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View Full Version : Frustration is waiting on someone else to decide your fate


DJ Keawekane
02-12-2015, 11:31 PM
I've been trying to get my submission out to publishers and man it's so frustrating. I haven't really said anything here in a while but I remember when I first started doing comics Digital Webbing was an awesome place for me to just meet up with new people and I've learned so much through this site. It just feels right to go back to basics now.

I wish I had the courtesy of a rejection letter you know? All these icons have such great stories about getting rejected and the criticisms they received that made them better and all these great stories. But for our generation I think it's different. I really do. I mean, I have gotten a few rejection letters. And you know what they were wonderful! It really helped me out. But like I said I think our generations dilemma is different.

Our dilemma is this- we're lucky if they even see the damn submission. I'm not blaming anyone it's just the way things go and maybe I'm just way too frustrated but fuck it here it is. I don't mean to knock the guy who has to look at the submission pile I'd probably be worse at it than anyone out there doing it now but how does his day go? Who is he? Is he someone that has too many responsibilities? I mean let's face it back when most of our idols were breaking in the internet was probably not in existence, or in its infancy. So the noobs had to really go for it, and this probably filtered out a lot of competition. I'm not saying it was easier for them in terms of craft but getting a response from someone who meant something to the publisher was probably better in those days.

Our problem is different. Our problem is now we compete with the entire world because of the internet. And because of that I can't imagine what the submission pile looks like. Pages full of emails, and each line on that email represents another submission? Most of them terrible? Some ok? Some not quite there yet?

OR most of em crap! Some good but right now the company but the company can only handle so much?

Whatever the case is it's frustrating. I mean you work hard to make something and then you gotta put it out there and then the waiting game does things to you. You know? No one likes being just a number. But I get it. Gotta pay your dues! FUCK! I feel like all the fucken dues I've been trying to pay for the last ten years did nothing! And then all that opens up a whole other conversation in my head- "Maybe your just not good enough!" You've been at it for ten years and NOTHING? COME ON WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED as an indication that this shit just aint for you YOU FUCKEN LOSER!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!

Thoughts! Thoughts! Thoughts! Anybody elses but mines please.

Eliseu Gouveia
02-12-2015, 11:43 PM
You call it frustration, I call it thursdays, potaytoes, potahtoes. :p

Stewart Vernon
02-13-2015, 01:31 AM
Yeah... the world has changed a lot... in a relatively short time.

Getting hired at most jobs nowadays is a tough process. Where you used to be able to talk with a department manager whom you would actually work for, and be able to impress him/her directly with your skills... you now get fed into a pile that gets sifted through by people who may not even know what the job entails or how to process qualifications.

I'm not putting down a secretary... but imagine you interviewed with the secretary instead of the boss, and the secretary decided whether you get to talk with the boss... that sounds crazy, right? But that's sort of where we are now in a LOT of professions.

Beyond getting valid critiques and options to improve yourself based on feedback... you might actually be well-qualified IF you could ever get in front of the person who actually needs your skills... but it's next to impossible to do that these days.

Steven Forbes
02-13-2015, 01:50 AM
Yeah... the world has changed a lot... in a relatively short time.

Getting hired at most jobs nowadays is a tough process. Where you used to be able to talk with a department manager whom you would actually work for, and be able to impress him/her directly with your skills... you now get fed into a pile that gets sifted through by people who may not even know what the job entails or how to process qualifications.

I'm not putting down a secretary... but imagine you interviewed with the secretary instead of the boss, and the secretary decided whether you get to talk with the boss... that sounds crazy, right? But that's sort of where we are now in a LOT of professions.

Beyond getting valid critiques and options to improve yourself based on feedback... you might actually be well-qualified IF you could ever get in front of the person who actually needs your skills... but it's next to impossible to do that these days.

None of which is relevant in making comics below the Marvel/DC level. (And even then, it isn't relevant for anyone directly involved in making the comic. Maybe an editor, but that's all I could imagine having to go through the HR gauntlet.)

I understand what you're saying, but that's not DJ's main complaint. He's just having to wait, instead of getting an instant answer. And I understand totally what he means. Basically, he's venting, which is great for blowing off steam, but doesn't help the "problem" of having to wait. Getting others to go in for schadenfreude doesn't really help. Not like this.

Instead, I believe he should take his mind off it by creating more work. Pencil that next page, or thing up another property to work on, or look for some commissions. Fill the time until you get an answer (or not). Really, the worst thing we creative types can do is wallow.

