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Interview with Dave Baxter of Killing The Grizzly

by philhampton on 24 November 2011

Dave Baxter is the President and founder of Killing The Grizzly – the first literary agency in the US to concentrate on the graphic arts (

In this interview, as well as explaining the services that the agency provides to comic writers and artists, Dave reveals his thoughts on how opportunities for comic creators have changed over the last decade, and his predictions of how the comic industry will adapt to new technologies in the coming years.

There’s a ton of valuable information in this interview. To listen to it, just click the Play button below, or you can download the audio by right-clicking the ‘Download MP3′ link and selecting ‘Save Target as’.

If you liked this podcast, please leave a comment below, and share it with your friends.

All the best,

Phil Hampton



{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Hall November 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Excellent interview Phil. Too much background noise, could have used some editing before posting it, but the content was very informative. Looking forward to more podcasts from you. Be sure to let me know when the next one is available.

Daniel Burton November 26, 2011 at 7:07 am

Phil, very interesting interview. ACV — Droid Comic Viewer. Have to check that out.
I’m very impressed by the amount of leaders I’m finding in this new era. I’m putting some notes of the interview below with some links to help readers get to the places mentioned in the interview quicker. Also for my own sanity and remberance. I’m going to highlight a couple of wonderful words of wisdom from Dave Baxter.

“How to make Grizzly Soup. Step one: Kill a grizzly. Don’t know how to tell you how to do that. Step Two: The rest is just soup.” Howard Taylor

If you are just getting into the industry, for anyone to look at you, you already have to be online so they can see your work. Making your online audience is all in the creator’s hands. It probably always have been. The publisher pumps it on the rack. You still have to market your own work. Worse, when going with a publisher, you lose control.

If you don’t give up on your dream, you will be in the driver’s seat.
Every creator has to develop marketing strategies.
You are going to fail miserably.
Worth every minute of it.

(It feels silly that anybody in today’s market would ever use a publisher. There is perhaps some cases to use a publisher, perhaps in help finding a team, a project manager, printer and marketer as a one stop shop. Losing control is not bad if they have your interests in mind like it looks like Dave would.)

Dave brought up an experience that almost everybody I talked to has dreamt about. They have a great idea and can see how it will translate from a comic book, into video game, into a movie, or a novel, or a board game…. (It is good to dream big, but almost everything starts with the publishing rights. You have to get something out there first. No one is going to take an idea and magically make millions of dollars. If it were that easy, everyone would do it. You have to put yourself out there and get ready to fail.)

For Established Creator: Full creative team established, creator owned works, graphic novel or mini-series size self-contained story, complete script, full synopsis, some stories, concept art, no finished book needed. (This is how every studio should start, then market the bejezeesus out of it)
For Newbies: get a bio, put what you can of a webcomic online, get a credit, do something.

Instead of multi-media where comics from the newstand, to movie, to video game to book, comics go toward transmedia-to specifically develop a work to go across all media. Comics will be a part of larger ventures in entertainment. Embedding You Tube video, and an interactive scene etc.

Very interesting view. I would agree. “Comics blend genres better than any other media out there.” I would also add that because the cheapness of crazy ideas, and the flexibility with the comic medium to quickly and cheaply change subject matter, if the need arises to make that transition, it means that comic will be the most viable medium.


Rawle Austin November 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Excellent, inspiring podcast, Phil! Many thanks for sharing it!

philhampton November 27, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hi Andrew,

Yes, you’re right – the microphone that Dave intended to use wasn’t working, so he had to use his laptop’s mic, which caused some fluctuation in the sound quality.

The thing is, I didn’t want to edit out any of the great content, since Dave was rattling things off so fast. Plus, I don’t usually edit my interviews unless the line drops unexpectedly. My problem is, (and this also affects a number of other creators and business owners) trying to reach perfection can create ‘analysis paralysis’. I think it’s much better when running a business to create continual, imperfect action, rather than lose momentum by trying to get everything perfect. That’s just what works for me anyway.

I’m in the process of arranging the next podcast. If you’re on my email list (which you can subscribe to by downloading my ’7 Steps to Comic Creator Success’ report), you’ll receive an email letting you know when the next one’s posted.

All the best,


philhampton November 30, 2011 at 5:35 am

Hi Daniel

That’s an excellent summary of the interview, plus your insightful comments.

Thanks very much for that. Saved me a job – lol!

All the best,


philhampton November 30, 2011 at 5:49 am

Thanks very much, Rawle.

Thanks for listening!

All the best,


Mark Turner December 3, 2011 at 3:53 am

I truly appreciated how much Mr. Baxter stressed the need to market your material and build you fanbase. It can seem truly daunting when you consider how monumental the task is (especially if you’ve only considered yourself a writer/artist/colorist etc), but the end result is worth taking on that challenge. So I guess this means taking some risk! *Deep breath as I take the step off into the deep end*

philhampton January 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your comments. That’s why I’m here – to help creators sort out the marketing side of things.

It can be a lot easier and less risky than you think!

All the best,


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