In nine short days, it’s FanExpo Canada. Some of you will be heading out with portfolios in hand, or clutching a couple of scripts, or with a brain full of ideas you want to pitch. There are editors at the con, both DC Comics and Marvel Comics will have booths and the hall will be full of comic book professional whom you’re pretty sure would love to hear all your great ideas.
Ty’s up to his neck in deadlines, and getting ready for the con, as well, but luckily, someone else has oh-so-kindly published his advice for you to read. Before San Diego Comic Con, CB Cebulski wrote and tweeted his advice on submitting portfolios and getting editors to listen to your ideas. Given that CB Cebulski’s job at the time of writing all that advice was Talent Scout for Marvel, you have to figure that he knows what he’s talking about!
Here’s my advice: read his column on professionalism first! And pay attention! He knows of what he speaks!
Various comic book creators and editors have also been known to give advice on Twitter…find a couple you’re interested in, and follow them to see what they say (Nathan Cosby of Marvel, had a lot to say recently).
(And here’s my vaguely maternal advice, from listening and overhearing a lot of ranting at cons: Have a sense of who you are talking to. Know what their work is, who they work for–don’t ask someone whose work you don’t like. Understand that most professionals like to “give back” to the fans, and like to be helpful.
And here’s my vaguely negative advice: If you ask for advice, if you ask someone to look at your portfolio: respect what they say to you! Comic creators and editors are not out to get you–they’re probably not out to get anyone. They’re not secretly jealous of how talented you are, nervous that you want their job, or unable to deal with what a revolutionary talent you are. If you don’t respect their answers/advice, you should not have asked them. Editors and creators are excited by new talent and new possibilities and most of them remember what it was like starting out and trying to get someone’s attention that first time.)