This Week in the Mercury


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

You Don't Want to be in Comics. Go Write a Novel.

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Portland is considered something of a Mecca for the comic book industry. Neither of the big two publishers (DC/Marvel) live here, but plenty of writers and artists who work for those companies do. The Northwest is home to imprints like Top Shelf, Dark Horse, Oni, and multiple Eisner-nominated comic book shops.

As such, there are a lot of people living here who think "making comics" is a legitimate career pursuit. Not a risky one, not an iffy one: legit. There are enough residents with their name printed on the cover of various floppies and trade paperbacks that it seems completely plausible, if not probable, that "comic books" could be a a valid career choice.

Considering the names on those covers printed in the largest font do tend to be the writers', a lot of people think the best way into comics is via the side that doesn't do so much of the sketching, or tracing, or whatever they do. Inking. That shit. And since most of the biggest stars in the industry are the writers, it really does seem like that's the best bet.

Today, Leia Weathington, creator of The Legend of Bold Riley and winner of the 2013 Stumptown Comics Fest award for Best Writer (conflict-of-interest alert: I produce her podcast) lit up Twitter like Colonel Kilgore calling in an airstrike. The truth-infused napalm came in response to a conversation started by this tweet from After Houdini creator Jeremy Holt.

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Weathington's response, collected and storified by friend/colleague Erika Moen (Bucko, Oh Joy, Sex Toy) not only puts paid to the notion that artists exist in comics solely to execute the vision of the almighty writer, but sheds light on just how "easy" it is to break into comics, even in a Mecca like Portland:

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There's a lot more to read, and thanks to Erika Moen, the whole thing is available here. And if you were considering a career in the industry, click that link, and take a minute or two to think on whether or not you really want to break into comics if you're not willing to regard an artist as "your people."

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