Hi everyone, I am a pretty big comic book fan I read most Marvel and DC comics, Fables and jack of fables from vertigo, Spawn, GI Joe, Grimm fairy tales etc. Lately though I keep getting ideas for story arcs that I would make in DC and marvel. I have even thought about what I would do to some not so famous comics and how I would make them better. I only have one original comic idea that I am working on in my idea. Mostly I just think about I haven’t written anything down yet. I know there are google searches for how to get into the comic book industry if you are a artist or a writer, but I don’t think I fit either category since I haven’t drawn anything since being a freshman in high school [I am about to graduate college] and I don’t really know how to write individual lines for characters. In my head I think of things playing like a movie with no lines. I know or have a good idea of what should happen but I don’t have all the lines to what the characters should say. Basically I can describe a storyboard and do some rough sketches, but nothing great. Do you think there is any place for me in the comic book industry?
You could learn how to be an editor. Other than that, I don’t know what else there is on the creative end other than writing and illustrating. There’s gotta be other positions you can work, like the advertising department or something. But that doesn’t really sound like what you’re asking.
If you really want to tell stories, you should probably just practice writing and/or drawing a whole lot until you can get noticed and get something published. Pretty much every professional says that you gotta just write, write, write, and write some more if you want to break in. Everybody has ideas but it takes a lot of hard work to become good enough to write something that other people will pay money to read. Or be successful in some other medium, like TV or film or novels, and then you’ll have an edge in getting into comics.
Your desire is in the right place, but there is a difference between being a professional and a fan. What are you studying in college anyway? Hopefully you took some creative writing courses/electives. If your draftsmanship isn’t top notch, then concentrate on the writing aspect. Hell, Grant Morrison can sketch, rather well, I might add, but they only serve the purpose of helping his written ideas come across.
Like Zeph said, it’s a storytelling medium. Study scriptwriting and read other literature outside of comics. You can visualize pacing and sequences? Fine. Get your writing chops up to par. Gone are the days where you have both a plotter and scripter on a book. (Actually, that’s not true. There are some examples but it’s not as common as it was in the early days of comics.)
You should not be content with saying that you can’t write dialogue. If you really want this, you have to learn how to do it.
And, start carrying around a small notebook/sketchbook that fits in your pocket. Great ideas come at a moment’s notice.
I’m in a similar situation, in that I want to break into comics. You really can’t get into this expecting to leap out of college and have Marvel or DC asking you to join them and write the next summer event. Just do anything, write anything for anyone to get out there. I plan to save enough money to make a few copies of my own comic idea and let it rotate around, maybe even hand out free copies to the comic nerds here on SRK. The likelihood of this thing getting big? Very unlikely. Will people notice and get talking? Possibly, and it’s what I’m betting on more. I plan to go to college soon for creative writing, script work, and all that jazz to fine tune this.
It’s a rewarding place to be, but it’s very hard to get in, and it’s a VERY competitive field. I liken it to wrestling, only famous for as long as you perform on top.
If nothing else, if you really wanted an outlet for all of your ideas, you could resort to writing fanfiction. I know fanfic is looked down upon by many people but even more people seem to enjoy reading it. You can also get immediate feedback from that.
Also, I once read this article in the Wall Street Journal about these fanfic writers who got so prolific that real book publishers actually gave them some writing contracts for novels! One of those fanfic writers was some chick who wrote man-boy love fanfics between Batman and Robin, too! (Not that I read any of that stuff. It’s just something I remember from that article. Honest.)
I could understand if the Fanfic was written in a professional manner, not a mish mash of crap you would like to see. Everything I write that includes characters already created (Say from DC or Marvel, though anything could work) I try to make it look like an actual story you could see coming off the bookshelves. The current Nightwing story arc has been said to be to much like a fan’s dream, like the guy just sat around saying “Wouldn’t it be cool if Nightwing went somewhere I used to live, and fought crime, and met a bunch of heroes that are awesome! Nightwing would be the shit then!”
