The Birth of a Comic Book


TheSteve
 Share

Recommended Posts

So here I am, late at night and unemployed. Enjoying my last pudding cup before I am back on the ramen noodle diet, and it hits me. I should be a comic book writer. There are some characters I really want a whack at which no one else pays attention to. I want the chance to play with them myself. But I am just your average joe on the street.. well Steve on the street. How do I become a comic book writer? What is the path that I must walk, and who are the people I need to meet, the skills (outside of writing a good story) which I need to develop? Then something else hit me, I am a member of a board full of people who probably know the answer to this question. So here, I face you with a situation:

I am a dude, just any old dude. One who enjoys his comic books, enjoys writing, and most of all, has a bunch of free time on his hands. How do I go from being 'a dude' to being 'the dude who writes for Marvel'?

(In reality, I am just curious about how it happens, not that I am certain that it is something I would actually do, but gotta put a flare for the dramatic in the post or no one will get interested. :) )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Self publish your own comic first. This is an extremely crucial step. Very few writers ever walk (figuratively, of course) right into Marvel or DC, and leave with an assignment. So, yeah, find an artist, collaborate with him / her, publish the book by yourself or shop it around to an indy publisher. Hit the convention circuit (split a booth with your artist) and pimp your book hard to anyone who walks by your booth. Don't tell them, "It's The Matrix meets He-Man." That's crap. Instead say, "Imagine a savage, barbarian world that's locked in constant struggle." As you're saying this, have the book in hand and flip through the pages so the potential reader can see the artwork. Continue, "And just when it looks like [the good guys] are about to finally defeat [the bad guys] and finally achieve piece on their world, [the bad guys] come into possession of advanced alien technology which turns the tide in their favor!" If you're a good salesman, they'll walk away with a copy. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This will get you buzz. (Also make sure to get recognition online and on podcasts, like CGS and Fanboy Radio. *cough*Earth-2.net:TheShow*cough*)

Here's the hardest part about conventions, the catch-22s if you will:

01. You should never, ever leave your booth during a convention, but you also have to hobnob with the editors at Marvel and DC.

02. The editors are suffering from so much overload (meeting fans, overseeing panels, the noise, etc.), chances are they really don't have time to hear about your book.

03. By the end of the con, they're tired and have handfuls of paper and swag and luggage to take home. Adding your book into the mix will mean it'll get lost in the shuffle.

So what do you do?

01. This is why it's very important to bring your artist along: so he can stay behind for pimping to readers, while you mingle with the editors. (Don't forget to reciprocate. If he wants to have his portfolio reviewed, then you have to stay behind.)

02 & 03. Yes, there's extreme overload. Yes, they might not have time to hear about your book. But it doesn't hurt to try. Talk to them. Be outgoing. Shine. Tell them about your book, and offer to give them one right there. Make sure to add, "Or I can mail you one, if you wish." This will show that you're eager to have them read your work, but are considerate enough to know that they have tons of other crap to pack / get back home. If you're lucky enough to have them take the book right there, make sure you slip them your card as well.

The reason you must get them your book is because it's so much easier for editors to read your comic and determine your skill level than it is for them to read your Spider-Man pitch. Anyone can write a pitch and anyone can write stories about pre-established characters, because they (the writers) can build off of decades' worth of continuity. It takes someone special, however, to truly capture their own characters. Plus, by reading your book, they can establish your ability to pace stories, define characters, write dialog, set mood, etc. That's next to impossible when reading a pitch. Some guys can write great pitches, but can't do shit with a script. And vice versa. Your book tells them all they need to know about you.

Next time you see them, remind them of who you are and what you wrote. If you're lucky, they'll recall it and have some kind, helpful words for you. Take their advice and implement it into your next issue. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat, and eventually you'll form a relationship with these guys -- a relationship that very well could lead to a small assignment, such as a fill-in issue or back-up story in an 80-page giant.

Keep this in mind: realize that you will not tackle Wolverine, Superman or any of the icons right away. So when it comes time to pitch a new series or mini to the editor-now-friend, think about the characters you haven't seen in a while. Maybe they're due for a resurrection.

I could write about 3000 more words on this, but I'm so very tired. Hope this helped.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It did very much actually. Thanks a lot. I have actually been spending a lot of time recently thinking about the character Toxin who had a six issue run as a spin off from the New Avengers. He is one of the most interesting characters I have seen pop up in comics for years, and I am sad not to see stuff going on with him. But that is neither here nor there, heh. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It did very much actually. Thanks a lot. I have actually been spending a lot of time recently thinking about the character Toxin who had a six issue run as a spin off from the New Avengers. He is one of the most interesting characters I have seen pop up in comics for years, and I am sad not to see stuff going on with him. But that is neither here nor there, heh. Thanks.

When was Toxin in New Avengers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not know what sort of introduction he had in New Avengers as I have not read the one where Carnage was destroyed (at least I understand that to be what happened) However Toxin is a "New Avengers Tie In" according to its cover.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not know what sort of introduction he had in New Avengers as I have not read the one where Carnage was destroyed (at least I understand that to be what happened) However Toxin is a "New Avengers Tie In" according to its cover.

Hmm. To my recollection he never appeared in New Avengers. So I'm guessing that the tie-in was either through Spider-Man, the fact that The Sentry killed Toxin's daddy or maybe Toxin was hunting down the villains who escaped from The Raft during the first few issues of New Avengers. Can't say for sure since I never read Toxin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.