What makes a doer? As part of our #InDoersWeTrust initiative, we want to bring you stories from the front lines of real-life entrepreneurship. First up is a glimpse into the life of photographer/doer Kurt ‘KC’ Christenson, the mastermind behind KingsCountyComics.com. Follow along on @Fiverr as he takes over our Instagram account for the day—and read more about his incredible story below.
Hello Fiverr Fanatics! My name is Kurt Christenson, but you can call me ‘KC’, a nickname picked up from my radio days when I hosted a podcast called COMICBOOK ROCKSTAR RADIO, recorded at Sirius Studios. I’m originally from Long Island, with a deep love and passion for New York City, and in particular Brooklyn, where I have lived for the last 13 years. I’m a Comic Book Creator, but before you ask, no I don’t draw comics, I just do everything else; from scriptwriting to lettering to social media marketing and publishing. llow me to be your guide to using your superpowers!
A few years ago I started KingsCountyComics.com as a place to not only create comic books, something I’ve been doing as a self-publisher for the past fifteen years, but also a place to create live events and stage shows. Something very important to me is the idea that a fictional super-persona could act as a form of performance art therapy, helping individuals deal with things likes Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, etc., as well as working with small businesses, musicians, and other creators to produce their own comic books in order to help educate and entertain their audience, All while promoting their passions!
When I first started creating comic books I found my real joy was in the collaboration process, developing a story alongside artists who didn’t believe they had what it took to write their own comics, focusing instead on developing their art style and techniques. Back in 2004 I helped found TenTonStudios.com, an online community of talented artists that would go on to work for Marvel, DC, Image Comics, as well as creating their own self-published projects over the years. I was one of the few writers in the group, which would critique each other and the work of up and comers. This is where I would learn the ins-and-outs of the artwork as well as refine my own process of scriptwriting for comics, an art unto itself.
In 2011 I co-created PowerPlayComic.com with Marvel Deadpool artist Reilly Brown, specifically designed for the emerging digital comic book market via ComiXology.com, the Amazon backed #1 distributor of digital comics. We created what is now known as Guided View Native storytelling, which takes advantage of the format of smartphones and tablets to create a unique storytelling experience. It was around this time that I began wearing costumes to comic book conventions and organizing events to help promote, all while working at New York Daily News and Entertainment Weekly as a photo editor and writer, learning about social media, PR, and the online publishing landscape.
When it came time to create my newest venture, KingsCountyComics.com, I wanted to make something that could tie in all the various interests I had, from Comic Books to Stage Show Performances to Art Therapy. Initially, I began looking to the many different local creatives I know, ranging from traditional comic artists to graphic design illustrators, from tattoo artists to street artists, anyone who had a passion for comic books and was interested in exploring the transformative powers of fiction and fantasy. Unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble securing an artist for more than a few pieces here and there, as there was no set payment/deadline schedule in place. After a frustrating first year of finding great artists that would eventually disappear into the freelance vacuum, I discovered Fiverr and began my journey towards becoming not only a producer, but also a paid creator myself.
At first I just bought every artist on Fiverr’s $5 Gig to test out their skills, having them draw a quick sketch of my character THRUST, as well as LORD ZERO, a character created by Josh Gorfain, a writer I have been working with for many years. After spending about $2000 on the site over 125 Gigs, I have found a team of over 30 artists from all over the world, each bringing their own unique style and skill set to the table, to help me create the first issue of my newest comic TEAM-UP in TIMESPACE, an anthology that will feature these artists and writers working in a range of genres, from superhero astrophysics to time traveling science fiction, historic crime capers to metaphysical revenge horror.
Just over a year ago I left the office cubicle world for the full-time freelance experience. I had wanted to go that route for many years, but it seemed too frightening to pursue unless I had a proper plan. After almost two years on Fiverr exclusively as a buyer, I eventually began to sell my services as a creative consultant. Suddenly I saw very clearly what fifteen years in the comic book industry had given me: an in-depth knowledge of all the mainstream publishers, a vast network of artists that I could draw from for any manner of project, and a wealth of information about the process of creating comics, as well as hands-on experience scripting, editing, lettering, coloring, and everything else that invisibly goes into bringing superheroes to life.
In the short time I have been on Fiverr, not only have I gotten all the artwork for my ultimate comic book (due out this fall to coincide with NYCC), I have also made more money helping others make comics than in over a decade working in the industry. Most importantly, I learned more about my own super powers regarding my skill level and knowledge base, leading to my becoming involved in a myriad of amazing projects: helping a veteran unleash his superhero side to process his PTSD, developing a vinyl toy line and comic/cartoon series for an internationally-known band, and just recently I began working with MrMultiverse.com, a group dedicated to helping others develop their superhero selves, none of which I would have been able to do without Fiverr’s framework, dependability, and visibility.
Have any questions for KC? tell us in the comments below.