Publishing a comic book can sometimes seem like a heroic feat. For each issue, Valiant — the publisher behind X-O Manowar, Shadowman and Eternal Warrior — works with anywhere from 40 to 100 freelance writers, pencilers, inkers, and colorists around the world before going to press.
A relative newcomer to the comic book industry, Valiant has already sold more than 80 million comic books, and they continue to gain market share. Part of what has given them such an edge over more established competitors is their focus on working smarter and more efficiently across all of their teams. Looking to sharpen that competitive edge, Valiant started rethinking its collaboration and project management toolbox with the goal of simplifying how the internal team works with their legion of freelancers.
To find a solution that best fit the company’s highly collaborative workflows, Valiant tested out several options — from a private FTP server to online file-sending services — before ultimately turning to Dropbox for Business.
“Only one of those options offered usability that matched our increasing demands without forcing people to learn a new skillset,” explained Valiant Operations Manager Peter Stern. “Dropbox for Business allows our full-time staff to work and collaborate seamlessly with upwards of a hundred outside contributors.”
Dropbox for Business is now an essential part of the Valiant publication process. When the team begins drafting, writers and artists store their storylines and characters in Dropbox — keeping this information accessible at all times so editors don’t need to search through email attachments for the latest storyboards. Once pages start to come together, the rest of the team — from the inkers and colorists to the letterers — can easily find the latest version of the issue in progress.
With fans anxiously awaiting the latest development in their favorite superhero’s story, it’s especially important that Valiant sticks to its publishing schedule no matter what. When the company’s office was inaccessible during Hurricane Sandy, the Valiant team still had access to all of their publishing materials in Dropbox — so they could still ship the latest issue according to schedule. “In the two years that we’ve been using Dropbox for Business, we have not shipped a single product late,” says Stern. “For a comic publisher of our size — I don’t know if that achievement is unmatched, but it’s certainly impressive.”
Interested in seeing how Dropbox for Business can help supercharge your team? Sign up for a free trial today!