In the world of
SO YOU WANT TO BE A
block. Form letter rejection letters. Polite but blunt critiques at comic
conventions. These are just a few situations you’ll run into time and time
again as you set out to write in comics. Now, I have never had a comic book
story published before, but not for lack of trying. The purpose of this ongoing
saga here will be to give you a sort of play by play on the road I take (which
may or may not be the right one) on getting two different types of comics
a writer, there are several options. You can self publish your own comic. You
can submit a creator-owned story idea to an independent or small press company.
You can try and submit an original creation to one of the larger companies. You
can choose to write a story featuring ‘Spider-Man’ and submit it to Marvel.
Depending on your interests and the stories you want to tell, there are a
variety of choices and all that you really need to do is decide on a concept and
start writing. For the purposes of this experiment, I’ve chosen two methods.
I wanted to
write a story for a ‘big company’ using an already existing character, but
not someone who currently had a title or that was even being featured in
published title. I had some memories of favorites from my youth and after doing
some research, I narrowed down the list of candidates to less than a handful.
From there I
spend some time jotting down ideas and trying to figure out which character I
could bring the most to, from a creative point of view. When all was said and
done, it was a pretty clear cut case for me. I also wanted to have something
published that no one else could lay claim to. I would never want anyone else to
own my creations, so going the independent route seemed the most logical.
Again, all that was needed was for me to settle on an idea. When I did this, it
was time to move on.
idea is to submit a story idea to Marvel Comics based on existing characters
that aren’t being used. Having no industry credentials, it would be next to
impossible to submit a Spider-Man or X-Men story and think that it would get
published. And for the love of God, if you’re stubborn and attempt to write a
franchised character like Spider-Man or Superman, don’t include drastic
changes to the character in your story. The ‘Bruce Wayne Gets Married’
mini-series may seem like a good idea to you, but there is no way it’ll see
the light of day. I chose Marvel Comics because they had a somewhat obscure
character that hasn’t been heard from in years that I really wanted to write.
I believe that the character in question has a lot of potential and I really
want to try and see if I could create an interesting story with the materials at
idea is a creator owned property. It’s a relationship story that follows the
ups and downs of a set of couples and their friends through heartbreaking
circumstances. I have long
out-grown the standard jocks in spandex stories and to me, the idea of realistic
relationships is as compelling a story as there could be. Look at the masterful
work Terry Moore has done with Strangers in Paradise for an example.
are going to be 3 issue mini-series. It’s a lot easier for someone to judge
your work and make a decision when there is a beginning, middle and end than to
try and pitch an open-ended epic of the grandest proportions. And mini-series
carry less risk for publishers and retailers alike.
mini-series would feature the return of the obscure character, tell their story
and end the story with a definite (if not open-ended) finale. The Independent
story would also tell a complete story in 3 issues, but it would only be the
initial introduction and first complete arc for the characters. Ideally, their
stories would continue in future mini-series, but the first 3 issue arc would
also double as a stand alone should no one bother to read the damn thing.
managed to accomplish the first big step in my future comic book writing career:
I’ve come up with an idea, well, two of them. I have my spiral notebook and
sat by the desk writing whatever ideas came into my head; crossing out some,
expanding on others until I had a more solid basis for the stories in question.
of this column is for you to hear about the exact steps I take for these two
completely different types of stories. This may or may not have a happy ending.
At the very least, it may offer a clear idea of what ‘not’ to do when
pitching your ideas. We’ll see where the next several weeks and months take
us, and I hope it will be an interesting, entertaining and perhaps informative
I have to go write. See you next time!
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