The term “indie” has a stigma to it that says raw and uncut-with little to no money, but with loads of love and passion. Many bands debut albums or record labels use this term to describe their way of creating art that is not geared towards the mainstream audience, but instead towards those they know will love and appreciate the work done. It also reflects the limiting finances the artist has to distribute their work.
With the ever-releasing list of Marvel and DC movies, breaking out into the world of comics can seem like an updated version of Tucker cars competing against the likes of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. A few weeks ago I wrote a review about an indie comic book publisher that printed all of their titles in newsprint, called Alterna Comics. I recently had the great opportunity to interview the head of Alterna Comics, and writer of his comic book, The Chair, Peter Simeti. Enjoy!
BSR: Your website says Alterna Comics has been publishing comics since 2006. Can you go into more detail as to how it all started? How many titles does Alterna Comics publish now?
PS: Alterna started as a self-publishing alias and turned into a company within a year. We started small(er) of course. Mostly print on demand in that first year until we acquired distribution. At this point, we've published over 100 titles between print and digital.
BSR: What inspired you to bring back newsprint to comics?
PS: Newsprint and comics just go hand in hand to me. Luckily, there's a lot of people that also feel the same way. When I started Alterna, I had wanted to print comics on newsprint, so I'm glad that we're finally able to make that a reality.
BSR: What's the process of getting a comic published by Alterna Comics?
PS: I recommend that aspiring creators read through the submission guidelines on alternacomics.com and then submit there.
BSR: Besides the newsprint, what's the biggest difference between Alterna Comics and DC or Marvel?
PS: The biggest difference is that our comics are creator-owned, self-contained, and cost a fraction of the price. In some cases, you can get an entire story arc of 3 or 4 issues for the cost of one comic at another publisher.
BSR: What comics are you reading right now?
PS: Submissions. Lots and lots of submissions. (laughs)
When reading indie comics like those released by Alterna Comics, you get an incredible sense that every word, panel, and page is not complete until it is exactly as the creators imagined it. Not that those who write for the more well-known publishers don’t, but when these comics sell at $1.50 an issue, you know they aren’t doing it for the money. I highly recommend searching for a comic store in your area that distributes these treasures and support your indie comics. And don' t forget, the film adaptation of Simeti's The Chair is now available on DVD!