Friday, October 31, 2008

The Ending Sound

Well, it was a long and actually hellish month, but the Zuda competition was officially over today at noon. After twenty-five long days, we ended up in third place. We took some pretty hard hits from the community. Doug got his story-telling ripped on and Evan's style really rubbed some people the wrong way; and i was pretty much ignored for being a simple letterist. Though it wasn't all bad news bears all month. We also got some real support from the community and even some pros as well; people were willing to engage in actual discussions over the comic and we all also got some real praise on each of our parts. And we held on to first place for half of the competition; and we dropped to only third place. And I am soundly proud of that as we did very minimal advertising. It was mainly a grassroots campaign on our end. In total, we spent about thirty dollars in internet ads and about ten bucks in flyers. Our marketing was emails, facebook, myspace, and message boards. That is probably why we didn't win, but i'm okay with that. I knew that the marketing is a huge part of their competition model, but going through it gave me a real understanding on how it works. And I'm not entirely sure how comfortable i am with that fact. Their number system is also really interesting; I'm going to see if i can get how many actual votes we got. I'm interested in seeing how those numbers compare to our views/favorties and emails blasts. I may be going through this again with my other studio-mates so I want to be better informed on what worked and what didn't. Ideally, being able to see what each action did to our numbers would be the best; but i'll probably have to settle for what i get from Zuda/DC.

All in all, it was a pretty damn stressful experience. I got a lot of love and a lot of hate as well. It was some harsh lessons about this industry. Nothing new per say, but a nice rehash of old lessons of life: a lot of hard work sometimes gets paid back with bupkis; and money talks. I grew up in a world of critiques; that's part of how i grow and learn. However, on this sort of platform, it's not critiques but reviews. Some reviews are very sound and in depth conducted by people who understand the craft and have valid points. Others are done by fans who only know what they like and will not understand anything outside of that. It's like dealing with an art director vs a client: one will tell you why something doesn't work and call you an idiot, the other will not like the shade of blue you're using and call you an idiot. Welcome to the internet I suppose. As Doug said, it's going to happen; especially when you're in the spotlight on such a large scale.

Though for pluses, you can meet some real genuine people and you do get your name out there on a national/global scale. And to a certain degree, you can see who among your friends really support you and understand the crazy amount of hard work you put into these projects. But that's a whole other subject; one that i would be willing to discuss over beers if any of you would like. Also, make sure you fully read the contract (which they freely posted on their website) so you know exactly what you're getting into. It is DC comics, so it's not a creative owned project as other webcomic deals. But they do have clauses for reversion of rights. Read over it, and if you're really serious about it, get a lawyer to read over it as well. It is a legally binding contract and it's always a good idea to have someone look over it for you.

And finally, serious thanks for all the support everyone showed. It's been along and turbulent journey; and i really do appreciate the words of encouragement and the faith you guys have in me in trying to make it in this industry. Thanks for believing in me and I will do my very best to make you guys proud. Special thanks to Titan Comics for letting us leave flyers in the shop, and to Zeus Comics who even bag-stuffed them for us. Both shops always show some real support for the local scene; so go show them some love.


Alex - Citizen...of the WORLD! said...

Even though you guys didn't win (which I'm still pissed about), I am incredibly proud of you. I've always admired your hard work and passion Luan. That's how I know you're going to make it one day. And like you mentioned, your work definitely got out there- which is a huge deal within itself.

I only wish that I was in Texas so I could take YOU out for a beer and congratulate you on being where you are now in life. For you it's not a matter of "If", it's a matter of "when" you get your big break.

You're gettin' there :) <3

Anonymous said...

I really liked Hammer Sound. I thought You guys did a bang-up job. Evan's art is fresh and funky and your lettering was a beautiful match.

I was bummed it didn't continue beyond Zuda as Mathema did. I love seeing both yours and Evan's work progress and your passion for comics and art continue via your deviantArt sites.

All the best!