How to become a published artist is a series of talented local Boston writers and artists who have succeeded in promoting and publishing their works. All of the creative artists have freely given their time and advice for hopeful unpublished artists, journalists and writers. Based on each individuals different approach to publishing, their strengths, genres and their visions each offers options on what has proven to work well for them. Depending on what the goal is for you, we hope this series is informative and useful to completing your goals of publishing and successful promotions. Ciao!
With each interview the same theme repeats itself: “Don’t give up. Keep writing, keep practicing, don’t be afraid to fail!”
Jimmy Wahl author and Aaron Bolduc at Boston Comic Con 2015
In only a few short months Jimmy Wahl rose up through the publishing world from an unpublished man with a dream, to a published author with a goal and finally to one of the hottest new graphic novel teams at Boston Comic Con 2015 with two issues to his credit.
Of course we just had to interview this native of Boston’s south shore:
What motivated you to publish a graphic novel?
I’ve had a long love with comic books, so this was kind of a natural avenue for me. I’ve had the story for Soulbinder in my head and in various forms over the years, but when it came time to bring it into the physical realm and putting it out for people to see, read, and hopefully buy, the graphic novel format was a very natural fit.
When looking to be published how did you find your best resources?
There’s a really great online community in various forums, but the absolute best resource was my friend, Tony Sedani. He has been publishing his comic Return to Rander, which is incredible, for a couple years now and he’s been an invaluable source of information and encouragement.
What was the easiest route?
The easiest route, if there really is one, involves using a crowd-funding site. I used Kickstarter to help get me going in the publishing process.
Soulbnder Issue One
Who were your mentors?
This is a tough one for me, because the people I mostly consider mentors are writers I’ve never met before. There’s so much that can be learned by reading constantly and exploring the world of fiction. For a more traditional mentor, it would have to be Gerald Sullivan. In school, he was the first teacher that really loved my writing and made me feel like it was something I could excel at. He passed away several years ago, but the first issue of Soulbinder is dedicated to him, and I plan to make good on the promise I made to him to one day write a book called “How To Eat Soup With a Fork: A Romantic Tragedy About Life After The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon”
What printing company? How did you find them?
I printed through RA Comics Direct. They were recommended to me Joel Lolar, the creator of Forever Winter, a really amazing comic series set in a post-apocalyptic Boston. The customer service was excellent. They provided a great turnaround, and the comics look great. I can’t recommend them enough to anyone looking to print their own comics.
And what publishing agent?
The publishing agent is, depending on the semantics of it all, either Kickstarter, which helped me gather the funds necessary to print, or Common Anomaly Comics, which is what I’m calling my publishing company.
Soulbinder Issues 1 & 2
How did you get involved with New England Comics?
I’ve been a regular customer of New England Comics since 2007, when I started getting really heavy into comics, so when I started publishing I reached out to them and they agreed to put Soulbinder on the shelves of their stores. With Free Comic Book Day coming up and the second issue of my book coming out, I wanted to participate and they were excited to have someone local with printed work be there.
Note to self: admire those who are able to express interest in what other’s are doing even at the cash register!
Jimmy Wahl, graphic novel author
Is there any advice you would give to someone looking to be published?
Write. Write. Write. Write some more. Then keep writing. If you’re looking to print a graphic novel or comic book but cannot draw, then find an artist and pay him/her.