Technology has a way of making the world smaller and helping like-minded people find each other – no matter where they are. For comics writer Wes Locher, websites catering to comics enthusiasts have been a huge benefit in helping him find both artists and fans.
Wes, a student in Full Sail’s Creative Writing for Entertainment degree program, has published multiple comics projects, working with artists from Sweden, Canada, Argentina, Poland, Romania, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Brazil, and the Philippines. His comics have covered diverse themes, including crime, sci-fi, and dystopian societies.
“There’s a great talent pool internationally, and if you’re paying artists, the exchange rate typically works in your favor and gets you a bigger bang for your buck,” says Wes. Not all the artists Wes works with speak English fluently, but this hasn’t been much of an issue, he says. “Storytelling is a universal language. The end result always comes out great.”
Wes says the main websites he uses to locate artists are digitalwebbing.com, penciljack.com, and deviantart.com. “They have forums dedicated to networking that are very handy,” says Wes.
Websites like ComiXology – sort of the iTunes for comics fans – are also hugely beneficial to indie comics creators and give fans access to works from all over the world.
“It’s great for people who don’t have a local comic shop or just enjoy reading their books digitally and saving some closet space. For those working in the small press like me, it allows my books to compete alongside titles from Marvel and DC Comics. You can submit your comic to the service without having a publisher attached, making it possible for someone to gain large exposure for quality, independent books.”
This fall, Wes completed a four-part murder mystery miniseries called Chambers, which was released digitally in individual issues on ComiXology (the last issue came out on Wednesday). Arcana Studio will publish a physical copy of the series in its entirety in March. It will be available for purchase on the publisher’s website and via Amazon.
On Nov. 4, Wes launched a free webcomic called INNOVATION that he is publishing on its own website, innovationcomic.com. “It’s an ongoing series that will be illustrated by different artists. I’ll release a new short story every week for the month of November, and then they will be collected into a digital and physical issue that can be purchased. From there, the process repeats each time a new issue is completed,” says Wes. “The Internet is allowing me to create my own way of releasing the comic.”
Wes says he’s working on several projects, including a comic with a Canadian artist called New Life, which he plans to publish next year. Wes has also contributed short stories to anthologies published by GrayHaven Comics.
“Comics is kind of in that weird gray area, like the music industry was a few years back, where they aren’t really sure how to best release content, so everyone is sort of trying something different,” says Wes. “I’ve decided to sign on with a few different publishers to get that side of the experience, but I also wanted to have a project that I had free reign with to help me figure out what’s most enjoyable for me as a creator.”