The first draft of my graphic novel, Amore Infernale, is now complete. To say that it would be cool to have it illustrated and published is a great understatement. It would be… the coolest thing in the history of mankind!

But how can I get from here to there?

My best idea: I find a good artist who already has some publications, and offer him a substantial up-front cash payment. This is a tough industry, and I imagine that there are lots of talented people who wouldn’t say no.

In economics, this would be a crazy idea. If I tried to buy a Harvard co-author, for example, I would expect nothing other than horrified looks. There’s the reputational cost if word leaks out, of course. But on top of that, a cash-for-co-authorship deal is so weird that even a cash-hungry professor would be very skittish.

Somehow, though, it seems like the comic book industry plays by totally different rules. Outsider though I am, I strongly suspect that money talks. So what do you think? Would it work? If your answer is “It depends on how good your graphic novel is,” feel free to read it and give me your conditional estimate.

OK, suppose I could buy an artist collaborator. Should I? Would the work somehow be stigmatized and unpublishable in virtue of its history? Got a better idea?

Oh, and if you’re question is: “You don’t think you’re going to make any money on this, do you?,” my answer is: Of course not. No doubt about it: This is a geeky vanity project. Got a problem with that? 🙂