about these comics... XD
|3 min read
nebezial's avatar
By nebezial   |   Watch
210 239 132K (6 Today)
Published: June 9, 2016

Often i get asked why i put my books online for free when i am trying to make a living of them

Well, here's why. Comics are a small and a very competitive market. Ten times so if you are working on creator owned stuff and ten times over if you aren't a big industry name.

And multiply it twice over again if you as a writer aren't a big name.


Now me, i am moderately known for my art. Trust me people being e-famous for some silly superhero jokes doesn't translate to comics sold XD

In fact there is a general prejudice about the priorities of artists who take up writing. I still remember early reviews that exclaimed genuine surprise that my stories were actual stories and not just excuses for splash pages and spreads.

So, with all of that working against me, here i am in the market that is fughting for a very small number of readers, all things considered.  People buying comics have limited funds, so i am supposed to convince them to take a risk on me because...reasons?

Truth is, it's not even an option. Creator owned comics live and die by their sales even more so than your franchised ip stuff.  I have seen many die. It is a terrible feeling to see your creations evaporate due to lack of awareness. Hell, we'll take it when they die because they're shit! That's on us as creators, you know... but seeing a good story die before it can even take off ...that shit hurts!


So what's with me and all of this free stuff left and right?

It's simple really. The way i got it figured, we live in the age of crowdfunding. For multiple reasons i will not partake in that but i do very much believe that people are willing to support good projects that they like.

So here i am with my simple premise: i make comics, if people like them, they can support them by buying them. That way i get to make more comics.


My way people actually get to see the comics in their entirety and decide whether or not they want to support my storytelling addiction XD



There are four books i am actively creating

Sunstone (for adult readers) you can read the webcomic on my shiniez.deviantart.com/ account

Death vigil


Ravine (with my friend and co writer ron marz)

there are volumes of these books available online through amazon barnes and noble, online comic shops and real bookstores and comic shops (that decided to carry them)


Oh... and once again, i don't do crowdfunding.

3 reasons:

 1 my country doesn't have the taxation for it quite worked out

2 the feeling of owing peope rewards would eat me alive and run me into an early grave

3 the lure of it deteriorating to on demand port scares the shit out of me XD


So yeah, that's it.

I make books, if you buy the books i get to make more books, if not...well, i can always find other stuff to do :)


Stjepan out!

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Comments (236)
Metal-Rocker's avatar
"Trust me people being e-famous for some silly superhero jokes doesn't translate to comics sold XD"

Sell comics of silly superhero jokes? =P (Razz) 
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Kurk44's avatar
The only comics I actually read, keep up with, and BUY physical copies (and digital copies) of, are your comics. Mainly Sunstone and Death Vigil.

I really think it's because you made it already available and easy to find. On top of that your art really is top notch (in my opinion) So owning the physical copies just to be able to look at the art is more than worth it for me!

I really hope you'll be able to keep making comics for a living
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TheWanderingCactus's avatar
ditto this ^

Well, that and a weakness for "Empowered." But pretty much ditto the above comment in all other respects but exclusivity 'cuz its "near total" not "actually total" in my case. You are pretty much the only artist I can consistently count on to make graphic novels I like and find interesting.
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Grim-smith's avatar
Well I for one support your method as it means that I can point others towards your work online with the firm instruction of "Buy this! If you do (and convince others to) we all get more!" I saw a single page of Sunstone posted online and had to find out more about because of the art - yes, I turned up initially for the erotic, fetish, lesbian pictures but stayed for the story. Mea culpa. Suffice to say, I'm more than happy to put my money where my mouth is, hence me having print copies of the Sunstone issues published so far, Death Vigil and now looking to add Ravine and Switch to the bookshelf! From my perspective, you have a wonderfully developed sense of the ridiculous paired with a dry humour that means I have to read more (I was raised on Monty Python) and there's something in your style of art that just grabs me.

I also hear what you say about crowd funding, I've seen many a project kill itself by offering too much too quickly, admittedly most of them being in the video games arena, to view it with anything other than distrust. That doesn't mean that I won't support it, just possibly not as much as experience has taught me that it may often simply be money thrown away. However, have you considered a simple donation model? That way those that wish to contribute can with there being no pressure or expectations on either side. You can't guarantee a living off that sort of thing but maybe it could make the difference between "I need to work an extra six hours this week to pay the bills" and "I have a little bit of a margin at the moment, what do I want to do?" Paypal support that model rather well, you'd have to look at applicable fees and taxes to determine whether or not it would be worthwhile but I'd be more than willing to donate some of my income towards yours as it may, in turn, benefit me. Even if it only grants a little financial peace of mind it may be beneficial as I understand the pressures of running on by month contracts and not knowing whether or not the funds are going to be there in the future.
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SlingBlade87's avatar
SlingBlade87|Professional Writer
I know I speak for myself here but also a few others when I say that I avidly seek out and acquire your comics at the earliest opportunity.

I first encountered your Witchblade and similar material years ago when I was still in college, I've enjoyed it ever since in all of its forms.
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ferrarikiller484's avatar
Can't help it but Ravine is awesome. Really hope there'll be far more than 2 books from it.

