Maya Quaianni - Other ways to publish comics in Italy
As in many other countries, Italian comics market is living a transitional period. Struggling with an unstable industry and an erratic economic scenario, independent publishing companies are finding it necessary to change their production system.
In this panorama, hybrid publishers are emerging with structures, modalities and ideologies taken from the self-publishing movement.
Often established by the same comics artists, in these entities similarities between DIY comics and independent publishers go beyond a similar artistic network: creative issues, collective management and ethics of art coexist with a typical publishing business.
The idea is finding an “organized” way of self-publishing, giving more creative and economical power to the artists and conducting stronger demands about fair salaries and equal contracts. But how this way could be viable?
The paper will investigate some Italian alternative publishers that are combining artistic independence with a “new approach” in production. In particular, we will focus on Progetto Stigma: a publishing project founded in 2017 and managed directly by comics artists. Through a gaze on its editorial methodology, production patterns and philosophy, we will analyze new production and promotion methods.