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I'm Bill Stoddard, truck driver by day, indie comics writer by night. I currently have a comic book seeking funding on Kickstarter. I also have a couple of other comics in the works and I am working on my first novel as well. Ask me anything about my project, my other writing and anything else you might be curious about!

Bill Stoddard
Oct 10, 2017

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/377522559/red-tide-1

I currently have a project LIVE on Kickstarter called Red Tide. It's a comic series about a Maine fisherman that turns to dealing drugs when the shellfish population near his island is destroyed. It's loosely based on the island community that my mother grew up in, and that I frequently visit to this day. Ask me anything about it and the other projects I have in the works. Also feel free to ask me anything else you might be curious about!

Follow me on: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bill.stoddard.58

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/billstoddard/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/billiamstodd 

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Conversation (59)

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How long have you been making indie comics?

Nov 1, 3:37PM EDT0

How old are yoU? 

Oct 22, 3:09AM EDT0

I am 24 years old.

Oct 24, 12:41PM EDT0

Did you go to the NY Comicon this year?

Oct 18, 8:06PM EDT0

Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to NYCC this year, but I’m hoping to make the trip next year!

Oct 24, 12:40PM EDT0

How do you split your time between driving a truck and writing comics?

Oct 17, 7:59AM EDT0

Driving is my day job, so when I get home I try to set aside at least an hour/day for writing. 

Oct 24, 12:39PM EDT0

What is your novel about?

Oct 11, 2:56PM EDT1

My novel is about a man with magical abilities that poses as a hypnotherapist to delve into the minds of his patients and help them with their issues, which usually end up being supernatural in nature. 

Oct 11, 3:29PM EDT0

Did the show "Breaking Bad" inspire your character's storyline?

Oct 10, 10:10PM EDT1

Hi, thanks for your question! 

I am a fan of "Breaking Bad" and the show was an inspiration for the idea of dealing drugs, but that's where the similarities end. 

My story and characters are much different than the show. 

Oct 11, 2:38PM EDT0

Do you want to publish works from others if yours becomes successful?

Oct 10, 9:46PM EDT1

Hi Richa, thanks very much for your question! 

If I continue to self publish and I gain an audience, I'd be happy to help others like myself and collaborate with them. But I'm not sure if I'd ever be an official publishing company or anything like that. 

Oct 11, 2:42PM EDT0

How much time do you spend on your comics per day?

Oct 10, 9:21PM EDT1

Hi Jesa, thanks very much for your question! 

I try to set aside at least an hour per day for writing. If I can't get anything going it ends there, but if I'm on a roll I keep going until I'm out of ideas for the day! 

Oct 11, 2:40PM EDT0

Do you prefer the term "graphic novel" over "comic book"?

Oct 10, 8:44PM EDT1

Hi Nicole! 

Either one is fine with me! The term graphic novel is often used to define a single story collected into a large volume. But the terms are somewhat interchangeable. 

Oct 10, 8:52PM EDT0

Really enjoyed reading your AMA, I wish you the best of luck with your up and coming projects :) I thought you might like to take a look at another very cool ComicsAMA - what do you think? 

Oct 10, 7:23PM EDT1

Thanks very much! Yes, I'll take a look :)

Oct 10, 7:38PM EDT0

Do you do both the animation and the storyline by yourself?

Oct 10, 6:23PM EDT1

Hi Vukasin, thanks for your question! 

No, I only do the storyline. The art on this particular comic is by Eugene Bornyakov. Unfortunately I can't draw well enough to publish a comic book, but it gives me the opportunity to meet and work with some incredibly talented people. 

Oct 10, 6:25PM EDT0

You said you are working on other comics too, what are they about?

Oct 10, 2:39PM EDT1

Hi Faye, thanks for your question! 

One of my comics is called Grimoire, which is a fantasy comic about two incredibly powerful brothers that fight for control over the world. 

The second is called The Nomad, which is a crazy Mad Max-esque post apocalyptic adventure. 

And the third is called Augmented, about an ex MMA fighter that is tricked into fighting to the death for a corrupt CEO. 

I'll leave links to preview pages below, and you can see more info about them on my Facebook page! 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8kh12ijwlnnugo0/AABN_vLEwxcFMgQQoYrqauXWa?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/uxtkstbl2mlxdiv/AAC_D2IEyaTFPVmvCPjhEsG-a?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dvl0zt3frjmgfmc/AABXzLOe5Vom_Fa-3kv6ceLOa?dl=0

Oct 10, 4:49PM EDT0

Do you want to continue to self-publish, or would you rather get picked up by a traditional publisher at some point?

