Publisher of Big Dog Ink
Tom Hutchison is the creator/writer of the Legend of Oz: The Wicked West, Critter, Ursa Minor, Penny For Your Soul and other BDI titles.
Scifi pulse interview with Tom Hutchison:
Yanes: With your experience, what do you see as the comics industry’s biggest challenge and biggest growth opportunity?
Hutchison: The biggest challenge is the same as it has always been: bringing in new readers. And not just the folks that come in for the hyped up events who mostly bow out quickly after. The industry needs a very real influx of the general public to our product. Conventions are a big part of that, as are the releases of all these movies, but there is still a huge disconnect between general public audiences and those that frequent comic book shops.
There’s a lot of reasons for that, too many to go into here, but publishers and creators need to take close notice of what is happening and be ready, willing and able to change and grow with the times to make this product relevant to that general public audience when we get the chance. Therein lies our biggest opportunity.
Yanes: Big Dog Ink merged with Aspen in 2014. What were some of the reasons for this business decision?
Hutchison: BDI as a self-contained entity ran into two basic problems. First, we grew so fast and had so much going on that our infrastructure couldn’t sustain what we were doing. Basically three people ran the company and most of that company was home based. We simply didn’t have the man power to maintain what we were doing with books, shows and just day to day functions.
The second part was the retail end. We simply could not get the retailers to take larger notice of us. Despite having multiple books in the Diamond Top 300, retailers simply would not give us the shelf space we needed to grow in that avenue. Which is partially why we did so many shows. Conventions were super important to our growth and success as a company, but when we sold books to people at shows and then those people went to comic shops only to be told our books were unavailable…we had reached our glass ceiling, essentially. So we needed someone to give our books a sort of thumbs up and Aspen was there for us. Frank and Vince and Peter have always been great with us as we grew on our own, and it’s a real honor to now be able to grow under their umbrella.
You can find more of the interview here: http://www.scifipulse.net/interview-tom-hutchinson-on-big-dog-ink-and-the-comics-industry/
More about Tom Hutchison and Big Dog Ink:
Big Dog Ink Facebook Page: http://www.scifipulse.net/interview-tom-hutchinson-on-big-dog-ink-and-the-comics-industry/