Go. Create. It's a better use of your time.

Eliseu Gouveia
02-13-2015, 02:22 AM
Yeah, focus on your projects while you're waiting.
It can be unnerving but it's the only thing you can do, really.

There is a thursday in every week but not all weekdays are thursdays. ^_^

Scribbly
02-13-2015, 02:40 AM
One minute for a big potato equals a year for a small potato.
Or, one minute of its time for a big potato equals a year on a small potato's life.

Stewart Vernon
02-13-2015, 02:48 AM
None of which is relevant in making comics below the Marvel/DC level. (And even then, it isn't relevant for anyone directly involved in making the comic. Maybe an editor, but that's all I could imagine having to go through the HR gauntlet.)

I would say some of it is, though... where he relates the part about competing with the larger world, and being in a bigger pile of submissions than he might have been say 10 years ago.

I have to think not all submissions even get looked at any more with the quantity they must receive. There would have been a time when all submissions were reviewed and responded to... followed by a time when all submissions were still reviewed but only some were responded to... and then where we are now, which he alluded to perhaps wondering not just if it will be a while but if your submission ever gets looked at by anyone.

Getting others to go in for schadenfreude doesn't really help. Not like this.

...

Go. Create. It's a better use of your time.

I completely agree here. Whether you get a timely or a late response, or none at all, it doesn't help you any to worry or pine over it. Come up with your best submission, send it off according to their guidelines, follow up some reasonable time afterwards where appropriate... but keep working on other submissions and creating more new things!

DaveyDouble
02-13-2015, 01:34 PM
Make sure your submission follows the guidelines to the letter. Absolutely everything is bang on the money. Like with any vetting situation, in order to qhittlw down the overwhelming numbers to a manageable amount, anything with an obvious flaw goes straight in the bin.

This is simply how it is. No point bitching and moaning about it. That's what happens when you're asking someoneel io support your idea.

The easy way around it is to strike out on your own.

NatMatt
02-13-2015, 03:43 PM
This fustrates me too. I've been sending submissions for almost two years now and out of all the submissions I've sent, only a few have had the curtesy to respond as to why they didn't accept my submission. I understand that some recieve so many that they cannot respond to each one but they should at least forward an email to all those they did not accept letting them know that they were not accepted. This mostly bugs me because sometimes I wait days for them to respond in hopes that I got the job when all I'm doing is wasting my time.

Alyssa
02-13-2015, 08:18 PM
How to cope with waiting for a response, or receiving a rejection letter? Remember that publishers don't owe you a damn thing.

Sorry to be blunt, but the sooner you remember this, the sooner you'll be able to carry on. You're the one trying to benefit from the publisher's resources and experience. What do they get? Yet another submission (just one of a bazillion) that they have to slog through.

Here's the thing. The person looking through your submission? From the very outset, they're literally hunting for something that tells them they can bin your submission and move onto the next. Why? Because for every gazillion submissions they get, there might be one worth publishing... with extra edits.

If you've failed to interest them with your pitch, it's a BONUS if they take the time to send you a letter. Again, they don't owe you anything. You're hoping to bask in their rays of sunlight- not the other way 'round. If you eventually get a letter, display it on your wall. If not? Well, don't fret.

The best possible thing you can do (and incidentally, this is what all the successful writers have done in the face of silence and/or rejection) is just keep on creating.

HouseStark
02-13-2015, 08:41 PM
It's not the Submissions Editor job to tell you how you can improve your submission. It's their job to find good submissions. It's nothing personal. And I think you are right. The internet has allowed a glut of global crap to be sent to their inbox.

If you've been doing this over and over and you still haven't gotten in, that's telling you something. Something is wrong with your approach. It's most likely the art. 9 out of 10 times it's the art.

You have a group of peers here. You should post your submissions in a new forum and let the group help you make a better submission. Just don't take anything personally. I really think we can help as a group. Just a suggestion. We could workshop your submission.

Scribbly
02-14-2015, 11:34 AM
It's not the Submissions Editor job to tell you how you can improve your submission. It's their job to find good submissions. It's nothing personal. And I think you are right. The internet has allowed a glut of global crap to be sent to their inbox.

If you've been doing this over and over and you still haven't gotten in, that's telling you something. Something is wrong with your approach. It's most likely the art. 9 out of 10 times it's the art.

You have a group of peers here. You should post your submissions in a new forum and let the group help you make a better submission. Just don't take anything personally. I really think we can help as a group. Just a suggestion. We could workshop your submission.