If only MMORPG's reflected the beauty of Dragons as well as the art in Ravine.
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Overtall98's avatar
Hey Stjepan! I love all of your comics and was wondering if we are actually getting an issue 3 of Ravine?
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Ouca's avatar
Ouca|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I would love to buy a copy of Death Vigil off of amazon, but I want to make sure I am buying directly from you and not someone reselling. 
this is the right item directly from you right? owo
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Smelph's avatar
Smelph|Hobbyist General Artist
I love your work!  you write better characters than anything I've seen from the big guys and that's why I keep coming back for more.  Just wanted to leave a note that says (and this has probably been said by others) there are a lot of us out there who love your work and are absolutely voting with our wallets in an effort to make sure you can continue doing this wonderful stuff!
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Myles1972's avatar
Myles1972|Professional Digital Artist
Also a big fan, I love your characters and the subtle expressions you give them. I bought Ravine, Death Sigil and sunstone vol 1 recently. Tried to find switch at my local but they didn't have it stocked. Also I'm a big fan of buying the complete series in one book. Death Sigil is my fav by far, can't wait for another. Keep up the good work!
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DemetrioBraga's avatar
DemetrioBraga| General Artist
Hi Stjepan! I'm a big fan of your work and you are totally right!
I bought death Vigil in english, even my mother tongue being Portuguese, because I loved it!
Even this kind of stuff being really expensive here on Brazil! (taxes are killing us here guys! Cuz the corrupted politics and goverment and stuff...)
But you deserved it!
Thanks for the awesome job!
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SilentQueen's avatar
Hello! I am a big fan of yours and I agree with you, it is a way to make themselves known, and it is difficult to attract customers you I imagine I'm in Venezuela (but that's another story). Indeed, your job is extraordinary and if in my country it was easier to buy your comic, I would, believe me, but things are a bit difficult, I have years without buying one, but just keep seeing your work on this side, Greetings.

Hola! soy gran admiradora tuya y estoy deacuerdo contigo, es una forma de darse a conocer, y su te es difícil captar clientes imagínate yo que estoy en Venezuela (pero eso es otra historia). En verdad, tu trabajo es extraordinario y si en mi país fuese mas sencillo de comprar tus comic, yo lo haría, créeme,  pero las cosas son un poco difíciles, tengo años sin comprar uno, pero igual sigo viendo tu trabajo por este lado, saludos. 

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Urikanu's avatar
As soon as I have a stable job, I am buying the entire Sunstone set. So it works. Trust me. 
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lostpapers's avatar
Your point of view makes sense and it is a good thing that you share it.

I'll definitely have to see if I can find & buy your books in english, as they are not all translated in French (and I really prefer original version) as I have loved reading them, and now I feel compelled to reward you for this hard and honed work!!!

Thank you for everything
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Aridax's avatar
Aridax|Professional Digital Artist
Stjepan, thank you for all your really informative journals--they're some of the only peeks I get into this industry that you've been a big part of. It may be sobering a lot of the time, but I also feel less naive as a result.

Also, I hope you won't completely discount crowdfunding in the future when your country sorts out taxes! You upload such great content so frequently that I know people will want to support you even if there are no extra rewards. Heck, I am notoriously miserly and I actually bought a lot of your comics and books! The reason why crowdfunding is appealing to me as a potential patron is that I don't like collecting material things, but I still want to support your career so that I'd get to see more of your amazing work in the future! Let me know what you think!
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Rhian-Skyblade's avatar
Rhian-Skyblade|Hobbyist General Artist
I am so happy I could get your comics at amazon :3 loving Death Vigil 2, Ravine and Bloodstein.
Now I wait faithfully for the next volumes getting released.
I love story, characters and the whole style how those are made. Most of all, I love dragons, demons and the likes  - your comics really feed my little fangirl heart with all that shiny stuff!
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ipoco's avatar
Bought Sunstone book 1&2 because I wanted to support you writing the story. Bonus is, I now have the (as I see it) premium version of those books on my shelf.
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korpakukac's avatar
I want to buy some of your comics, but I want my money to go to you without the companies taking a lot of it...
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OpiumSmoke's avatar
OpiumSmoke|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The fact I could read Sunstone on DA was motivation to purchase the actual books. It is as simple as that: I prefer to have stuff I actually like on a shelf, so this chance to first read and fall in love with the story has lead to a natural need to have it in paper and support the creator.
Thank you for creating the story and letting me fall in love with the characters! :3
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Riowein's avatar
I'm from Uruguay, comic books here are really expensive, and it's a small industry dependant of Argentina, if it wasn't for the fact that you publish your comics here, I'd never would have even heard of Sunstone, but now I have 3 of the volumes bought through a friend which I randomly learned was a fan as well. I'm thinking of buying Death Vigil as soon as I get one of those international cards, I'm not so good with that kind of bureaucratic stuff and only have the local card from my work :-P
So, keep it up! Fans will support you from all over the globe, that has a crazy (in a good sense) meaning.
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Angelsp's avatar
Angelsp|Hobbyist General Artist
I actually kinda hoped you had a booth at Dallas FanExpo, I looked around and didnt see you, most of the money I spent, was going to the creator owned stuff, because i think comics, as an art form, need people to be innovating, and that a good story doesnt need branding, they were all super excited to see their books sold, Ill have to remind myself to pick yours up online, Im forgetfull with so many shiny things to buy lol
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jeroenbrugman's avatar
jeroenbrugman|Hobbyist General Artist
Good reasons for not crowdfunding.
Reply  ·  
CharlieK-33's avatar
CharlieK-33|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
From you, where is the best place to buy your comics from? Amazon, or Image Comics or something? I hate the idea of more money going to the company rather than the artist. 
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Twilight16Master's avatar
word to that. I feel you. and that is why I am glad, eager even, to spend what little money I have on your Sunstone comics whenever I can.
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anonymous's avatar
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