Submitting Samples to EditorsÖ
For all you aspiring comic book artists and writers out there, I figure I might give some advice concerning submitting your work to comic book editors in the hopes of getting work.
This is all advice that has worked for me in the past. It might not work for everyone else, or with all editors. Ultimately, youíre gonna have to decided what works best for you, but hereís a good place to startÖ
First, search for a book that might suit your style. Also, find an editor you think might like your work. Send them the copies of your samples (either pencils or inks and the original Xeroxed pencils). Wait a week and then give the editor a call back. Some editors are nice. Some are big stinkers. But, be persistent until an editor says, "No" (advice given to me by ex-DC Comics editor Dan Raspler).
Forget about Marvelís and DCís submissionís department. They canít give you a job.
Ya gotta find an editor that likes you and your work. This ain't easy (at least for me). The competition is tough. It takes plenty of time making copies of your work, submitting samples to editors, and making follow up calls. It can certainly be a pain in the butt! However, this is the ONLY way you can make it in the comic book field because THESE are the ONLY people that can give you work. They hire ya, they fire ya, and they tell you what to do. So, don't bother sending samples to "Submissions Editors". They're usually some pimple-faced jerk working his way through college. These guys don't have the power to hire you or sign the checks.
When mailing samples, add a cover letter with your info, experience, education and the type of skills you have (i.e.: pencilling, inking, so forth). Mail the samples to Marvel Comics or DC Comics (or other publisher) in attention to the editor youíre seeking work from.
A good idea is to paste artwork on your envelope. Also use envelopes that are brightly colored (green, orange, etcÖ). This way, your package will stand out from the dozens of packages on an editorís desk. This will also make it easier for the editor to remember and locate your package of samples.
Most editors will mail you Xeroxes of pencil pages if you explain you're trying to be an inker and want to submit inking samples. Actually, you can also ask the submissions department of each company for Xerox pencils. This is probably the only thing these folks are good for.
You can than ink the Xeroxes on a sheet of tracing paper. Itís a pain, but that way you can show editors what the pencils look like and what your inks look like.
Sending e-mails is a smart idea, too. I would only recommend sending jpegs or links to your work to editors that you have already established a relationship with. Most editors wonít even read e-mails from people they donít know. Editors are very busy people, so they might not like surfing' around to look at someone's samples. You donít want to pester an editor, either.
But, remember, mailing editors print outs is the best way for editors to look at samples.
It is hard work submitting samples to editors. Editors get tons of submissions, and ya got to make sure you do your research so you donít waste any of your time. Find an editor and book thatís appropriate for your style, and make sure your submissions stand out.
Also note that this column concerning submissions to editors only includes samples to get work as freelance artists, letterers, and such. It doesnít include submitting original ideas or creator-owned properties to publishers. Thatís a totally different topic.
Marvel, for example, asks that you sign a submission form before sending them new ideas for their books. They also, to a great degree, arenít taking any submissions to publish creator-owned comics.
DC Comics, as far as I have heard, has a closed-door policy concerning submitting ideas for creator-owned comics.
I hope this advice helps anyone seeking a career in comics. Good luck.