It’s good to stay abreast of what other creators are doing. When we’re creating our own books, it’s easy to become engrossed in that. So much so that we miss what other creators are doing around us, and that can sometimes be detrimental to our own projects.
A lot of news came out from SDCC2015. I haven’t even had time to digest it all. Vertigo is attempting a resurgence, Marvel has some new information about Secret Wars and what happens afterward, DC has some news (they have to have yet another new direction due to Convergence), and then IDW, Boom, and Dark Horse are making some noise.
I’m willing to bet that some of these properties will be similar to some stuff you have cooking. Joss Whedon will have a new book coming out that’s basically a female Batman in the Victorian era. This is similar thematically to ComixTribe’s The Red Ten which features a character that is basically a female Batman. (It’s also an adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery Ten Little Indians/And Then There Were None.)
There’s nothing you can do about the other books if they’re similar. You’re just going to have to stay the course. It comes down to execution, anyway. But there is sometimes an unconscious zeitgeist that we tap into, and books come out that are very similar, just like sometimes movies come out near the same time that are very similar. It happens.
It’s possible that knowing a similar book is coming out will spark excitement as you work on your own project. It might spur you on to get yours finished and on the shelves before the competition.
Keeping abreast may also spark other ideas. Bigfoot in Space may spark Cryptid Chronicles, the story of cryptids through the ages and their impact on history. Anything is possible.
But it won’t be possible if you don’t keep abreast of what others are doing around you. Creating comics is a lonely enough endeavor. Try to come out of the vacuum every so often.