The Isotope Communique
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Fall Semester at Isotope Comics University

In the decade I’ve been working here in the comics industry one thing has been made abundantly clear… it can be an extremely difficult for an indie comics creator to make any kind of living off of their work. And I’m of the opinion that if there were more indie folks out there making just a little bit of money off their hard work (instead of losing it as is typical) we’d have even more great comics to enjoy.

Which is why we asked Ed Luce, creator of “Wuvable Oaf” comic and teacher at the California Collage of the Arts, to create the Isotope University with us here at the Isotope. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of getting to watch Ed create a nice little comics empire for himself over the years with smart professionally printed publications, brilliant down and dirty DIY handmade specials, clever marketing, amazing merchandising, and an exacting meticulousness to his career management which is downright jaw dropping. Not only do I enjoy his comic immensely, but seeing how expertly he’s brought his great comic work to an even greater audience and managed to make it help pay his rent is truly a thing of beauty. We have to teach other people how to do this!

This fall’s classes are now open for enrollment. As this is our second year of Isotope University, Ed has his sessions refined for maximum usefulness. I’m beyond thrilled to report how amazingly well our 2011 students have been doing for themselves and am really proud of what we’ve seen produced by those folks. And I want to see more great comics made… by you!

This intensive, five Saturday workshop will cover a wide range of topics essential to successfully self-publishing your own comics project, including Comic Design & Construction, Printing Processes, Merchandising, Social Media/Promotion and Conventions. And you’ll be sourcing valuable comics creating career info from special guest lecturers such as Ron Richards (tastemaker behind popular fansite iFanboy.com and editor of Image Comics’ “Hell Yeah” series), MariNaomi (acclaimed author of “Kiss & Tell, A Romantic Resume Ages 0-22“, published by Harper books), Alex Woofson (creator of the hugely popular “Artifice” web comic and also a true Kickstarter campaign maestro), Justin Hall (editor of “No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics” from Fantagraphics Books, as well as his own “Glamazonia” and “True Travel Tales” books and fellow CCA professor), and also yours truly, James Sime of the Isotope and MorrisonCon.

Fill out an application and get yourself enrolled here:
Isotope University 2012 Fall Semester

We made all this for you, locally-based indie comics creators, to help empower your work and make creating comics into something that you can actually afford to do with your lives. I truly can think of no more useful series of classes for indie comic creators offered anywhere else. I can’t wait to see what awesome things you create… let’s get to making comics, people!

xoxox

- James

Isotope Award for Excellence in MIni-Comics

Now Accepting Submissions Through September 26th

SAN FRANCISCO (August 30th, 2011) Mini-comic creators, prepare your pens and fire up those xerox machines — San Francisco’s Isotope comics store is once again opening submissions for its annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics! Created to celebrate the thousands of unique, hand-produced mini-comics that are created each year, this annual award focuses on the utterly vital, creatively vibrant and often overlooked segment of the comic industry and the creators who make them. Award submissions will be accepted until September 26th at midnight.

“It’s my favorite time of year, when we get an opportunity to help spotlight a creator who is toiling in the underground making something magical that almost no one has seen yet… seriously, what could be more exciting?!” said Isotope retailer James Sime, “I consider the winner to be the comic industry’s Miss America for the year, it’s the Isotope’s job to get their work out there to the comics press and reviewers. And I’m proud to say that winning this award has helped some amazingly talented folks get noticed and published by some of the best and coolest comic publishers in our industry. So don’t be shy… I know that many of you out there are hand-crafting some mini-comics brilliance, let us help share your work with the world!”

The Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics has helped bring first attention to unknowns who have gone on to tremendous continued success, like the Eisner Award nominated duo of Joshua W. Cotter (SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST from AdHouse Books) and Danica Novgorodoff (SLOW STORM and REFRESH, REFRESH from First Second Books). As well as cartoonists Will Dinski (FINGERPRINTS from Top Shelf), Max Riffner (of DRUNK ELEPHANT COMICS) who has recently been accepted into the Doctorate Program at The Center for Cartoon Studies and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey one of the architects behind the new First Comics relaunch, among other talented winners.

The Isotope Award trophy is an unmistakably stunning display of award design, standing nearly ten inches tall and made entirely from carved ebony fossil stone and brushed satin silver stainless by legendary sculpter Crowe. “Thanks to the exceptional work that has been submitted to our judges in past years, the Isotope Award is something of a symbol of leadership and innovation in the comics industry,” said Isotope Special Projects Director Kirsten Baldock, “It’s an honor to get to present one of these beautiful awards each year to a well-deserving winner!”

Five comic professionals serving as this year’s Isotope Award judges include:

Ron Richards – Co-founder of iFanboy, home of the industry’s best comic audio and videocasts for 10 years and running, and VP of External Relations at Graphicly, one of the leading digital comics companies working to help empower creators in the digital age.

Jamaica Dyer – Celebrated indie comics author/artist/animator behind WEIRD FISHES, XULUX, and DEE’S SIREN SONG. Jamaica’s gorgeous not to be missed webcomic FOX HEAD STEW series begins weekly serialization (along with extensive behind the scenes commentary) on her sketchblog on September 1st 2011. http://jamaicad.com

Jason McNamara – Xeric Award winning comic author of FIRST MOON, CONTINUITY, and THE MARTIAN CONFEDERACY graphic novels. Jason’s latest comic creation is SHORT HAND, a noir tale about a 12 year old fugitive hiding out in an old folks home and illustrated by Rahsan Ekedal of ECHOES fame, debuting at Alternative Press Expo 2011.

Kirsten Baldock – The Isotope’s Special Projects Director. Kirsten is a Librarian, bartender, and the author of SMOKE AND GUNS with Fabio Moon and the upcoming graphic novel SATISFACTION GUARANTEED with the rather brilliant Stephanie Buscema.

James Sime – Retailer at Isotope – the comic book lounge in San Francisco.

To enter this competition, simply send five copies of your mini-comic to Isotope’s address (326 Fell St. San Francisco, CA 94102) before the September 26th deadline. The award will be given out at the grand ceremony during APE AFTERMATH at the Isotope in conjunction with San Francisco’s ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO. Because of the nature of this award, the winner will be contacted in advance and must be present at the Isotope at 9 PM on Saturday, October 1st for the award presentation ceremony.

For more information contact the Isotope at (415) 621-6543

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