That is the point. The submission's Editor must look after the best submissions to be produced.
That is his/her job.
And the top submissions by quality and originality are the winners.
If we ignore that any time we are sending a submission we are competing with every other author, creator, artist, writer who is also sending submissions, trying to reach the same spot, we are wrong.
The ones who have the immediate answer back are those who are at the top ten.
Everyone else goes in oblivion. To send hundred or thousand rejection letters could be a drag for any Editor
What level of quality is required? Just take the time for see and read and understand the tone of the books that the particular publisher to whom you are submitting produce.
Find their 5 best seller books. With that reference in mind, work out something superior in quality and originality that these 5 top books. Why? Because these 5 books are your ultimate competitors.
Then, you may have a quick response.

Like in any other job, the best fits are the ones who are called back for the position.
We can blame internet. OK. Before internet the blame was the distance.
Or the huge cost of printing offset.
Real truth is that real quality wins over mediocrity. Second tiers go straight to oblivion.
Even when having the chance of being published once.
What about trying our chops first working for someone else or self publishing before sending a submission for a full project to a publisher's for approval?

Stewart Vernon
02-14-2015, 04:57 PM
That's basically what I was pointing out.

Go back 40 years and the amount of submissions any particular editor might receive probably was so low that he could review all of them, critique them, and respond personally if he so wished.

Now you have so many submissions that the lower quality ones get weeded out first... then only a small amount get reviewed... and of those only the ones he likes will get replies most likely.

The best work still gets the replies, though... I don't see that as having changed.

What has changed is that most of the rest will receive no replies... and that's fine. But what also happens sometimes, and we hear stories about this sort of thing, the person who gets rejected a dozen times before finally being accepted and then goes on to great success.

That person is a testament to perseverance and improvement... but it also is an indicator that some others along the way didn't have the time to properly evaluate the submission. It's hard to believe that 13th submission editor was a genius to accept something that the previous 12 thought was crap. It's just as likely, in today's world, that the submission editor doesn't see all the submissions addressed to him. Rather, he has an assistant who weeds through them and pares them down before he ever sees him... and it is that assistant making the first decisions on who to ignore and who to review.

Unlike the olden days of assistants who were mentored and given guidance, however, today's assistant often flies solo and make decisions not necessarily on the same page that his boss would make.

That's why I likened it to regular employment processes in today's world. Your submission could be good and never cross the desk of the editor to whom you submitted it. There isn't much you can do about that.

So, simultaneously... you have to keep your head up and keep trying and not griping about it... but it's worth acknowledging the reality of a flawed system that sometimes lets talent fall through the cracks and then picks the "best of the rest" and that's how you see someone working on something that is sub-par and you wonder how that guy got a job while someone you know is struggling.

Scribbly
02-14-2015, 06:04 PM
As far I read from the 60's, 70's and 80's period in comics, the slush pile of submission was handled by interns, not Editors.
When the intern find something of interest he would report it to his Editor and things will go from there.
Nothing changes very much.
I know of great comics artist waiting more than a year for response, even having the OK of the main Editor.
This is very common in any other media that may involve creative people and producers.

I think internet brought some democracy to this state of things.

komikartist
02-14-2015, 06:42 PM
The hiring process for comics publishers has always been a bit of a mystery. But understanding a few apparent facts can at least help with creators' expectations.

1) The Big Two have their established properties and just don't have any need for cold-contact writers—unless they've already established themselves on a self-published book or in other media and can bring in at least a handful of additional readers. Sad as that sounds, that's how relatively bad sales numbers are nowadays. Otherwise it's like the rest of world—it's who you know and being in the right spot at the right time. Fact is, anyone with a grasp of basic grammar and a little knowledge of the above-mentioned properties/characters can churn out an acceptable script. Competence trumps talent every time in this scenario, so no matter how hard you might work at your craft there's not much chance anyone will ever notice.

2) Artists probably had a better shot in the past at drawing attention (no pun intended), but only if their work was really outstanding or for some reason tickled some editor's fancy—a very long shot. But as others have noted in this thread, the globalization of the talent pool has left the poor submissions stewards buried in samples. Probably a good 95% of those are lacking in some significant way, but the sheer volume means that there's probably still more real talent to choose from than at any time in the history of the medium.

3) Without the aforementioned established properties and corporate backing, the other-than-Big-Two publishers just don’t have the resources to afford nor any real use for any additional writers or artists. The people who created what properties they have are in all probability still locked on those titles hoping someone at the Big Two will notice them.

