VS Comics comes to an end

The ominous subject line says it all – we’re shutting down production as a monthly digital comic. In lieu of flowers, please send gin, gold, and fizzy cola bottles. Mainly gin.

But how has this happened? Who do we kill?! Is it The Man? Did THE MAN strike us down?? I hate The Man! The Man sucks! No, it wasn’t The Man, it was a combination of things. We’ve always been pretty open about how things work around here, so hopefully this post will be useful to other people starting up an indie comic, or at least interesting.

First of all, we’re extremely proud of our first ten issues – we’ve had the pleasure of working with lots of extremely talented creators, and have been involved in the development of many amazing stories. Seeing the work come in has been hugely inspiring, and reminded us why we started this in the first place. We’ve had great reviews, and some wonderful reader feedback.

We have unfortunately, also had our challenges, such as problems with companies like Graphicly (documented here: http://comicsbeat.com/graphicly-folds-will-creators-be-paid-what-theyre-owed/ ), delays (due to people, including us, understandingly having to prioritise paid work), and lower sales than we’d hoped for. That’s in addition to the regular monthly website costs, business expenses, etc.

Our hope was to be breaking even after our first year, then steadily increase sales, allowing us to grow on that in our second year. Unfortunately, we found ourselves struggling to maintain the amount of material required for a monthly comic, which in turn led to more time being spent by editorial on developing new material (we roughly had one successful development for every four unsuccessful developments). This limited the amount of time we could spend growing VS, as we were mainly trying to keep up with our existing schedule. Ultimately, our modest readership was not enough to sustain the monthly costs.

With all this in mind we decided to cease production as a monthly digital comic with immediate effect. Our aim now is to publish a complete, oversized VS collection featuring a selection of our best stories, as well as some of the many great stories that we have in development. We’ll be looking to Kickstart this later, as a limited run collection.

Thank you to all our fantastic creators for being part of VS and making it so much fun to work on, and thank YOU for reading it and giving us a chance. We’ll all be back with different projects, of course, so keep an eye on our various websites (see the links page).

Cover reveal

Our talented cover artist (Luke Butland) has done it again! This cinematic cover features our new ongoing story Shiver by Kevin Lehane, Michael Lee-Graham, and Mike Stock.

Issue ten is coming soon and is packed to the brim with awesome fan-favourites: EponymousPI Charles, as well as a brand new two-parter Feeding Time.

VS_Issue10

VS Comics at Thought Bubble

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We’ve finally had enough time to reflect on another great Thought Bubble.  We’d like to thank the entire Thought bubble team who – as usual – did a fantastic job orchestrating the UK’s premier comic festival. We had an awesome time and got to meet and chat with a lot of cool people. Thanks to everyone who popped by and we hope that everyone who picked up Day and Night and/or Eponymous thoroughly enjoyed them!

Here’s a great little video by Joe Edwards (filmage.co.uk) of Thought Bubble.

And you can check out some behind the scenes photos of the VS team over on our Facebook page here

Space Bastards – Artist Spotlight

We’re delighted to introduce Si Clark, who is a freelance illustrator and animator. Si is going to be taking up artistic duties on Space Bastards. Si has already gone about bringing some of Paul Alexander’s characters to life. How great are these guys?

Space-BastardsSpace Bastards will be appearing in the digital pages of VS Comics very soon, but for now why not read up on Si: Si Clark is based in London and spends most of his time working on a variety of projects including animated music videos, album covers, illustrations for magazines and children’s books. He is obsessed with texture and working with a balance of light and dark. His passions in life are music, film and art and his life revolves around them.

Website – si-clark.co.uk
Blog - siclark.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter - twitter.com/Si_Clark_Artist

Creator Focus – Josh Sherwell

banner copyWe’re absolutely delighted to be featuring Josh Sherwell’s PI Charles in upcoming issues of VS Comics.

Josh is fresh out of Uni (Bournemouth Arts University to be exact) and is now looking to pursue his love of comics with PI Charles. Josh immediately won us over, at VS Comics, with his unique world and style of storytelling. We’re sure that you guys are going to love Charles just as much as we do, and you can expect to see a lot of him in VS Comics!

Cover

 

Here’s the blurb:

Charles is a robot (and private detective), driven by his programming to compulsively solve mysteries. His business gets him into all sorts of trouble, some absurd (punching a mutant gorilla in the face) and some dark (prostitute murder, anyone?).

He has a habit of blundering through cases, unable to comprehend the human side of things, all while believing he’s in a Raymond Chandler novel.

 

PI Charles debuted in VS Comics #7, with the twenty-one page story ‘Case 30: PI Charles VS Internet Porn’.

Shiver – Art Preview

Shiver

 

Michael Lee-Graham has just sent over the pages for the first part of Shiver (written by Kevin Lehane) and it’s so good that we just had to share a page with you!

Shiver is a multi-part action horror comic set in Antarctica on Christmas Eve, a time when the sun never sets and the continent is a hive of scientific activity. At the bottom of the world, far from all other outposts, an isolated crew of a cutting edge British Antarctic Survey station named ‘Aurora’ uncover a hostile alien life form within the ice and soon it’s multiplying and hunting the only prey the ice has to offer: the crew of Aurora. With the entity moving undetected beneath the snow and snatching crewmates one-by-one, the situation quickly escalates as an ill-equipped group is left in a desperate fight for survival!

Shiver will be gracing the digitally pages of VS Comics very soon! Be warned, this is one to watch out for!