Friday, December 9, 2011

The "Publishing Queer" Panel at BentCon 2011

ComicCon in San Diego sounds incredible, and they always have some great programming that focuses on GLBTQ Comics and Graphic Novels.

For the second year, BentCon (held this past weekend) was a Comics Convention that's ALL about queer comics, and they reprised one of the most amazing panels from this year's ComicCon,

Publishing Queer: Marketing and Creating Queer Comic Books And Graphic Novels

I had the remarkable experience of not only attending but getting to record (as a last minute thing, and on my cell phone video camera!) this panel on December 4 in Los Angeles.  With the permission of all the amazing participants, I'm sharing their discussion here.

This is a still image of the panel (the videos are below.)

The panelists were, from left to right, Tony Valenzuela (, Robert Fraser (, Alex Woolfson (, Steve MacIsaac (, Charles "Zan" Christensen ( and and the panel moderator, Justin Hall (  
There were so many great things discussed, and tons of quotable moments - here are just a few:
“Self publishing is so easy and cheap now, it’s the easiest and cheapest it’s ever been, and it became that way just as the infrastructure that will allow you to do that successfully collapsed.”

-  Steve MacIsaac
“The ‘freemium model’ where you’re giving content away for free, with then perhaps offering something extra for money.”

- Alex Woolfson
The panel included an excellent discussion on the future of independent bookstores, Canadian/U.S.A. border shenanigans, the importance of a niche and a following, and lots of great advice for how to make it work as writers, artists, self-publishers and business people.

One of the questions in the Q&A that sparked the best discussion was What’s the best way to start publishing your own stuff?  Every panelist had lots of suggestions, from big-picture considerations to specific tips, strategies and tools - like how to make your comic books print all the way to the edge of the page!

And I think Justin summed up the feel of the discussion, and BentCon as a whole, when he said:

“One of the wonderful things about the comic book community is that it’s extremely small and kind of insular but it’s really supportive...”

And Zan followed up with

“We’re not competing with each other, and that’s the wonderful thing about it.  We know that when one of us succeeds, it peaks interest and people start to say ‘well what else is there?’”

I could see that spirit from the panel. You can see it, too.  Here is the full panel discussion, in six parts:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six, conclusion

There you go, Great Panel.  Wonderful Information.  

My thanks to Tony, Robert, Alex, Steve, Zan and Justin.

I’m so glad I got to attend, and I’m thrilled I get to share it now with all of you!


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