What got you guys into comic books in the first place, when did you discover your first favorite comic title and what was it?
Most of us are new to the comic book industry but have been influenced by comics in one way or another. Gabe, has grown up reading comics. Kyle has been influenced as an author by his father, who’s a big comic fan. I myself, grew up hanging out with readers in comic and game shops. My earliest introduction to Marvel and DC was actually the VS. Card game system. My first comic title was an early issue of Amazing Spiderman that my father had framed. From then I watched all of the 90’s-early 2000’s Spiderman, X-Men, and batman cartoons and would later become a dedicated reader as an adult.
Tell us about the formation of your company and your first comic book. When did it start, who does what in the company, when was the first title published, how many titles do you have now, etc.?
We wanted to produce our Hardly Heroes book and needed to create a publishing company. That was how Shattermare Comics was born. So, Hardly Heroes is our first title and we have branched out to offering creator-owned publishing services for several local creators. We are currently looking for new creators to add additional works to the Shattermare Comics catalog. We launched Shattermare Comics in 2020 while we were developing Hardly Heroes. There are four of us in the company now. I (Bryan) am the president, producer, and art director. Since we commission our art staff, I am charge of coordinating all of our artists, and managing the team. Kyle is the head writer and author of Hardly Heroes. Gabe is an editor, comic expert, and oversees distribution. Recently, I brought on my friend Matt, to help with new talent acquisition, sales and marketing, and editing.
When did you do your first convention appearance?
Our first convention was Ancient City Con 2021 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL last September. We had a blast and we were excited about the number of pre-orders we received there for issue 1. We also met a handful of talented artists and creators that we continue to work with today. I can’t imagine that we would be where we are today without the initial reception we received at Ancient City Con, the local arts market we attend in Jacksonville, and the local comic shops that carry our book and allow to come for signings and meet everyone in the community.
How many in person events have you done for your brand? And which do you find have given you the most success/response, and why?
Between signings, conventions, and promotional events, we’ve probably been to at least 30 in person events since we launched issue 1 in February of this year. I liken it to a band going on tour for their new album. You have to get in front of people. Word of mouth is still the most important way to build your brand and get your product in the hands of customers and fans. There were two so far that have been my personal best or most successful in-person events. Well three, sorry. The first I mentioned before, where we received a positive reception to the story and our story without having a physical copy of the book in hand. The second was when we did a signing at one of our local shops for the second time where someone bought a copy of the book outside of the signing, and brought his copy back just to get it signed. That was the day someone confirmed that other people like our story. And third, one of our most recent in-person events for Free Comic Book Day, because it affirmed to me that people are still passionate about comics, especially Indie comics. People are still hungry for unique, engaging stories.
What’s been your biggest lesson learned in all the conventions you’ve done so far? And what advice would you give other comic creators to make their future convention experiences better?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far by going to comic conventions is to pay attention to what other people are doing and take mental notes, or physical notes. What I mean is that if you’re a new comic creator you’ve got to learn what works fast, because you’re on a tight budget and need to build an audience. So, you really want to get to know other creators at the convention and see what they’re doing to drive attention to their brand and to their booth/table. I’ve found most other creators are happy to discuss what lessons they’ve learned. It really is a great community.
Where can readers best find you online?
Readers can find issues of Hardly Heroes and other titles we offer on our website, Shattermarecomics.com. we also offer various subscription tiers on our Patreon, Shattermare Comics. So, if you like reading digital or physical we’ve got you.