An Indie Comic Creator Community
Built For Indies, By Indies
August 29, 2016
by Gabby Pietrzykowski | Ed Williams
An arc light is a beam of light from a lamp. There’s a lamp SOMEWHERE in your house—I know it! And what do you use a lamp for? To see. To guide in the middle of a dark place or room so you can get from one end of it to another or find something.
And that’s a good analogy for what we’re trying to do here.
We want to be a beacon for independent comic creators. Heck. We want to be that shining city on a hill that brings authentic change, representation and diversity to comics, and create the kinds of stories, worlds and characters we won’t ever see in mainstream that we really want to see.
And the more we create these stories, worlds and characters—and learn the business side of comics—the more we will keep sharing and teaching what we know. It’s just the Arclight way. We’ve been doing it since November 2015 with the start of our podcast.
At Arclight we teach and share what we’ve learned in the past 5 years in both free and premium content.
I want you to always benefit from what we learn and get value out of it. So whether you’re male or female, a writer or artist, an inker or letterer or a mix of things between, under this banner—heck, this house—we’re all here to do the same thing: create and make dope things. But we can’t get into this habit of believing it’s going to happen on our own. That we can somehow take on the titans of the industry by ourselves.
The best properties that have done so have had two things built around them: a collaboration and a community.
And if you, me, and the person next to you can all get into the habit of climbing the ladder and reaching our hand back to pull each other up at the same time, we may just be able to topple the Goliaths like David did.
We Share & Teach What We Know. Now, We’re Creating an Entire Community Based On That Concept
I started a podcast with my co-host and Director of Networking and Opportunity, Brent Lyles, last November. I’ve been building and growing Arclight for the last 5 years. So as you may think—I have a lot to share.
In 2011 I noticed there was pretty much nothing to help someone like me. I tore Google apart. Straight ripped it to pieces to find a morsel of information or knowledge on how to build an independent comic cook company. And I got nothing other than a handful of generic blog posts and YouTube videos.
I hated this.
I hated that there wasn’t anything for someone like you or me to help navigate us through this journey and give us direction. So we started the podcast and decided to become what we needed 5 years ago. We started sharing everything—our wins and losses, successes and failures, experiences and processes. Just sharing value with others.
We are becoming what we needed 5 years ago—guides and mentors reaching back to help the next person up and make their journey easier.
Little did we know we had started to create a very small community around us. You could have been one of them, but some were asking for help far beyond what we were able to give at the time. From reading scripts to critiquing characters to asking where to find artists and writers for collaborative opportunities—we just couldn’t.
And the more we taught and shared what we knew, the more it became apparent what was really lacking in this indie community: a central hub for like-minded creators to gather and build each other up. Because if we can be 100% honest with each other, places like deviantArt and Facebook aren’t designed for this.
The Problem with Facebook Groups
You’ve been in those indie comic Facebook groups.
You see all of the same posts, 24/7:
- Buy my thing
- Click my thing
- Share my thing
- Look at my thing
- Support my thing
- Donate to my thing
- Give to my Kickstarter…
- We’re on IndieGoGo…
- Help us reach our goals on GoFundMe…
It’s like we’re all walking around in our own circle screaming at the wind.
No one is hearing anyone other than themselves. That isn’t community. That’s just a group of people begging for attention and support, and that kind of space isn’t productive to what you need to accomplish.
You need a place on the Internet where people are talking with you, not at you, and are tuned into your success and growth every step of the way.
For this to work, we knew we needed several things:
- A well-protected, well-maintained, next-level-culture driven community
- A chat system that allowed real-time conversations to happen
- Creators who were looking to not only benefit from the value that would be shared, but give it too
- A filtration system to get and keep the right people in and the wrong people out
And just like that, the Arclight Community was born.
The Arclight Community: The Central Hub for Indie Comic Creators
Slack is an internet and mobile-ready application that allows you to connect with coworkers and peers, easily run from your desktop or your smart phone. You can take us (the Community) anywhere you want to go, from that coffee shop that lets you take a table for hours, to a quick run to the grocery store. Wherever inspiration strikes, whenever questions arise, we want to be there for you.
Not only will you have access to other creators, you’ll be able to get in touch with everyone over here at Arclight, for a myriad of reasons.
With Slack’s @ mention system, you can direct your messages to specific individuals, and they will receive an email notification. We won’t miss you. And time zones shouldn’t be an obstacle to you.
The Arclight Community puts you in a space where everyone is headed in the same direction and are taking making comics seriously.
Maybe you’re a writer in need of an artist – no problem. Come to the Arclight chat and ask your fellow creators. This is your connection to your peers, people like you with a vision and a drive to make it happen.
We want to be a hub—a cozy nook, if you will—where people are free to express their ideas, ask for assistance, or just be around others. We intend for this to be a community, and we’re going to propagate it as such. We want to bring you into the Arclight culture, show you what we do, then let you take it where you need to go. We’re flexible here, nothing’s set in stone.
And It’s an Entire Membership. It Just Doesn’t Stop at the Community
Remember that whole thing about sharing and teaching what we know?
We’ve been planning to expand on that. We produced an eGuide that enables you to create fun, engaging 1-page stories that resonate and help build you an audience. Now we’re just expanding on that concept with Arclight Membership producing highly curated learning paths and mini courses.
After a while it’s going to get complicated wading through all of our podcast content. With most podcasts being 45 minutes to over an hour, with some of them being connected, it can take some time getting through all of them.
Not only will we be putting together a path for you to follow, we’ll also be re-developing some of our best series that are geared more towards teaching and will allow us to drill down into the content some more for you to learn along at your own pace:
- Story Is King — A series dedicated to highlighting the importance of putting story first, along with content on the 7 Basic Plots, storytelling theories and more.
- Unleash the Soul: Creating Iconic Characters — A series that helps you create better characters with more interesting stories that resonate with your readers.
These are small-scale courses to help you along your indie journey. Here are two we’re planning for 2017:
- Collaborating With Contracts and Agreements — Working with a group of people is exciting, until something goes completely wrong. Now the project has people quitting left and right, demanding their ideas back, and if you don’t hand them over they’ll sue. This is why you need contracts and agreements in place. They keep your project protected and set the stage for business. You’ll get to walk through the contracts and agreements we use and get access to those documents for you to use as well.
- 3 Days to Iconic Costume Design — Your characters have to do more than just show up on the inside of a comic book. They’re responsible for front facing your brand and property at large. They’re also your vehicles to marketing and advertising. Pretty much—your characters are living, breathing logos that have to make your property recognizable within the market, and they can’t do that if their designs are lackluster. Get inside of our design process and become your own tailor as you take your character(s) from ‘boring’ to brand worthy in 3 days.
And the best part? Both learning paths and mini courses come with a membership, but will also be available for individual purchase in 2017.
Become a Member. Join the Beta Phase Now
But enough talking about it.
You want to see it, right? You’re ready to jump all in.
Say no more.
Just click the button below and off you’ll go to the application process for the Beta Phase.
PS If you don’t make it into the Beta Phase, Public release won’t have an application process. We’re just being extremely intentional on who we bring in to get the culture right. So if you don’t get it, it isn’t the end of the world. Please come back and join once we’re publicly live!
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