Full disclosure: Comic Bastards is a sponsor for Ghost City Comic Competition and will be reviewing the winners picked by a panel of judges. For more information, please visit Ghost City Comics.
I had a chance to interview Michael Ruiz-Unger and Tucker Tota about their Ghost City Comic Competition that’s currently running. You’ll also be able to hear me on their podcast in production talking about the site. It’s a little cross promotion, but the goal is the same, to give information about the other. On their podcast, you’ll hear about what makes Comic Bastards tick, and in this interview, you’ll get some background information on the first indie comic competition.
Comic Bastards: What inspired the Ghost City Comic Competition?
Ghost City Comics: We come from a film background, and film festivals are such a pivotal part of indie filmmaking. So after making our own comics, we wondered why there was nothing like that for comics. So after some groaning and moaning, we just decided to make it ourselves.
Comic Bastards: How long has the Ghost City Comic Competition been in the works for?
Ghost City Comics: We’ve been working on it full-on since the end of 2015, but it’s an idea we’ve had for a few years now.
Comic Bastards: How many days or weeks did you end up putting into Ghost City Comic Competition and was it more or less than you thought you’d have to do?
Ghost City Comics: There’s a lot of little things that ended up taking forever, like legal stuff or figuring out the actual tech of uploading a comic. Getting judges and sponsors on board we thought would be near impossible, but people seemed so excited to be a part of it.
Comic Bastards: What in your backgrounds have helped you put on Ghost City Comic Competition?
Ghost City Comics: Definitely making indie comics. We know the routes available to indie creators; submitting to publishers, running a Kickstarter, etc. So we feel like we know what people are going through and we can mold our competition to try and hit those issues. It’s why we started a podcast; we think there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes info people would love to hear because there’s a lot of info I wish I had when starting out.
Comic Bastards: Ultimately, how would you like the Ghost City Comic Competition to help creators or change the comic industry?
Ghost City Comics: We want to provide a new outlet for indie creators because there are so many more people making comics these days. And we hope that winning our competition will attract attention from the comic world to your story and boost your career. Aside from the competition, we just want to bring value to indie creators in any way we can, whether it’s interviews with industry insiders or how-to guides for preparing your comic for print.
Comic Bastards: Do you see the Ghost City Comic Competition happening every year or is that to be determined by how it plays out this year?
Ghost City Comics: We will almost certainly be doing it again next year, and possibly even some mini-competitions in between. All the positive feedback has definitely boosted our confidence that this idea is not so crazy.
Comic Bastards: How are you working to make the Ghost City Comic Competition legitimized in the eyes of the industry?
Ghost City Comics: Firstly, by getting legit judges and sponsors on board. Having names like Print Ninja and Vault Comics and Comic Bastards attached to our competition makes it easier for people to take us seriously. But we’re also in it for the long haul, and we think our legitimacy will be proven over time if we stick with it.
Comic Bastards: What’s been the best experience of running the Ghost City Comic Competition so far?
Ghost City Comics: Seeing all the amazing submissions come in, there is so much talent out there. Also getting to collaborate with judges and companies we admire.
Comic Bastards: Anything I missed that you want to make sure people know about Ghost City Comic Competition?
Ghost City Comics: We definitely want people to know that we’re just a couple of guys, not some mysterious corporation. Anyone can reach out to us on social media or email, and we’re happy to answer questions or just chat about comics.
Big thank you to Michael and Tucker and be sure to check out GhostCityComics.com for more info on the competition.