These days, “self-publishing” is something everyone seems to do now and again. Before the Dawning of the Digital Age, you (meaning me) mostly heard about it from young comic book creators who would get carried away with their projects. It would begin with them wanting to draw Spider-Man or Batman for the big publishers and eventually the plans would turn into Self-Publishing. Meaning that the young creators would pay a local printer all the money they had in exchange for several boxes of black & white comic books. A few would get sold to neighbors and family members, and the rest would sit in their boxes until they would eventually be found years later under a light coat of mold.
If you could catch this process early enough, you could ask the young cartoonist why he or she wants to trade in doing comic book art for doing comic book press work, distribution, bill-paying, editing, shipping… y’know. Publishing.
The truth was that they DON’T want to be publishers. They want to see comic books with their art in them, and selling your work to the big publishers is a LOT of disappointment and hard work. Of course, having your own comics printed was a lot of disappointment and hard work, too, but you don’t know that until you’ve done it and started to ask just what the hell you had been thinking.
Now, of course, you can print up one or two books. Or a hundred. You don’t have to cash in a savings bond and have a printers-minimum 5000 copies made. And distribution is now all social media and Amazon and amazing stuff.
None of that has anything to do with anything. But I suspect that the ‘getting-carried-away’ that Paste is doing in todays cartoon only came to me because of being around a lot of young cartoonists. And being a young cartoonist a long time ago.