We talk with Dane Ault and Ashlie Hammond, the founders of Monkey Minion Press. Dane is an artist and graphic designer. Ashlie is a creative copywriter and crafter. Together, as Monkey Minion Press, they produce art prints, T-shirts, greeting cards, kids’ books, and much more. Monkey Minion’s first Kickstarter campaign, for their book “Eureka! The Art of Science”, just blew past their initial funding goal of $8,500, and will close at more than $32,000.
Kevin Mellon is a storyboard artist for Floyd County Productions, where he works on the hilarious animated spy comedy ARCHER, currently in its sixth season on FX. A graduate of the Kubert School, Kevin is also an accomplished comic artist. His work includes GEARHEAD and LOVESTRUCK with Dennis Hopeless, HEART with Blair Butler, and his own series, SUICIDE SISTERS.
Sarah Marino is a character designer and background painter at Nickelodeon Animation Studios, working on the upcoming cartoon series SHIMMER AND SHINE. She was previously at animation studio Reel FX, as a visual development artist working on the stunning animated feature film BOOK OF LIFE. We talk about Sarah’s education and artistic background, and how she transitioned from an early production coordinator gig into an artistic career.
We talk to writer and illustrator Drew Blank, a veteran of the convention and expo scene with a highly recognizable, humorous art style that attracts a crowd in every city. We discuss how the loss of his previous job kickstarted his career selling fan art, and how he juggles that with his true passion, writing. Drew is the author of the hit indie novel ‘Memoirs of an Anti-Hero’.
This panel of professional writers, crafters, business owners and marketers provides helpful tips on promoting your art, and yourself, online. Topics such as starting your business, targeting your audience through advertising and social media, protecting your designs, time-management, and how to maintain an online shop are discussed.
The comic book industry exists largely in a vacuum, playing by our own rules – and fast and loose even with those. Among them: the “blind eye” that publishers turn towards Artist Alley’s bustling commerce of non-licensed trademark exploitation. The dollars are generally too small, the usage too benevolent, to raise corporate eyebrows. Tradition says, as long as we avoid the rampant bootlegging of the hucksters, the Alley is healthy for our industry and its fans. Now, though, the game may be changing.