So, as you guys know, yesterday I was on Where Monsters Dwell, a pop culture radio show in Canada. It was an awesome experience and actually my first non-work related international call (as in not my day job). The main hosts, Mike and Remy, are hilarious and they seem to get my geekish humor, so it worked out really well. I was on there talking about Faction, Small Press Idol in general, and the implications of the competition. After the show, I ended up getting into a lengthy conversation with Remy about the contest, implications, etc yet again, getting into some amount of detail on my thoughts regarding the competition.
On the air, they made a good point when I was on my soapbox about “win or lose” on Idol. Take American Idol, for example… You have 10.2 million people try out for the competition, and in the end you only have one winner. Along the way, though, a lot of people get camera time, we hear about their hopes, dreams, and struggles and, of course, their voices. How many of those people get record deals? When you get down to the top twelve, typically all of them get something going on with a label. Some may go on the Idol tour and never be seen again, but a lot keep at it and make a living doing so. Small Press Idol is no different. Literally tens of thousands of people hit the DimeStoreProductions web site in the duration of the competition. How many of those people are industry professionals shopping around for talent? I’ve read on their site that a handful of creators have managed to land their books and ideas at other small presses. With the quality of entries this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if several do that and even land deals at other publishers for these entries or other ideas they have. Personally, given the quality itself, it would be a shame to take all of the talent out of the DimeStore pool. I bet several of us feel the same way (ok, I know some others feel the same way). Keep in mind that Troy Boyle had Pinnacle in SPI a couple of years ago and that got picked up by DimeStore even though it wasn’t the winner. The reason that happened is because his zero issue appeared in Mysterious Visions and there was a great response to it, so voila, limited series. What about Sam Johnson’s Geek Girl? Sam also wasn’t the winner of SPI, but his entry was strong enough that he landed a limited series at DimeStore.
Bottom line… Whether you win or lose you could land a deal at DimeStore or elsewhere. You may get offers for freelance work (I have already), meet a bunch of talented creators from fans, members of the DimeStore/SmallPress community, and competitors (stands to reason if you’re in the competition and not lost in your own little world, you’ve been interacting with other competitors and finding out who you could make a “dream team” from), etc… For me, I told Mike and Remy last night I don’t know if Faction is going to win. I’m hoping to get to Round 4 so I can get my zero issue published by itself and into the fans hands, but you never know what’s going to happen. With Round 2, it would be very difficult for us NOT to get to Round 3 since we have both a solid number of votes already and enough repeat voters. In Round 3, however, everything starts over again, from judges votes through fan votes. We’ll still need the support of our fans and, well, their “YES” posts in the Round 3 forum when it’s available.
On to other related thoughts… why support other competitors in any way? I was asked last night why it is that I’m supportive of my fellow competitors. I always have a PC answer ready and sometimes they sound cliché, but I mean what I say. I think that every book in the competition this year has merit, but there are some I vote for daily and others I may from time to time and there’s a reason for it. I feel that if someone puts their best foot forward, presents a solid entry, and are present and interactive in the community, they should be rewarded for it. If it means they end up beating me in the end, it will be because they deserve it. Most of the people who are getting solid votes are out there begging the masses for them and networking the hell out of the book. When it’s published, it will be the same situation. You have people who will spot and buy the comics, but if you can sell yourself, your book, and are approachable and present, I think you’ll do better. So, I quoted that I voted for 14 projects yesterday. Today I may vote for more or I may vote for less. A few no matter what I put a vote in for.