Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pitching for comics

This is somewhat a touchy and tricky subject. How does one pitch for the comics world?

One of my friends, Jeff, asked me this question, as I had bluntly stated on Facebook how I was in a pitching mood and had a number of items that I was planning to pitch to various comic companies. He asked me the question of how do you put together a pitch and I had to think long and hard about it. It's a tricky subject.

It's strange because not every company is looking for the same things. That's the first step. Know the audience for your book and know the audience that you're pitching to.

You don't want to pitch a hardcore sex and violence book to Archie Comics. You don't want to pitch a Superman story to Marvel. You don't want to pitch a Doctor Who story to anybody because IDW has some of the rights and you trying to pitch a story is not what they're looking for.

Who is the audience you're going after? If you're pitching a superhero story right now, you better hope to everything you believe in that you've got something really special or your story will mean nothing to none of the publishers out there.

A big problem right now is the fact that DC relaunched their universe. Marvel and DC pretty much corner the comics world on superheroes. That doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be done. It's just going to make your job infinitely tougher.

Take me for instance. I've been trying to pitch a comic book called Dannemora for as long as I've been writing comics. I'm on year 4 now. Like I told Jeff, that's nothing. This comic has gone through so many changes since I was a kid and came up with it that it barely resembles the original work any longer.

It started as an X-men style team book where the characters were called The Immortals and all had powers similar to the X-men or Justice League. There was your leader and his brothers who didn't get along (think Cyclops and Havok) and their father who just so happened to turn out to be the villain with the heart of gold (think Magneto, ish). There was the hero who was crusty around the edges that couldn't die. There were the femme fatales and the vixens. There was a little bit of everything.

I had notebooks and notebooks of these characters that are somewhere in my parent's house, gathering dust. Some have made comebacks in other stories. One specific character from this universe is at the heart of Dannemora.

But. I created this comic when I was probably 10 years old. I'm 28, almost 29. So over the last 19 years, it has changed considerably.

And that's another big part of it. Do not fear change. If you fear change and stand stagnant, you will be left in the dust, a relic of a forgotten time (think John Byrne or Chris Claremont over the last 10 or so years). No one will like your new work and will just constantly go back to what you did before that was so great, and you, unfortunately, will go back to that well.

But I digress.

Comics pitching is like all of this. It's a lot of words building a story about something you truly believe in. I love my comic, Dannemora, I think it's something special. It's not really ever been done in comics before and I believe someone, somewhere, will help me tell this story and the world will see what I mean by that.

Carl and I will sit back and laugh, knowing what we had all along and how wrong everyone who said no was. That's the truth. I can be a humble person, but I can also carry a vengeance when I need to.

Dannemora is one of my babies. It's probably my magnum opus. It's probably my Hellboy. It's probably the one thing that I plan to give the world, to leave behind that will always be in my name and will always be out there for the world to enjoy.

But hey, I'm just spitballing here. Strangely enough, it won't be my first comic book release of creator-owned proportions. That's Stillwater. Which you will hear about in my next blog.


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