The Indie Comics Spotlight is a series that aims to bring attention to independent comic books, publishers, and creators deserving of wider recognition. This week Wise Acre Comics founder, Frederick Littles spoke to us about the books his company publishes and what it takes to run an independent comic book company.
Hello Mr Littles! Thank you for taking time to speak with Geek Vibes Nation about your comic book company. Could you tell our audience a bit about your company, and the comics you publish?
Founded by Frederick Littles, Wise Acre Comics is a veteran/black owned and independent comic book publisher based in Goodyear, Arizona that writes, creates, and publishes comic books featuring diverse characters and concepts. Wise Acre’s commitment to the community is magnified by lessening the considerable gap for low-income families’ access to quality comic books and digital content.
Significant barriers stand in the way for children, teenagers, and adults in low-income communities, including the scarcity of cultural awareness in the content that do reach them. Wise Acre’s mission is to eliminate these obstacles as well as increase the pool of talented black creators within the comic domain,
Wise Acre Comics will introduce the world to the following intellectual properties within the next few years: Magnus, Akoma, Aegis Dawn, Crisis, Aura, The Meadows, and The First Kings. Our comics will cover a variety of genres: Superhero, Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, and Crime.
What made you want to create your own comics? What were some of your inspirations?
I’ve always had a soft spot for anything that involves ingenuity or fantasy. My passions have always been and will continue to be art and writing. Even so, my desire to convey previously unheard such has always been fueled by a passion for comic books. Moreover, an issue that interests me greatly is that of those who feel marginalized and underrepresented in society. Africa’s history is rife with fascinating stories that have yet to be told, despite the lack of documentation (ie, comics, movies, television). In 2018, Black Panther opened my eyes to the possibilities of telling stories that explore the depth of our people. My research into Yoruba mythology has led me to look for ways to bridge the cultural difference.
What are some of the highs of running your own company? How do you deal with the lows?
Freedom of choice and flexibility. Working for myself gives me more creative freedom and independence than if you were employed by a publisher. Additionally, personal fulfillment! Working for someone else can be draining but starting and running your own business can be and feel liberating.
Whenever I begin to doubt whether these ideas are worth pursuing, I remind myself that the market’s value should not be used to gauge your artistic or personal worth.
What’s it like collaborating with an artists and writers? Are there any difficulties? If so, how do you deal with them?
In order to create a successful comic, a writer and artist must work together. There are many talented artists and co-writers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. From the beginning, it’s critical that you put together a team that’s all in. There must be someone who can bring your ideas to life through their artistic work. Writers are responsible for ensuring that scripts are comprehensive enough so that the artist can interpret them. If, as a writer, you’re not satisfied with your work, you’ve fallen short of your ambitions. It’s been a great pleasure to collaborate with artists and other writers. When we let our creative juices flow, we’ve seen many different creative ideas emerge.
The artists and co-writers with whom I’ve collaborated thus far have all been pleasant to work with. I’ve worked with some of the industry’s most talented individuals.
What advice do you have for others who aspire to run their own comic book companies and produce their own comic books?
I strongly recommend that you find a mentor in the comics industry who can provide you with constructive criticism/feedback. Second, be prepared to be humbled, as this market will undoubtedly do. Find a niche and a voice. As a result, you’ll be able to build a consumer base. To be successful, you must be able to connect with your audience. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to fail, because you will fail at some point in the future. One of my favorite quotations from the Goat, Michael Jordan, is here for your reading pleasure “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Where can our audience connect with you online and find your work?