Comix Engine 7
A 90-page publication, 3 times a year is still a little too ambitious, I think. Unless the rate of release is significantly slower than the rate of production, one is prone to screwing themself over.
Paradoxically, the rate of release can't be too slow for a reader's ability to maintain interest (a trap I fell into with THE SOLAR GRID, which very quickly went from bi-monthly to embarrassingly irregular).
I'm also interested in a publication that can include many or most of my other interests and not just comix.
I think one page of comix a week is a reasonable release rate. I mean, there're a couple instances when I've done 8 pages in a single day, but if you count on that as a regular rate of production, you risk terrible burnout.
I think one of the mistakes I made going into THE SOLAR GRID was not having a fixed page-limit per chapter while assuming I could maintain a fixed release schedule. That just doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. Add to that that financially speaking it was hardly bringing in basic rent expenses. Which meant there was no way I couldn't take on additional work to survive. An obvious recipe for disaster.
Back to sustainable formats though:
So, one page a week is a totally reasonable goal I think. Especially if you're writing, drawing, inking, lettering and doing all the things. If there is the occasional week where you crank out more pages? Well great, you're ahead of schedule.
Which means a monthly release of 4 lousy pages. Not a lot.
Obviously not worth printing, so we're talking digital releases here. A reasonable price point in my mind you can charge anyone for a PDF is $1, because it has to be competitive with what you can get in print. Of course new print comicbooks can get pricey, up to $4, but there's always the $1 bin full of old, unorganized comicbooks. Perhaps not fair to put those in the same category as new comix, but y'know what? It's still a print publication containing 20ish pages of comix. If as a digital publication (containing a much lower page count no less) you can't compete with that... then it doesn't seem like a very lucrative product to me.
Now, a 4-page PDF for $1 still comes off as overpriced to me. And therein comes the other things I can produce that aren't comix. A short 1000-wordish prose story per month is very doable. Laying that out in a PDF, along with an illustration, will probably take up around 4ish pages. Probably enough time in the month to fit in a short essay, say 2 pages worth. Add cover art and whatnot and that's pretty much all that ought to be [reasonably] done within a single month.
10 pages + Cover art, comprised of:
– 4 pages of comix
– 4 pages of prose fiction
– 2 pages of essay
Now, unless you have a sustained readership of at least three to four thousand, you're screwed because chances are you won't have a whole lot of time in the month for side gigs.
On the upside though, it would result in a sustained output of a 120-page annual publication—which isn't too too bad, is it?