I began posting about the making and self-publishing of my comic book series Satanic Hell awhile back. Its the story of a metal band that gets trapped in a Texas under the rule of religious zealots. The original idea was to do a seven issue digital comic series and release an issue every several months. The first two issues were released on time and received well, building interest in the series. The publication of the third issue lagged and eventually the time line could not be maintained due to personal events and the increasing time for completion of the art, the colors, and the letters. The momentum was lost. I underestimated the importance of time related to production. As a result of this, I had to make changes. While the first three issues were released, I decided to stop releasing individual issues and release the entire series as one compiled graphic novel. I continued posting occasional updates to let the current fans know the series was still moving forward.

I think the completed graphic novel is the best way for self publishers to produce comics. First, you are presenting a completed novel and therefore fans and potential readers are not left wondering if the story will ever get finished. When you start out making comics, its easy not to fully contemplate the time and energy it will take from all contributors and the challenges of publishing on a regular basis. Its easy for people to lose interest in or even forget about the comic during this time. I've seen several other comics started with fanfare and never reach conclusion, even ones funded from Kickstarter. Another reason I believe the completed graphic novel is the best way to go for indie starters is the larger market beyond comic book readers for graphic novels. Its just a larger pool of potential readers.

The other thing I would have done differently starting out is have the graphic novel be only 3-4 chapters instead of the seven that I'm working on now. A shorter book will come out faster and the chances of it coming out are greater. Passion and even sufficient funds do not guarantee the comic will ever be completed- costs can go up, funds can run out, and contributing artists can decide to leave the series for all sorts of reasons. These challenges are there for whatever the length of your graphic novel, but shorter improves the chances of reaching the finish line.

The good news is Satanic Hell will be finished. Issue 7, the last issue, is currently in production.

Here's the thread about the initial experience I had finding an artist.