I had highlighted Jason Berek-Lewis' (or JBL as we like to call him, cuz his name's a mouthful) call to arms, Independents Day, last week in light of Speakeasy's collapse. Basically, JBL (BrokenFrontier.com columnist, and aspiring writer) was inspired to take the news of another failing independent publisher as a chance to highlight the need for fans to be sure and give smaller books a shot, with an idea called "independents day". Basically offering that everyone take a look at the new books released last week and seek out something from someone besides the big four publishers.
I thought it was a great idea, borderline ingenious, but not so much the actual proposed action, that's great, but it's been done, in different versions around the web, and it's not enough. What I thought was so promising, was the spirit of the idea, capturing the zeitgeist of concern for small press, and tying it to a perfect name, and the potential that had. I took it one further and suggested Independents Day should be a movement, an event or cause, for fans, creators, publishers, and retailers to rally around, or build on. Other folks chimed in, and JBL promised to run with it.
Well one week later, Wednesday, new comic book day, and JBL is back, with a brand new blog INDEPENDENTS' DAY CAMPAIGN A blog dedicated to the idea of creating a movement to raise awareness for independent comics.
Pretty kick ass hunh?
A man of action, in one week it's a start, pretty cool.
Now, I haven't spoken with JBL, and he’s slim on details, so I don't know what exactly he's got cookin’, and I know there are other independent publishing initiatives, but like I've said to him, and made clear here on TSL, I'm fully down with the cause. It's exactly the kind of thing I've been looking for. As a new creator, releasing my first self-published comic, in today's market, the direct comic book market of NOW, I know all to well the challenges smaller publishers and creators face, and I've quickly recognized we need a tool to help penetrate the marketplace.
I urge anyone who's a fan of comics to bookmark the IDC website, again HERE, and jump on board to help start this movement. The time is now. If we can gather up all the bloggers, columnists, creators, and publishers posting online, already highlighting the small press, and work towards a goal, we can acheive it with ease.
I know there are already websites like Buzzscope/PopCultureShock, ComicAvalanche, and TheComicsReview etc, or associations like SPA (Self Publishers Assoc.) making noise, and working plans of action, but I don't know of any one thing that has the reach we need, like a Free Comic Book Day or an indy Previews. We need something big, a way to get this idea, or something related, in front of everyone.
Even if we just build a network that brings all of these parallel activities together, it's a start.
Let's do it!