Q. I am an aspiring comic artist how can I break into the industry?
Which editor should I contact?
Who should I send my samples to?
Do I need an agent?
A. These are just a few of the questions I have been asked since I started this site but I
hesitated about posting my responses here because, while I prefer to think of myself as a
realist, I have been labelled a pessimist or cynic in the past.
The majority of editors I knew well have left, or been dumped, by the industry and I no longer
have any reliable contacts. One fact to bear in mind is that Comics are in decline and there
are many 'seasoned veterans' who can't get regular work-- And some have given up trying.
That doesn't mean it isn't possible, just harder since the competition is so much more
I haven't ever used an agent myself and I've never heard of an editor who accepts
submissions or input from an agent.
The only advice I'd give to any aspiring artist is to NOT rely on their artistic skill and talent.
As a freelancer they must think like a businessman (person). It isn't enough to calculate your
hourly rate by the number of hours you spend seated at the drawing board. You must
include any time spent on reference, phoning, e-mailing and all of the other related tasks,
delays and wasted time. A freelancer is only paid for the work they do, there isn't any
holiday, or pension scheme-- and there may not be medical benefits either.
I feel extraordinarily lucky to have been able to make a career out of doing something I love
but it is a job.
I believed the future of the industry was uncertain, at best, for over fifteen years, so
dissuaded my own son, Thomas (who is a fair artist and an excellent storyteller) from
following me into the business-- at least as a first/sole option. While I wouldn't deny anyone
their dream, and I wish the best to anyone determined enough to try to 'break-in', it is always
wise to have a solid 'Plan B'.