So, you’re a writer and you want to break into comics? Where do you start?
Well, while it would be nice to send a script into Marvel or DC Comics and get a paying gig right away, it won’t happen. Firstly, DC Comics doesn’t accept any kind of submissions. Marvel will, but they’ll only look at stuff you have already had published.
So, how can you get your stuff out there? The answer is small press and indie comic books.
A small press publisher will usually only have books available through their website and at comic cons. In some cases, they won’t do hard copies at all, being exclusively available online. Typically most small press magazines will be anthology titles. This is because it’s hard to get an artist to commit to more than five pages if you’re not paying them.
That’s right, small press will almost always be unpaid work. You’re not doing it for the money, you’re putting your writing out there to get exposure.
Indie Press stuff is on the same level. It’s essentially a step up from small press. You’re unlikely to get picked up by an indie publisher right off the bat, but if you’re having success in the small press, it can happen.
You’ll have a contract with an indie publisher and you might get paid. If you’re getting paid, it might be a set amount and it won’t be very much. Alternatively, you may get a contract where you’re only paid if your comic book makes a certain amount of money.
When it comes down to it, if you’re writing small press or indie comics, you’re either doing it to make a name for yourself or simply for the fun of it. And working with an editor and an artist is a good learning experience.
So, where can you submit?
The best small press publisher I’ve worked with is FutureQuake Press. They make anthology titles and they are also responsible for a couple of 2000AD Fanzines.
GrayHaven Comics put out an anthology called The Gathering where you can submit, although their submissions are not open all year round.
Atom Jacket is a new digital small press anthology which is just getting on it’s feet.
Another digital anthology series is 100% Biodegradable which is put out by Biomekazoik Development. Currently at nine issues, they are a big success.
There are a ton of other small press and indie comic book publishers out there. And new anthologies pop up all the time. You need to keep active online and seek them out.
Good luck to you, my fellow writers.