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[rec.arts.comics] General Comics FAQ

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Archive-name: comics/general-faq
Last-modified: 1998/08/30

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                   General RAC* Frequently Asked Questions


   * Where can I find comics info?
   * When is my favorite comic coming out?
   * Where is the nearest/best comic store?
   * Where is the nearest/best comic convention?
   * Where are comics pros/companies on the net? and in the real world?
   * How do I become a pro comics writer or artist?
   * Where does the money go from buying a comic?
   * Where can I get GIFs of scanned comics art?


Where Can I Find Comics Info?

Beyond the few very frequent questions addressed in this document, anything
about particular books, strips, characters, writers, artists, buying,
selling, TV, movies or toys is covered in one of the RAC* subgroups. See or

For news about current comics, try
(Mike Doran's Newsarama) or Steve Conley's

The following sites have fairly thorough comics web indices:

   * -- Jonah Weiland
   * -- WraithSpace
   * -- Negative Space


When Is My Favorite Comic Coming Out?

Updated weekly, (the New Comic Releases
List) is a favorite of many RAC'ers. For comics distributed by Diamond,
Previews magazine is available online at


Where Is The Nearest/Best Comic Store?

   * has a comprehensive list of comic stores.
     However, it doesn't provide reviews or info, and ITSHARDTOREAD.
   * lists
     stores that support independent comics.
   * lists store web sites.

Alternately, you can turn off your modem and call 1-888-COMICBOOK
(266-4226), a toll-free hotline from Diamond & several major publishers.


Where Is The Nearest/Best Comic Convention?

Links to many comic conventions are maintained at, including:

   * Caption - Oxford, UK
   * Chicago Comicon
   * Dragon*Con - Atlanta, Georgia
   * Motor City Con - Detroit, MI
   * San Diego Comic-Con
   * Small Press Expo - Washington, DC


Where Are Comics Pros/Companies On The Net? And In The Real World? and maintain lists of publishers, creators, and other
comic-related addresses and URLs.

BTW, pros online should be treated the same as any other RAC'ers. It's nice
if they read or answer your posts, but they're not paid to do so any more
than you are. General compliments/fan mail should be sent by email rather
than posted. Also, it's silly to ask a specific pro questions about comics
that they aren't associated with. For example, Kurt Busiek will post about
Astro City, but not about Spawn.

Steve Lieber has written a (rough draft) Guide for Pros New to Usenet.


How Can I Become A Pro Comics Writer Or Artist?

Four ways to get a job as a comics writer:

  1. First get published in books/magazines/movie scripts/etc. Examples:
     Nancy Collins, Rachel Pollack, Paul Dini, etc.
  2. Get a job with a comics company in Editorial/Sales/etc, and schmooze.
     Examples: Peter David, Chris Claremont, etc.
  3. Self-publish. You'll lose money but save your principles. Examples:
     Dave Sim, Colleen Doran, Jeff Smith, etc.
  4. Learn to draw. Writer/artists have twice as many job opportunities.

Becoming a pro comics artist is easier but still tough. Three words:
practice, practice, practice. You need a portfolio showing that you can draw
more than pin-ups. Do multiple-page stories, with multiple panels on each
page. Don't skimp on backgrounds -- draw buildings, cars, trees, civilians
not in skin tight suits, etc. If you can't draw one professionally-ready
page per day, you're too slow for a monthly book. Mail photocopies of your
art to companies, or show your work to editors or artists at comic
conventions. Or self-publish.

More detailed information and business contacts are available from:



Where Does The Money Go From Buying A Comic?

This rough guide was provided Matt High of Antarctic Press. Mileage may vary
slightly among different publishers. "Out of the cover price of our books
($2.75/2.95 usually):

   * 40-45% goes to the retailer
   * 20-25% goes to the distributor
   * 13% goes to the printer
   * 7-8% goes to the creators/artists
   * 2% goes to shipping (UPS/USPS)
   * the remainder (10-12%) goes to the publisher (salaries, rent,
     utilities, supplies, advertising, etc).

Antarctic Press is at the second-highest discount level...We sell
distributors books at 65% off cover price, they turn around and resell them
for 35-50% off. Marvel and DC sell their books to the distributors at 59-62%
off, and they turn around and resell them to the stores at 40-57.5% off."


Where Can I Get GIFs Of Scanned Comics Art?

It is illegal to post or upload unauthorized scans of copyrighted art, even
if no one makes money off of it. See Brad Templeton's Ten Common Myths About
Copyright post at or in

If you don't care about legal issues, try or
a Scandinavian WAREZ site. Absolutely do NOT post binary files such as GIFs
or ZIPs to RAC* or any other group that doesn't have the word "binaries" in
the title. It's rude, and the Cancelbot will delete them in a day or two.

written by Paul Estin, Tom Galloway, et al. and maintained by Francis Uy
(francis_uy@yahoo), member of the RAC* FAQ Committee (rac-faq@mlists).

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