4) I hesitated before including this because some might find it depressing, but it seems to be a fact of the comics business. The portfolio reviews at conventions seem to really be more about attracting more fans to those conventions and drawing attention to the publishers involved than they are about "discovering" anyone. The consensus seems to be that no one ever gets hired this way. It's not necessarily a bad thing—it gives the numerous fans who aspire to working in the industry a reason to get fired up about the conventions and that's good for comics all-around. Hopefuls just shouldn't let it get to them too much when nothing comes of it.

5) Finally, and this one might be a revelation to anyone who's pretty uninformed politically (that would be most Americans), there's…wait for it…yeah it's ugly, but what to do about it? It's…globalization! Having the domestic comics fan base in a hammerlock, the Big Two have a vested interest in expanding readership abroad, and how better to do that than to hire artists from far off lands who might bring their local fan following into the DC/Marvel fold?

Just a few thoughts. Still love the medium.

Stewart Vernon
02-14-2015, 08:35 PM
Good points...

Think other professions where there is a fanbase in play, like sports.

People want to see LeBron James or back in the day Michael Jordan... but could either of those stars have fronted their own professional league instead of the NBA?

You have a better chance to be a player in the NBA than one of the NBA All-Stars has of starting his own competitive league.

So, talent plays a part... but so does brand familiarity.

People are more likely to buy Spider-Man by Joe Shmoe than a known talent's independent offering.

One thing you have going for you now more than ever, though... is the ability to self-publish or just be on the World Wide Web like never before. If you produce, and produce well, people will eventually notice and whether it is an offer from a big company OR fame and fortune from your creator-owned project... if you have the talent and keep pushing through and creating, you have a better chance than by sitting and waiting for a return phone call.

DJ Keawekane
02-15-2015, 01:48 AM
Make sure your submission follows the guidelines to the letter. Absolutely everything is bang on the money. Like with any vetting situation, in order to qhittlw down the overwhelming numbers to a manageable amount, anything with an obvious flaw goes straight in the bin.

This is simply how it is. No point bitching and moaning about it. That's what happens when you're asking someoneel io support your idea.

The easy way around it is to strike out on your own.

No fuckin shit Sherlock! Wow you must be some sort of genius or something! I mean who would have thought that by following the submissions guidelines to a tee could make things better for me. Jeez I wish I ACTUALLY DID THAT!
But no no one is smart enough to do that you fuckin turd!

No no no this is the internet! This is what people do! Bitch about it! That's what I'm doing here! I'm bitching about it!

DJ Keawekane
02-15-2015, 01:52 AM
How to cope with waiting for a response, or receiving a rejection letter? Remember that publishers don't owe you a damn thing.

Sorry to be blunt, but the sooner you remember this, the sooner you'll be able to carry on. You're the one trying to benefit from the publisher's resources and experience. What do they get? Yet another submission (just one of a bazillion) that they have to slog through.

Here's the thing. The person looking through your submission? From the very outset, they're literally hunting for something that tells them they can bin your submission and move onto the next. Why? Because for every gazillion submissions they get, there might be one worth publishing... with extra edits.

If you've failed to interest them with your pitch, it's a BONUS if they take the time to send you a letter. Again, they don't owe you anything. You're hoping to bask in their rays of sunlight- not the other way 'round. If you eventually get a letter, display it on your wall. If not? Well, don't fret.

The best possible thing you can do (and incidentally, this is what all the successful writers have done in the face of silence and/or rejection) is just keep on creating.

No shit? Wow this place is a fuckin GOLD MINE! You guys are fuckin awesome! Geez if only I DIDN"T STOP CREATING!

You trying to fuckin tough love me????? SERIOUSLY????

DJ Keawekane
02-15-2015, 02:18 AM
The hiring process for comics publishers has always been a bit of a mystery. But understanding a few apparent facts can at least help with creators' expectations.

1) The Big Two have their established properties and just don't have any need for cold-contact writers—unless they've already established themselves on a self-published book or in other media and can bring in at least a handful of additional readers. Sad as that sounds, that's how relatively bad sales numbers are nowadays. Otherwise it's like the rest of world—it's who you know and being in the right spot at the right time. Fact is, anyone with a grasp of basic grammar and a little knowledge of the above-mentioned properties/characters can churn out an acceptable script. Competence trumps talent every time in this scenario, so no matter how hard you might work at your craft there's not much chance anyone will ever notice.

