Earlier this week, Comicon.com brought you a sprightly chat with the artist behind webcomic Jelly Vampire, Ida Neverdahl, and featured her comic, which is currently funding on Kickstarter for a print edition with Emet Comics.
Emet Comics, however, is also a unique entity worthy of further discussion. As led by founder and CEO Maytal Gilboa, this new publisher has recently started listing their books in the Diamond catalog, and has several projects coming to shops this autumn. While their mantra is quality above all in the conception and execution of their books, they also have a very specific mission to bring female comic book creators and diverse comic book creators to the publishing marketplace, as well as stories that feature central female characters.
Their work with Ida Neverdahl is a reflection of that mission, as are their upcoming editions of Finding Molly and Fresh Romance Volume 2.
Maytal Gilboa joins us today to talk about Emet Comics’ current project and goals for the future.
Hannah Means-Shannon: It’s very specific and admirable to set out to bring more female-focused comics and creators into the current industry. Did you feel the need to research or strategize about how to raise awareness of your company in what can be kind of a “loud” marketplace?
Maytal Gilboa: Raising Awareness always starts with the people who are closest to you, then you reach out to other people in your community, and work your way outwards. When I started 3 years ago, it was definitely a less “loud” marketplace so it was easier to stand out, and now I think a big part of growing the brand is forming alliances with other like-minded people and seeing if we can all grow together. I also think that the stories have to speak for themselves. Our mission is important, but the quality of our work is even more important and I hope that raises us above all the noise. We really have a commitment to quality, both in the artwork and in the stories we are telling.
HMS: Female comic readers are demonstrably committed to purchasing power, particularly in the bookstore market, but do you think that the medium of Kickstarter is one way of bypassing any uncertainties that comic shops might feel in stocking female-oriented or all-ages comics?
MG: I think Kickstarter is a great starting point. It’s how you raise the money to make the product and even print the product, but very few people are actually living off of their Kickstarters. For that to happen, we have to figure out how to succeed in the book market and in online and convention sales. So Kickstarter is great for seed money and marketing, and to show a proof of concept, but at the moment at least for us, it’s not instead of any of these other channels.
HMS: How did you come across Ida Neverdahl and what made her your choice for a Kickstarter project?
MG: I came across Ida’s work over three years ago and for three years it just stayed in my mind. I kept thinking about it and going back to it. I love the raw and unpolished look of her art and that her comedy comes from this very organic and unfiltered place. Her work represents to me something you rarely see in Hollywood anymore, which is what art looks like before all the industry executives get their hands on it and turn it into something that’s “same, same but different”, if you get what I mean.
It’s like finding a raw diamond–you know eventually someone’s going to shave it down and polish it, and turn it into a diamond everyone’s buying at Kay jewelry, but for now it just came out of the ground, and its beautiful. Over the past three years, Ida’s been incredibly prolific, writing 3 books, making comics for multiple magazines and online platforms, and I think that’s so inspiring. She is always creating and working.
My hope is that this book could inspire other young artists–teenagers, art students at CalArts etc–who are finding their voice and maybe censoring themselves too much or trying too much to fit into a particular mold. This is just supposed to be an explosion of creativity and fun without any boundaries. So I hope this Kickstarter finds those people and that they are inspired by Ida’s work in the way that I have been.
HMS: What kind of goals or plans do you have in the short term or the long term for building further on your mission as a publisher?
MG: I’m distributing a few books through Diamond this year, including November’s Finding Molly and Fresh Romance Vol 2, and we’ll see how that goes. We’re also producing a number of films and television series, some original screenplays, and others based on Emet books. I’d like to grow my packaging business where we’re making books for other publishers and I think we’re getting some momentum there. Right now I’m inspired by Ida, creating a lot of content, and seeing where the universe leads us.
HMS: How can readers follow your developing plans and get more involved in your mission?
MG: The best way to keep up with us is through our weekly newsletter. We keep it light and fun with lots of pictures and artwork. We keep everyone on our list very informed and also promote other creators who are producing similar work. [You can sign up for that newsletter here.]
Many thanks to Maytal Gilboa for taking part in this interview and best of luck to Emet Comics.
You can find out more about Neverdahl’s campaign for Jelly Vampire right here.