There are a lot of talented, amateur creators out there trying to get published and recognized by the big comic companies. Enough talent to staff every book the Big 2 (Marvel and DC) are publishing hundreds of times over. And those are just the people that want to go to the Big 2. There are so many other creators who just want to jam on their own. It's crowded out here and we have to take whatever opportunities we can to really make a name for ourselves, to stand out to the people we want to see us.
The most direct way to make a name for yourself is to just make comics on your own. Self-owned, self-financed, and self-published. If you're like me, a writer with no artistic ability, that means paying an artist to illustrate your scripts for you. Once it's created, you have to share it some way. Most of my works I submitted to Comixology, where they available now. My friends and contemporaries have either done that, or shared their comics on social media for free.
But other opportunities spring up from time to time. As of this writing, I'm working on a script for a publisher's talent hunt. Should this entry be selected, I would then be invited to write for the publisher in some capacity. (I'm keeping some specific vague as to not focus on the publisher and to keep my explanations simple) From there, I might be able to pitch future projects to this publisher. I'll also have published work I'll be able to point to when talking to editors at other publishers.
Talent hunts usually focus on a publisher's existing properties, so they give you a good experience of writing licensed properties or Big 2 characters. These established worlds and characters create additional rules you need to follow, voices and aesthetics you need to capture in your entry. It provides a challenge for you: how do you exercise your creative voice while playing with someone else's toys?
Anthologies, themed collections of short stories, bring together the fan bases of the various creators working on the collections, exposing them to the other creators involved. And they expose creators to other creators, further interlinking the comic creating community and setting the foundation for potential support systems. Anthologies also serve as a beacon of hype the creators can rally under to draw attention to their works as well as the works of their peers.
I was recently rejected from an anthology for which I had pitched a project. However, I have friends who had pitches accepted. Now, as this anthology progresses and more news of it comes out on social media, I can share this information and promote the hell out of it. By having a single focal point to start with (the anthology), I can then spread word about the individuals involved and the hype them up.
Anthologies come in all shapes and sizes. Publishers, big and small, run them, as can any creator with the logistic and organizational skills to coordinate such a project. If you can find any to submit to, do it. If not, make it or organize a group of friends who can help you make it.
There are other opportunities out there. These are the kinds I've been exposed to the most. And also the kind I've seen bear the most fruit. That said, whenever I've participated in either, I've never gone into them thinking they would be the ticket into the dreamed about full-time gig in comics. Writing the talent hunt script was just a temporary lapse from working on my main project. These contests, talent hunts, and anthologies are flashes in the pan indicative of your creative talent. However, bigger publishers want to see that you're able to put the work in for the long haul.
Keep working. Don't stop. Get better. Don't give up.
#makingcomics #comics #comicinprogress #kyuss
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