Episode 6: The Art of Selling Art

Comic Books & Independent Publishing with Fantagraphics' RJ Casey

RJ Casey isn’t your average comic-con attendee. Former elementary school teacher-turned independent publisher, you’ll find RJ at comic-con and various cartoonist conventions among the mass of comic book publication stalls, eager to help you find your next (or first) favorite series. Now working with Fantagraphics, RJ knows the ins and outs of this industry and it’s clear in his sales strategy—because he’s passionate about it.

Bonus? He’s got loads of graphic novel/comic reccos for you. (Minute 23:00, yo).

Bonus bonus? He’s super into professional sports’ mascots. No one knows why but it sure does make for a fun fact. 

What To Listen For:

—The art of the trade show—how to interact with potential customers as they stroll through the crowded stalls

—Thinking critically in any situation and learning how to think on your feet

—The importance of a story—fictitious or otherwise—being interwoven into your sales strategy

—The comic that taught RJ how to read (“Bone” by Jeff Smith) 

What's he talking about?

RJ demonstrating the best of both sales and storytelling worlds:
“Some of the artists—sometimes their life story is as interesting as some of their books. So that can be like storytelling in sales.” 

RJ making a clever comparison:
“That’s how people’s brains work, right? In marketing you can have a beginning, middle, and end—and the end would be the sale.” 

RJ on the importance of being amped up:
“Be passionate about what you’re doing and selling. I think you can sell people just on your passion alone sometimes—that you’re so excited about what you’re selling that other people want to be involved in that.” 

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