Okay, it’s been a little while since I’ve updated the blog, so I thought I’d check in and fill you all in on my experience at this year’s Thought Bubble Comic Con which took place in Leeds on the 5th and 6th of November.
First, I’d like to say that I had a wonderful experience. I got to meet Dave Evans who edits FutureQuake Press which I’ve written for in the past and I got to hangout with Mark Abnett who wrote the Hit-Girl story from the Millarworld Annual 2016.
I got to meet other aspiring writers too, which is always the best thing about attending Comic Cons.
But, of course, one of the main reasons I attended Thought Bubble this year is because 2000AD was holding an open pitching session for writer to present ideas for Future Shocks (four page science fiction stories with twist endings).
So, how did it go? Did I win? Did I at least get to pitch.
Well, the panel was at 12 noon so I made sure to arrive about an hour early to queue. I was speaking to another aspiring writer later in the evening who said he really wanted to pitch but didn’t get the chance to.
The fact of the matter is, if you want to break into the comic book industry, you need to go above and beyond. Go that extra mile. It doesn’t guarantee you success, but it increases your chances.
There were around thirty or forty people who attended the panel. I think about seven people got to pitch their ideas. It was first come, first served.
If you’re an aspiring writer and you’re attending an event like that, turn up early. Yeah, you might miss out on being first to walk around the Comic Con or some other fun comic book panels but that’s not why you’re there. You want to be a comic book professional.
That’s my advice to you.
I was there an hour early, first in the queue and I was first on stage to pitch my idea.
And yeah, it was terrifying. I’m not the kinda person who is comfortable getting up on stage in front of an audience. But, becoming a professional comic book writer means everything to me, so I did what I had to.
My pitch was not picked, I didn’t win. Even when you do everything you can, the odds are always against you. And there were a couple of things I could’ve done better.
I think I oversimplified my pitch. We had a time limit, so I boiled it down to the core idea, but because I didn’t provide additional information, it made my story seem simpler than it was.
I now know not to do that next year.
There also wasn’t enough set up, which is something which could’ve been easily remedied, so I didn’t take that as a big criticism.
The fact is, someone pitched an idea that was better than mine. And, well done to them.
I think I kinda forgot that as far as any of the judges were concerned, we were all amateurs. When I entered the Top Cow Talent Hunt and nabbed a Runners-Up spot, I was judged on my ability to write. That was impossible to do here.
If I was pitching to someone who knew my ability to write, then they’d likely know that I was merely streamlining my pitch. I didn’t take into account that wouldn’t happen here. I oversimplified my plot and that made my plot appear simple.
That was a major mistake on my part.
I will be back next year (provided I don’t break in at 2000AD through their conventional submissions process), you only fail at this when you give up.
I also took the opportunity to speak to editor Matt Smith at the 2000AD booth afterward and give him my business card. If you want to break into comics as a writer, it’s important to make a impression.
Whether I made a good impression or not, I’m not entirely sure. I’d used up all my courage getting up on that stage. I think I may have babbled a little bit. I was very conscious that another writer had just introduced himself before me, and I didn’t want to take up more of Mr. Smith’s valuable time.
I should’ve been calmer. But, you live, you learn.
And as I said, I’m not going to give up, if I have my way, I’ll be first up on that stage next year too.