10 years ago Peter Simeti was just a regular guy working two jobs, dreaming of turning his art into a career. Having self-published his first comic book a year earlier under the moniker of Alterna Comics, he had no idea that it would go on to become an official, legitimate publishing company, specialising in distributing the work of the little guy to a wider audience. Originally, it wasn’t even supposed to be a publisher; Alterna was just a moniker Simeti was using to self-publish his own work, but after receiving submissions from other independent creators looking to get their work out there, he threw caution to the wind and decided to try his hand at turning his moniker into a business. Suffice to say, it’s a risk that paid off.
Alterna Comics is the little engine that could. When Peter Simeti signed the paperwork to make it official, he only had $600 to his name and no idea how to go about running his own business. However, he learned quickly, and the rest is history. For 10 years now Alterna has been consistently releasing creator-owned comic books and steadily surviving in an industry where so many peers have come and gone. They aren’t on the same level of the big players in terms of stature, but for quality releases they’re competing with the best of them. This year marks the release of their first feature film – an adaptation of Simeti’s incredible graphic novel The Chair – which just goes to show how far they’ve come.
Any aspiring independent comic book creator can take inspiration from Alterna’s rise. By no means is it an easy industry to survive in; but if there’s anything to take from Peter Simeti it’s that you can make your own luck and march to beat of your own drum, while carving a career out of following your dreams. Now that we’re living in the age of digital prominence, it’s never been easier to create something and unleash it on world, and if it’s good enough, companies like Alterna can provide a platform for it to reach a wider audience.
The success of Alterna Comics has been remarkable, but at the end of the day, it’s not the biggest fish in the pond – and not that it needs to be either. However, as an independent company, they could use our help occasionally, and with their upcoming anthology, you can do just that. However, with backing comes reaping some fine rewards, so if you’re a comic book fan it’s worth jumping on this Kickstarter campaign to see what Alterna has to offer. For newcomers, it serves as a perfect introduction to the company and their work; for current fans, it not only serves as a chance to reminisce with some of the finest stories, but there are also some exclusive prizes worth collecting.
What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of independent comic’s finest publishers; not only do you get to relive the classics, but your contribution helps the company head into the future and continue to grow. Follow the Kickstarter HERE, and check out the rewards.