For anyone who wonders what can be done with an art degree comes another fine example of entrepreneurship in the form of Marc Alan Fishman (B.F.A. ’04). He will return to Herron School of Art and Design to present “From Starving Artist to Comic Book Publisher: A Herron Student’s Journey” on November 6 at 6:00 p.m. in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall. The talk will be about “how to succeed in transforming one’s passion for the arts into a legitimate business,” he said, “and you just might learn how to make a comic book too.”
With Unshaven Comics http://www.unshavencomicsonline.com, Fishman parlayed “pipe dreams discussed over the junior high school lunch table” into a concern that’s been going since 2006.
Formed with buddies Matt Wright and fellow IUPUI graduate Kyle Gnepper (B.A. in English, ’05), the independent publisher of original comic books is based out of the Chicago suburbs. Its most famous title, The Samurnauts, has sold thousands of copies throughout the Midwest and East Coast.
Fishman also has published the educational graphic novel The March: Crossing Bridges in America, as well as six other comics to date, with many more on the proverbial drawing board. He said Unshaven Comics has attained sales usually unseen by indie creators, directly attributable to the trio’s “work ethic and true passion for our products.”
Herron Senior Lecturer Anita Giddings recalled meeting Fishman “when he was in high school at a portfolio day.” He followed up, visiting Herron with his parents. “He really liked it here and thrived in the illustration classes,” Giddings said. He’s found his way to make a career out of his interests in design and comic illustration. He is an entrepreneur who makes his own opportunities.”
Perusal of Fishman’s websites and blog posts gives evidence of a man who is always at work, but whose job must be so much fun it seems like play. He has the Peter Pan thing down to a fine art; the self-proclaimed Technomancer” is a grown up video game enthusiast and guitar player. Oh, by the way, he’s a graphic designer. “Only the last hobby pays any bills, though,” he noted.
“I’m elated to return to my alma mater, where I learned the single most important lesson in my life: It’s what you put into something that determines what you get out of it. I’m ready to share my story, and then offer the audience a few comics to buy before I go.”
Come bask in the wisdom of this mission: “To make comic books, make friends, and gain a legion of fans” and find out what the deal is with the facial hair at Unshaven Comics.