Tzvi Lebetkin

The Start-Up Comic Book Upstart

One man's foray into anime culture has borne some interesting fruit - and a new business
A panel from 'Stoners' (Courtesy)
A panel from 'Stoners' (Courtesy)

One of the best ways of learning anything is to just do it — I think we’ve all experienced this to lesser or greater degrees in life. But another, maybe even greater way to learn how to do something, is to watch someone else do it. See what they do, let them make mistakes and you then learn from their experience.

And that’s exactly what I’m offering bundled into my new IndieGoGo comic book campaign –

A couple of years ago I was at my wits end with my day job of graphic and web design. Doing another pointless website for an idea that no one would ever care about…great!

Don’t get me wrong – having a paycheque is an awesome thing, and nothing to be sniffed at. But one reaches a point in life where you have to ask yourself, is THIS what I really want to be??? (‘And what do you want to do when you grow up, Timmy?’, ‘Oh, I want to have a mediocre middle management position in human resources’ said NO one…EVER!!!!!).

Now, I’ve been an avid reader of comic books my entire life. Because of this (or maybe vice versa) I’ve always been able to communicate visually, and tell good yarn – and more importantly, tell what was a good story or not – so I thought why not? Why not become one of these fabled start-ups I’ve heard so much about.

So I did.

Issue-2-cover-250pxI started making comics – and to my amazement, they didn’t suck! Today I have a modest small press company, publishing several ongoing comic-book projects – all of them with strong audiences and glowing reviews. Hey, don’t take my word for it – click over to and check them out! Lots of them are free and online.

OK, I said my comics don’t suck, and the truth is I do understand that’s a pretty subjective judgment. But one definitive thing that can be said about my comics, without any fear of contradiction is that they’re slickly produced, professional products, that can sit happily on the same shelves with the best of them.

The question I get asked the most, now I have several comics books on the go (and a bunch more on the horizon), and have been lucky enough to build up an audience – is how did I learn how to do it?

And the answer isn’t magic – it’s simple trial and error, plus some decent intuition sprinkled in.

So for my latest project, I wanted to take the lid off the process and give an insiders look at how you can make a comic book. I want to show you the real inside of the ever changing funny book industry – which I think to every geek’s shock and delight, now dominates the entertainment world. And most importantly I want to show you the tricks and secrets I’ve picked up on the way – and let me tell you, there’s quite a few of them.


You get to see everything from the inception of the idea to the finished page.  You get to have practical hands on knowledge, with tips on what software to use to do which job, and short cuts on how to do them.  You get to learn how to deal with creative talent (which is like being a sheep dog for a heard of blind, brain damaged sheep) and publishers/financiers (who you have to dazzle like P.T. Barnum selling a broken watch).

Most importantly you get to see failure, and how not to let that stop you getting your book to market, and be a success.

This very IndieGoGo campaign is a great example of that.  This is the first one I’ve ever run, and even though we’ve now raised enough to produce our comic – the next one I do will be much more successful, precisely because of the mistakes I’ve made.

stoners-250So, for aspiring comic book creators and entrepreneurs (and here’s a little free hint – to make it you’ve gotta be both!) this is a must, because for twenty bucks or thereabouts you get entree into a unique comic book school. And you know what? I’ll sweeten the deal even more – because as one of my backers my door will be open to you to consult on whatever projects you’re working on – or how to get over whatever impossible hump you’re facing. And I’m happy to do this because opportunities are only ever born out of relationships, and relationships are developed by caring about what’s important to one and other.

“Say…Wait a minute, fella, isn’t this just another pitch to get me to back your IndieGoGo?”

Of course it is, you’re a potential financier, and I’m trying to dazzle you like P.T. Barnum selling a broken watch. But as you’ve read this far, I must be doing a pretty darned good job at it!

So come one, come all…roll up, roll up, roll up…Step right through these doors and enter the wackiest reality show ride of all time. Take your seat at comic book school, or just sit at the back and let yourself be dazzled as you see one of the most bonkers and brilliant comics books come to life. Stick with us through the harrowing journey of making a pilot. See what goes wrong (which will be EVERYTHING), see what impossible hurdles we hit, and then watch us work out how to get over or around them (because we ALWAYS do). And at the end of the day, hold the tangible deluxe edition of this comic-book in your hands, and know it was you who made it happen.

Come with us on this journey – go to and be your own start-up upstart!

About the Author
Tzvi Lebetkin: Writer, Adventurer, Private Consulting Detective & Lover. Kosher Kritic & Rabbi from another planet. Available for screenplays, comic books, weddings, divorces and bar mitzvahs.
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