Oct 10, 2:13PM EDT1

Thanks for your question Anthony! 

My answer is mixed. Part of me really loves the self-publishing model because I have complete control over everything. I set the schedule, what printer to use, where the story goes etc. However, I can see the benefits of a traditional publisher. They would have more resources than I would such as connections to stores, a built-in audience, money for printing and distribution, which are all things that would be incredibly useful to me. 

So I guess for now I will continue to self-publish, but if the right publisher came along that was interested in my work and we shared the same values, then I would definitely consider the more traditional route. 

Oct 10, 4:53PM EDT0

What important lesson have you learnt from using crowdfunding so far?

Oct 10, 6:28AM EDT1

Hi Gregory, thanks for your question! 

So far I've learned that the work doesn't end when you launch the project. You have to constantly engage with your audience the best you can, and think of new ways to get people on board. 

This past weekend I took a break from promoting myself thinking that the project would speak for itself, and I have seen significant drop in backers since then. 

Always be promoting yourself and trying to get your work in front of as many eyes as possible. 

Oct 10, 4:58PM EDT0

What are your back-up plans if your crowdfunding campaign fails?

Oct 10, 4:09AM EDT1

Hi Bhernandez, thanks for your question! 

I don't really have a back-up plan for funding. However, I will try and get the book finished however I can, even if it takes a lot longer than expected. 

The money is the only thing stopping me and crowdfunding helps with that immensely. But if need be I can scrape together some extra money and create the book at a snails pace and still try and gain an audience. 

Oct 10, 5:02PM EDT0

How long have you been working in this field?

Oct 9, 10:29PM EDT1

Thanks for your question Melissa! 

I have been writing my whole life, but I have been an indie comics creator for about 2 and a half years now. 

Oct 10, 5:04PM EDT0

What do you feel the biggest benefits of Crowdfunding are?

Oct 9, 9:10PM EDT1

Thanks for your question Jeffrey! 

I think the biggest benefits of crowdfunding are: 

1. It gives you experience with self-promotion. I personally have always had trouble being out-spoken, but the Kickstarter has helped me come out of my shell a little bit. 

2. It can help you gain an audience. By being on Kickstarter, it helps you reach a lot of people that might not normally see your social media posts, blog posts or content on comic book sites. 

3. Finally, if your goal is reached, it can help you produce more content. I can create comics without crowdfunding, but it would be extremely difficult for me and it would take a ridiculous amount of time. Part of being a creator is keeping your audience's interest. I don't want my audience to have to wait 2 years in between issues 1 and 2. With crowdfunding, I can pay my team all at once instead of having to pay them little by little over several months. 

Oct 10, 5:12PM EDT1

Has the style of comics changed over the years and how?

Oct 9, 7:59PM EDT1

Hi Anthony thanks for your question! 

The style of comics has definitely changed over the years. I would say that the biggest change is the maturity level of the content. 

A lot of comics are still all-ages, but the majority of comics are aimed at older teens and adults, especially the ones that are independently published or published by companies like Image Comics. As comic fans grew up, so did the comics themselves. Although the industry is always looking for younger fans, they want to keep their oldest and most diehard fans' interest as well. 

Oct 10, 5:24PM EDT0

What advice would you give to anyone else looking to create their first crowdfunding project?

Oct 9, 5:03PM EDT1

Hi Dlopez thanks for your question! 

The biggest piece of advice I would give is to promote your project AT LEAST a month in advance. Create a Facebook page or group and invite your friends/fans to it, post links on Instagram and Twitter etc. This will help give your campaign a big boost of momentum in the first couple of days, which is important for bringing attention to your project. The more pledges you have early on, the more likely people are to notice and potentially back your project.

Oct 10, 5:28PM EDT0

What's it like to be a comic writer or artist?

Oct 9, 4:52PM EDT1

Hi Ncampbell, thanks for your question! 

Being a comic writer is fun and rewarding, but it is also somewhat stressful. I struggle with a lot of self-doubt, so the writing process can sometimes be arduous and unfulfilling. Money is also a concern, since I can't draw I have to pay artists to produce pages for me. 

But at the end of the day I love telling stories and I hope to make it my career one day. It's a great feeling to hold a book in your hands that you've put so much hard work into. And an even greater one when other people come to love your book as well. 

