The thing with independent comics is that it’s a difficult business.

Of course, I mean the business of running a comic, from professional to professional-amateur the business of it never stops, but I actually mean something more than that.

The hardest part of making a comic is starting. From waking in up in the morning after nearly thirteen years of making them to making the decision to do it in the first place, starting anything is incredibly difficult.

Independent comics scenes live and die by word of mouth and the integrated network of creators on all levels. Once you’re in, motivation can come regularly and often and starting becomes easier to an extent. Sacramento––where I’m based––has a surprisingly large number of independent and professional creators and they’re all, luckily, really nice and really approachable. But what really brings the network together are the comic shops.

It was through comic shops that I met most of the local scene as the shops hosted local events like Second Saturdays and Free Comic Book Day events––it’s also through these events where I get to catch up in person with people who are now old friends and colleagues.

With shelter-at-home edicts in full effect, it’s important for sellers, creators, and buyers to keep in touch and help each other out. If you have a local shop, call them up and see if they’re willing to ship books––buy that graphic novel or trade paperback collection you’ve been meaning to pick up. Every sale means the world to them as they hold the boat together for when the tide comes back in.

My personal local shop, Empire’s Comics Vault (one of many wonderful comic shops in Sacramento, including other greats like Comics & Collectibles, Big Brother Comics, and A-1 Comics, among others) is owned by Sacramento’s own comics ambassador, Ben Schwartz, and he is a man of many talents. In addition to running a great shop he has made it a purpose to make the shop home to a variety of events including his huge “mini-cons” like the annual Free Comic Book Day Festival and the Creative Women Mini-Con, hosting live podcasts, writing workshops, creator signings and many more. He also runs his own independent publishing imprint, Continuum Comics, host to at least six titles. More importantly, to me, he’s a major advocate for not only indie comics but for motivating indie creation. Ben wants to see people working on stuff as much as he wants to see their finished work.

Over the last several months––before the entire planet ground to halt––he had the genius idea of starting up a line of very short podcasts that focused on the business of small press. Two episodes have come out so far. I had the pleasure of being the first guest featured (not the first episode, but the first guest) to talk about putting your comics on the internet. This week, the second interview went up interviewing a very good friend of the site, Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics, to talk about getting the motivation to start making comics.

Ben is a fantastic interviewer and I’m amazed at how much content he’s able to fit into a six-minute episode. So, if you’ve got six minutes, give a listen to the wise words of Kyrun, or the bumbling ramblings of me before him. At the very least, listen if you are trying to get started––it’s the hardest part. However, I promise, we’re all here to help.