2) Artists probably had a better shot in the past at drawing attention (no pun intended), but only if their work was really outstanding or for some reason tickled some editor's fancy—a very long shot. But as others have noted in this thread, the globalization of the talent pool has left the poor submissions stewards buried in samples. Probably a good 95% of those are lacking in some significant way, but the sheer volume means that there's probably still more real talent to choose from than at any time in the history of the medium.

3) Without the aforementioned established properties and corporate backing, the other-than-Big-Two publishers just don’t have the resources to afford nor any real use for any additional writers or artists. The people who created what properties they have are in all probability still locked on those titles hoping someone at the Big Two will notice them.

4) I hesitated before including this because some might find it depressing, but it seems to be a fact of the comics business. The portfolio reviews at conventions seem to really be more about attracting more fans to those conventions and drawing attention to the publishers involved than they are about "discovering" anyone. The consensus seems to be that no one ever gets hired this way. It's not necessarily a bad thing—it gives the numerous fans who aspire to working in the industry a reason to get fired up about the conventions and that's good for comics all-around. Hopefuls just shouldn't let it get to them too much when nothing comes of it.

5) Finally, and this one might be a revelation to anyone who's pretty uninformed politically (that would be most Americans), there's…wait for it…yeah it's ugly, but what to do about it? It's…globalization! Having the domestic comics fan base in a hammerlock, the Big Two have a vested interest in expanding readership abroad, and how better to do that than to hire artists from far off lands who might bring their local fan following into the DC/Marvel fold?

Just a few thoughts. Still love the medium.

Finally something worth delving into.

Regarding #4- I think there's a sub-genre within the comics business and that's the aspiring creator. I mean EVERYONE wants to impart their wisdom to the next person, but why not make a profit off of it while your at it. I had a friend pay the 500 bucks for that damn on-line I forget what it was- with uh I think it was- ugh! I forgot what it was. It was all about craft! And I'm telling you there's a lot of people who are ready to get out there but this market is tough because you compete against EVERYBODY! But he came out of that damn class and I still say he didn't need it. He actually did it to rub elbows and get his in front of working professionals. I'm not knocking the class, the system, or the professionals he worked with, but I don't think there's much that came out of it.

And all you bastards that think I'm bitching FUCK YEAH! But not just to bitch I actually want to stimulate good conversation to get me past this point of frustration. AND FUCK OFF with the tough love shit! Tough love is something you give to someone who doesn't know shit and is delusional about this whole fucking industry- I'M NOT! This is me tough loving you right back. Is there some bullshit law that says you have to take every damn thing that comes your way without having any sort of say? If so I just broke that law!

I said my frustration is in waiting! Anyone who's anyone knows all about this frustration! I never said publishers owed me anything. What you think following the submissions guidelines will get your submission looked at?

Quality is subjective. Trust me I've shown plenty work here though not lately or for the past couple years. I found it very helpful in the beginning. I've worked with some excellent people and made friendships and other aspiring creators that I will definitely work with someday. But I am a creator. I put my time into creating. Hence I'm not always here. I write, draw, ink, oversee colors, letters, edits all that. I'm not doing the whole judge me by the page deal. It's great when you first start but after you progress you move on. And the next part is now getting those pages into an actual comic and getting that finished comic published. I've been published a few times. I've learned a thing or two in that arena. Now I'm onto the next venture.

This next part is - fuckin real! Don't talk down to me unless you got some real clout. I mean real clout! And by all means if someone with some real clout jumps on and starts giving me the tough love shpleel I'll take it. But your work better speak louder than your mouth. That's my whole dilema right there. I don't usually swear at people and get all ugly but this is real people. This is what I want to do with my life. This is what I do with my life. It's not a hobby. So for me, it was about letting my work speak for itself. Not speaking about my work. I believe in the quality of my work. Honest chance. That would be nice for once.

Scribbly
02-15-2015, 02:31 AM
There you go. And here is the real use of internet.
To whom would you be bitching and venting your frustrations before internet did exist? You'll be silently banging walls with the head like all those hundred million of guys who ever sent submissions, got rejected (without a cordial rejection letter) and went frustrated by never having an answer back from publishers.

What submissions guidelines didn't say is that silence of line means that your submission is indeed rejected.
Submissions guidelines never say they will send a cordial rejection letter after, if your unsolicited material
got rejected. But maybe you already knew all of that. Didn't you?

They don't like, care for your stuff? Let them go and publish it by yourself, that is what internet is for.
Why wait for others to decide your fate?

