How to Get a Job in the Comic Book Industry: The Pitch and the Log Line

So you want to get paid to write and/or draw comics? As a freelance storyboard and sequential artist, I’ve done my share of comic books.

And as a creative freelancer, I also strongly believe the ownership of one’s own skill set, projects and intellectual property.  If you’re a self-starter, writing and drawing your own comic book or graphic novel is a great idea.

Well, at least YOU think it’s a great idea.  But how do you get others to think your idea is great idea? How do you get a publisher behind you?  THE PITCH!

First of all, what the heck is a pitch? I’m not talking about improving your stats on the diamond.

A pitch is where you toss, or “pitch” your idea for a comic book ( or any project for that matter)  to an editor, praying that they will like your story enough to publish it. While self publishing is also a great route to explore, and we’ll talk about that in a future blog, pitching is an essential step in becoming a professional paid comic creator.

Professional editors see a TON of pitches… every day. What do you need to do to stand out and look like a real professional yourself?

First and foremost, think small.  As in a few words.  You need to reduce your story idea to a logline, or what’s also known as an “elevator pitch”.

A Logline is the nut of your idea boiled down to just one or two sentences.  It should be short enough to describe to someone you just happen to meet on an elevator. It should be just as clear and catchy as it is short and sweet. It’s the very first thing an editor will read, so it must grab and hold  attention.

One of my favorite logline’s was for Alien:

Jaws…in space.”

See, that grabs attention, paints a conceptual picture and makes one wonder “What will that look like?  What will happen???

No matter how complex intricate and brilliant you think your story is, you need to be able to present it in one or two sentences.  Got it?  Good.

When  submitting art samples, as part of a pitch for a new book, show sequential art, not just splash pages, pin ups or covers. Sequential art shows your storytelling skills.  Comic art isn’t just pictures, it’s storytelling. Give a minimum of six pages to allow an editor to really get a feel for your ability.

The next thing about a pitch is knowing where you are going to aim.  Who is your target?  Research the SUBMISSION GUIDELINES of your intended publisher. Research, research, research!!!

Oh, and a nice personal cover can’t hurt…

Remember, as a creative, You are always pitching.

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