How does a writer from New Orleans manage to find an artist in Guatemala City, Guatemala?

A talking head on a stick brought us together.

As a writer finding artists to work with is one of the toughest parts of the whole writing business.  I thought the internet would be a great place to connect, but overall I had better luck with the classified ads in the back of the Comic Buyer’s Guide when I first was starting out.  There are a few sites here and there that aim to do the connecting, but when you go to them it’s a million and one writers looking for an artist.  The odds are just not in anyone’s favor.

One place that I’ve found some success is actually Facebook.  They have “pages” on just about any and every subject known to man and probably a few that would be better off not being known.  I mean anyone can make a page.  I have a page for my writing.  So that tells you how many pages there probably are out there.  There are also pages created to bring comic book creators together.   Much like the websites these pages lean more heavy on writers looking for artists than the other way around.

Diebold was black and white comic created by myself and artist Brian Clifton back in the 90’s.  It lasted two issues before we gave up the fight and moved on.  Still it was comic that I really liked and thought was very well done.  The art by Brian is amazing and I absolutely loved it.  I’ve always thought it would look even better in color.  So an idea was born.  I decided to re-create Diebold as a webcomic.  I would have the original series colored and would post it on the internet as a webcomic.

A great idea, right?  Except I knew no colorist and had no idea where to find one.  At least one that I could afford.   So far making comics has not made me much money.  Any money spent on this or future endeavors was coming out of my pocket and believe me when I tell you there already weren’t a lot of bills in those pockets.  So I decided to post to one of these Facebook pages that was all about creators coming together.  I made a small post about needing a colorist for Diebold.  To be honest I’m not sure how many people responded to that post.  All I remember is Javi Laparra leaving a comment about being a colorist.

So right now I’m not going to listen to any bad talk about Facebook.  Yea, I know it’s evil and trying to steal all your identity and the list goes on and on, but for me Facebook has been a godsend when it comes to finding talent to work with.  Almost all the artists I’m currently working with I found through Facebook.  So as far as I’m concerned Facebook is great.

So Diebold is basically the story of Ed the talking head.  Ed’s a head on a stick, but he ain’t dead.  It’s a fantasy set in a far off land and the premise is serious with a very large heaping of comedy.  Vaughn Bode by way of Dave Sim.

Javi started the coloring.  Much like Ayla one page a week went up.  The work was great.  I loved Javi’s coloring.  The first comic was colored and done.  We moved into coloring the second issue.  And somewhere along the way, I don’t remember if I had made a post about needing artists for comics or what, Javi mentioned to me that he drew as well as colored.   I think I remember some posts he would put up on Facebook with some of his illustrations now and than, but never really thought about it.  Mostly there were single page drawings and sometimes that’s a far sight away from illustrating a comic book itself.  But Javi’s comments got the all cogs in my brain to thinking.  At this point I had nothing new out.  I was going to conventions with old comics and the newest thing I had to push was a webcomic that while was new in color was still an old comic from years ago.  I wanted to do new things.  I wanted to write something new.

Javi sent me some different drawings and I really liked what I saw.  I started thinking about a concept I had called Speaker for the Dead.  I knew I couldn’t use that as the title.  I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do with the idea, but started to think about where I could go from there.  I had the main character, though at the time, she wasn’t named and I knew that the story was going to take place in a future version of New Orleans.  So that was enough to send to Javi and see what he thought.  Fortunately he liked it and after some back and forth we decided to embark on a new webcomic.

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