Sponsored by Lane Powell

New publishing platform helps comic book artists

| Print |  Email
Articles - January 2010
Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shishkaboom-WebsiteWouldn’t it be valuable for publishers to know exactly what titles will sell before they commit capital to a project? Two entrepreneurs in Portland say their comic book publishing platform will predict and deliver content fans want to buy and read. The magic principle behind the platform: democracy.

Co-founders Scott Davis and Chris King say there is a barrier between comic creators and readers/fans. But they think the solution is their new publishing platform called ShishKaboom, which uses crowd-sourcing to identify titles, artists and eventually franchises with the most potential.

Davis, ShishKaboom’s CEO, says ideas for comics and graphic novels are “growing exponentially,” but publishers won’t touch them unless they are guaranteed to be overnight successes.

“Locally I met artists with phenomenal talent having trouble breaking into the industry,” he says. ShishKaboom will be a stage for unknown or lesser-known artists to show their talent and compete for publishing deals, he says.

Here’s how it works: Creators submit their work with no fee, Shishkaboom displays eight pages, and the community votes on them, free of charge. Winners receive a cash prize, and a percentage of sales of the complete winning comic sold on the website.

The model has been tried before with DC Comics’ Zuda Comics, but Davis says the understood purpose of those contests is to audition potential new employees for established superhero franchises. Promotional material for ShishKaboom describes itself as similar to Zuda, but “without the superhero baggage.” Their site will instead develop, showcase and publish the artists’ own creations.

“The brilliance of the process is you publish on community feedback,” says Davis, who set his idea in motion last April.

Targeting “rabid fans” who spend more than $1,200 a year on comics, ShishKaboom will generate profits from printed comics, subscriptions, mobile downloads, merchandise and eventually movies.

“We will do traditional publishing but it will be small press print runs of 500 to 2,500,” says Davis. “But the real scale comes with the digital platforms.”

Davis says the company will self-finance for the next six months while looking for angel funding. Eventually, Davis plans to hire an editor and production manager in their North Portland headquarters. “We want the model to be empowering to creators,” he says. “We need to assure them that an independent like us can deliver an audience.”



0 #1 Need More Comic Artits?michael 2010-01-14 17:07:24

I've got my own web comic here:


and in that blog, you can see my artwork
samples, such as pin ups and one page
comic panel.

contact me if you need more comic artist (^_^)

Quote | Report to administrator
0 #2 Giving up your creator rights for so little gain? Give it some thought first.Martina 2010-01-15 12:08:57
This could just as easily been written as an article exposing how this is a scam to steal creator rights.
Will emerging or inexperienced artists understand the fine print?

In consideration of all promises made herein, and subject to the reversion rights set forth in Paragraph 9,You hereby grant to ShishKaboom, its successors, licensees and assigns, solely and exclusively, the right to use, post, publish, display, distribute, sell, reproduce, create derivative works and otherwise exploit (in all forms and formats) the Material as permitted under this Rights Agreement (collectively, the “Rights”). As used herein, “Material” means the Submission and the literary work created or to be created by You, including without limitation the title of the work, the art and script comprising the work and the concepts, plots, themes, storylines, characters (including names and images), environmental settings, devices, characterizatio ns, logos, trademarks and designs and other elements to the extent included in the work. The Rights include (a) All print and electronic publication rights, audio and/or visual recording and reproduction rights (including motion picture, television and radio rights), merchandising rights, computer software and multi-media rights, Internet and mobile device rights, live stage rights and commercial tie-in rights to the Material in connection with products and/or services based upon or relating to the Material; and (b) the right to advertise, publicize and promote the Material, and the right to use Your name, likeness and biography and the title of the Material in connection with marketing and promoting the Material and/or ShishKaboom’s products and/or service offerings.

Put up your little comic for free, give up your rights to this company, get 5% on the back end, maybe. And if you "win," you get $500. Wow.

This is the opposite of what creator-friendl y companies like Dark Horse are based on!
Quote | Report to administrator

More Articles

The Cover Story

The Latest
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
100515-cover1015-news-thumbBY CHRIS NOBLE

As we worked on the October cover, it became evident that Nick Symmonds is a hard man to catch — even when he’s not hotfooting it around a track.


Storyteller in Chief: Brew Stories

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Over the years, many mentors have taught me lessons that have helped shape the way I view the world of work and our business.


Salad Days

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

How Portland's Garden Bar plans to become the Starbucks of salad.


Business School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Training, from the mundane to the sublime, bolsters companies and workers in an uncertain world.


100 Best Nonprofits: Working for equality inside and out

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Striving for social equity is the mission of many nonprofits, and this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey shows employees are most satisfied with their organizations’ fair treatment of differing racial, gender, disability, age and economic groups. But as a national discourse about racial discrimination and equity for low-income groups takes center stage, data show Oregon’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For still need to make progress on addressing these issues within their own organizations.


Run, Nick, Run

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Controversial track star Nick Symmonds is leveraging his celebrity to grow a performance chewing-gum brand. Fans hail his marketing ploys as genius. Critics dub them shameless.


Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02