Featured Publisher: Committed Comics

Hello, my name is Thomas Doherty, and I’m one half of the independent comic book company, Committed Comics. The company initially started as an idea way back in 1996. My good friend Alejandro Cruz and I decided to take our love for the comic book industry one step beyond the average fan. It all started when Alejandro and I were complaining about the comic industry, and my roommate at the time told us to “stop bitching and help fix the industry.” We focused on what we thought companies could do better and formed a comic book company where quality wasn’t sacrificed for quantity, and creators were allowed to develop their creations.

The Birth of Committed Comics

Fast forward to 2000, and we decided to take the idea and put it into practice. Committed Comics was officially born in the Spring of 2000. Utilizing my knowledge of the comic book industry (from both the creator and retailer side) and Alejandro’s creative business ability, we put the call out to the local creators we knew and independent creators across the country. We got so many responses it was crazy. We had seasoned veterans responding to our call, and that’s when I came up with an idea that’s still at the core of the company to this day. Our line combines the work of both amateurs and professionals to create original and refreshing products.

Early Challenges and Rebuilding

Unfortunately, we learned that most people who want to be comic book professionals are missing one key element: the ability to work with deadlines and schedules. The creators we were working with had the desire to be in the business but not quite the drive or understanding needed to succeed, so we lost a lot of creators along the way. At the same time, exhibiting at San Diego Comic-Con and other large-scale conventions around the country, we gained a bunch more. Finally, we found the right mixture of independence and creativity!

We worked with the creators we had signed and made a deal with the top distributor in the country. We released a series of books through Diamond Distributions and had some steady growth. Sadly though, in 2005, we had to scale back the company and try to figure out a new way to move forward with the ever-changing industry. In 2008, we started publishing again and released a series of 6” x 9” stand-alone original graphic novels. It was a new method of storytelling that we wanted to try since the trade paperback portion of the industry was exploding.

A New Approach and Success

It seems that much of the company finds its talent and creative agreements at San Diego Comic-Con. At the 2016 show, we agreed to publish Sean Dietrich’s newest artbook, Confidence Pig. It was our largest project to date—seriously, the book was 11” x 14” and was 80 pages long. Up until that point, we had done either standard comic book size or 6” x 9” graphic novels. Also, in 2016, we agreed to be the publisher for Bill Maus’ “Nira X: Cyberangel” series. We published Nira X: Ground Zero to re-introduce the character to the current mainstream comic audience. At 306 pages of full-color excitement, it was a hefty endeavor.

We followed Nira into a new three-issue miniseries: Reborn. We published and printed Issue #1, all ready to hit the convention circuit and get the word out, and then COVID-19 hit. Like every other publisher, we had to scramble to figure out how this new world would affect comics. We saw a lot of publishers going to Kickstarter. Although I was against it at first, (mostly because we had attempted to run a crowdfunding campaign back in 2012), I spoke to a few other publishers, and they gave me valuable insight into making it work for us. So, we took Nira X: REBORN #2 to Kickstarter and had a great campaign. We learned a ton from that campaign, and we applied that to REBORN #3, resulting in even greater success.

Looking to the Future

Despite some setbacks, we’ve worked with legends in the industry like Dick Ayers, Sean Chen, Ron Lim, Bart Sears, and Alitha Martinez, as well as helped develop some incredible new talent like Camilla d’Errico, Dustin Weaver, Filip Sablik, and A. David Lewis, among others. We have more Nira X: Cyberangel in the works and a new ongoing series written by me! Now that is a new experience for me. I get to add writer and creator to my list of duties (there just aren’t enough hours in the day!). With our 25th anniversary coming up, we hope to produce even more amazing creator-owned projects and continue to blaze a trail for new and aspiring creators.

Connect with Us

You can find us on the web at www.committedcomics.com and on social media (Instagram: committed.comics & Twitter/X: @committedcomics). Or you can catch us at the variety of comic conventions we do around the country.

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