Sometimes we have the opportunity to interview businesses dedicated to writing and creativity. Today’s interview is one of these, with a fantastic group of people who create children’s comic books for a living. How fun!
First let us say how excited we are to support you in this venture. We are so happy to have the chance to contribute to the writing community in a valuable way so that writers from all walks of life can find success and build relationships. Your willingness to allow us to interview you goes a long way to helping us branch out and reach more writers and readers. Thank you so much!
Introduce yourselves, if you would?
Hello there everyone, my name is Golden Bell Studios and I was founded by Marc Goldner, Rachel Korsen, and Robert Gross, who’ll now be taking over this interview for me, I’ve got a company to run after all!
Tell us a little about the history behind Golden Bell Studios.
Golden Bell once upon a time wasn’t Golden Bell, it was called First Frontier films. Funny right? That should give you an insight on how we went from a company focused on film to an overall entertainment company. The core team never changed and neither did our overall vision but methods to get there changed ever so slightly. We formed the company together with the objectives to tell unique original stories that can reinvigorate entertainment once again. I honestly think that after this year alone we’ve created more content than any one of us could have imagined. We are so far ahead of schedule content wise that now the business has to play a little bit of catch up to get on the same level. History tells one story, but the future tells another!
What motivated you to write children’s comic books?
We all grew up loving a lot of the same stories but also a lot of different things. To use anime as a great example, Marc grew up loving Dragon Ball Z, while Rachel obsessed over Naruto, and Rob wished he was in One Piece. While we all loved those epic type stories, we all gravitated towards different specific ones and then honing in on the aspects we loved for each helped create new stories. With children’s books specifically, we felt that there was a hole that was quite empty in the market for great children’s books. There was too much of the same stories retold, reprinted, and rehashed to the point that many just weren’t relatable to a new audience as much as publishers tried. We aim to fill that gap and bring new stories everyone will truly love.
How did you meet each other?
Marc and Rachel go all the way back to going to High school together. They hadn’t really started talking until a couple years afterwards when they began dating, and it’s recently been five years together in just a couple weeks! Then, both of them transferred to The Ohio State University where Marc met Rob in an English literature course they both took for fun about medieval monsters and became friends when Rob approached Marc about a comic book he had the gall to give the professor. They became great friends relatively quickly and started working together against all odds shortly thereafter. A lot happened in between but the story stays the same, starting a company with friends is one of the best things that you can do with your life, you can yell, scream, love, cry and all those great emotions and still go to sleep happy with each other at the end of the day.
Do you have a mission statement? Would you share it?
Golden Bell’s mission is to create Timeless stories that will be cherished across generations for centuries to come. We believe that having something for everyone is the key to create a culture that can come closer together to share their love for art with their connection to all of humanity.
Comics are a big business, especially for children. What sets your product apart from the rest?
Comics are growing, and rapidly that’s for sure! Our products range in the old and the new. We are bringing back classic content, like The Sunday Comics, except with a modern twist. We’ve added new ways to serialize stories found in those giant sized comic pages of yesteryear, but we’re also working on adapting serial TV epics into the comic page that hasn’t been attempted in America. Imagine some of our content as an “East Meets West” type of story, which happens to be one of our titles for an epic we have been working on for quite some time this past year!
What are your goals for yourself and the company in the next 3-5 years?
We set up an overall 25 year plan when we started Golden Bell. To narrow down the next three years we see ourselves having achieved distribution and publishing at least one New York Times Best Seller. Within Five Years we plan on having our first internationally distributed movie or television show. We have a lot of other things in between such as publishing as many books as any of the major publishers within 5 years to having a dozen of our own in house originals out by 2020. Our goals are numerous and we try to stay as level headed as possible while still keeping our dreamer hats on, as one of our stuffed animal lines, Fatterpillars, always say “Dream Big!”
Do you have an profile page or portfolio to help new clients view your work?
We have dozens of Social Media accounts! You can find most of our announced work on our website www.GoldenBellStudios.com but you can follow along the different accounts on Facebook or Instagram for The Valiard Mansion, Fatterpillars, Golden Bell Studios, Insectales, and many many more.
What is the biggest challenge you faced in launching Golden Bell Studios?
The biggest challenge was the moment when we all sat down, looked at each other and sat in silence, realizing that this was going to be a lifetime venture. Everyone had their own method of soul searching to realize that the beginning may be tough and that without a major financial backer to start, we’d have a couple bumpy roads; but we’ve weathered the storm and are optimistic about our initial time tables that we actually think we are going to even bean!
…that we actually think we’ll be smooth sailing from here on out!
How do you define success?
We’ve all personally defined success in different ways and then realized that there isn’t one way to define it. Everyone has their own interpretation of subjective words and this one may actually take the cake. Success to us means a combination of creating the best content offered in the world today, to making people love the stories we make, to want to learn more about our worlds and the characters we make, to having recognition from various awards and of course the be all end all success can be categorized as financial so that we can expand our business in the eyes of people around the world. To achieve mainstream success will take decades though.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
To have fans come up to us and friends and family complimenting us on our work is what really makes it for us. We want to share even the slightest bit of happiness that our products bring to people and we know that with even more patience, we will have many more similar moments.
What social media site has been your most productive for marketing and promotion?
For dollars, it’s definitely been Facebook. For fan interaction it’s been Instagram without a doubt.
Who is your favorite author and why?
As a company I’d say my favorite authors are Marc, Rachel, and Rob, I mean they did make me!
Do you have a favorite genre? Book?
I’m a fan of all genres, really anything you can think of, I like having the option there for everyone to enjoy something so try to keep an open mind to literally everything I read!
If you could apply one famous quote to sum up your dream, what would it be?
Rachel had made her Graduation cap and it was painted and had a quote from Walt Disney, “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It”. That picture sits on Marc’s nightstand and it’s the first and last thing he sees everyday and it’s still his background on his phone today. I think that would sum up the quote that is at least used the most to inspire and keep each of us going daily!If you can dream it, you can do it. #interview #ourwriteside Click To Tweet
What advice do you have for emerging comic book creators?
Work for free. We’ve said this a hundred times, all three of us have worked for free for years, we’ve gotten experience and learned from each of those treks. People can think exposure is meaningless, but many of those free jobs have opened up connections to Golden Bell, have created long lasting friendships, and have taught us the value of the art and not the dollar. I definitely think that learning to work on a team on original ideas that aren’t yours is truly key!
What is the future of comic books?
Original content. The comics that you see with Issue #8983 are gone, there is no need to have the same characters do the same things for a century. It’s time for something fresh, new readers understand this and that’s why people that are still buying those classic comics are of a much older age. As the market is squeezed, we will see a resurgence in original stories which will craft the future of entertainment in other outlets such as adaptations from comics in Film and TV too! I almost forgot, Graphic Novels are the future, single floppy comics are definitely on the way out, we live in a ‘binge’ culture where people don’t want to wait for the story if they don’t have to now!
Why is your product so important for writers?
We have so many different offerings that it’s something that any writer can jump on board with. We have an open submission for publishing, and constantly collaborate with other fellow writers and artists. The importance of what we’re doing can be seen when you dive deep into the real meat and potatoes of our product lineup. We have fun, serious and mysterious entertainment. It’s a writer’s paradise to be able to open up their minds and create any content they’ll imagine!
Give us your elevator pitch. What can you say that will send our subscribers to your website so they can enjoy your product?
Golden Bell Studios was formed with the hope of merging new and classic content to create timeless experiences for consumers of entertainment. With The Sunday Comics, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Stuffimals, Timeless Studios, Golden Games and Polar Press, Golden Bell illustrates a passion for various mediums and a dream to jumpstart the nostalgia of a time gone by. Love stuffed animals? Continue dreaming with Jeff and his Fatterpillar friends. Love a classic fantastic tale set in 1888? Hopefully you’re quick enough to check out a preview to The Valiard Mansion for FREE! We have traveling bugs in the Gold Rush in InsecTales, and so so much more. Don’t wait a second come on over to www.GoldenBellStudios.com and we promise you won’t regret it, we even have two life action films!
Tell us about your newest comic books? When will they be released?
The Sunday Comics will be debuting roughly three dozen new stories in short one shots that will then be expanded into full fledged graphic novels. We have different genres each month and are tackling each and every single genre in the first year of The Sunday Comics so check it out and you can pick up a full year subscription coming out monthly at www.TheSundayComics.com
And finally, what is the one single thing our readers should take away from this interview?
Golden Bell is a family, it’s a family of dreamers, creators, and storytellers that want to help change the world through entertainment. Come be a part of our vision, and with you, each and every single reader, helps us towards our larger goal of making the world a much better place!Golden Bell is a family of dreamers, creators, and storytellers that want to help change the world… Click To Tweet
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedules to answer our questions. We here at OWS wish you much success in your endeavors!