Resources

PIX Resources Page

PIX is only one day, but we hope that it will provide a year’s worth of inspiration – after all, people make comics all year round.  With that in mind, we are herein assembling a page of resources for Pittsburgh area comics makers and cartoonists:  The PIX Resources Page! 

We know that we certainly don’t have all the answers, so should anyone have a suggestion for something they’d like to see on this page, please don’t hesitate to send it to pix@copacetic.biz.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

LOCAL

We want to make sure that all PIX exhibitors and attendees are aware of The Pittsburgh Comics Salon.  This is an informal group that meets on the first Wednesday of every month at The Lili Coffee Shop in Polish Hill (just downstairs from The Copacetic Comics Company).  The Pittsburgh Comics Salon helps keep the spirit of PIX alive year round and features drawing exercises led by Frank Santoro – the creator of Comics Workbook, among much else – and Juan Fernandez, comics shop talk, and, of course, a chance to socialize, exchange ideas and share art with your fellow comics makers.  In 2017 The Pittsburgh Comics Salon will also be held the second Saturday of each month in the upstairs room at Biddle's Escape in Regent Square.  There is now also a special "Process" edition of the salon on the third Thursday of each month at The ToonSeum, featuring a presentation by a (usually local) comics creator.  

Anyone looking to keep up with what Pittsburgh comics makers are producing between one PIX and the next will always find something new on the Made-in-Pittsburgh table at The Copacetic Comics Company.

Also, scour the calendar at The ToonSeum and keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming Made-in-Pittsburgh exhibition of original art by Pittsburgh area comics makers and cartoonists.


CROWDFUNDING

Kickstarter  – We figure anyone reading this is already familiar with this one, but if not, Kickstarter is the most popular platform for funding the creation, production, printing and distribution of creative projects.  Check it out and see if you think it’s right for you.

Patreon  – This is the platform employed by Melissa Mendes that she spoke of during the crowdfunding platform.  It allows creators to reach out to potential supporters who are willing to support a project with monthly payments, which, while likely to be small, can, in aggregate, add up to enough to allow the creator to pursue their work, potentially (gasp!) without a day job.

Indiegogo   –  Although not mentioned during the PIX crowdfunding panel, this is another alternative worth exploring.  One advantage it has over Kickstarter is that, unlike Kickstarter, there is an option – called FlexFunding – wherein you can keep whatever you raise, even if you don’t reach your goal (although the downside is that you are then charged a higher percentage fee in this instance).


PRINTING / PRODUCTION

First up, we’d like to offer some options and tips for printing your comics from experienced local comics makers, on this PIX Printing Resource Page.

Next, here are the key resources referenced on this year’s Printing / Production Panel:

RE: A Guide to Reproduction – This seminal guide to how to the print small run comics, while now somewhat dated, nevertheless contains a wealth of critical information, and is a great public service to the DIY community, put together by Ron Rege, Jr., Dave Choe, Brian Ralph & Jordan Crane.  Thanks guys!

Print Ninja — This is the liaison service for low-cost printing in China recommended by Chuck Forsman during the printing/production panel.  

Lightning Source — Here is the landing page for the printing component of the service that Jeremy Baum referenced during the same panel, and which he used to print his Memory anthology.


SALES / DISTRIBUTION

Big Planet Comics’  A Retailer’s Tips on Selling Minicomics” -  This is the post that Jared Smith referenced during the panel, that will provide comics makers with the crucial retailer’s perspective.  

One of the best friends an independent comics maker can have starting out is Tony Shenton, who is a freelance sales agent who specializes in representing small press and self-published comics.  Now, Tony does not, of course, represent just anyone who contacts him, but if he feels that your work is up to scruff then he will put it before the eyeballs of all the shops in North America who might be interested; quite a leg up. PLEASE NOTE:  Before sending any samples to Tony for his consideration, please contact him first, by emailing:  shenton4sales at aol dot com (We are employing this format to foil internet “bots” intent on lifting his email and sending him spam)

Two important distributors specializing in small press and self publishing are:

Spit and a Half - Founded way back in the 1990s by self-publishing comics legend (and 2011 PIX Special Guest) John Porcellino, Spit and a Half was recently revived and offers a wealth of hard to find comics from North America and Europe to sympathetic comics shops in the same regions.  

Founded in 2008 by J. T. Yost, Birdcage Bottom Books carries a smaller range of work, but offers a great service, so is also worth giving a try if you think your comics have what it takes to be part of the BBB line.


NEWS

To keep up with what’s going on in comics, these are the two resources that are hard to do without:

Comics Workbook - Your go to source for news and more, made right here in Pittsburgh!
                                   (and here's the direct link to the CW daily news feed)

The Comics Reporter - Tom Spurgeon’s one-stop for everything comics.

The Comics Journal - The go-to source for comics news and reviews, for almost forty years.


EDUCATION

And, finally, anyone serious about taking their work to the next level and/or making a full time career out of comics making, should look into Pittsburgh's own Comics Workbook which offers an online distance learning program, and, beginning in 2017 an intensive residence program: The Rowhouse Residency; stay tuned for further details.  And then, of course,there's   The Center for Cartoon Studies, the only fully accredited full-time college devoted solely to comics and cartooning.  CCS offers both a two-year certificate and an MFA.  

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

We’ll have more posted here as time goes on, but we wanted to start now, so as to have something up for PIX 2015.

And don’t forget:  if there’s a resource you’d like to see here, send your suggestion to pix@copacetic.biz

________________________________________________________________________________________________