Getting established in the comics industry

By Kirk Chritton
©1988, 2008 Kirk Chritton. All Rights Reserved. 

Sometimes an unknown writer or artist from Heartland City USA will simply make an unsolicited submission to a major comics company and get a job.

It happens maybe twice a decade.

If you’re serious about becoming a pro, you’re going to have to pay your dues. That means working hard to develop your abilities, seeking opportunities to get your work published in related publications, building a network of friends and contacts, and learning to work with collaborators and editors.

In short, you must gain experience and establish yourself in fandom and the industry. This isn’t hard to do. In fact, it’s a thrilling adventure, filled with some disappointments, and a whole lot of rewarding victories even if you never work as a professional.

The following articles are a guide for novice comics creators explaining the simple networking secrets that can help you get professionally published for the first time.

  • It’s who you know – Why it’s really important to make connections and be polite and professional from the very beginning of your career.
  • Message boards and letters pages – A simple way to put your name in front of the creators, editors, and publishers that you want to work with.
  • Starting small – Small press and amateur webcomics are a fun way to hone your skills and network with tomorrow’s comics leaders.
  • Conventional wisdom – Making the most of comics conventions, which are arguably the best way to make the contacts that can lead to professional work in the comics industry.
  • Breaking news – Using comics news sites and news magazines as a stepping stone to success.

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