Creator Confessions: Expanding Beyond Comics
by Frank Martin
A lot of aspiring creators have one story in mind. It basically becomes like their child; something that they have to nurture and will eventually become synonymous with. After several installments, however, the comic format may be limiting for that particular story. That’s not to say it can’t be good and cultivate a large following. But universes and stories — especially big ones — are never restricted to just one medium or format of storytelling. There are so many different mediums available to creators that it’s important to often branch out and look at other ways to expand their universe.
Many creators get sucked into comics because they are personally fans of the medium and want their story to be a part of it. While there are certainly a lot of benefits to comic book storytelling, there are some drawbacks, too. It’s helpful to branch out and utilize other mediums and reach other fan bases. Writing prose stories is always a plus — especially short stories that can highlight lesser known characters. There’s also audio dramas that allow your voiceless characters to finally be heard. Video games. Board games. Even simple things like maps and fake in-universe advertisements can be used to create a more rounded fictional reality.
While it’s certainly possible to do this from the beginning, it’s not really recommended for novice creators that are just starting to build their story and a fan base. It’s easy to become distracted by shiny objects; which is to mean that it’s best for creators just starting out to focus on their core story and product. The foundation from which universes are built need to be strong. Only then should it begin to branch out and encompass more mediums and media. As that happens, and a story becomes more than just comics, it can be looked at as a true property with huge potential.