Cavan Scott, co-creator of Vault Comic’s Shadow Service and writer of Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic gives you the lowdown about making a career in comic books…

Shadow Service

Shadow Service

1. Don’t wait to get published.

The great thing about comics is that you don’t have to wait for your big break… you can start right now. Writers, team up with artists. Artists, team up with writers. Make up your own characters, create your own stories, publish them yourself or post them online. The key is proving that you can finish a job. Editors want to hire people who show up and see things through, and publishing your own comic is a great way to show you can do both.

2. Be flexible.

Want to write for Marvel or DC? Great! Want to write the next Walking Dead or Hellboy? Excellent! It’s important to know what you want to write and, despite what a lot of people think, comics doesn’t have to mean superheroes. There are comics for everyone in every genre, from romance to horror and true crime to fantasy. Just remember, it’s always good to be as flexible as possible when you’re starting out.

3. Make connections.

Comic conventions are the lifeblood of the industry. Going to a convention may be daunting, but the good news is that I’ve always found comic creators to be the friendliest folk around. Most conventions have artist alleys where, as the name suggests, you can chat to artists as well as pick up their latest books and art. Even if you’re nervous, go up and say hi. You already have something in common; you love comics, and they love comics. If you’re an artist yourself, ask if they’d like to see some of your work. You may get some tips, but don’t immediately jump in and ask to be introduced to their publisher. Remember they’re a person, not a steppingstone. Just relax and always remember the next tip…

4. Be the best that you can be.

I’m not talking about being the best writer, or the best artist, but being the best human being! The comic industry is a small world and news soon gets about if you make yourself a nuisance. It’s also a highly pressurised world, especially for the editors who hire and commission. If you meet an editor at a convention, be polite. Don’t demand that they look at your stuff there and then. Strike up a conversation and ask for their email address so you can send them something after the madness of the convention has passed.

5. Be patient.

Breaking into comics is a long game. It’s about putting the work in, making those connections and keeping going. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Yes, there’s always a certain amount of luck involved, but the more you get out there, and the more work you put in, the more chance you’ll have that it’ll happens to you!

Shadow Service Volume 1 is out now from Vault Comics. 


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