Who would know before internet that Siegel & Shuster, the creators of Superman, were continuously rejected
by all existent publishers along six years, even by former Editors at Action comics, before Superman was eventually accepted?
What we do learn from that?

Kay
02-15-2015, 03:33 AM
It is not true editors don't reply. I got polite rejection letters from Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Asylum Press, Ape, Archaia and other small press publishers. Some were one liners, others kind words and useful feedback. After a portfolio review at a con, I got the contact info from a Marvel editor, who later sent me sample scripts and encouraging replies... but I guess I wasn't there yet. When he moved on, another editor started sending me copy-paste replies so I felt I was back at the end of the line and kind of gave it up. Actually the only company I've never heard back from is Drawn & Quarterly, which is a shame because I love them. I even got a reply from DC although that was ages ago. A friend of mine got rejection from Image because "it was not their thing". I guess people don't feel like sharing it because they're not exactly proud of it.

Alyssa
02-15-2015, 06:32 AM
No fuckin shit Sherlock! Wow you must be some sort of genius or something! I mean who would have thought that by following the submissions guidelines to a tee could make things better for me. Jeez I wish I ACTUALLY DID THAT!
But no no one is smart enough to do that you fuckin turd!

No no no this is the internet! This is what people do! Bitch about it! That's what I'm doing here! I'm bitching about it!

No shit? Wow this place is a fuckin GOLD MINE! You guys are fuckin awesome! Geez if only I DIDN"T STOP CREATING!

You trying to fuckin tough love me????? SERIOUSLY????

Here's a tip you're apparently completely oblivious about...

Publishers and/or their chief editors peruse these forums.

Leaving genuine, lovely, remarkably kind comments as you've left above will surely leave a great impression. Keep it up, dude. :cool:

Stewart Vernon
02-15-2015, 06:48 AM
Yeah... a flame-on kind of post there where you lose your cool isn't going to be helpful. You have to reign that response in... and hope no potential suitors find it online while reviewing your stuff too.

Scribbly
02-15-2015, 08:53 AM
It is not true editors don't reply. I got polite rejection letters from Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Asylum Press, Ape, Archaia and other small press publishers. Some were one liners, others kind words and useful feedback. After a portfolio review at a con, I got the contact info from a Marvel editor, who later sent me sample scripts and encouraging replies... but I guess I wasn't there yet. When he moved on, another editor started sending me copy-paste replies so I felt I was back at the end of the line and kind of gave it up. Actually the only company I've never heard back from is Drawn & Quarterly, which is a shame because I love them. I even got a reply from DC although that was ages ago. A friend of mine got rejection from Image because "it was not their thing". I guess people don't feel like sharing it because they're not exactly proud of it.

Well, maybe you are the "lucky rejected". Having personal rejections collected from more than 10 editors. Good for you.
But submissions are coming by hundred to these publishers, if Editors have the spare time to make a personalized answer back to each one it would be quite a miracle.
Also, many of these editors you are mentioning above are already telling in their submissions guidelines that "due the amount of submissions" they will contact back only submissions they are interested on work with.
They may be doing a great exception personally letting you know they are not interested on work with you.
BTW, you are not specifying what kind of submissions you did send, if so, artwork, writing or project's proposal.


PS: Myself, I would like to have a personalized rejection letter from any Editor at former Vertigo DC.
And I would like to have it in a frame.

MBirkhofer
02-15-2015, 09:13 AM
Submissions just do not work. they are a waste of time.

The talent pool is too big. there are lines of already established professionals, with mountains of work, also trying to get that break into a monthly.

Networking is far more important. Get to know people on social media. This increases your chances, but is still no "in".

Personally, I feel the only sane answer is to make your own work. Selling yourself to an audience is still hard, but still more reasonable to selling yourself to an editor.

HouseStark
02-15-2015, 04:23 PM
Submissions just do not work. they are a waste of time.

The talent pool is too big. there are lines of already established professionals, with mountains of work, also trying to get that break into a monthly.

I disagree-ish. It IS possible to break in ... if your sh*t is fuc*ing good (and on par with professional talent). The problem is that most people think that they're sh*t is better than it really is. If your art doesn't make a publisher's eyeballs pop out of their effin skulls upon sight, then your submission will get flushed away faster than feces in a toilet. I know several editors. I've seen the slush pile. It really should be called the flush pile.

And the writing can't suck either. You have to be firing on all cylinders. Period. But publishers do look at the art first. That is THE MOST important factor in your submission. They will not read the written part of your pitch, or the dialogue for that matter, if your artist sucks brown hole. Your art needs to be as good, if not better, than what's on the stands today. They want people that good. Nothing less will do.

