self doubt, the agony and ecstasy of creating. Starting and finishing. Days when you have to do your thing even though you don't want to. Overcoming setbacks and creating anyway. Doing it for the sheer joy of creating despite the financial benefits or lack thereof.




Do it because you can't think of anything better to do.
Do it because it aches too much not to create.
Do it because you have something to show the world and let the work speak for itself.

If you want to make a lot of money, go into banking or law. Learn the stock market. If you're going into comics to be famous and rich, you're in for a huge let down. So make the act of creating the reward you're after and create the images and stories you believe are worthy of being read. If you wouldn't read your own stories, then why would anyone else? If you wouldn't buy your comic, then why would anyone else?



It's a lot of long hours, often spent alone, and if you don't like being in that mental space, it's not going to be fun. And if it's not fun, what's the point? Be humble and be prepared to learn something new, no matter how good you are. The growth is the purest form of joy from learning the craft."



Advice about the Business of Comics
More from Darick Robertson...
"Handshakes spread germs and make for lousy contracts. Get a contract, in writing. Pay for a good lawyer to read it and trust no one until that dotted line is signed. People will rob and use you up otherwise. 

If they're willing to hire you, they should be willing to pay you. Be friendly, be polite, but be firm about what's fair and know your worth. Know where friendship stops and business begins. It's vital to your future and mental well being.



If you work for free, people will expect that that is your rate. If there's something worthwhile in it for you, then make sure you gather that element. Being offered "exposure" or "back end once it's sold" is mining for fool's gold and your time is valuable. There are a lot of sharks in the water now; be careful.

Meet your deadlines, communicate if you can't and don't disappear on an editor. They'll remember that--- not that you drew really well."



Maggie Thompson (Comics Buyers Guide, First Lady of Comics Fandom)

"Creators who share work with another creator need to be clear about who owns what and whose rights are encumbered - or unencumbered. And what rights they're selling, if/when they sell. Collaborative art can be tricky."


Zack Davisson 
(Historian, manga translator)
"Shigeru Mizuki (Showa: A History of Japan, Kitaro) sold his first comic at 40 years old, and became one of the most beloved and successful cartoonists of all time. It's never too late."

Jim Lee (DC co-publisher, Batman, X-Men)

"Draw like you have the job already-- that means try and sit and draw 7-9 hours a day :) "



Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise)

"You get to create a world you like better."


What I can tell you from my 30 years of experience in selling comics and in working with comics creators, I can tell you this: 

If you're doing comics because it's the single thing you most want to do, then that's all the reason you need to keep plugging. Don't do it for the money or the fame or some elusive deal for TV or movie riches... do it because it's what you want to do, what makes you feel alive and creative. Don't ever let anyone rob that from you.

And I leave you with the words of immortal comics creator Jack Kirby:

(All art here is copyright by the respective rights holders.)

So after reading all this professional and free advice, why not treat yourself by buying some work by these comics creators? Stop by Flying Colors and let us show you their stuff!

Thanks for reading!
Peace!

Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field