As I’m sure most of you know Arrow Comics has always been a communal company. Founded by Ralph Griffith and Stu Kerr, revamped in the late eighties by Ralph Griffith, then re-revamped again in the nineties by Scott Moore and myself, Arrow Comics has enjoyed periods of high productivity, low hibernation, and just about every stage in between. We’ve almost come back a number of different times with schemes and projects, grasping at straws and dreams, in a couple of different forms and formats, but through it all Arrow has remained constantly communal, for the most part. To put it mildly Arrow Comics cannot be bought because quite honestly there is little if anything to buy. All of Arrow’s properties have had outside ownership, all of them that have been published that is, and Arrow’s heart has always been its’ vast and varied autonomous talent and its’ sheer sweat and dedication to entertain the masses as much as they can. We have no real “offices”, our “clubhouse” is little more than this site, our “warehouse” is a basement or two (or three), and the only thing that REALLY stays constant is our collective pride in our work and again our dedication to entertain you, the readers any way that we can. Some (okay, a lot) of that entertainment has come with a price. Occasionally our finances were ruined, our sanity tested, marriages strained, friendships frayed, and mistakes made. Arrow has been “alive” off and on since 1984, and in many of our hearts it NEVER died, and hardly ever failed. I can honestly tell you that there is not a single product that we’ve created over the decades that I would not stand next to the VERY best this medium has to offer, no matter how many folks saw it, enjoyed it, or hated it. There are some better than others, of course, and “art” will always be subjective when it comes to quality, and some might not fit your criteria, or definition, but still the product is solid, and most of the time you can see the love and sweat there on every page, almost every drawing and word, and every story.
That being said, I would like to “officially”, or at least as official as I can make it for a uniquely communal company such as Arrow Comics, tell you that we are “on” again. Whether you’ve seen it or not, whether you want to or not, Arrow Comics is back, we are creating products again and we are, as always, a community based company. Coming at you from many directions and slowly building our way back to entertaining you again, and you know what? If you’re not aware of it you are officially LATE and you better pick up the pace and help us out if you can. Enjoy us while we are here, because like most things on this planet our time is SHORT, and I cannot promise you just how long we are going to be able to do this. Though we ARE known for starting this whole zombie/“walking dead” comics phase with Arrow’s printing of Deadworld way back in- when—1986 I think (How many YEARS before that silly “Walking Dead” book started?), our company might not be so resilient as to needing a headshot to die. The future is uncertain, the past is already set (and basically noted in our history section), we have only the present to mold and enjoy, so let’s get on with that shall we?
Arrow announced some months ago that we were working on an underground style comic called THE OWOSSO TACO HOUSE FUNNIES #1. In conjunction with Sisters Comics I see it as an ideal way for Arrow to continue it’s emergence into print. That book is almost completed and production is currently wrapping up. We are hoping to have the first issue to the printers within the next couple of weeks. As soon as copies are available we will let you know here, and while a locally flavored book, we plan on making it available via the net and any retailer that might be interested in carrying it. More on that in our “Whatsup” section as it develops.
WILD PLANET #1 is an anthropomorphic space opera that Ralph Griffith is creating and selling that also carries the Arrow Comics banner. That book is available right now from RaphnStudios (where there is a link on our main page to) and we should be offering it soon in our marketplace section, so check it out there. Ralph is creating and riding shotgun over this project, so hopefully in the very near future we will have more news of this project’s progress.
2) THE ARROW COMICS SITE
A few years ago I put out a call for original comic strips, webstrips if you will, to put up here on the site. We even started coloring some of our works to display here, but everything never really got off the ground. In fact very few folks have been looking through our site and forum lately at all, and quite honestly it just pisses me off. So I figure that I can either piss and moan about everyone’s lack of cooperation (which, I assure you I AM very skilled at, so I am told), or I could forget about including anyone in my plans and go on my merry way- well, I can honestly admit to you that that has lasted a good 4 years now, and despite occasional spurts (attempts at doing a regular Spank strip, or posting Rebel Nun), We have nada to offer folks visiting the site by way of new graphic content. Sorry about that folks, we’ll see what we can do but quite frankly, there’s little if any inspiration on posting stuff for free if there’s no reward for doing so, and so I feel it’s more important now to try to pull more folks over to the site that to bust my back solo working up new content. Now if we can do that AND make money while doing it- well, that’s just a win-win.
The site itself has sustained itself (or nearly so) thanks ENTIRELY to Scott Moore, who has watched over the Arrow site, some time pulling the server fees out of his own pocket in order to keep it alive. He assures me that over the last few years he hasn’t had to pay much on his own, but it’s probably more than he wants to figure out- so we need to make the site a little more profitable as well as visible. The idea here is to generate enough money to not only keep the site alive, but to get us printing again.
So, from now until the month of July we will be hacking the prices off of some of our products- “having a sale” if you will, and if you check the Marketplace now you can already see that happening. There will be more to come, and we have more stuff to add, with our ultimate goal being to move so much back stock that we can all reclaim our basement, and perhaps print a few new products at the same time. For more about that, check out entry #5 below.
If you are not one of the 91,000+ members of wowio.com please go there and join. Then look at the Comics and Graphic Novel section, and the listing of Arrow Comics underneath the “publisher” button. Arrow Comics is slowly making the majority of its’ library of works available on wowio.com for downloading. These downloadings are FREE to registered users of the site (and now registered users can even “gift” our books via email to anyone else in the USA for a small fee, $4.00 I believe.). This opens us up to the widest potential audience Arrow has had available to it in many, many years. In exchange for your free download you will get a page or 2 of advertising from the wowio sponsors, but in exchange for those few pages they pay US for every download by the registered folks that they record. Now, it’s not a fortune, but it IS something, and a LOT more than what we’ve been getting these last few years of stuff gathering dust in our basement.