Last edited @ Oct 10, 5:44PM EDT.
Oct 10, 5:44PM EDT0

What is the most challenging part of being a comic writer and why?

Oct 9, 3:45PM EDT1

Thanks for your question Isanchez! 

For me, the most challenging part of being a comic writer is the money it takes to produce the book. 

Comics are a unique form of entertainment that combine the written word and art. I have the written word part, but I'm not capable of making the art myself. There are plenty of talented artists out there to help, but they require payment for their services. 

That is the reason so many of us, myself included, turn to crowdfunding. 

Oct 10, 5:48PM EDT1

Could you theoretically create an animated feature film from animated GIF?

Oct 9, 3:37PM EDT1

Hi James, thanks for your question! 

My honest answer is I have no idea. 

My irresponsible answer backed by no research, is that theoretically I don't see why not. 

I've seen crazier things happen, and that actually sounds pretty cool.

Oct 10, 5:49PM EDT1

What advice would you give someone who wants to make a comic?

Oct 9, 2:39PM EDT1

Thanks for your question Christopher! 

My advice is simple and cliche, but it's true and something that I learned myself.

JUST DO IT!

The best way to learn how to do something is to do it!

Oct 10, 5:51PM EDT0

Are comics just for kids or are adults also interested in comics?

Oct 9, 1:35PM EDT1

Hi Brad thanks for your question! 

While some comics are certainly for kids, adults are a huge chunk of the audience for comics. 

Most comics being produced today by creator-owned companies like Image and Dark Horse are aimed almost exclusively for adults. 

Even superhero comics have engaging, exciting and complex storylines that people of all ages can enjoy. 

Comics are like any other medium: there's something for everyone!

Oct 10, 5:54PM EDT0

What type of comics are the most successful or promising in your view?

Oct 9, 1:10PM EDT1

Thanks for your question Freemandennis! 

It is hard to nail down what the most successful and promising comics are. 

When I look for a new comic to read, first I look at the art. If it looks good, then I find out more about the story. And if the story holds me then I'm sold! 

So for me, a successful comic has a combination of great art and a great story. It doesn't necessarily matter what genre it is!

Last edited @ Oct 10, 5:58PM EDT.
Oct 10, 5:57PM EDT0

Is there a certain type of persona who loves to read comics?

Oct 9, 1:07PM EDT1

Hi Bobby, thanks for your question! 

In my opinion, anyone can love to read comics. Sometimes there is a stereotype of them being "nerdy" or "geeky", but I don't think that is the case as much these days. 

If you love a good story, you could love to read comics.

Oct 10, 5:59PM EDT0

What other projects are you currently working on?

Oct 9, 12:45PM EDT1

Thanks for your question Melody! 

I am currently working on three other comics called Grimoire, The Nomad, and Augmented. 

I am also working on my first novel!

If you check Faye's question in this thread, I left sample links to the comics! You can also see more of them on my Facebook page!

Oct 10, 6:01PM EDT0

If you had not pursued a career in publishing or making comics, what would you have chosen instead?

Oct 9, 12:23PM EDT1

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your question! 

I would probably have pursued being a psychologist. The human mind and behavior have always been very interesting to me and I frequently read articles on the subjects. 

Either that, or probably an English teacher. I just like to read and write and some of my biggest influences have been my teachers. It would be nice to give back in some way.

Oct 10, 6:04PM EDT0

Hi Bill. Does the story resonate with your real life experiences?

Oct 9, 12:12PM EDT1

Hi Shilpa, thank you for your question! 

The story does resonate with my real life experiences. Almost everyone on my mother's side of the family are fisherman that live on a Maine island. That is the only way of life they have ever known and don't have much to fall back on. 

I got the idea for the story on one of my visits. The island has no police, and I thought to myself how it would be easy to get away with things there. None of my family have ever or would ever do anything illegal, but my imagination went wild. 

The main character Trevor also has some traits that I drew from myself, such as his anxiety. 

Oct 10, 6:07PM EDT1

Have you come across or networked with some of the AMA hosts on here who are doing comic books yet?

Oct 9, 11:43AM EDT1

Hi Duranrodney, thanks for your question!

Yes, I have networked with other AMA hosts on here that do comic books. In fact, I met them before I found them on AMAfeed through various other social media groups and through Kickstarters. 

So far, they've all been great people and a pleasure to talk with!

Oct 10, 6:14PM EDT0
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