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"Does anybody make products from their comic?", 5th Sep 2012, 12:03 PM #1
TheSmilingPsycho♂

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Like t-shirts and stuff? I was trying to find a good t-shirt company to go with. They're all so expensive!

Any other product ideas?
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5th Sep 2012, 12:24 PM #2
Hythlodeus♂
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We did about six different t-shirt motives back when we starrted to sell volume 1 a few years ago. The shirts sold great on conventions and at RPG stores. For the print release we plan to sell colourful posters and I just ordered about 200 Zwerg/Elf bookmarks as promo material.
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5th Sep 2012, 1:21 PM #3
Robotwin.com♂

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My t-shirt / poster shop is at http://zazzle.com/robotwin*

I've got a Cafepress store too, which is nearly the same, but I keep using Zazzle because I like the z-ness, and it's fewer letters to type.

I like the fact that it's POD, so I don't have to stockpile inventory, do shipping, or manage customer returns.

But yeah, would be nice to have some stuff for conventions at lower wholesale cost. I wish I knew how to screenprint my own shirts and posters, but then again I hate all the chemical fumes.

I think Smbhax was using Spreadshirt.
5th Sep 2012, 1:24 PM #4
Hythlodeus♂
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Oh and don't forget to think about coffee mugs. People love coffee mugs.
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5th Sep 2012, 3:12 PM #5
Magravan♂
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We were using Zazzle, but barely making any money on them..
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5th Sep 2012, 3:14 PM #6
TheSmilingPsycho♂

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Magravan:We were using Zazzle, but barely making any money on them..

I'm not even looking to make money. Mostly it'd just be a marketing strategy. I would like to at least break even though. And I'd like to do that without having to charge people twenty dollars for a t-shirt. That's the cheapest I've found so far. I can't believe it.
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5th Sep 2012, 9:33 PM #7
OnlyFoolsAndVikings♀
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yeah I make potato heads of characters

for myself

in all seriousness this is something I would eventually like to do, so I'll keep an eye on this thread.
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5th Sep 2012, 9:38 PM #8
snarkington♂
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OnlyFoolsAndVikings:yeah I make potato heads of characters

for myself

in all seriousness this is something I would eventually like to do, so I'll keep an eye on this thread.


....I would totally buy like buttons or stickers with your stuff on it. Or I imagine Tempus would be pretty elegant in printed book form.

(stickers)
(stickers are the best)
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5th Sep 2012, 9:42 PM #9
miak♂

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I made some promotional-for-fun laser cut and engraved characters from my comic.
Lucky me, I have a laser cutter at work to make things like this for free out of scraps.

http://bigfoldy.thecomicseries.com/blogarchive/10489
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5th Sep 2012, 10:13 PM #10
Draginbeard♂

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I like the buttons, sticker, bookmark and coffee mug ideas.
Maybe sign some print pages or poster work. But thats a little while off for me still.
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5th Sep 2012, 10:49 PM #11
DLM X-13♀

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I've made prints and buttons. Neither have sold all that well. I'd love to make shirts one day but I know that those would never sell, either. Sigh. :V

I'm also going to make stickers soon, but those will mostly be to give away - more importantly, to stick to the outside of envelopes when I mail other self-promotional material.
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5th Sep 2012, 11:26 PM #12
mushroomisland♀

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I plan on doing this in the future, I did a lot of research on this, and interviewing people around me and other comic freaks.

I find people are reluctant to wear comic/cartoon designs on fashion-stuff, from what I've observed. No matter what comic it's from, those are just looked upon as childish, or just for "hardcore" fans.

mugs or stickers and buttons and such have a bit more liberty for people, though. I guess people are cool with smaller objects, but not something so conspicuous as clothes.

However, whatever it is that you're making, design is of greatest importance. Don't just slab characters or banners on white shirts and try to sell them. Design and style is important to people. (well, most people) I think the problem mentioned with shirts above has much to do with this. If it's got awesome design, it would be much more marketable. I've found in many comic-products the author just draws a character and puts it on a shirt. Not much else. Try to create a design that appeals to everyone, not just people who know your comic.

