Russel Nohelty talks Monster and Other Scary Shit

Russel Nohelty is the editor of Monsters and Other Scary Shit: a Monster Anthology, the big-wig at Wannabe Press, the host of The Business of Art podcast, and a comic author.

Your most recent project “Monsters and Other Scary Shit: a Monster Anthology” has passed its funding goal with almost two weeks remaining on Kickstarter. Did you expect this level of support?

I was hopeful, especially since we had over 50 creators working on this project, but I did not expect this level of support so quickly. We funded in less than 2 weeks, which was incredible.
Up until this campaign we’ve only raised roughly $21,700 from 5 campaigns combined, and now we’re looking to double that total with this campaign by itself. It’s more than I could have hoped.

What inspired you to do a comic anthology all about monsters?

We talked to our audience and found out what they wanted. We released a couple of books about monsters before with Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter and Katrina Hates Dead Shit, and so we had an inkling our audience liked monsters, but then we talked to thousands of people and found out that they loved them as much as us. It felt like a no-brainer to make a book from monster lovers to monster lovers about everything we love about monsters.

Was this your first time-serving as an editor on a comic anthology?

Yes. It’s the first time I’ve served as an editor in my primary capacity. There is always editing when you are creating and publishing your own comics, but most of that was my own work. While I had the vision for this book, and wrote one story, 29 out of 30 stories weren’t about from me at all. It was a nice change of pace.

What were some of the challenges in putting together an anthology of this size?

I’m doing a series on my podcast, The Business of Art, where I talk to successful anthology creators about the struggles and challenges they had with their anthologies. You can check that out at www.thebusinessofart.us.
For me, it was mostly about organization and deadlines. I had 350 committed pages to this book, of which 224 were finished in time. I overshot my goal on purpose. After that, it was all logistics, like making sure all the stories were the right size, and free of errors, and all the contracts were signed.
Luckily, everybody involved with the book was super amazing and supportive. They were all on the ball to make sure this book was incredible.

What were some of the methods that you used to promote Monsters and Other Scary Shit?

It was all about reaching out to my network of creators, press contacts, fans, and friends to rally their support. We also hired a PR company for this campaign, which was effective. However, the most effective thing by far was making sure our existing network was jazzed about the project. Since we specifically created something for them, it’s nice to see that they got behind it so passionately.

Do you have any plans to put together another anthology in the future?

Yes! Since we raised over $20,000, we will officially begin production on our second volume, Cthulhu is Hard to Spell. I don’t have any other info besides that until the campaign ends, but we will 100% be doing a second volume.

Do you have any advice for other creators who may be planning an anthology of their own?

I recommend checking out our series on The Business of Art (www.thebusinessofart.us). We interview Dirk Manning, Amanda Meadows, D.L. Kirkbride, and more about how to make a successful anthology.
My biggest piece of advice is to overcommit the pages you need by at least 50%. Many creators won’t do the work, and you don’t want to have fewer pages than you need. Also, quality is important. Make sure all the work is great.

Who is your favorite monster?

I don’t have a favorite. I don’t want to make a cop-out answer, but monsters shaped my entire life and this is my big tribute to them. I love gods as monsters, mythological beasts as monsters, horror monster, kaiju monsters, and more. I love Sesame Street monsters as much as I love Hellraiser. That’s the beauty of monsters. When you start looking you find them everywhere.

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You can still back the Monster and Other Scary Shit anthology on Kickstarter through April 6th, 2017!

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