BEN BISHOP is a comic creator from Maine. We’ve been friends online for a while but met for the first time in person at Emerald City Comic Con, where we did a signing together at this shop in Seattle.
I brought him on the show because his Kickstarter for Drawing Blood, with is written by David Avallone and Kevin Eastman (yes, that one) is blowing up Kickstarter as we speak (www.drawingbloodcomic.com) and I wanted to talk with him about that, his book The Aggregate, and how he’s made a living making comics. Here is his bio, straight from www.bishart.net.
Ben has wanted to make comics since he was four years old and wrote to Marvel, at age eleven, asking for a job. Finding out it was not only illegal to hire an eleven-year-old, but that his skills weren’t QUITE there yet, Ben went back to the drawing board and to Mr. Morley’s 5th-grade classroom.
Ben later moved to Portland, Maine, to attend the Maine College of Art. After one great year and some loans that didn't go through, he was forced to leave. Ben then realized that if he really wanted to MAKE COMICS, maybe he should just MAKE COMICS.
For the next four years, Ben worked at coffee shops and lobster shacks while writing and drawing his first graphic novel. In 2008 he released the 300 page, NATHAN THE CAVEMAN, which was soon followed by several other smaller works.
In 2011, Ben illustrated the award-winning LOST TRAIL, NINE DAYS ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS, the graphic novel retelling of Donn Fendler’s famous true story “LOST ON A MOUNTAIN IN MAINE.” LOST TRAIL led to illustration work for larger companies like Archaia, IDW, Darby Pop, Action Lab, Nickelodeon, and Hasbro. Ben also jumped at the opportunity to create comic cover art for some of his favorite characters like Batman, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and G.I.Joe.
After 7 straight years of commissions, work for hire, and freelance work, Ben was determined to get back to creating stories of his own. In 2015, he put together a KICKSTARTER campaign for his next big project, THE AGGREGATE. The book would be the first of a new kind of comic he’s calling, SPLIT DECISION COMICS. In this innovative new format, the reader makes decisions for the characters and ultimately dictates the direction of the narrative. With a goal of $10,000 which was hit in the first 24 hours, THE AGGREGATE book went on to raise 3 times that thanks to the demand and excitement of his friends, family, and fans.
Listen to this episode if you want to learn:
- How to augment your Kickstarter to make sure you don’t run out of money.
- How to start a fan club.
- Why you don’t need a publisher.
- How to go it alone and make comics even when every publisher tells you no.
- How to finish projects
And much more.
If you liked this episode, make sure to check out Ben on Twitter and Instagram @bishart. Also, make sure to order his new comic on Kickstarter at www.drawingbloodcomic.com.
If you want a free chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build a Creative Career, just click here.
If you haven’t joined our Facebook group to help you make more money selling books, click here.
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