And don't sell just shirts. You said shirts cost like 20 dollars? (Yeah I did some research on this as well, and that's about the cheapest price I could find) You'll find that having variety of products and designs will get you more buyers. Zazzle and Coffeepress and most other companies print on demand, nyways, so you dont even have to worry about having too many products and designs. People like having choices, whether they'll take advantage of all of them or not.

AND if you're gonna use zazzle and such, also make non-comic related products, too. They won't go much promotional for your comic, but it is definitely getting you traffic into the "shop." They can look around and if they find something else they like, they can buy it.


edit: I recommend you starting this after you're sure you've got a good fan base. Or else it's just high hopes and frustration. Among people who read the comic, there are very few who actually buy these things...


another edit: I just found puzzles on zazzle. I love this. I love puzzles and I love comic. This is so much love.
And yes, this actually got me another thought. Products that people can "do" something with, rather than posters and buttons that just sit there, sound more fun. Just my opinion. :)
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5th Sep 2012, 11:45 PM #13
Rollo♂

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If you want merch for "This is Douglas" then you could pop along to a sports store and but a Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur or Newcastle United kit.

Seriously, a cosplay of my comic would be bordering on pointless.
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5th Sep 2012, 11:47 PM #14
Guybrush20X6♂

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I've been considering it but I have the extra problem of my characters being from copyrighted works. I'll need to find out how all those internet T-shirt shops do it.
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6th Sep 2012, 12:11 AM #15
Tanako♀

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Well the only thing ive done so far is to print books. and i have sold quite some. besides that i haven't done any other thing. not that i dont want to, but i dont have the funds to do so. sadly!
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6th Sep 2012, 5:17 AM #16
Robotwin.com♂

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Most POD sites don't even require an up-front fee to start selling your swag, so you needn't worry about having funds.

I'm taking MushroomIsland's sage advice and making buttons and stickers and maybe even a puzzle.

Would this be better in color?
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6th Sep 2012, 5:29 AM #17
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I've considered pulling a Bill Watterson and refusing to merchandise Snarlbear at all. But then again Snarlbear action figures would be pretty much the coolest thing, so I don't know.

I think some people might want posters or something along those lines, but that's the sort of thing I can worry about later when I'm famous enough for people to want to throw money at me. For now I need to concentrate on actually making a comic.
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6th Sep 2012, 5:47 AM #18
TheOneBlueGecko♀
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Gearfish:I've considered pulling a Bill Watterson and refusing to merchandise Snarlbear at all. But then again Snarlbear action figures would be pretty much the coolest thing, so I don't know.

I think some people might want posters or something along those lines, but that's the sort of thing I can worry about later when I'm famous enough for people to want to throw money at me. For now I need to concentrate on actually making a comic.


My brother has bought prints from artists, sort of 10 by 17 inch sized things, for games and comics he doesn't even play or read. I guess what I am saying is a cool picture that you've spent a fair amount of time/effort on is always a cool thing to buy to post on one's wall.
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6th Sep 2012, 6:26 AM #19
Cammiluna♀

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I decided to play with Zazzle for giggles, but then I looked at the price of Genova's ADVICE tee and was like, FUCK THIS SHIT and abandoned that place.

Also, it's gonna cost me $95 to convert this into embroidery so i could slap on chartreuse polos.

It'll be a good place to make merch for kickstarter campaign incentives, but the products are too pricey to make a shop out of.
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6th Sep 2012, 6:51 AM #20
plymayer♂

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Sold some stuff on zazzle and was really happy with the quality of the products. I have a some t-shirts some that are four or five years old and still in great condition considering.

Ordered coffee mugs and bumper stickers and other things from them as well. All good quality. The price is up there. I never made more than $20 total in the couple of years on there.

Had a bit of a creative difference with zazzle and pulled my stuff off of there. Pretty childish on my part actually so don't let that stop you. Still thinking of getting a thing or two for myself on there.

Tried one or two other online places, quality not so good.

I've never used cafepress or is it coffeepress? I'd like to know how they rank quality wize.
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