Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Pitch

This artwork was created for the pitch package four of my friends and I sent off to different publishers in our effort to find a publisher for our anthology THREAT!

This was all B.C. (before computers) so we typed up letters, copied them and sent them off with samples of our art and the ideas for our individual stories.

As a group we had looked around at what various independent publishers were producing and sent our packages off to the publishers who were putting out comics that impressed us. I don't remember all of the publishers we sent proposals to but I do remember that we got a positive response from two publishers who were interested. Our first letter of interest came from Vortex Comics located in Toronto, Canada, they were publishing the anthology VORTEX, and would become the publishers of Chester Brown's excellent YUMMY FUR. The other publisher to express interest in our project was Fantagraphics Books, who became our eventual publisher.

Now, this was back at the beginning of what would become the explosion of black and white comics that were starting to appear from smaller independent publishers. The direct market of comics shops and cheaper printing allowed smaller publishers to produce black and white alternatives to the four color offerings from the big two, Marvel and DC.

Examining the output from both Vortex and Fantagraphics Books, we chose to go with the latter, Fantagraphics was publishing THE COMICS JOURNAL, AMAZING HEROES and the Hernadez brother's LOVE AND ROCKETS, they also had a stronger position in the comics market and had the built in promotional tools of THE COMICS JOURNAL and AMAZING HEROES.

As a group we were also impressed by the white paper and magazine size of LOVE AND ROCKETS. This is something we later learned was a detriment to sales as the magazine size didn't fit into the standard comic books size racks of most comic shops.

Once we decided to go with Fantagraphics Books, we realized that we now had to write stories for our characters and that was a whole new ballgame.

THREAT! was a comic book anthology created by Jim Rohn, Gary Fields, Jay Geldhof, Dave Harrison and myself. There were ten issues published by Fantagraphics Books in 1986 - 1987.

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