We scavenged Reddit AMA’s (Ask Me Anything) to find answers to one of our burning questions: “How do comic writers start writing comics?” Below you’ll find four writers who engaged with their fanbase on Reddit and all answered that very question. You’ll also find links to their AMAs, titles they’ve worked on, and links to their websites and Twitter handles.
Sam Humphries, writer whose works include Uncanny X-Force and Ultimates
“I guess you could say I got into writing comics by wanting it bad enough that I did that more than anything else.
I got the job at Marvel by giving myself permission to make comics instead of waiting for someone else to give it to me. I wrote and self-published my own stuff (OUR LOVE IS REAL and SACRIFICE). When I was ready, Marvel gave me a call.”
Read Sam’s entire AMA
Sam on Twitter
Greg Rucka, writer whose works include Punisher and Lazarus
“How I “made” it is… not the route I’d suggest for anyone else, honestly. It’s different for everyone, you know? Me, I wrote three novels before I got Oni to publish Whiteout. So, y’know, that may not work best for you.
In this day and age, self-publishing, or taking the webcomic approach, might be the best. Publishers are always looking for execution even more than potential; show that you can write a story consistently and well, they’ll be that much more likely to offer you a chance to do the same for them.”
Read Greg’s entire AMA
Greg on Twitter
Brian K Vaughn, whose works include Saga and Y: The Last Man
“I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. I was a film school nerd at NYU when Marvel editors James Felder and Mark Powers started “The Stan-hattan Project,” an informal workshop named after Stan Lee to teach young writers the ins and outs of writing serialized comics (Joe Kelly is a fellow “graduate”). Those editors liked my writing samples okay, and would occasionally throw me the odd rush job, like writing dialogue over another writer’s plot, which I did in Cable #43, my first published work.
Once I had my foot in the door and proved to editors that I was fast and reliable (if not necessarily any good), I started slowly clawing my way up the freelancer ladder until I was in a position to do what I always wanted to do: create my own characters.
It was a strange journey, but no two people ever break into comics the same way. You have to channel as much (if not more) creativity into managing your career as you do into your art. Beats mining coal though.”
Read Brian and Fiona Staples’ (artist on Saga) entire AMA
Brian on Twitter
Jim Zub(kavich), writer whose works include Skullkickers and Samurai Jack
“At the start you’re really selling yourself – your concepts, your personality and your drive to try and get projects off the ground. You have to be social at conventions or online and keep pounding away to make those contacts, realizing that there are hundreds of other writers just like you trying to do the same. Your social skills and patience will make a big difference. That being said, none of it matters if you don’t actually write solid material.”
Read Jim’s entire AMA
Jim on Twitter
I think what you’ll notice if you look at these four answers and even take the time to read all of the /r/comicbooks AMAs is that all of the creators mention “There is no right way to break into the business” or “I can’t tell you how to do it, because no two people do it the same way.” That answer may leave some wanting, but for others it smacks of opportunity. What do you think? Do those answers inspire you or leave you feeling a little unsatisfied? Let us know in the comments.
And make sure to check out reddit.com/r/comicbooks for a great comic community.
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