Boom Hits The Drop


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Gert-Jan van Oosten has always been an avid comic book reader. One fine day he took the step from comic book fan to comic book creator and, nowadays, he is the co-owner of Drop Comics, a prime comics publisher in the Netherlands.

Every once in a while, Gert-Jan, the Goost Writer, shares his personal experience of how he started his own comics publishing company.
Follow his trail. The trail of the Goost Writer.

Check out the previous columns for more of the Drop Comics story so far...

The second day at the comic-con was great. The first day I was really nervous about how people would react to our comics and our label. But it turned out to be a great day with a lot of positive reactions. The second day was more about enjoying the comic-con; I walked around and made some time to talk to people.

When I started writing the Vitreo story, it was the third comic book story I was writing and I wanted someone in the business to take a look at it. I talked about the stories with Ranjit, DMTR and Jorg, but although they do know what they were talking about, I wanted a real pro to take a look at it.

The Internet is a great medium because you can find e-mail addresses of almost anybody you want to get in contact with. So I send an e-mail to this guy whose work I liked and he replied.

He gave me serious answers to my newbie questions. He was also at the Breda-con and the second day I could tell him ‘Thanks for the advice’ and was able to shake his hand. This guy was Minck Oosterveer; a great human being and artist who sadly died last year.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to thank him in person.

Also attending the comic-con was Romano Molenaar, the only Dutch artist who has ever drawn the X-Men. This guy was like a demi-god to me. He was the artist on one of my favourite comic book series, was signing at the convention and had a lot of people waiting in line for him… but one thing is also simply true; artists are just like real people.

So sometimes they even take a break! During one of his breaks Romano walked through our aisle and he actually walked up to our booth and looked at our comics. I don’t know what I said to him, but at the end of the conversation Romano said,” If there is anything I can do for you guys just ask!”. Naturally, my first question was; “Would you like to draw a cover for us?” To my surprise he said yes!

It was around eleven o’clock when our promo girls came.  Our girlfriends came all the way from Groningen to Breda -a three hour drive - to help us with our promotion. We had made some flyers and the girls (also in Drop Comic shirts) walked around the con. It was amazing to see all of this happening right in front of us!

And then there was this guy walking around our booth. He looked at our work and started talking to us. It so turned out he was also a volunteer at a Con. Something called F.A.C.T.S. which was only the biggest convention in the Benelux. He also had some connections in the comic scene and on top of that he was also running headlines on a website called Broken Frontier. We started talking and five minutes turned into twenty and I think this guy, Richard Boom, stayed for well over an hour before he walked to the next booth. We exchanged e-mail addresses and with some newly purchased comics he went his way.

 What I hadn’t realized before going to the convention, is that it is also the perfect place to meet people in the comic business. I talked to comic book creators, to publishers, to other comic creators and of course to comic fans. How many people can say that they saw Mike Mignola with their comic book in his hand? I can only hope he also looked inside.

It was a great day. It was not like I had conquered the world, but I had done what I wanted to do. What we as a group wanted to do… We were at a convention, sold our very own comics and it was nothing but amazing to do this together.  But the best thing about it all was nót the great reactions that day… neither was it the fantastic journey we took together, nor the fact we made our own comics or that I had a group of people with which I could talk comics almost 24/7. The best thing about this was that I made some very, very special friends!





Gert-Jan van Oosten, co-founder of Dutch comic book publisher, Drop Comics, talks about his efforts to find his place on the comics market from across the pond; the Netherlands.

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