To: The Comic Book Industry (writers, artists, letterers, colorists, inkers, editors, assistant editors, publishers, EIC’s, retailers, distributors, readers, bloggers, lovers, fans)

Re: The Year That Has Passed/The Year To Come

Last year, I posted an Open Letter that didn’t get a lot in the way of feedback, but still, I felt good about writing it. Now, one year later (give or take a few days), I wanted to take the opportunity to see how well I did with my manifesto, and to look ahead to the year that’s coming.

When I wrote the open letter, I was reacting, mostly to the cancellation of FCHS. Since the letter, Rachel and I have self-published the book to positive reviews (and one Book of the Year selection thus far!), but we haven’t sold as many as we would have if we had a publisher/distributor. So, my promise to the reading public is to find new ways to get the book out there…physically AND possibly, digitally. For now, please feel free to order FCHS via ComiXology. If you’re looking to buy the book immediately, it is available in two stores right now: Jim Hanley’s Universe and, now, Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles!

And yes…I have already started writing FCHS Volume 2.

I opened an Amazon Store, here on the site. It never hurts to sell more books, right? The point of this is to expand my visibility in the public eye. Which leads to the next bullet point…

Never in a million years thought I’d get the amount of attention I got when I entered into the 30 Characters Challenge. In case you missed it, I released the 35 characters I created into the Creative Commons, essentially making them Public Domain Characters. What this means is that anyone can create stories using the characters I created, as long as they give me credit for the character creation. The news went largely unnoticed until Mark Waid, whose Harvey Awards speech was the impetus for the action, tweeted about it. It’s very gratifying to see someone whose work I admire champion my cause. It made the year go out on a high note (and I realize the year isn’t quite over, but there’s nothing that can bring me down from that high).

What else has happened in 2010?

*POPGUN V4 – Eight page comic story with Attila Adorjany “The Golden Mantis of Chinatown”
*SAVAGE DRAGON 163: Faster Baby Yeah Yeah – Six page comic with Rachel Freire for Image Comics
*READING WITH PICTURES – Four page FCHS story with Rachel Freire for Josh Elder’s RWP Anthology

Here are some things that were written, but you haven’t seen yet:

So, I’ve been busy. The idea for 2010 was to work on as much of my own stuff as possible. Would most of it get published? Probably not, but the idea was to be prolific enough that we can get a lot of projects out there in 2011.

And yes. STRAY will be out next year.

And by hook or by crook, I will have a Free Comic Book Day comic, even if I have to make it myself!

Which leads me back to production.  I want to have more work out there, and I really enjoyed putting FCHS in the hands of readers, so I plan on self-publishing the bulk of the work above.  I don’t know…I got so much gratification and a true sense of accomplishment doing FCHS that I really want to do more projects like this.

Finally, in last year’s open letter, I wrote:

I’m standing on the precipice of a world of my own making, as slightly psychotic as that sounds. What I’m proposing is this: creating a world of my own, worlds of my own, and inviting you, the comic industry, to come along and inhabit that world.

Welcome to Universe D. The Delsanteverse, so to speak. As we get into publishing all of these stories, you’ll see these characters fleshed out more. I’d do that now, but there’d be spoilers to some of the stories, so just be patient, and you’ll see this really start to gel.

Stay for a while. Stay forever.

-Vito Delsante

12/11/2010