Now on the same note I like to see interesting stuff, like heroes who meet villains they wouldn’t normally encounter. This has been done plenty of times in comics (Remember when Doom and Daredevil went at it? Talk about outclassed…) But stuff like “So and so being lovers” Or “This hero would be better with a new power” is pure crap.
Honestly Zephy, a chick got a novel writing Bat porn? I should have my own damn comic company by now if someone saw my work lol.
This man speaks truth. Some people get paid serious money for writing fanfics/slash. And hey, its money, its published, and it builds your resume. Not a terrible idea, to be quite honest. Good luck though. Don’t give up if you really want it.
you should try conventions, I usually get critiques of my work from people who actually know what the hell theyre doing. I got a wealth of great advice and when professionals and “professionals” tell you you have potential its a damn good motivator to keep working.
so yes, try conventions.
It’s always been a dream of mine to become a comicbook colorist. I suppose I could send companies samples of my work, but it would have to be colored from someone else’s art, since I can’t draw that well.
comic conventions are basically the craigslist for comics. they are a great tool, and everyone even remotely using interested in comics should do it up. i’ve been talking to writers and artists for years and after i graduate im gonna be hitting up all my connects. lol. i’ve made a good number of connects since i got interested in the business when i was 16.
writing for comics is alot harder to get into than art just so you know. what you can do is intern at a comic company. and alot of the times work your way up the rans, you’ll understand what it takes to do the buisness from the inside out as well as possibly sneak your stuff into the higher ups.
i have brandon easton’s sn, he did arkanium with lesean a few years back. i randomly met him on a bus trip to a prowrestling show…yes i know randomness. but if you want i can throw u his sn.
Always remember, regardless of what you do, the fans will hate you at the end of the day.
If you want to work for DC, forget it. They rarely accept new art talent and they don’t accept new writing talent. At all.
This probably applies to Marvel as well.
You know, if you can’t achieve your dream of being a professional comics writer, you could always opt for the next best thing, the one job all failed artists can fall back on. You could be a critic.
And if you’re still not good enough to be a critic, well, you can be a blogger.
If you are trying to send in a script, try and get your hands on what an actual comic book script looks like and use that as a model. Because 100% of the time they will throw anything that doesn’t look like one right in the trash.
Everyone has a Batman, Spider-Man, Wolverine story, etc. You are better off catching their interest using a character that has been out of circulation for a while.
If you are trying to get into the art field, send in 9 pages. Don’t ink the pages unless you are trying to be an inker as well. No word balloons or dialog. The drawings have to able to tell the story on their own. The first 3 pages should be about a single super hero. The next 3 have to be of a super hero team. And the last 3 should be about regular people, perhaps even a couple doing ordinary things. This is advice Joe Quesada gave out a few years back but it still makes sense. They have to see that you are able to handle whatever they toss your way.
Draw as much as you can and more importantly draw from life as much as you can, it always helps.
If you don’t want to think of the dialogue, you would be an editor and/or plotter (which is usually done by either the writer or editor).
There are good books about breaking in. Your case is unique. The usual recommendation is “start doing it until you get someone’s attention”. For writers, that is specially true. Most company don’t take wiriting-related proposals, like they do for pencilling and so on.
Find some writers and artists to work with (check and post ads on sites specifically for that) and start editing your own comics.
And read up! Read Jim Valentino’s, Erik Larsen’s and everything written on the subject you can!
And if you’re not good enough for that, you can always just be an Internet smartass.
Thanks everybody for all the good advice. In my opinion this topic should be stickied since this part of the forum is a place where people come to talk about comics and I am sure a lot of people have asked themselves questions on how they could break into comic books.
I think I am going to keep working on my writing and see if it goes anywhere. I also like the advice on using a character that is out of circulation, but I haven’t been reading comics all my life so I don’t really know who is longtime out of circulation. I guess I am going to have to do some research on that. I know Deadpool just fell out of circulation, but since he it was recent I am betting that wouldn’t work out. If I am going to be writing stories on characters out of continuity it wouldnt hurt to add my story arc ideas as well right? Again thanks for the advice.