When Mr. X. asked me to guest blog I was glad to step up. Seriously, the idea of having a huge captive audience for a week was almost irresistible. But what to write? The answer came to me at once…
For the aspiring (web)comics creator there are articles and advice aplenty on how to make comics. And yet, despite all this well-meaning information, I have often felt that something vital was lacking; something that would convey the real emotions inspired by a job thoroughly done. To correct that, I have compiled the following list. It's full-to-bursting with professional experience and the emotions those episodes stirred within my own black heart. It cannot fail, I am sure, to inspire the right-thinking, would-be comics creator on to dazzling new heights of personal achievement.
The Top 10 Ways To Impress an Editor
1. First off, please let me know (in detail) just how ignorant you are of me and of the kind of work our site showcases. Nothing warms the cockles of my editorial heart quite so much as seeing a wildly unsuitable submission that has been addressed, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dear Sir/Madam.Ã¢â‚¬Â And while youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at it, make sure I know that you would have subscribed and gotten familiar with us, but that you are soooo poor, you just couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t manage the three bucks/donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a credit card/live in a cave without the internet/couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see your way clear to pass up that last double latte. And really, if we wanted you to be familiar with our site, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d offer free samples or something.
2. If you think your work is sub-par, please, by all means, feel free to tell me about it at length. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hear enough about how the submission I am spending my valuable time reading is Ã¢â‚¬Å“not your best workÃ¢â‚¬Â or that you, Ã¢â‚¬Å“can certainly do betterÃ¢â‚¬Â. No really, trying to sell me on your work while calling it shit, is endearing.
3. Be sure to let me know about your lack of commitment to your work. I, for one, am absolutely riveted when I hear aspiring creators tell me that theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d love to be part of my team, but that they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be able to update during the summer because, Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s when my family goes camping and besides, I do all my work during boring math class and anyway, and also I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be able to get any paper or pencils because, yaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢know, school is out and I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t raid the supply cabinet.Ã¢â‚¬Â
4. Speaking of suppliesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Ignore those folks that insist that you use quality materials. Hey! YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re poor, remember? Besides, I hear that notebook paper is every bit as archival as Bristol board. Who cares about a few (dozen) erasures anyway? And I hear that those college ruled lines add character and a sense of devil-may-care edginess to a series. Besides, if I want crisp, clear linework, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my job as the Editor to fire up the Photoshop and finish your work for youÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ right?
5. Forget about originality or thinking for yourself. As with all Editors, I want the most derivative drivel out there. Hey, if a story/set of character types was successful once, (or a dozen times) why deviate from that model? Please, send me only that which you have lovingly tracedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ er, Ã¢â‚¬Å“homagedÃ¢â‚¬Â from Sailor Moon and/or Teen Titans. No, really! The more, hackneyed a concept the better! Stale jokes about college life? Bring it on! Endless one-liners about what dorks gamers are? Tell me more! I have an unlimited capacity for pain and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a head-sized crater in my desk top to prove it!
6. Sure, I post a submission guide, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really mean it. So go ahead and blow it off. After all, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not like I can tell if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve read it or anything. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not like thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s actually the first leg of the weeding-out process.
7. When composing your proposal, please, be sure to include a rambling paragraph (or twelve) containing every last detail of your charactersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ lives, thoughts, hopes, dreams, blood type, derivation and cosmic essence. This is what I live for! A concise and well thought missive that keeps to the facts and presents your series and characters in a professional manner? Bah! IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d so much rather read about how your main character is a manifestation of your soul-self and that you Ã¢â‚¬Å“donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe in plotÃ¢â‚¬Â. Hey! I could read that shit till my eyes bleed!
8. You are a rebel! You are an innovator! You are so cutting edge I could shave my legs on your very aura! I want, (nay, crave) to know these things! Your art is organic and free-flowing, unfettered by such plebian concerns as anatomy, scale or perspective. While youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at it, why not toss in a few words about how drawing classes are Ã¢â‚¬Å“a waste of time.Ã¢â‚¬Â Because, come on, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not willful ineptitude, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a stylistic choice.
9. Language is a fluid, ephemeral thing. The Ã¢â‚¬Å“KingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s EnglishÃ¢â‚¬Â is so last Tuesday. So prove to me how Ã¢â‚¬Å“downÃ¢â‚¬Â you are with the hip kids and be sure to litter your communications to me with emoticons and the very latest chat-speak. Who cares if I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t read it? That only proves just how very on-the-edge you really are! Because nothing says Ã¢â‚¬Å“serious professionalÃ¢â‚¬Â quite like a dribbling mass of illegible, literary diarrhea, punctuated by the occasional blast of self-important ass gas. LOLZ!!111111!!!
10. And finally, when meeting in person at, say, a convention, I would simply love it if you were to excitedly rush to show me your portfolio (or tell me your webcomic idea) when I am obviously in the middle of a conversation with someone else! Better yet, interrupt a conversation, ask if I review portfolios, the completely dismiss the idea of submitting your work to my site, because you just realized that my table wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the one you were actually looking for. Bonus points if you fail to apologize! While your at it, go ahead and pile your crap on top of my carefully laid out table display! Knock things over! Watch my head explode! Now thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the way to make an impression!