July 22, 2014

, ,   |  

Neil Brideau Opens Comics Distro, Radiator Comics

Chicago-area mini-comics creator Neil Brideau has opened a new comics distro, and it's already filled with some of the creators covered here on Panel Patter, offering a way for readers to pick up books that aren't always easily available.

Called Radiator Comics, Neil gives the following as the site's mission statement:

Radiator Comics distributes, produces, and promotes small press and self-published comics that focus on self-expression and storytelling.
At the core of its mission is a commitment to increasing the population of comic book readers, providing support to comic book makers to create the best work they possibly can, and to fairly compensate those creators for their work.
Radiator’s primary focus is distributing minicomics created by excellent comics makers who are passionate about strong storytelling. Our secondary focus is publishing comics by up-and-coming comics makers who excite us. Radiator Comics is dedicated to encouraging and expanding a community of unique voices from diverse backgrounds, brought together by a passion for story, art, and self-publishing.
This is excellent news. Though there are more conventions than ever before, the expense of traveling to and from often is prohibitive, and some areas only have a few shows that are practical for people to drive to, if they even have a car. It's not always practical for a person to go to SPX or APE or CAKE, and even if you do, some really strong books may not be available to you, because they're regional. Distros like this one allow people to pick up things that interest them and have them delivered right to their door.

Obviously, I'm a big fan of getting mini-comics in to more people's hands, so I'm very happy to see Neil begin this project. It's not easy to run a distro, trust me, and it's really a thankless task. Any time Neil spends on this is time he's not working on his own comics, which any creator will tell you is a big sacrifice. And don't even start on the idea of profit--no Ferengi is going to be caught dead running one of these things.

The distro already has over 80 items ready for sale at its opening. They include work from PP favorites Brideau, Sarah Becan, Cara Bean, John Porcellino, Ramsey Bayer, and Liz Price. There is a great mix of male and female creators in the opening line-up, which is also nice to see. Brideau has the distro open  for those who work in mini-comics and are interested in having their work sold through him.

Neil is no stranger to comics and business, working for Quimby's Bookstore and helping to co-found the Chicago Zine Fest and later was part of the group that put together CAKE. He knows what he's doing and you can tell that from the site itself, which is clean and crisp, with strong visuals, an organized layout and nothing cute or artsy about the design. (I really hate that. You want me to buy? Then make it easy for me to see what I'm doing.)

Panel Patter wishes Neil luck on this endeavor. When you want to scratch your mini-comics itch, have a look at Radiator Comics and see if there's something you might like. Odds are, the answer is yes.