December 28th, 2010


Dear, Content Maker...

Dear, Content Maker--

Being published by someone else does not legitimize your hard work. And, the financial advance hardly pays the rent. Think about that the next time you sign a contract for your original ideas. I trust a firm handshake over most of the jargon they write into those binding contracts, anyway.

Sadly, the death rattle of print is shivering its way towards the way we currently package and distribute our wares, and marketing is a publishing luxury of the past. The good news? There is a new dawn on the horizon where the author will become the provider, publisher and publicist. Don't let it daunt you. Continue to network, make strong allies, be aware, show up, and be gracious. The digital age was created by us, for us. If you can procrastinate one hour a day, you can certainly keep track of what's what. Train your eye and keep tabs and make something new.

Bottom line: keep making original content and stop giving it away to publishers. If you're going to give it away, then benefit from it. Meanwhile, hold on a little bit longer for the paradigm shift to settle in. Exclusive content, destination points, and perceived value is the name of the game. Meanwhile, watch how many publishers close shop in 2011 and know that we're on the cusp of a publishing revolution. Be armed with your stories and get ready. People love to read.


Dean Haspiel


MTV-GEEK!: Comic Book Creators Pick Their Favorite Top 3 Comic Stories Of 2010!

Dean Haspiel, creator of "Billy Dogma" and artist of Vertigo's "Cuba: My Revolution", and HBO's "Bored To Death."

1) The Playwright by Daren White and Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf)
Absurdly funny and morbidly honest, this tome explores loneliness, decline, and the perverse side of the human condition with appalling dignity and witty panache.

2) Make Me A Woman by Vanessa Davis (Drawn and Quarterly)
Vanessa Davis picks up the gauntlet Harvey Pekar left behind and shows us that, not only can "comic books be about anything" but that they should be, too. Innocent, embarrassing, intelligent, sexy and sweet, Vanessa Davis makes me a woman.

3) Motel Art Improvement Service by Jason Little (Dark Horse)
Jason Little is the unheralded promise of my generation of cartoonists. I've been waiting seven years for his bubblegum pop-noir to finally come into fruition, majestically capping off an exciting decade of comix aughts.

For the rest of the list, go to: