Kyle Chaney, Jr. and Plan B Comics
It’s like Plan A…except…you know, it’s not.
You know how Myspace has become this dark void, somewhere between dial-up internet and the non-existent privacy of Facebook? Well, somewhere in that dark void, in a time when Myspace was kicking all kinds of social media ass, I met a bunch of people that unwittingly formed a subtle online comic-book artist clique. Among these artists was a humble yet confident guy from Dallas, Texas named Kyle Chaney. I never really talked to Kyle as much back in those days, but he did always strike me as a quietly ambitious guy who, simply put, loved comics. I never knew that I would have the opportunity to see, years later, how Kyle’s passion and dedication would lead him to form his own comic book label and face the uncertain challenges that came with being the head of your own business.
They say that you find your life’s calling through happy accidents. Actually, “they” don’t say that. I just made that up.
Randomly invented quotes aside, that statement does hold some truth to it. Kyle is proof that your life’s passion can come totally by accident – in this case, your dad accidentally buying an issue of Amazing Spiderman and simply deciding to give it to you instead of returning it. “When I first saw it, I was in love,” says Kyle joyously as he reminisces about that issue of Amazing Spidey, part of an annual entitled The Wedding. “Those days I was drawing Ninja Turtles on paper, walls, propane tanks, etc. This was a new genre for me and it opened up the possibility of being creative.” From there, Kyle did what any young, budding comic book artist does: he spent valuable learning time in school making up his own universe and characters. And it was all for the better.
Years later in January of 2010, Kyle formed his own comic book label, Plan B Comics. After trying titles like Kick Komics or Kyle’s Komics, Plan B Comics seemed to be the one that stuck. Tired of seeing old, repetitive, and watered down material in mainstream comics, he decided to use a no-nonsense, slightly cocky slogan to go along with the name: We are Plan B Comics. Better than your first choice. “We need something that makes sense. We need something with substance, depth, and honesty. We need a better choice,” Kyle says of his decision on the label’s tag-line. “I felt that if people were in the same boat that I was, with comics today and the way they are going, then a Plan B contingency plan was in dire need.”
After having a debate between fellow artist and friend, Florentino Santibanez of Kreative House Studios, both decided that Kyle’s property, Plan B Comics, should be the parent label. They set off on a quest to find more talent to add to their contingency plan, and as it stands, Plan B Comics is the umbrella label of six smaller studios. “I love the idea that we feed off of each other and it doesn’t cost a penny. Loyalty is more important than money. However, I sure do wish loyalty paid my bills!”
He laughs off that last part, but Kyle has been completely honest that things have not always been easy in the money department and, with the added responsibility of running a business and taking care of two children alongside his wife, the challenges of making a living and running his own label have become two different monsters. “I make a living mostly by doing commissions with my digital color work and murals. I paint on the side, when my car is not acting up, and it brings a decent living along with it. My commissions on coloring sequential work is time consuming, yet can be very rewarding if the gig has a great rate attached to it,” says Kyle. He also maintains the business standard that you have to spend money to make money. “I think that I hate the guy that came up with that slogan,” he jokes. “I would like to lie and say, ‘Kia, I’m rolling in the doe. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.’ However, this is not the case.” In an economy that sucks, then comes back to suck harder, Kyle is still positive, straight-forward and honest when it comes to business. “I think that the one thing that is mandatory for promising the preservation of the company, is to be honest, upfront, considerate, and good to your word.”
Oh, and making sure your wife is happy is pretty important too.
“Keeping the kids happy is easy,” he says. “I move on to the wife and keep her happy by doing dishes. My life is way better now that I do the dishes. No joke! And, and, and…get this….my hands are silky smooth! Who knew?”
(I can vouch for this, fellas. Your life is so much sweeter when you do the dishes.)
Kyle might spread himself shoe-string-thin sometimes, but he still believes in the integrity of his label. “The one thing you have to remember is that I am no-one’s boss. I am just the guy who tries to solve any issues we may have. If I succeed, the guys involved succeed. If they do, we all do.” He believes in just allowing his artists to get in there and let their creative juices flow while letting them maintain the rights to their own creative properties. “If you create it, you own it,” he says. “I don’t go to the grocery store and say ‘Hey, I know I don’t work here, but can I have a check anyway?’ Same rules apply with these guys. I don’t need a piece of your pie.” Each person from the label gets to keep %100 of their profits. “I don’t want it,” says Kyle. “I’ll make my fortune the honest way, thank you very much.”
Kyle might be on to something here. Actually letting your artists tell the stories that they want to tell? Hmmm. Maybe, in many ways, they are better than your first choice.
Plan B Comics is an independent studio consisting of:
Florentino Santibanez: Kreative House Studios
Sam Hill Jr.: My Way Comics
Sean V. Harley: Harley Comics
(recently changed to Plan B Comics)
Rick Tyndall: Tyndall’s Quest Comics
Keith Braun: Psyence Books
(recently changed to Plan B Comics)
Kyle Chaney Jr: Plan B Comics
Ocie and Anthony Taylor: Skribblboy Comixart
Plan B Comics can be found online at: