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Meet Barbra Dillon of Fanbase Press

Today we’d like to introduce you to Barbra Dillon.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Barbra. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Fanbase Press was, is, and always shall be about supporting creators by providing an opportunity for individuals to share their stories and to reach new audiences.

Founded in 2010 by Bryant Dillon, Sam Rhodes, and me, the company (then called Fanboy Comics) began with the publication of the horror graphic novel, SOMETHING ANIMAL, which was co-written by Bryant and Sam, illustrated by Robert Burrows, and based on a short story by Ben Rhodes.

In the midst of the production process, we endeavored to build an audience for our titles by lending our support to other creators by way of reviews, interviews, and podcasts that spanned the pop culture spectrum. We, as creators, understood the challenge of carving a path for yourself in the comic book industry, and we wanted to celebrate the works of other creators, thereby building a foundation for all of us to succeed together.

Throughout the years, our catalog of creator-owned titles expanded to include a variety of genres, including fantasy (THE ARCS), action/adventures (PENGUINS VS. POSSUMS), horror (IDENTITY THIEF, Bram Stoker Award-nominated FEARWORMS), and more. We have truly benefited from partnering with printer BambooInk in Richmond, VA, as their amazing team provides the highest caliber of print work that makes our titles look simply spectacular.

Concurrently, we continued to grow and expand our support of other creators, amassing a talented staff and collection of contributors all across the country who provide daily reviews, interviews, and editorials focused on positive interpretations of geeky content.

In 2016, co-founder Sam Rhodes decided to pursue new creative endeavors, and partner Bryant and I rebranded the company to Fanbase Press with the mission to “Celebrate Fandoms and Create New Ones!” We continue to produce new and distinctive works, as well as daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts, that span the pop culture spectrum and give voice to the themes, ideas, and people that make geekdom so exceptional.

Our catalog of comics and graphic novels have expanded to include the recently released THE MARGINS, as well as superhero stories, HERO HOTEL, THE GAMMA GALS, and the 2018 Eisner Award-nominated QUINCE.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
If we have learned anything from the stories that we consume through comics, TV, movies, and beyond, no journey is without its obstacles.

In many ways, Fanbase Press has always been a unique model, given its foundation as both a creator-owned publisher and a journalistic outlet. For that reason, we have endured uncertainty in needing to carve our own path and doubts by our peers that such a model could succeed.

As is true of any endeavor, we have both succeeded and failed, but we are always willing to learn from our mistakes, to accept and welcome feedback, and to always seek to better ourselves, our products, and the content that we provide. Above all, we want the company to provide a safe space for creators, fans, and our team to be themselves, to share their stories, and to pursue opportunities that will allow them to be fulfilled.

Ashley Eckstein, the founder of Her Universe, said, “I personally think it’s so dangerous to inhibit failure. Some of the most valuable lessons are learned from failure. The feeling of failure creates a necessary hunger to succeed.” I couldn’t agree more. Eckstein’s message serves as a reminder that we should all take to heart: It is okay not to be perfect, and it is okay to fail.

Please tell us about Fanbase Press.
I think that what makes Fanbase Press special is its positive approach to fandom. Our tagline is that we “Celebrate Fandoms and Create New Ones!” At heart, we are all fans of something, and we aim to celebrate the stories that have been meaningful or impactful to us. In addition, we want to give voice to the new creators and stories that will impact future audiences.

For us, it is simply not enough to honor the creations of the past but to pave the way for new generations to share their lived experiences and their perspectives with others. It is here that our positivity is most crucial, as we want to encourage new creators to find their voice, to hone and share their creativity, and to one day create further opportunities for their successors.

Of course, without the support and hard work of our staff, contributors, creators, and fans, this work would not be possible. Fanbase Press is a team effort, through and through, both from our team and the readers, listeners, and viewers with which we interact.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
That’s a wonderful question and, certainly, a challenging one. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. Even in our willingness to always review our work and to consider how we can do better, I don’t think that I would do anything differently.

Any obstacles that we have encountered have allowed us to learn from our mistakes and to change for the better. In addition, those same obstacles have afforded us the opportunity to demonstrate to ourselves that we *can* persevere. With a solid team that supports one another in good times and in bad, we have proven to ourselves that we have the courage, strength, and dedication – both as individuals and as a team – to meet obstacles head-on and to persist.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Michele Brittany

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