The jig is up: I’m a nerd. All things super powered, legendary, mythological, bizarre, science fiction and heroic I’m a fan of. I don’t know why, it’s always been this way for me; I’d often rather be living in a dream or an alternate world than my regular life, and I think that’s how it’s grown inside me. One of the things I was pretty in to was comic books. I can’t tell you that I know all about the golden, silver and modern age of comics, but, I’m not that much of a nerd (though oddly, I wish I was). I basically just read whatever my older brother had in his collection while he wasn’t around, and after he went to college. I was pretty fascinated with all aspects of them though, from the stories, to the worlds, and the art and collection of them all.
The art, however, was probably the number one reason I loved comics. It’s truly the one thing that surely distinguishes the publishing form from anything else. It’s a story told in words AND pictures, and although it might sound childish, I believe it can marvel anyone if they gave it a chance, pun intended. But if their merit is in question at all, the past decade or so has proven that these businesses can take these once juvenile stories and make a killing out of them by sending them up to the big screen. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, X-Men…these are all billion dollar franchises that have all grown from the tiniest little ideas that were illustrated on newsprint up to 50 years ago. At their root, however, they’re still flights of fantasy that strive to paint the human spirit in an exaggerated and allegorical way. They always seemed to ask the question that I was thinking in my head, but everything else I read never bothered with: what if?
So this month, albeit late in the game (surprise!), I’ll be tackling the comic book industry, in one way or another. I have two basic ideas and frankly I haven’t decided yet what the client should be. The first idea is that it is a comic book shop. These stores are enigmas and I have no idea how they stay in business with the ease of online ordering and organizing, but digging through comics, talking about comics, and supporting these small businesses is really important to those in the industry. Doing a comic book store would have the challenge of keeping their business relevant and dedicated to their patrons. The second idea is a publishing house. I can easily see artists either branching out on their own to be given the opportunity to make their own publishing choices, or young guns who have amazing portfolios that would rather just start their own business than sit under the thumb of the bigger publishers. Either way, this option would focus more on a branded logo that captures attention and builds an identity.
It sounds like the later is more “monthly brand,” and offers a path that is simple and straightforward, a bit of a tactical advantage seeing how the month is waning and I’m still, still trying to get back on track. I can’t help but think that the store is a great project too though, so I’ll stash that one in the back pocket for later perhaps. This logo is going to be fast and furious then, so I am going to shotgun some ideas out and pledge to not spend 90% of my time doing “research”, which would end up being a big dig through my old collection and deciding that I have to read the Dark Phoenix Saga over again to truly understand what a comic book publishing company needs in a logo.
So onwards and upwards. Seriously, I’m starting here, cause there’s not really time left.
Conflict Comics was a side project started by a couple seasoned artists and writers who knew each other in the industry. They came together for a few titles but because they worked for separate companies and found their publishers weren’t sold on their side ideas, they eventually scrounged enough funding and vibe to make their pilot issues work. After a few grueling years of getting their titles moving, they decided to branch off completely from their respective publishers and give it a go on their own.
They named their business Conflict Comics, a hail to what they believe is the foundation of any great story, and a core principle they plan on retaining in their publications. At the center of any great story is conflict, and comics have a lot of it. They also see Conflict as a seed grown from their dissatisfaction with the companies they worked at before they branched out. They still claim the best comics they’ve produced have been when they weren’t working for their day jobs. Conflict Comics is still really small though, but they’re hoping to garner the interest of the underground readership and those who read for reading more than collecting. Their stories are a bit more fixed on mild variations of fantasy and super hero stories, but with modern twists and dark themes.
As artists themselves, they were inclined to build the logo for the company themselves, and even began the process when they were penciling primer copies from their basements. With some new backing and looking to get a fresh eye on the process of building a more solid and real identity, they’ve come to me to create something meaningful and attractive to stand in the corner of their covers hereafter.
Conflict Comics has offered these five words to describe their publishing company in the most precise way:
There you have it. I’m indulging in my nerdom for a few weeks with this one, but I’m not apologizing to anyone. I get to do what I love, and I hope I can bring an identity to the front of comics that hasn’t been seen before. Now, off to a little research…