|My first comic and my most recent.|
Now, people like that are free to hold whatever opinions they like of course, but what concerns me is that it might deter some fresh talent from entering the field. If you're starting out producing your own comics, or you're considering it, don't be put off by such negativity. The independent comics scene in the UK is alive and well, rich with talent and diversity. And yes, there's always room for more!
Years before I turned pro, I started out producing my own comics and fanzines. There's my first stripzine, After Image, at the top of this article, that I published in late 1978. My artwork was crude and I had a lot to learn, but getting my work out there gained me feedback and advice that I needed. Bit by bit, you improve, and develop, and learn from your mistakes.
I've been self-employed as a comics artist/writer since 1984 but I still like to self-publish as well from time to time. My most recent comic being Derek the Troll (also shown above). Much as I thoroughly enjoy freelancing for Beano, Toxic, Doctor Who Magazine etc it's also good to have complete control over your characters, and of the design of the comic, and self-publishing allows that.
So, if you're contemplating doing your own comic strip or comic, go for it! The cost of printing is relatively cheap these days and you can perhaps start off with a low print run to test your market and to gain feedback. There are numerous comics conventions happening around the country where you can sell your comics, or if costs are too prohibitive, set up a free blog (like this one) and sell your wares by mail order.
In short, don't give up! If you're genuinely passionate about doing comics, follow your dreams.
If anyone has any advice to add, please post a comment below. Let's give the next generation of creators some encouragement!