Building a Comixtribe with Comixlaunch Founder Tyler James

February 23, 2017

We’re doing something a little new and a little weird on this episode of The Business of Art. This episode is the second part of a two-parter I recorded with my friend Tyler James from Comixtribe and the Comixlaunch podcast. The first part of this two-parter is where he interviewed me and you can find it at www.comixlaunch.com.

In this second part, I interview him about his publishing company, Kickstarter, and his history in indie comics. Here’s a little snippet about Comixtribe from their website @ www.comixtribe.com.

We recorded this episode back in November, but between his 6-Day Kickstarter challenge and my Kickstarter launch, it's been tough to schedule it in. This feel like the right time. Even though this doesn't fit with our anthology theme, it's definitely heavy into the process of funding a comic Kickstarter and building a publishing company. 

We waited so long to drop this episode because both of us are in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign right now. His campaign is SINK, and it's one of the scarier things I've ever read. You can check it out by clicking here.

If you haven't checked out my new anthology, Monsters and Other Scary Shit, it's a 224-page monster anthology about monsters, filled with creators from Marvel, Vertigo, Image, Boom, and who've worked for brands like Transformers, My Little Pony, Invader Zim, and many others. Check it out today @ www.monsteranthologycomic.com.  

ComixTribe’s mission is simple: Creators helping creators make better comics.

The grand vision of what ComixTribe will become is extremely ambitious.  The ultimate goal is to make ComixTribe a premier online community and resource for comic creators serious about improving their craft.

We have an ambitious and exciting roadmap laid out for the development of the site.  However, we’re starting small and simple, with an initial focus on producing quality content geared toward comic creators.  We are curating a small selection of quality columns, podcasts, and resources we’re confident will appeal to the comic creating community at large.  Through frequent, consistent, and quality content updates, we hope to establish ComixTribe as a voice worth listening to.  As the community builds, we’ll incorporate new features that will go beyond content, to meet the many needs of comics creators.  ComixTribe will also sponsor special online events for creators throughout the year, such as the popular 30 Characters Challenge.

If you don’t know about the Comixlaunch podcast, Tyler hosts one of the best podcasts on Kickstarter around, and it’s ABSOLUTELY the best podcast that deals with how to launch a comic book on Kickstarter. Here’s a little bit about them from www.comixlaunch.com.

Kickstarter is the most powerful crowdfunding platform for new and professional creators and creative entrepreneurs alike. To date, nearly $40 million dollars have been raised for comics and graphic novel projects on Kickstarter.

Still, more than half of all comic projects on Kickstarter fail.

ComixLaunch is trying to change that by revealing the mindset, strategies, and tactics you can use to successfully crowdfund your projects.

Founded by Tyler James and Jeremy Melloul, ComixLaunch will help take you through the entire process, from pre-launch strategies to designing and managing a successful campaign, all the way to avoiding the pitfalls of fulfillment.

I actually met Tyler through Jeremy, who I cold tweeted about being on their show. Jeremy liked the idea and we did a three-way chat on Comixlaunch, which was the most downloaded episode of their show for the first 49 episodes. You can listen to it here. You’ll have to forgive it a bit. I didn’t even know The Business of Art would exist yet. I was still pitching Kickstarter University as a thing. It wouldn’t go under for a few more months after this.

Over the past year, Tyler and I became friends and often encourage each other and discuss business, both publishing related and podcast related. It’s not hard to see why we hit it off. After all, how many publishers do you know that also have a podcast where they talk about the business side of creating things?

Not many.

So when he came to me with an idea to do a two-part episode, I was thrilled. I wanted to have him on my show forever and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. I spent the first half of the show being interviewed on Tyler’s podcast, and then we flipped it and I interviewed him on mine. Honestly, we ran out of steam a couple of times during this episode, but we got it together enough to deliver another banger for you.

We started out this episode talking about Tyler’s mentorship and courses. I do some of this myself, and so it was great to get in the weeds a bit about why coaching is so important. Basically, it helps you cut years off your journey, and years are precious.

Then, we talked about his history with Comixtribe. As you can see above, helping and giving back to the community has been a mission of Comixtribe since the beginning, and it’s clear that Tyler always wanted to build a community. We talked a bit about strategic planning, and he gave his thoughts on how you should think of strategic planning, how far out to plan, and how much of a plan to have when you do.

Once we finished up that, we talked about Comixlaunch. We talked about how he niched down to find a really core audience of people that needed information on how to launch a comics Kickstarter. Honestly, that is a really small niche but, as he said, once you have authority in one field it’s easier to parlay that into authority in another field. Even if he has to pivot in the future, he never loses his authority as a Kickstarter expert.

One thing I wanted to dive into was how he was able to open a successful kid’s book imprint for his company. I tried to do something similar this year and failed miserably. Yet his C is for Cthulhu brand is a massive success, even though he came from the world of very violent and dark comic books, just like me. His insights were eye-opening and fantastic. I really appreciate the detail he gave to his answer. It almost makes me want to try kid’s books again.

Almost.

If you like this episode, head on over to http://www.comixlaunch.com and sign up for their mailing list and head over to http://www.comixtribe.com/subscibe in order to get five free comics. Also, sink.comixtribe.com will get you on the mailing list for Sink, which is a great mailing list to emulate for your own project, plus it’s a really cool book. They are also on Kickstarter now, and you can check out their campaign by clicking here.

Comixlaunch is on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/comixlaunch too, so if you want to help them out and get cool stuff, check it out.

If you liked this episode, please head on over to iTunes and rate, review, and subscribe to both The Business of Art and Comixlaunch today. If you are coming from Comixlaunch, then you can find me on Twitter or Instagram @russellnohelty. If you want to find Tyler, he’s on Twitter @tylerjamescomic.

And if you love monsters, check out my new anthology comic, Monsters and Other Scary Shit, live on Kickstarter now. It's 30 different stories from amazing creators, and you can pick it up for just $40 INCLUDING SHIPPING! With your pledge you also get a free digital download of the cover AND the pdf/cbz files for all the books. Check it out today @ www.monsteranthologycomic.com

 

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