Recently, Stuart Moore, the head of operations at AHOY Comics, took the time to answer our questions regarding the publisher’s recent debut. To date, AHOY has published The Wrong Earth, High Heaven, Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror, and Captain Ginger. Here’s what Moore had to say on all of this.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge with getting AHOY Comics off the ground?
Oh, there are the usual challenges involved in starting any new business. The infrastructure had to be constructed piece by piece, from production to shipping to pay rates at every level. Our publisher, Hart Seely, is very dedicated to treating creators well, so that was a priority.
The creative end is a lot of work, but it’s been a remarkably organic process – in part because Tom Peyer and I are writing most of the launch titles. For me, it’s been a challenge to balance that with handling Ops for the company.
What is it that allows AHOY Comics to stand out in comics?
I think the company’s (modest) success to date comes down to two things: strong lead stories and the wealth of extra material packed into each issue. A lot of our PR has focused on the back-features, text stories, cartoons, and poetry in the books – that really does separate us from Image, Dark Horse, and similar publishers.
But all the extras in the world won’t make a reader buy a book, if they don’t connect with the main feature. Both elements are crucial.
What has your favorite part of working with June Brigman on Captain Ginger been?
Everything. Her art is elegant and precise; her storytelling is flawless; her characters are expressive and individual. She’s pulled off gags and character moments that I wasn’t sure would come across when I wrote the scripts. She’s also a hell of a nice person.
What opportunities would you say a publisher like AHOY Comics provides to the comics community? Both to creators and readers – such as through open submissions, as well as through the presence of long-time creative talent buoying AHOY’s introduction.
On the question of submissions: AHOY is planning to open submissions at some time in early 2019. That’s another priority of our publisher; it will happen. We just need to make sure we have the humanpower to do it without making the books ship late or allowing the quality to slip. In the meantime, we do accept submissions periodically for the short text stories that appear in the back of the book…people can check out our website (comicsahoy.com) for the current status.
On the creative end, AHOY tries to offer fair deals and pay people quickly. I’ve worked with a lot of companies, and I’ll stack AHOY up against any of them in that regard. Again, the initial books were mostly Tom [Peyer]’s and mine, because we wanted to set the tone for the line and because, frankly, we could generate the scripts ourselves and push the projects forward quickly. But from the beginning, we’ve been working in other writers through the text pieces and through the anthology’s title, EDGAR ALLEN POE’S SNIFTER OF TERROR. As we grow, the creative pool will become larger – we’ve already got some projects under contracts by an amazing group of people.
As for the comics community: Our publicist, David Hyde, is particularly conscientious in that area. He keeps us honest and talks me into spending days writing long pieces for websites. Which is all good. We’re living in a fragmented universe of fandom and journalism; everyone has their own obsessions and their own online hangouts (Google notwithstanding). The trick is to find your tribe and communicate with them, as honestly as you can. Sincerity counts for a lot, I think.
There you have it, friends. AHOY Comics represents a new and exciting entry into the world of comic books and pop culture at large, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they come up with. We want to thank Stuart Moore for talking to us about AHOY’s exciting debut, and what it’s offering to comic book fans everywhere. Anyone who would like to look at what AHOY Comics is publishing these days can go to their website, or follow them on Twitter for more information.