Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BREAKING INTO THE BUSINESS 2011

It's a game of thrones.

Man, can you imagine being able to mail samples of your great writing or beautiful art directly to Marvel or DC?  You have to go to Comicon and stand in line for a portfolio review. And that line is so long you could graduate from college or pay off your mortgage in about the same length of time. So you stand there with a dry mouth thinking of what to say when your turn comes. Why is it like this?  Because after years and years of a steady diet of crap, the publishers just completely shut off the spigot.  And I don't blame them.   

Putting ads on Digital Webbing or some of the other sites has opened my eyes considerably. The number of lame applicants who over-estimate their weak output is staggering.  The number of applicants with fractured English is also staggering.

So how do you break in?  Well, it's like becoming a movie director-no two paths are the same. It's been compared to breaking out of prison-every time someone breaks in, the publishers quickly move to block that path so no one else can get in that way. The best way in today's market is to produce something of quality-and produce regularly.  Publishers want talented AND productive workers.Self publishing and actually selling your stuff at comic stores is also a good way.  If enough people buy your books, and a buzz starts, you can get in-that's how artists like Jeffrey Brown did it.

It's also important not to do derivative material.  So many wannabes just copy the X-Men formula.That formula has been done to death.  Fresh!  They want fresh!  They want an old story that's done in a new way.  And it's important to have fun while you work-that keeps the quality high. If you find yourself thinking 'that's good enough'...it isn't.  Maybe
you should take a cruise or vacation instead.

Oh yeah, you also have to be someone who is easy to work with.  The first whiff of the perfume of prima donna-ness and you're toast in this business.  You must have a thick skin, so stock up on the moisturizer.  

A. Kaviraj is an artist and writer at Champion City Comics. His works include Dr Death vs The Vampire, Doctor Death vs The Zombie, and The End of Paradise.

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