Thursday, 27 September 2007

The Story So Far…

It goes something like this: you’re the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. You put the thought and the hours in, and you become the right guy. You look around and figure out where the right place is, then you wait there until the time is right. That’s pretty much everything I know about breaking into the comics business.

I tried looking it up. I Googled for ways into comics. It turns out that the combined wisdom of the entire internet on the subject amounts to the following:

“Fuck off. Fuck right off. No, you’re not quite off enough - fuck a little further. Fuck until you’re as far off as you think you can possibly fuck, then dig deep and fuck off another ten yards.”

That’s about it.

You shouldn’t listen to me, in any case. I cheated.

I didn’t send off a thousand scripts to a thousand publishers. I didn’t spend ten years sending weekly Future Shock pitches to 2000AD. I didn’t do any of the things you’re supposed to do. All I did was jump on an opportunity when it reared up in front of me. A few opportunities, actually (right guy/place/time, remember?).

For me, those opportunities came in three stages. Firstly, there was Mongoose Publishing, who unexpectedly took me seriously when I suggested they publish a comic in their wargames magazine. That became my first regular, paid comics gig. Secondly, there was ComicSpace. Through that site, I got talking to Insomnia Publications and some very interesting things started to happen. Finally, there was Markosia - and here’s where the guy/place/time equation really paid off.

I’d been writing a Starship Troopers strip for Mongoose for almost a year by the time of the 2007 Bristol Comic Expo. On the last day of the convention, literally half an hour before my train left for London, I got talking to Tony Lee, Markosia’s Group Editor and the only other guy on the planet who was writing a Starship Troopers comic at the time. As it turns out, at that very moment, he was thinking of stepping back from his writing duties on Troopers, and was on the lookout for a replacement. In fact, as he mentioned in an interview he did for All the Rage, he'd already had me in mind for the gig. Guy/place/time.

So I guess that’d be my advice. Ignore the facts and statistics - they're only there to trip you up. Cheat, and find a new way in.
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