Thursday, January 06, 2011

Live DFW Art Event Benefiting the Hero Initiative

Hey Gang:

Here's something really cool!!

The ArtLoveMagic crew has asked me to participate in A NATIONWIDE live art event sponsored by the promoters of COMICPALOOZA and benefiting elder comic book creators in serious need through the Heroes Initiative Charity .

This is a large scale problem for the creators of golden and silver age comics (who worked before royalties and fair wages became common practice in the industry and are now struggling just to put food on the table and pay the rent).

Multiple cities across the country will hold live events that will feature artists you can watch creating comic book themed art. Then you can bid on those works in an auction that benefits the Hero Initiative (

Artists I'll be working along side of here at the DFW event are:
Samax Amen (ghettomanga)
James O'Barr (the Crow)
David Rodriguez (bad-azz painter)
Jerod Alexander (street artist)
Isaac Davies (street artist)
Joe Skilz (graff artist)
Michael Lagocki (ghostwerks comics)
Khalid Robertson (Champion of Children)
Trayce Cochran (graff artist)

...and more artists TBA.

To add to the entertainment level, Local Dallas DJs will spin all night long including Hollogram Dagger and Dean Dillenger.

One night only

Saturday, January 22nd
at Arnetic
2826 Elm Street
Dallas, TX

Entry fee is only $3 ...but bring cash to bid on original art!

Rare comic collectibles also available on a buy-it-now table (including a limited edition signed and numbered Eye Witness Slipcase Collection)

For more info? Check the ArtLoveMagic facebook event page here:

R.J. Luedke

...and this just in, here is the finished piece I did at the show, which generated a nice sum for Heroes Initiative.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011...the Year of Digital Publishing?

All the signs I am seeing points to 2011 being be the year digital distribution busts loose in the book and comic industry.

The foundation of that belief is based upon the number of companies releasing their own iPad type hardware this year...which was the "missing link" in the chain to mobile-digital comic reading. Amazon already has publicly stated their largest selling item is now the Kindle (outselling Harry Potter), so don't think for a minute that other companies are not taking notice (but of course that one's not yet geared for heavy illustrated product yet...but I'm sure will be in future models).

But I do not think it will spell the end of brick and mortal publishing, rather just a market adjustment on how product is made available to the public. I believe this is a very exciting time to be in publishing, as new outlets will mean that many more small, indy or self published creators will be able to get their product into the hands of potential readers...and for a fraction of the price it took to do a traditional print run, and without having to run the "distributor and/or retailer gauntlet" to reach the reading public.

In addition, I think this development will spawn a new type of potential reader...those who might never had, (or very rarely) ventured into a comic store...because they perceived it as unfriendly or too geeky (see Big-Bang-Theory). Now those reluctant readers can explore the wonderful world of comics and graphic novels in the privacy of their own iPads, without having to "out themselves" to speak.

Along those same lines, it's a huge advantage to those of us creating works with a spiritual foundation...since it allows people with a spiritual curiosity to explore without fear, ridicule or just having to explain to their comic reading peers why they might be buying a comic about God, Jesus etc...


Here a bit of info on the developing digital age:

From Andrew Smith and Brent Frankenhoff in the Comics Buyers Guide #1674: Comic sales in digital form sold an estimated $500,000 to $1 million in 2009. Estimates for 2010 are between $6-8 Million (an increase of a minimum of 600%...when print comic sales are predicted to only increase 1% over that same period). Now that's exciting!

Sales of all eBooks tripled in 2010 (from 2009) to over 100 million copies sold.

Both Marvel and DC announced price drops on their print comics late in 2010 (Marvel's was more wide spread across their line) and though neither have yet to admit it in the press, it's rumored that this step was taken only due to the extra revenue they've both taken in from the digital versions of their catalogs.


From my perspective, we (Head Press Publishing) continue to explore new ways to make Eye Witness available to new potential readers each and every day.

In 2010, we dipped into the digital pool by making the revised edition of Eye Witness Book One our first digital offering through Comixology. Later in the year we added Drivethrucomics to our list of digital partners (as they premiered the digital version of Eye Witness: Acts of the Spirit). In addition, in the end of the year our books went live on the Google Books catalog...which is already led to sales and contacts from the amount of visibility the online giant provides.

In 2011, it looks like will be adding the entire Eye Witness series to their online catalog and we're in the process of converting our books for viewing on Barnes and Noble's Color Nook (Reader) also.

As creators we must embrace these new outlets. Think of each one of them like a retail giant (like a Walmart) with customer reach in the thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands annually. And the good news is (excuse the pun) for most of us working in Christian based comics and graphic novels, that we can take our creations way past the niche markets they've been exposed to previously due to market bias (do to the Christian foundation of our works) or our lack of marketing virtually anywhere in the world where the technology and hardware exist to view them!

So 2011 looks like it has the potential to be a very good year for being a comic/graphic novel creator!

For any of you who haven't checked out Eye Witness yet, here's an opportunity to view one of the outlets we've added to our quiver of digital providers (Drivethrucomics) as well as to see what the series is all about with a FREE Eye Witness download.

R.J. Luedke