WRITERS BLOCK 12/10/2022
here’s a great article for aspiring writers which succinctly outlines the main approaches to story structure for beginners
SCREAMING SPIRES MINICON 22/10/2022
on saturday the 22nd of october dice comics will have a stall at the screaming spires mini-con. located at west oxford community centre, within five minutes walk from the rail station, the community centre is located opposite osney island and the holly bush pub. the con is aimed at anyone interested in tabletop role games, be they newcomers, who have discovered tabletop gaming via stranger things, or seasoned players. be aware that the con is recommended for ages 15 and upward and refreshments are available between 10am to 4pm from the tumbling bay kitchen and cafe. more details about how to purchase tickets for the con, who is exhibiting and the various events throughout the day can be found on the dreaming spires blog here. there will be a raffle too, what more could you want? we hope to see you on the day
COPYRIGHT AND LICENCING YOUR WORK 17/05/2022
a lot of illustrators, writers and artist’s are unclear about their rights when it comes to intellectual property so here is a quick guide to basic IP law. whenever you create an original work you automatically have copyright over it under UK law. you can mark it with the copyright symbol and year of creation/publication but that is optional, (albeit advisable). below is the UK government web page on copyright law
if someone wants to publish your work you should insist on a written licence. a licence has four main aspects: cost, territory, use and duration. the cost is the fee the publisher will offer you for your copyright. the territory is where it can be published under the terms of the licence (e.g: UK/world/canada etc). the use is whether it is for print, digital, billboards etc. the duration of the licence is perhaps the most important because it stipulates how long the publisher can lease your copyright for. the AOI (association of illustrators) provides invaluable business and legal advice relating to contracts, pricing and agreements for a yearly subscription fee. if you can’t afford the subs the AOI have posted a great guide to licencing on their site, link below
finally, beware scammers trying to sell you services you don’t need. reedsy have a great blog post on sharp practice to watch out for which is linked below
can you spot a publishing scam?
GETTING INTO COMICS 07/04/2022
comic conventions have popped up all around the UK in last ten years. occasionally people will approach us at them wanting to find out about ‘getting into’ the comics world. obviously we want to sell our books so we can’t spend a long time going over the ins and outs of getting published, so here is how a lot of people are successfully making their names.
firstly, and most importantly, you should be creating a comic because you have a burning desire to tell a story in sequential narrative form. If you are doing it in the hope of getting rich you would be better off pursuing a different career.
a tried and tested path for newbie comic book creators is to publish the story as you create it, in installments, as a web-comic. this means you can also build a readership as you broadcast the story. social media sites like twitter and instagram can be useful with raising awareness of your work and developing a readership. here is a link to a one of the largest sites for hosting web-comics:
once the comic is done and finished you will want to self publish a print version. this is really handy from a publisher’s perspective. if someone comes to them with an idea and the project is still unfinished or maybe not even started they can’t realistically invest in that. however, if someone hands them a self published, completed comic they can read it and then decide if they want to pick up the title for publication. all the work has been done and they can just send the pdf to the printer. even better if it has an existing following.
so, you will need to fund the print run, crowdfunding is a good way to do this – i recommend that you aim to get about 100 copies (maximum) printed so your front room doesn’t fill up with boxes of books that it will take years to sell. getting other people to pre-order a copy via crowdfunding sites should help you raise the money you need for a print run. here are some examples of crowdfunded comics projects:
once you have hit your monetary target you need a printer who understands the needs of small press creators and can produce high quality books at a reasonable price. dice comics recommend comic printing uk (link below) as we use them ourselves, as indeed do a lot of the creators in the UK indie comics scene
you now have copies of your comic which you can take around cons and leave with publishers as a submission, you can also sell your copies at your nearest comic convention to recoup your costs.
there you have the dice comics rough guide to getting started in comics. hope this has been useful.
OXFORD INDIE BOOK FAIR 16/03/2022
on saturday 2nd april dice comics will be exhibiting at The oxford indie book fair. visit their site here. new inn hall street is in the new zero emissions zone so we advise visitors come by park and ride. the old fire station café is nearby and will give 10% off food and drink with a copy of the programme on the day to visitors and exhibitors. dice comics will be at stand 26 and we look forward to seeing you on the day.