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In my last question Does marvel accept new heroes by other people, people advised me to start creating my own comics. I wonder what kind of professions I need and how many people to start publishing comics like, one comic once a week.

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What you need first is a market.

Who are you publishing comics for and how will you pay for it? Lots of people create comics anthologies, for example. These are very popular and can be published as e-books or printed books or both. You can do this as print-on-demand or you can print a lot of copies and use a distributor (harder). Or just stick to e-comics.

If you don't want to do an anthology (which is simply a collection of different short comics around a central theme), then you'll either publish full books or short comics (which are usually 22 pages plus a front and back cover, though with e-comics that doesn't matter).

As others have said, each individual comic needs a writer or a writing team (one of whom needs to be able to put it into script/storyboard form) and an artist team which is 1-4 people doing pencils (sometimes with storyboard), inks, colors, and lettering. The publisher and/or teams need social media, marketing, and sales people to help out (or they do these tasks). Plus a person or a place to contract to that does e-book/comic formatting, digital submissions, ISBN numbers, and print issues/distribution, etc.

Most comic endeavors do not break even. This is not a way to make money. For example, my spouse is publishing a comic series (with a real life publisher who takes care of the e-comics and books part) and does the writing and scripts and many hours of work pulling everything together. Me and the co-writer do the social media, website, promotional materials for free. He only has to pay the artist team (3 people).

Each 22 page issue (plus a cover) costs him $2500. He has to sell 5000 e-comics (for each issue!) just to break even.

If you're doing an anthology where the submissions are finished works and you're not paying individuals, you still need to pay your submitters. Do all anthologies actually pay anything real? No, they don't, and it's disgusting. I've got my first piece coming out soon and it looks like I'll be paid $40 for it (4 pages). But I have to pay my artists a couple hundred dollars. Will I do another one? Not with this publisher spit (note: if the anthology simply doesn't make money, I don't mind accepting low payment; in this case the contract is set up so that the contributors all split just 10% of the profits (net, not gross)). It ought to be illegal. Don't be like that.

So, research the heck out of what you want to do. And be an ethical publisher.

  • It's so great to hear an answer from a professional, thank you so much! – Ver Nick Oct 7 '18 at 12:02
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Many online comics are made entirely by one person. Take a look, for example, at Order of the Stick. Other comics have a writer, an artist to do the inking, another artist for the colours, and yet another artist for the lettering. All options in between are also viable, and are done by various webcomics. The most common setup I see, other than the Jack-of-all-trades, is one writer + one artist.

  • But if I want company to run by itself, without participating in it(just my idea and I need to get finished comics back), what do I need to do? – Ver Nick Oct 5 '18 at 20:40
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    @VerNick In such a case, I'd say you need a boatload of money. Writers generally want to write their own stuff. The one thing we do not lack for is ideas. The thing we lack is time to write our stuff. So if you want someone to write your stuff, you'd need to pay them a lot. And you'd still need a writer, artists and so on. – Galastel Oct 5 '18 at 21:06
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    Another common approach is writer/artist + colourist (e.g. Schlock Mercenary - Howard Tayler started it off doing everything by himself, but hired a colourist when the comic started getting popular enough to pay for one) – Jules Oct 7 '18 at 7:51
  • There is an inbetween... for example, I am not a comics writer even though I'm being published as one. My spouse is though. He mostly writes his own stuff but he sometimes adapts my work into comics form (he could take co-writing credit but chooses not to). The piece being published soon was one I wrote as a performance (skit/play). He's also adapted my poetry, a short story, and a dream I wrote out. So if your "ideas" are writing in other forms, you can hire someone to adapt them. You'll learn quickly how to do it yourself too (I probably could by now). – Cyn Oct 8 '18 at 14:18
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Starting your own full-fledged comics publishing company would involve printing, layout, marketing, distribution, accounting, and probably much much more --and that doesn't even count the team most comics publishers have for the actual comic (writer, storyboarder, inker, illustrator, colorist) So it might not be the best path to your goal --you'll spend all your time and resources administrating it, and won't have much creative energy left over for your own work. With that said, it's not impossible (ex. Jeff Smith). If you don't want to go that route, however, here are four other possible pathways towards your eventual goal:

1) Get hired on at an established comic publisher, and work your way up to creating your own titles (ex. Todd McFarlane).

2) Start out publishing online only, and once you build up a large enough fan base, switch to print (ex. Pete Abrams).

3) Start out with a more cheaply produced, DIY, photocopied comic book, and try to build up a local fan base that way.

4) If your work is good enough, there may well be existing comic companies smaller than Marvel that might want to take on your titles. There are a lot of small boutique comics publishers out there these days.

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Both of the previous answers are right, but throw in someone to handle social media, advertising and reader-relations, and a part-time copyright attorney to protect you from idea theft.

Then, unless everyone involved is an unpaid volunteer, hire a monetization consultant to help you figure out how to turn your creations into revenue so that you can compensate your team.

Then, once your making money, get a defense attorney to defend you from all the liable and slander lawsuits which may arise if your creation insults anyone.

...the list goes on and on...

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As far as I know if you are starting, begin with two person, one will create and write story and second one will develop images and cartoons. If you are planning for an company then it will need three teams one for planning, second one for articulating and writing story and third will be graphics designer team.

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