Chico Comics Page Celebrates Its 1 Year Anniversary With the Skully Crew
THE CHICO COMICS PAGE A HISTORY
Wow! It’s been a whole year already since I started out on my own. Not only has this been a crazy year, the road to this year was rather arduous as well. My name is Michael Icson Nunneley. I am the founder, publisher and CEO of The Chico Comics Page (Est. 4/1/17). I am also a comic book writer, a letterer and an artist (pencils & colors). But writing is what I really loved to do and by 2009 I had already created multiple characters and stories (one of which is soon to be on Kickstarter from Bad Company Comix). But that was not enough. I wanted to do more. I had studied mythology, religion, philosophy and history in college and on my own. I have a gawd awful amount of knowledge on comic history, the creation process and multiple continuities that I’ve collected since I started reading comics in 1984 (8 years old). I knew that, while I had no idea what I could do with all that, but I knew I had to play to my strengths.
MY ORIGINAL CHICO COMICS PAGE LOGO
I started out doing a couple of different blogs but I was not making the headway that I was looking for. I decided I needed to get my name out there if this was going to work. Even if I had to work my way through the ranks that’s what I would do. I planned to learn and evolve as a reviewer, all while using an already popular platform – I was going to work for a comic book magazine. I scoured the internet, harassed several magazines on a weekly basis and formed relationships with some people in the industry – particularly. Eventually, in the winter of 2015 I got my first job: I was a reviewer for Big Glasgow Comic out of Scotland. I learned a lot there like hoening my critical opinion and skills through consecutive comic reviews from a bunch of publishers. This is not as easy as it sounds – especially when your doing multiple issues from the same title. But I learned to do it, even when I didn’t want to. In fact, I liked being a part of the industry (even on the tail end) and the fact that BGC was counting on me to meet deadlines. Plus, I was able to establish professional relationships through my reviews from talking to creators and publishers. This was a very good time for me and part of me misses it. But, I left in late 2016 because the BGC was all but shut down. They are still around though and I wish them the best of luck.
ME IN 2015
Wanting to hold my place, so-to-speak, I quickly applied to several other magazines from fall in 2016 on. I ended up working for 2 different magazines. But both were short lived and horrible experiences. The people I dealt with were arrogant and elitist. They treated me like they were above me and doing me a favor by gracefully allowing me to write for them. I didn’t like it, but I gritted my teeth and agreed to work anyway – especially since they made me promote there sites for months and encourage people to contribute to their patreon account just to get the position. But after all that they wouldn’t even provide the comics for me to review like the BGC had done by providing review copies from the publishers. I didn’t mind volunteering but I was gonna pay to write for someone else. These brief stints lasted until March of 2017. This experience had a drastic effect on how I treat my writers. I thank them everytime they take books to review and do my best to be encouraging and supportive – a completely antithetical approach to what I went through.
By the end of that garbage I was done writing for other people. I spent most of March researching and investigating what would be involved in starting my own magazine. Not just a blog like I did before. I needed to do what the other guys were doing but, I would do it my way. So, by April 1st 2017 I had saved up, done my due diligence and had a plan. I was going to report the news and make my own connections with the comic publishers and creators. I had been putting my name out there for a few years and it was time to cash in those chips.
The first thing I did was create a website through WordPress.com (something I picked up from the BGC) and came up with a name and slogan. I had already came up with the idea for our mascot Skully while watching X-Files (yes it’s a play on Dana’s name). It took all day but I got the website up, my accounts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkdIn, etc) opened and ready and by morning on April 2nd I was ready to start getting a team together to help me with reviews and articles. But I still needed to make connections with the publishers for the comics and the press releases first. I wrote what must have seemed like novels to several publishers asking to be put on their lists but almost no one responded. I would not be dissuaded however and I just kept sending them emails (however, the 2nd round of emails were considerably shorter lol!). The 1st ones to answer back were Valiant Comics and Alterna Comics, and for this I will always be grateful to Dinesh Shamdassani & Peter Simeti – if you’re reading this you guys rule and thank you! Next came Image Comics, then Dynamite Entertainment, and then IDW Publishing signed on! This was crazy! The guys at the magazines I worked for made it seem like this was not possible. That publishers didn’t just do this. And, for the most part they are right. I got little to no response for a long time from many publishers. But you guys, the Skully Crew, are a big reason this worked out the way it did. Your loyalty and readership have made all the difference – THANK YOU SKULLY CREW!!!
Last but not least I need to talk about my writers. I have gone through about 6 or 7 writers before I came up with the ideal group I have now. One of my first writers was stolen by another site, another left hating me because I wouldn’t let him insult the people who made the comics in his reviews. Those hurt a lot – I considered them my friends. Next came a slew of people who would go through the training process – which as my writers can tell you is not easy – they would get there comic to review and that was the last I would hear from them. Many of them won’t even talk to me now. As if I have done something. But one writer, who goes by the pseudonym Arun Sharma on our site, has been there virtually from the beginning. He has never let me down or not made a deadline, he is my friend and he is an excellent comic book reviewer. Arun – You’re my rock, buddy! I honestly couldn’t be much happier with the great team we have here now: Chris Natale, Steve Sellers, James Kniseley and of course Arun Sharma. While the magazine would not be here if not for the Skully Crew, the content of this magazine would not be as good without your guy’s contributions. Thank you guys for being a part of this.
Thanks for celebrating with us today!! And thanks again for all of our awesome readers, the Skully Crew. As a present to Skully for his turning 1 today I am having artists Gerry Kissell redo our website layout and draw up a professional logo. Look forward to being with you guys for yet another year! THANKS Skully Crew & the CCP Staff – you guys allow me to live my dream!
Also a special thanks to the publishers who have worked with me for a whole year now, Alterna, Valiant, Image, Top Cow, Dynamite, IDW and Titan Comics. You guys took a chance on me and I want to say thank you!