Thinkin’ ‘bout what I should be twittering

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Is Twitter as great a thing as the people I follow on Twitter make it out to be? I’m trying to buy in to it, in the hopes that it’ll be a valuable tool to promote BOWERY BOYS, but it’s the first technology I’ve encountered that makes me feel like a complete Luddite. Everything about it leaves me scratching my head, from the mechanics and etiquette of tweeting and re-tweeting, to the philosophical questions of why it exists and broader effect it’s having on our society. But many others seem to have been able to harness its power for good and evil, so there must be something I’m just not getting, right?

I’m pretty convinced it’s a waste of my time, and yet I find myself dealing with feelings of jealousy over how many more followers you have than me. This is how Twitter makes me feel:

Argh! Twitter!

Twitter!

Sure, it’s clear to me that it’s a valuable branding tool. A Twitter feed can effectively keep a brand top of mind for its customers — and that applies whether you’re a fast food chain, movie star, athlete or a comic book creator. But the key to that idea and the critical difference in our scenario is that it only works if you have a brand. We don’t have a brand (yet) because BOWERY BOYS has yet to be published. People don’t yet know what Ian and I are capable of, and although we plan to show the world soon enough, most people other than friends and fam don’t have something to latch on to in order to seek us out in the Twitterverse. We are unknown commodities who aspire to be known for the quality of our work, and we are marching along through the murky process of achieving that goal.

That said, we know comics publishing to be a war of attrition, and the launch numbers for any comic book series are critical — especially a creator-owned, self-published series — as most series’ audiences unfortunately trend downward from issue to issue. So how do I leverage the technology available to me to put butts in the seats, and to do so for Issue 1? The more people are with us from jump street, the greater likelihood we can make a real go of it. But I’m not clear how Twitter can help in that effort and improve the chances of BOWERY BOYS becoming the success we want it to be.

If I understand it correctly (and I probably don’t), Twitter is very much a self-fulfilling prophecy. You need to use Twitter (a lot) to empower Twitter. But can anyone give me an idea of the return on investment? If I start tweeting 5, 10 or 20 times daily, can I actually expect more people to check out BOWERY BOYS than otherwise wouldn’t? If you’re a tweeter, let me know how that’s going for you. And if you’re a comics creator, would you share what kind of traction you feel your getting by using Twitter?

In the meantime, here’s a treat for you from an early action sequence in BOWERY BOYS 1, in gratitude for your tolerance of my ignorance and frustrations.

Ass kickin'

HUCGK!

And if you don’t already, follow me on Twitter for more inane, nonsensical, pointless ramblings on reality television, tacos, Kardashians, dubstep, LeBron James and iphones.

Launch

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Here’s some more blog for you guys. We launched very well a couple weeks ago, but page views petered out pretty quickly as I haven’t posted anything since. We had a 124 page views the day we launched, which I was pretty satisfied with, given the number of Twitter followers and Facebook friends I was able to show it to, and their efforts to share it. But now we’re down to just a handful of views per day, because there hasn’t been anything fresh to keep you coming back. And those Twitter/Facebook numbers haven’t really seen a significant bump yet, but I’m hopeful. I’m also not totally convinced of the correlation between those social media stats and eventual sales, but I’ll have more to share on that in a forthcoming post.

For now, here’s something to keep you folks interested in and talking about what we’re doing. I’m very pleased to show you the cover of Bowery Boys #1!

Bowery Boys #1 cover

Bowery Boys #1 cover

As always, click to zoom in and really take in Ian’s breathtaking line work.

It’s looking like we’re on schedule to be able to publish the first chapter of our story toward the end of summer — sometime in late August. We’ll announce the exact date right here on the blog once we nail it down, but I thought it was worth letting our faithful readers know that you’ll be able to read BOWERY BOYS very soon!

And finally, it was brought to my attention by my former boss Jen Grünwald that while I introduced you guys to my collaborators Ian and Rodrigo in the initial blog post, I didn’t bother to tell you anything about myself. My name is Cory Levine and evidently I have a lot to learn about self-promotion. I came up as a local news editor in New Hampshire before moving to New York where I worked as a reporter for a B2B financial technology magazine. After doing that for a bit I jumped over to Marvel, where I worked in the Special Projects department for 2+ years before becoming a freelancer and starting my own company, First Edition Publishing, Inc. I write this blog and BOWERY BOYS for fun, and I edit and design books to pay the bills.

More! Soon!

Pay attention to ME!

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You’re reading this, which means you’re like one of my 291 Facebook friends or 111 Twitter followers, which means you probably fall into one of these categories: acquaintances, schoolmates I don’t keep in touch with, professional colleagues and lovers past and present; which means you are one of the approximately 350 (accounting for friends and family who do not have a presence in the social media sphere) who may know that I have written a comic book called Bowery Boys, which is illustrated by an artist named Ian Bertram. This is an effort on which we have both expended considerable time and energy, and we would both very much like for it to be a commercially successful endeavor so that we may, at least in part, earn our livings by it. I don’t think we can expect to do that without increasing the number of people who know what we’re working on. Would you please help me with that? I would really appreciate it if you did.

If you don’t fit the description above, then you are the unwitting victim of my clever ruse to get people to spread the word about Bowery Boys by asking them to spread the word about Bowery Boys. HA! I GOT YOU!

Now look at this! Here’s some really great art that Ian drew, and a man named Rodrigo Avilés colored.

Get some!

Zoom in on this because it’s the jam!

You can expect to see a lot more of that, and read our thoughts about and approaches to creating this comic, AND keep up to date with our plans for publishing Bowery Boys all right here, in one convenient place. I would love nothing more than for this blog to — over time — become an instruction manual on how to create and publish a successful creator-owned comic. And I suppose a fine place to start is by telling the world of its existence. So there you go.

Get at us on Facebook, the tweets, the formspring or just email me directly.

For the time being, you can also see a little more in this nice writeup we got on Robot6.

And here’s a picture of an awesome lamp my girlfriend gave me for my birthday. I put this on Facebook already, but I thought it was worth putting out there again because I think it’s so great.

It's a red lamp

I love lamp!

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