Josh Latta: Social Media Queen

5a59f8106e1411e2b20722000a1f97fa_7My pal and incredible cartoonist, Hunter Jin Clark asked me a few questions a while back about the importance of having an internet presence to build/promote a career in comics. While I’m a professional floor mopper slash glory hole attendant I thought I’d take a stab at his questions anyway. Here’s the interview in full, dig it, suckers.

1. What is your primary format for comics? I.e. Mainstream, Small Press, Creator Owned, Webcomics, etc.?

I would consider what I do as creator owned, sure, but mostly I would say is I do a ‘funny animal’ comic.

 2. Did you make your career or get known for from this primary format?

My comic books really haven’t contributed to my career all that much. I can only think of a few instances that someone offered me a gig that read or at least was familiar with my funnies.

 3. If not, how did you build a career for yourself?

Working for free! I did an animation internship as well a few comic strips for free mags.

 4. With the decline of national bookstores have you changed your approach to your work?

My work never made it into the bookstores. However, I don’t necessarily think of the fall of bookstores to be such a bad thing. It certainly levels the playing field. We are no longer held at the mercy of the order whims or trends of big box stores.

 5. Do you think social networking is instrumental in promoting your work in a noticeable way?

Absolutely! Most of the the industrialized world is plugged in 24 hours a day. More eyeballs on your world always leads to more opportunities.

 6. Do you use these portals to promote your work, and if so, how regularly do you think is necessary for your work?

 I do. I have a modest size network and I promote every little thing I do as well as regular joke updates and that kinda thing. It keeps people coming back to see what I am up to. I also think it’s nice to be able to get a little encouragement while working on a project. We no longer have to work in a vacuum. 

 7. How important to you, is the regular update to either a blog and/or a website?

Very important. If you go long stretches without updates, people will stop checking. You can lose them forever.

 8. Would you say one is more essential than another?

Actually, I would say the social networking is more important. I noticed that my blog rarely gets comments, but on facebook I get dozens of comments. I think people don’t want to anonymously comment and interact anymore.  They want a face or  persona to go with their interaction.

 9. There is the advice given to all cartoonists which is being fast, good, and nice, will help you build a career. Would you agree with that?

Sure! Leaving a bad impression is toxic.  Even I can think of excellent artist I won’t support because of a negative exchange at a comic convention, a slight, a slam  or a defriending. 

 10. Nowadays, with the internet being an easier way to self promote oneself, would you say that an internet presence is just as important as the other three qualities to have?

it is, yes. You and your fanbase are just a google search away which is just about all the research anyone can be expected to do  nowadays.

 11. How much time out of your work week would you say you put towards self promotion?

 I try to do something for my website or reach out to someone I admire daily. The sad truth of being a freelancer is doing the actual work takes less time and mental energy than cultivating your next gig. 

 

Thanks, and hope to catch up with you in person at FLUKE or Heroes!
Aw, man. I wish! I am going to be missing both shows this year. I live in Baltimore now, and these two shows are a bit out of reach. Here’s to next year! 

 

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