Since we have been in “hibernation” for so long I am currently undertaking the “task” of dusting off our works, and refashioning them for the net market. This means production pages have to be updated, stuff omitted and replaced that we don’t have proper copyright to, and- get this- COLORIZING some of the stuff we’ve done. One of the first products available now is Spank #2, and after coloring it, it looks almost like a completely different product than before! Seriously- go download it and check it out for yourself.
Almost everything we offer on wowio will be revamped in some way, including our War Of The Worlds material (which we have relabeled THE SECOND WAR OF THE WORLDS to avoid any comparison to that crappy Tom Cruise disaster), and perhaps, PERHAPS, if enough downloads warrant it we’ll be able to complete the Memphis Front storyline. Already we have works in production that have never seen print, so we’ll be offering some awesome packages up there, some of which NO ONE has seen before, so please check them out and support us as much as you can. I can tell you that we should have 5 products there by the time you read this: Spank #2 in color, The Dead #1 and 2 virtually untouched (and unedited btw), and The Second War Of The Worlds: Haven and The Hellweed parts 1 & 2 (with new covers by Brian Germain and myself). I’m in the midst of coloring Spank #1 now, and then we have some unpublished works heading your way.
Wowio.com could turn out to be a GREAT thing, not just for us but for independent comics in general as it really knocks open our base readership potential, and of course it’s all FREE to those who are registered. I’m VERY excited about the site in general, let alone our involvement with it, so I’ll keep all of you posted on its’ progress. As of their last e-newsletter they were way over their one-millionth download and growing exponentially. So, I HAVE to ask, wouldn’t it be incredible to know that your stuff is being read by THOUSANDS of folks who would never have read you if they had to walk into a comics shop? Ponder that for a sec and understand why I’m so elated about this site. This has the potential of knocking the HELL out of the art form. More than the direct market, more than “web strips” alone, and it might even prompt folks to go to their local comic shops to hunt down more product from the smaller guys. In an outlet that’s been monopolized by “the big 2” and “the monopolistic distributor” wouldn’t that be amazing to see?
Arrow Comics now has a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/arrowcomics1). Spank has a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/spanktmonkey) My business has a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/zimmgraphix) as well as most of us Arrow folks past and present, so if you have a MySpace page too it’s time to hook us all up on your “friends” list. The Arrow page has a few pages of original stuff you can’t see here, and a special section dedicated to our wowio work, so you’ll want to watch that page at least if you want to stay up to date with us.
5) THE GREAT ARROW BURN OF ‘08
Arrow Comics has plans for a small party later this year. Nothing fancy, just a celebration of sorts, with friends and “family”, so if you know how to get in contact with some of Arrow’s creators over the years and you think they might be interested, well, let them know and have them get a hold of me or Scott asap. Also, that Marketplace special we’re tossing applies to any one and every one of our creators who has had stuff printed by us in the past. If they need any more copies of their work they need to get in touch with us quickly because we plan on reclaiming our basements (well, SOME of the basement anyway) and that party will not be called “The Great Arrow Burn” for nothing. It’s okay if you can’t make it though- we’ll be taking pictures and letting everyone know just which of our titles is just a little more valuable after the party than before. We’ll have hotdogs and marshmallows aplenty, and it’s going to be a long warm fun night.
6) HOW –YOU- CAN HELP ARROW COMICS.
This is the part where I sum it all up and ask for your involvement on what we do. Hopefully it’s not too rough of a list, and one that you can have a little fun with as well. Here goes…
If you’re in touch with someone who’s had stuff printed by Arrow, please ask them if they’ve talked to Scott or me lately. We need contact info and we want to be caught up on what everyone’s been doing and start a regular “Whatsup” section here to keep all the Arrow fans informed. Please ask them to join our forum and stay closer in touch. Plus I’ve found a number of pieces of original artwork here in my basement I had no idea I still had, let alone who to return them to so, if you’ve been with us at one point or another we would love to hear back from you. I am especially looking for news on Gary Thomas Washington, Doug Lamperski, Chris Theisen, Richard Gulick, Abdul Rashid, and Matthew M. Mason. Thanks to wowio I might have enough money for you to buy lunch soon.
YOU should join our forums too, if you haven’t already, and let us know if you’ve just found us or rediscovered us, let us know what you think of our work and if there is anything that we can do to entertain you better, outside of “print stuff more often”- we promise to do that if you would bother to help us reach our print bill by buying stuff from our Marketplace.
In fact, yes, buy more stuff from us. We’ll be offering more merchandise in the near future so keep checking back with us with an open mind and an open wallet. We’re looking at offering the files we’re prepping for wowio here on the Arrow site as well (but it’ll cost you a little per download- but honestly we’re worth it!).
In fact, yes, just keep checking back with us. I’d like to start posting new stuff up here a LOT more regularly, so keep watching.
Finally- I’m looking for some REAL help on our stuff here, we’re looking for submissions for colorists and artists at the moment to help refashion and complete a lot of the products we either have already printed or printed and wanted to finish- there’s NOT a lot of pay involved- in fact no up front pay- but recognition AND a percentage of every down load you work on, and that MIGHT work up to be enough over time to have it be worth your while- MAYBE. I REALLY need a handful of great colorists, and a few great artists for covers and to finish a few projects that REALLY deserved to be finished, so if interested you can contact me at this e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll go from there.
Hope you stick around a little after this and kind of look us over again- at least pop into the forums and say hello, or add your two cents on what we should work up for downloading right away, and let us know what you’d like to see from Arrow Comics in the future (except for that “print stuff more often: stuff- we already know that!).
Till next time- Take Care, and Thanks for being here.
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