Why I Had to Launch a Comic Book Publisher

I love comic books – they constantly amaze me, and take me to new and impossible worlds. Now I’d like to tell you about why I had to launch a comic book publisher. Yes, why. Sure it’s enough to love something, to turn it into an expensive hobby, and let it consume a lot of your free time. But it takes a special kind of crazy to look at juggernauts like Marvel and DC and think to yourself “how hard can it be?”. Well, here are just a few reasons (and I am sure that I can think of so many more).

1. Marvel and DC aren’t all that I want

marvel-vs-dc-crossover-classics

While I am more of a DC guy, I certainly enjoy a lot of Marvel stuff. I grew up with batman as my favourite, but have always enjoyed Punisher, Alpha Flight, and most recently Hawkeye. While the Big 2 put out some of the best comic books in the world, they sometimes aren’t enough to satisfy me as a reader. Imagine going to a movie theater, and only being able to watch Die Hard or its knockoffs. Things would get boring quick, wouldn’t they?

2. Image, BOOM! and others are awesome

The Walking Dead - Image Comics

Image Comics is awesome. I love The Walking Dead, (and did before it was so mainstream!), read many early Image Titles, and enjoy some of the quirky stuff that they put out. I really enjoy Mind the Gap, Chew, Morning Glories and more.

When it comes to BOOM!, Mark Waid’s brilliant Irredeemable is still one of my all-time favourites, and I was completely blown away by Suicide Risk. BOOM! just makes really good comics.

So, what does this have to do with me? These creative studios have proven that the industry has matured, wants more variety, and that ultimately the market will reward those with a quality product – even if it isn’t wrapped in capes and tights.

3. There are many great stories that deserve to be told

The Kursk - Lucha Comics - 30 Days of The Kursk

Digital comics have revolutionized the industry, and made it accessible to a great deal of talented people. 20 years ago, there are books that would have been impossible to read – no kickstarter, no iPads, and no real way to get into comic book shops without a massibe budget. Now, I can bring fellow comic book lovers hidden gems like The Kursk, or never before available in English graphic novels like Boom. I can reach out to those that miss Westerns, and War books, or have just had enough of The Avengers or Batman. All of this is due to the fact that digital has lowered costs and barriers to entry, and there are markets, like ComiXology, to discover new books. These all point to new, incredible reads that make comic books fun and new, all over again.

This is just a little bit of insight as to why I jumped into a fun, crazy and exciting industry. I am determined to make a real go of this, and turn Lucha Comics into a viable publisher that brings you awesome comic books that you won’t get anywhere else. Be sure to follow @LuchaComics, and if you know of a comic book that we should add to our catalog, get in touch!

So, I’m Launching a Comic Book Publisher …

So, I’m Launching a Comic Book Publisher

I expect that of the millions, and millions (read: If I’m lucky, the dozens, and dozens) that read this blog post don’t really know much about me, or Lucha Comics. So, before really getting into things, I just wanted to talk about it and fill you in about why I am launching this project.

I have loved comics for quite some time; for nearly 30 years I have been collecting them (mainly Batman, but I love my Punisher books amongst others). When my children arrived, I did take about a 5 year hiatus from reading them, but now I am back at it full force, and what a great time to be a fan! Marvel is doing some awesome stuff thanks to Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction, and a bunch of other talented individuals. I believe that DC has done amazing stuff with their New 52, although lately they do seem a bit greedy to me (52 covers for a B team JLA book?). Image is really kicking ass, and capturing a nice market share from the big two thanks to The Walking Dead, Saga, and some other really good titles. Apart from that, digital has exploded thanks to these guys, levelling the playing field for a lot of independents. I know find myself reading as many Monkeybrain titles as I do DC!

So, what does this really mean? It means that despite having a day job as a Project Manager, I know see that I finally have a chance to be a part of an industry that I have loved nearly as long as I have been alive. Using some of my professional experience in the business world, I have decided to launch Lucha Comics, my own digital publisher. I’m not expecting to get my hands on the next big thing and make millions, but I feel that the tools that the Internet offers us now can allow me to finally participate in the industry.

What? Yes, someone who could maybe write a comic book, and who cannot draw anything decent (and I mean anything) is launching a comic book publisher. I am lifelong fan, and am fascinated by the industry, so I figured, how hard can it be?

Well, like any new business or project, these things do take time and money. First, I decided that this new venture should be sustainable. That is, it should be able to pay for itself year after year, otherwise it would not be much of a business. So, what about start-up costs?

After speaking to my wife (who despite hating comic books and complaining that I spend too much money on them) it became clear that she was fully supportive, and probably would have used our family savings to help fund the kick off. While we could have afforded it, having 2 young children makes you think. That is when I decided that my comic books should sustain my dreams of launching a comic book publisher.  That’s when I went into the basement, started rifling through the longboxes, and picked which comics would be sold in order to fund the dream. I suppose that if one could pick a favourite child, the conversation would go like this: “sorry sweetie, but daddy can get a good price for you because you’re pretty popular right now”

Desire and the willingness to give up some pretty cool comics are not enough to launch a publisher; fortunately, I have had the privilege of coming across some very cool content, and I am hoping to work with some talented creators to bring it to all of you very soon. Who knows, this thing might just take off. I really hope that you’ll check back frequently, to see where this experiment goes.

Sincerely,
Rodolfo Martinez
Editor/Project Manager/One-man Show at Lucha Comics