Networking is far more important. Get to know people on social media. This increases your chances, but is still no "in".

Absolutely. This is how people get jobs in any industry. 80% of all jobs are landed through networking. Get out there and start shaking hands and kissing a$$es.

Don't get your critiques from your non-comic friends and family. Make contacts in the industry. Find people who are willing to give you constructive criticism. They are out there. You'll have to work hard to build a small network of creators who you can trust to give an honest opinion.

Personally, I feel the only sane answer is to make your own work. Selling yourself to an audience is still hard, but still more reasonable to selling yourself to an editor.

I agree, but also think that putting together a pitch package isn't all that demanding either. Do both! Kickstarter is a game changer. You can now have your cake and eat it, too. Be a baker, not a bellyacher! I know, that was bad a bad one, but I couldn't resist. I really should have, though. Sometimes the success of your Kickstarter campaign could be used as leverage to get in with a publisher. Its happened a ton of times.

komikartist
02-15-2015, 07:09 PM
Submissions just do not work. they are a waste of time.

The talent pool is too big. there are lines of already established professionals, with mountains of work, also trying to get that break into a monthly.

Networking is far more important. Get to know people on social media. This increases your chances, but is still no "in".

Personally, I feel the only sane answer is to make your own work. Selling yourself to an audience is still hard, but still more reasonable to selling yourself to an editor.

I think that this is a sound appraisal of the state of the business we're discussing here. And I think that the last part about getting your own book(s) out is the best advice that's been offered so far (along with HouseStark's suggestions about self-publishing).

I've been enjoying this discussion mainly because it touches on some of the somewhat dubious formulas for getting a paying comics job that have been floated about on the internet for the past decade or two. One that hasn't come up yet is the hilarious "buy your favorite editor a drink at the next convention". That one always brought up this image of the detox ward at the host city's general hospital packed with the comatose, vomit-covered bodies of editors who'd indulged the legions of fans trying to make this imaginary end run into the big time. Then there was the "start a comics blog" mantra—blogging is actually a fun pastime, but it's hardly something that would bring the Big Two knocking on your door with a contract.

Unfortunately, I could only see networking doing any good if you actually knew someone who's in the big time before they got there. And even then, I doubt there'd be much chance that they'd be in a position to get you in too (if they even wanted to, since that would just be bringing one more potential competitor into their already hyper-competitive workplace). Of course it can still be useful as a source of moral support and a place to make connections with other hopefuls, so I'm not discounting its value for those things.

Then there's this notion of getting that nugget of advice from some working professional that will boost you into the pro ranks. There's probably no tidbit of advice, valid or otherwise, that hasn't been published in print or on the web. Working creators are usually very patient with requests for such advice because it's all part of the pro/fan convention dialogue, but the bottom line is that if you can't figure these things out for yourself they can't really help you (and again, why would they want to?).

The only advice I'd add would be to conduct yourself like an adult in everything you do connected to your potential career. Avoid the use of profanity and insults in any kind of communication or postings in open forums because that's a red flag that tells any potential employer that you're immature, and that's the last thing someone in the real world of contracts, deadlines, payrolls and all that other grown-up stuff wants to have to deal with. And last—stay away from zombies! (pun intended) Nothing will get your idea or submission 86ed quicker than the revelation that this is where your creative interests lie. It's the goofiest one-joke genre that ever existed and it's time to bury it once and for all. (rim-shot)

russbrett
02-15-2015, 09:33 PM
I agree, but also think that putting together a pitch package isn't all that demanding either. Do both! Kickstarter is a game changer. You can now have your cake and eat it, too. Be a baker, not a bellyacher! I know, that was bad a bad one, but I couldn't resist. I really should have, though. Sometimes the success of your Kickstarter campaign could be used as leverage to get in with a publisher. Its happened a ton of times.

Can't agree more about Kickstarter being a game changer.

I had just enough money saved to hire an artist to complete four pages plus a cover for Sidekicks.

I could have used it as a pitch to publishers, but instead I went to Kickstarter.

Not only did I raise enough money to fund the entire comic, but the success of the Kickstarter yielded an e-mail from a publisher interested in distributing the book.


Unfortunately, I could only see networking doing any good if you actually knew someone who's in the big time before they got there. And even then, I doubt there'd be much chance that they'd be in a position to get you in too (if they even wanted to, since that would just be bringing one more potential competitor into their already hyper-competitive workplace). Of course it can still be useful as a source of moral support and a place to make connections with other hopefuls, so I'm not discounting its value for those things.

