This week on the show we have Amanda Meadows and Geoffrey Golden from Devastator Press on The Business of Art. These are two of the small press people I remember most from when I was attending shows without exhibiting, and it’s awesome to see them make good. Here’s their bio straight from their website (www.devastatorpress.com)
“The Devastator is a comedy publisher founded in December 2009 by Geoffrey Golden and Amanda Meadows, two comedy writer-editors from Los Angeles. Together, they launched The Devastator book series, a geeky, full color mix of comics and written satire. We’re distributed around the world and sold in over 35 stores across the United States, UK and Canada. Not only do our books get around, but Geoffrey and Amanda travel across the continent exhibiting at pop culture conventions, at shows like San Diego Comic-Con, Emerald City Comicon, and Toronto Comic Arts Festival.
We never lose sight of one thing: that it all started with
a mouse an online fundraising campaign. To print the first issue, we shot a trailer video with our friend James Urbaniak (The Venture Bros, American Splendor) and took it to what was then a new creative fundraising platform, Kickstarter.com. Amazingly, strangers clicked and gave us money on the promise of potentially being cool. We published The Devastator: Cartoons in June 2010. A year after that first book, we became a self-sustaining enterprise.
Our writers are enormously talented folks who’ve worked for The Daily Show, The Onion, Adult Swim,McSweeney’s, CollegeHumor, Funny or Die, UCB Comedy, and countless terrible places too! Our illustrious artists are published by comics giants like Marvel, DC Comics, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Drawn and Quarterly, and BOOM! Some of them have even won Eisner and Ignatz awards. We maintain a full list of contributors here.
We’ve garnered positive word from Wired, The A.V. Club, Bleeding Cool, ComicsAlliance, The Escapist, CBR’s Robot 6, Los Angeles Magazine, The Beat, Electric Playground, The Daily Cross Hatch, cartoon historian Jerry Beck; and an endorsement from Bullseye’s Jesse Thorn. You can read all our favorite press quotes here.
In April 2014, The Devastator formed the Devastator Press imprint to create awesome stand-alone humor books. We’ve published several #1 bestsellers on Amazon, including Grosslumps, Restart Me Up, and Frankenstein’s Girlfriend.”
So I remember then from doing The Devastator, a quarterly humor anthology and the cool sign with the hands of several pop culture character on it.
I remember vividly that if you guessed all the fists right you got a prize. It was an awesome and inventive way to get people to stop by their booth.
And that’s where we focused most of our conversation, on conventions. Conventions are such a huge part of any young artist’s life, and they do it as well as anybody I’ve met. More importantly, they’ve been doing it as long as anybody I’ve met too.
We talked about how to get seen and noticed at shows, how to cut through the noise, and how to make a decision on what shows to attend. They are also responsible for the wonderful wrap-up that Comics Beat does every year to see how well shows are for selling and how much exhibitors made. You can find all the goodies from last year’s survey at http://devastatorpress.com/exhibitors2015/
Long story short, they know cons. But they also know books, and we talked a lot about how to grow your publishing company. They started by doing anthologies and moved into stand alone books. That’s a huge transition, but what came to light was how doing the work gave them clarity about what they should be doing and where to take their company.
Since shifting away from anthologies and into single stories, they’ve gotten a distributor, been recognized for their work, and supercharged their business.
Clarity is so important to your business and growth.
We ended by talking about how to submit to companies, and the submission guidelines for different companies. However, the thing most of you will want to know is how to build your first book and build the rest of your career.
I will tell you, we talk about business especially toward the end. Well we talk about it throughout, and how business is so important to get your company off the ground. I love how Geoffrey ends, but saying basically if you are just trying to do this as a hobby…then you can do things on your own time. However, if you want to make this your career, you have to know business.
You can find devastator online at devastatorpress.com. Geoffrey is on twitter @geoffreygolden, and Amanda is on twitter @amandonium. You can find Devastator Press on Twitter @getdevastated