As PV Comics hit the midpoint of its debut year and the immediate woes of our first print anthology, PV Comics Volume 1, passed â€“ I as the publisher of PV was faced with a bit of a dilemma: we wanted to do more print collections and a number of new books, but we werenâ€™t happy about our print options. The printer we had just used was a shyster, and we werenâ€™t prepared to start shelling out the cash necessary for big offset print runs. This problem was as old as the small press comic industry itself: indie creators had always been faced with some seriously limited options regarding printing their work, and none of them particularly attractive. But I had an ace up my sleeve: more than a decade of working outside of comics in various aspects of the print industry, and I knew it was time for someone to help change the odds against new comic creators entering the print world.
While PV Comics continued its regular schedule online, I turned my attention behind the scenes to building what I wanted to be the backbone of PVâ€™s print division, calling upon my print contacts and 10+ years of experience with pre-press and digital file preparation. It took time and number crunching, but eventually I wound up with a great system to get my books, and my friends books, into print at a per-comic rate with no minimums!
I should have named it â€œPandoraâ€™s Box Printing.â€ While I knew this was exactly the solution the small press comic industry needed and so desperately deserved, I have to admit I was a bit short sighted at just how well it would be received. Three years and very little sleep later, Iâ€™m proud to say that ComiXpress is going strong.
Have we had rough spots? Heh. Iâ€™m half Irish, and I can testify to the absolute certainty of Murphyâ€™s Law that â€œWhatever can go wrong, will go wrong (and usually at the worst possible time).â€ But especially for what started out as just a couple of guys printing and binding comics a few evenings a week, we have done our best to grow and meet the demands of the creators we work with. Having just completed the run up to San Diego ComiCon, Iâ€™m thrilled with the record number of comic books and trade paperbacks our small but dedicated staff shipped out.
And the best is yet to come. ComiXpress has some big stuff cookinâ€™ behind the scenes now, and I canâ€™t wait to bring it to the public. Everything from some long overdue website enhancements to additional staff and equipment which will help us finally overcome the one and only flaw weâ€™ve ever had since opening our doors: too much work for too small a staff. And thereâ€™ll be free cookies! Okay, not really. I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention, or just skimming by this point.
The single fly in the ointment that is ComiXpress for me personally has been the loss of any time I had to dedicate to my own work. Iâ€™m not proud to say that I havenâ€™t put pencil to Bristol board for almost three years, and Iâ€™m really looking forward to being able to do so again, and soon, when the new changes at CP take place.
And then, my friends â€¦ then that smartass kid from Jersey can walk back up to his old mistress and get his freak on.
Talk at ya tomorrow,