Monday, June 8, 2009

COMICS OBSCURA MEETINGS R.I.P.

I'd like to take a moment of my time to address some recent events.

As of June, 7th 2009 the Comics Obscura meetings are no more.

No that doesn't mean there's not a group of people who meet at Gone Wired Cafe Sunday nights it's just they are now known as Dark Corner Productions.

I'm very proud of everyone who has decided to form a conglomerate and wish them well on their endeavors.

I however will not be involved in the Sunday meetings any more, I have other projects which I can dedicate my time to which are much more personally and socially satisfying. By social I don't mean social gatherings but truly getting a chance to help out those that want to create and increase the output of quality work into society.

Now I'm left with a nearly insurmountable task... to recreate the Comics Obscura name.

You see the name Comics Obscura has become a Joke that's being slung across counters at comic book shops with laughter following the phrase "did the next issue of Comics Obscura come out this week?".

to give you a sense of how this became a joke here's the release dates of the first four issues.

Issue #1: December 16th, 2006

Issue #2: April 28th, 2007

Issue#3: February 23, 2008

Issue#4: May 20th, 2009

You'll notice publications taking longer towards the end, various creators were taking on more responsibility and using less time to produce. These creators were relied on for "submissions" into the first few issues of Comics Obscura as the stories were "to be continued". These stories were guaranteed a spot in each issue of Comics Obscura. This created a false "submission" guideline and caused many prospective contributors to turn towards other avenues to show their work to the public. This limited the amount of submissions being received and reduced the number of people coming to the meeting who want to produce.

Now during this time there were three things happening... stagnation, procrastination, and frustration. The frustration was on my part and I had enough of it. Last year after multiple failed deadlines mounting frustration and the loss of readership I made a decision.

The decision was to no longer be the leader of the Comics Obscura group. The group was left to their own devices, setting their own deadlines and organizing the comic. I had lost too much time focused on other creators work and I hadn't given enough of my time producing my own work. Unfortunately when it came down to finishing issue four I was once against tossed into the lead of organizing the publication and come deadline (by deadline I mean the absolute last date to have the publication submitted to allow enough time to print the issue and get it back in time for Motor City Comic Con) submissions were still late.

For a long time at these meetings I've made the statement that the publication known as Comics Obscura is me. The group was always another entity... It was supposed to be a gathering of like minded individuals to help each other produce work, not a business.

This brings me to another point: communication.

It seems no matter how many times I stated that the meetings and the Comic are two separate entities, it fell upon deaf ears. After reading a post over at my friend Rick Schlaack's blog it was finally recognized that just this past Sunday the Comics Obscura meetings and the publication are no longer affiliated. This came as a surprise to me, even a shock i would go as far to say.

When did this become an event?

Why was a separation of affiliation ever needed?

I don't know the answers to these questions but I guess sometimes questions are better left unanswered (though I have made comments on Rick's blog, fell free to read the post and my comments here, since this post the blog mentioned was pulled down the reply to the post being deleted can be seen here: http://thepenguin12.blogspot.com/2009/06/snafu.html Note - 6/19/09: the intial post that was once deleted has been reposted here: http://thepenguin12.blogspot.com/2009/06/times-they-are-achangin_18.html)

I have other things to say but will retain that information for another day, so in light of the separation of affiliation I would like to make an announcement...

I should actually say a solution...

The Comics Obscura Anthology is a short story comic now to be based entirely on submissions.

All stories must be 2-8 pages long and be "done in one" this doesn't mean you can have reoccurring characters it's only that the stories have to open and close in the allotted space (Kurt Spatrisano hit the nail on the head with this idea over a year and a half ago, luckily some of the creators took almost a year and a half to produce this last issue.)

The website is being reworked and relaunched later this summer (Until the website is relaunched all traffic will be directed to this blog for updates.) It will contain submission guidelines, contracts, links to contributors, links to purchase the various publications, links to purchase digital copies of the publications, and a new forum based around getting creative teams together. This last part is what the meetings on Sunday were partly about the other part was a gathering of like minded individuals getting together to help each other produce work. Now the meetings have become a new entity entirely.

Truly It's a new day for Comics Obscura and myself as a publisher and creator.

I'm looking to fill in the emptiness that was created from the deterioration of the Sunday night meetings as they became more of a social gathering and less about production. Many creators came out for one night and never returned. I'm looking to build a community of comic creators and have made many friends who are working hard to provide quality work and bring the comics medium to the public eye.

I also would like to begin a gathering/workshop one night a month that has guest speakers and creators who come in and explain their production and creation processes. I would like to leave enough time during these sessions for a Q&A panel involving each presentation to get the community more actively involved. I will probably be the moderator of each of the sessions.

Let me know what you think? I'd love to hear some feedback regarding these ideas and the events that have taken place.

Here's something I need to say: You, the person reading this right now, it's because of you that I create new work. Without you I wouldn't be able to produce the Comics Obscura books or any other publication under the Comics Obscura title. Even if you've never bought a single thing I've produced, it's because of you I produce these. If I ever loose sight of creating work you enjoy, please, let me know.

Keep your eyes peeled there's plenty more stuff to come.

-Jacot

9 comments:

Jonathan D. Gordon said...

count me in if you need help with a speaker.

Josh Heusinkveld said...

Sorry to hear about news of Comics Obscura. I know there are a lot of going on past several weeks.

Especially me, brought house and have baby boy in about seven weeks a part.

When my time come ready to publish my sketchbook or comic, you will be first talk to... Wish you good luck and hope see you again down road.

Josh

Ryan said...

Hey Jay,
Sorry to hear about the way things ended. Or is it; the way things begun. Perhaps it's congratulations that are in order rather than condolences. I was not at all familiar with the inner workings of the group or the publication. I had heard about the meetings but it seemed, perhaps intimidating.
I look forward to hearing more about the meetings with creators and learning more about the submission process. That is, if I can get my ass in gear and get to work!

Ryan

Robert Forest said...

This sounds like a most excellent and sound decision. I think that you should be very happy and proud about what you are doing now. I really hope the monthly meeting with speakers works out as I would love nothing more than to be part of a creative braintrust of like- minded individuals with a burning fire to do nothing more than bring creative works of Comic art to the public.

I'm one of those people who thought that the Sunday Night event was going to be something... how do I put this without sounding too negative? ...More open and inviting. Instead in the three times I went I simply felt alienated. It was sad to me. But I didn't let it stop me and I pressed on.

I am so glad that you are PRESSING on!

In the Immortal words of KANSAS, "CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON!"

Let me know of ANYTHING! (one more time) ANYTHING! I can do to help you out in your further endeavors!

My thoughts are with you and my hand is at your asking.

-Robert Forest
creator/illustrator E.G.G.
co-owner Sissy Fist Press

Avadrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad D - Scribe of Snarky said...

Enjoyed the meetings while I was there. As always, you know how I can be reached.

Eric Wilmoth said...

Jay, I dig the direction you're moving in towards having presentation on individual techniques and experience; it's something i'm hungry for, seeing as how we all have unique strengths we could share with each other and with others looking to start down this path. I look forward to discussing this more with you and participating in its development.

Ryan Claytor said...

Way to go, Jay. Sounds like you are making difficult decisions, honing your focus and still remaining incredibly ambitious and optimistic. I send you big kudos! Can't wait to see the new issues and more work from you.

Sincerely,
Ryan Claytor
Elephant Eater Comics
www.ElephantEater.com

Clem's said...

Jay -

We look forward to continuing to offer Comics Obscura to our customers. As long as your name is attached to it, I'll support it, and we'll sell it.

T