Well, what do you know...
Unfortunately, I won't be able to continue this blog due to personal reasons, but I'm really thankful to you all for spending a share of your internet time reading through my crazy ideas. If some of my posts seemed ludicrous, then I credit that to an overactive imagination.
Again, what I've written may or not ring plausible to many who have experienced creating graphic novels, but then at this point there are really no set rules. There are many ways to sell, and many would have different takes on what would be "sellable." But the main thesis of this blog is that to be able to sell, you need to touch, enthrall, inspire, even tickle. You can showcase your artistic side, but you need to be understood and appreciated as well.
ICv2 reported that over 3,000 graphic novels were released in 2007. Question is, how many of them have made a significant impact in the name of the medium? How many of them have gone far and wide, passed through many hands, and been talked about? How many of them have made the bestsellers' list, and how many of their authors have been given recognition beyond the comics culturati?
Some say that the graphic novel is the "literary" version of comics, and I beg to disagree. Anything can be explored in a graphic novel, and can be as literary or as K-Mart as can be imagined and rendered. The task of the graphic novelist is to broaden the field, to capture the fancies of the general public, with stories that can be enjoyed as much as those we see on the silver screen, the boob tube, or the theater stage.
There is nothing wrong with comics commercialism, as long as the creator remains true to his artistic vision--by giving an audience what it wants but, at the same time, doing so in an ingenious, insightful, memorable, and heartfelt manner. By introducing and reinforcing the kind of magic that only comics can weave, the general public can begin to tune itself to comics' unique sensibilities. When this is successfully done, the industry can grow further and farther. Comics will no longer be seen as fodder for Hollywood, but a creature strong enough to stand on its own two feet.
Can a graphic novel reach number one on the bestsellers' lists? Can a non-manga graphic novel sell over a gazillion copies? There's no reason why it shouldn't. The money can be good, yes, but think about it. The more that graphic novels repeatedly make fiction headlines, the more buzz it creates for the medium. The more buzz, the more curiosity generated. Everyone benefits.
So fire up your word processors and open up those sketchbooks. Take a long, hard look at how great stories are really made. Strengthen your writing. Fine tune your art. Build your style. Find your niche. Get in touch with your intended audience and find out what they want to read, and dish out a tale that fits--that is, with your true creative voice written all over it.
Most of all, have fun with it. It's going to be a helluva ride.