The 1970s were a simpler time for comic books; before digital coloring, Internet message boards and digital/print simultaneous release, there was just writing, drawing, printing, and distribution. This allowed independent comic creators to put their content out into the marketplace, even before comic shops were the normal place to stop to pick up your weeklies. Still, you needed the money, concept and creators to get your book out the door. Luckily in 1978, there was a comic to tell you all about the process!
How To Start A Comic Book Empire by Don Rico presents us with an entrepreneur who comes across a newsstand selling comics to customers of all ages; looking to jump into the action, he receives tips on comic book production from “real life superhero” Captain Free Enterprise. They then go on a Scrooge-esque tour to different parts of the comic book fandom, hovering over San Diego Comic-Con, an art studio, and finally the print room. As for the comic itself, the art is serviceable and in line with most seventies comics; the writing, while somewhat corny, gets its point across well enough for everyone to understand what’s going on and why.
Comic books cost about $8,000 to make in 1978. While it was recommended to go with a monster book to draw in new readers, I don’t know if the same advice would apply today, but if it did I would do vampires. With a comic book priced at $2 an issue (which would probably be $3.99 today), after advertising income ($200 per page), printing costs, and editorial, you’d theoretically make about $14,000 on one issue. Does this still apply today? Probably not, but it might be somewhat compatible if sales are decent. Sadly, Captain Free Enterprise does not come with the profits, unless you get somebody to dress up as him.
(via CO2 Comics Blog)