I came across Stjepan Šejić work by chance while looking at stuff on Devaintart.
I took a look at his profile and found that I was enjoying seeing the art he was producing. I then found out that he also had another account on Devaintart for an online comic called Sunstone. This comic is for adults and not suited for children in anyway.
It started out as a way to get his mojo back after working on Witchblade. The Character in his pictures slowly started to tell a story and before long a comic was born.
Given some of the funny stuff Stjepan had done, I thought I would give the first issue of Sunstone a go. Needless to say I came for the Art but stayed for the Story, and I am hooked.
Some might be put off by it as it is set in the world of BDSM, but that is just a small part of it as it is a lot more than that and well written. 50 Shaded of Grey this is not. (His other Comics are more your normal stuff.)
Having worked for Top Cow Comics and due to the popularity of Sunstone, Stjepan has now published the first four parts of Sunstone and the fifth is on the way. These can be found in Comic store or from Amazon.
The one thing that makes Sunstone different from other comic artist/writers is that Stjepan publish a finished strip on deviantart as soon as he has finished it. Once a chapter is finished it is then clean up and sent to the press to be published as a phyical book. At the same time Stjepan will start on the next chapter as well as work on other comics for Top Cow.
Why does Stjepan do it this way? Well I’ll let him tell you in his own words.
(This is take form his Journal on Devaintart)
“Often i get asked why i put my books online for free when i am trying to make a living of them
Well, here’s why. Comics are a small and a very competitive market. Ten times so if you are working on creator owned stuff and ten times over if you aren’t a big industry name.
And multiply it twice over again if you as a writer aren’t a big name.
Now me, i am moderately known for my art. Trust me people being e-famous for some silly superhero jokes doesn’t translate to comics sold😄
In fact there is a general prejudice about the priorities of artists who take up writing. I still remember early reviews that exclaimed genuine surprise that my stories were actual stories and not just excuses for splash pages and spreads.
So, with all of that working against me, here i am in the market that is fughting for a very small number of readers, all things considered. People buying comics have limited funds, so i am supposed to convince them to take a risk on me because…reasons?
Truth is, it’s not even an option. Creator owned comics live and die by their sales even more so than your franchised ip stuff. I have seen many die. It is a terrible feeling to see your creations evaporate due to lack of awareness. Hell, we’ll take it when they die because they’re shit! That’s on us as creators, you know… but seeing a good story die before it can even take off …that shit hurts!
So what’s with me and all of this free stuff left and right?
It’s simple really. The way i got it figured, we live in the age of crowdfunding. For multiple reasons i will not partake in that but i do very much believe that people are willing to support good projects that they like.
So here i am with my simple premise: i make comics, if people like them, they can support them by buying them. That way i get to make more comics.
My way people actually get to see the comics in their entirety and decide whether or not they want to support my storytelling addiction😄
There are four books i am actively creating
Sunstone (for adult readers) you can read the webcomic on my shiniez.deviantart.com/ account
Ravine (with my friend and co writer ron marz)
there are volumes of these books available online through amazon barnes and noble, online comic shops and real bookstores and comic shops (that decided to carry them)
Oh… and once again, i don’t do crowdfunding.
1 my country doesn’t have the taxation for it quite worked out
2 the feeling of owing peope rewards would eat me alive and run me into an early grave
3 the lure of it deteriorating to on demand port scares the shit out of me😄
So yeah, that’s it.
I make books, if you buy the books i get to make more books, if not…well, i can always find other stuff to do
I have to say this approach of his has worked on me as normal I would not have picked up the Sunstone story, but after reading it and loving it I wanted to give something back to the author/artist. The best way of doing that was by going out and buying the books.
With that check out his work, if you enjoy the story’s he producing you can buy the books and if not at least you not lost out on anything but time.
For Stjepan work check out his main account.
For his Sunstone stuff check out his other account.
(It should be noted that due to adult material in this account you will have to be a member of Devaintart in order to enjoy it all.)
Now here some of his funnies. click the picks to fully enjoy them and read the captions.