Networking is always good.

This industry is smaller than we think it is. Once I started developing a relationship with other creators, I was shocked by how insular the community was. Everyone knows everyone.

It adds to your credibility to be able to say you're working with so-and-so, because there's a decent chance the person you're speaking to has worked with them as well.

I attend a biweekly comic creator group in Saratoga, NY. There's about 10 artists and writers who attend. Just within that group, one of the artists is friends with one of the most successful indie writer/publishers on the shelves today, and another is friends with my editor/publisher (something I learned after the fact).

When I attended NYCC, I attended the Developing an Original Comic Idea into an Animated Series: IDW’s “Killogy” Cast with Marky Ramone and Friends panel. When the panel was over, I was talking a bit with Chris Ryall, IDW's Chief Creative Officer. While he was politely listening to me, it wasn't until I told him who I was working with that he really started to pay attention.

Networking helps.

komikartist
02-15-2015, 09:48 PM
Can't agree more about Kickstarter being a game changer.

Networking is always good.

This industry is smaller than we think it is. Once I started developing a relationship with other creators, I was shocked by how insular the community was. Everyone knows everyone.

It adds to your credibility to be able to say you're working with so-and-so, because there's a decent chance the person you're speaking to has worked with them as well.

Networking helps.

It's good to keep a positive attitude. Thanks for the reminder.

Charles
02-16-2015, 01:31 AM
Thoughts! Thoughts! Thoughts! Anybody elses but mines please.

This next part is - fuckin real! Don't talk down to me unless you got some real clout. I mean real clout!.

Well, I don't have any "clout," and I don't have any desire to "talk down" to you, but your initial invitation was to anybody, and not just to those with clout.

I browsed through various portions of your art on deviantArt, and I read through your limited selection of journal entries there - including more than one in which you voiced frustration. Your frustration, it seems, is traceable to more than one thing, from what I could tell.

Of course, if you didn't take Greg Capullos' advice, then I'm not sure that anyone here that could - and would - offer you advice could offer you something in the form of advice or feedback that you are looking for.

You, yourself, have said previously that marketing just isn't your thing. You love conventions and the convention circuit, though, but there's that dilemma that you face of your location. Unless, of course, you have moved since you lamented about it on your journal.

I think that a lot of your frustrations, including what you posted in this thread, here, are shared by many similarly situated. Not being an artist, myself, I don't endure the exact frustrations that you are enduring. But, then again, artists hold no monopoly upon facing frustrations, nor in learning to turn their sources of frustration into something useful and productive.

Back at the five year mark, you harbored frustration over none of the work that you had worked on having seen print, at that time.

SOURCE: http://digitalwebbing.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1554635&postcount=18

Now, here is is another five years later, and the frustration is not only still there, it seems to be growing.

But, then again, I'm just some guy that you don't know from Adam, and a non-artist, at that, so my vantage point of you and your specific frustration is rather limited.

Art is subjective, quality less so, although people can and will quibble over any degree of details, I suppose. Heck, I quibble about them quite often.

I also can and do appreciate admonishments from others about how you present yourself online, whether here or elsewhere, and how it holds the potential to negatively impact your future prospects.

But, even still, every coin has two sides. Sometimes, just burning off some frustration can do a world of good. Stress can kill you. It can also work countless inefficiencies upon you. Ultimately, you have to wield judgment about what the greater priority is.

I've looked at comments in this thread about competition. Certainly, the Internet is a catalyst for competition. It opens new markets, as it simultaneously increases the forces of competition exponentially.

But, here's a bone of opinion that I will toss your way, as I am passing through here, tonight.

The Internet created a global market - multiple global markets, actually. However, you're not literally competing against every other artist out there. Granted, it may feel like that, sometime, but it really isn't so. It is up to you to craft a localized market for your artistic services - and rather than competing against every other artist, you will actually be competing against various sub-sets of artists, but no less importantly, you will also be competing against non-artistic forces of competition. Notably, art is a form of entertainment, and thus, your ability to price your artistic services will be impacted by other entertainment elements.

An artist such as yourself holds the key to breaking through the barriers of competition that exist as though they were omnipresent.

If you want to capitalize upon the convention circuit that the continental United States offers, then you might want to consider moving here, if you haven't, already.

I'm not sure if you ever pursued the agent angle that you were pondering, previously, since you didn't say,

As you have stated that you're "not doing the whole judge me by the page deal, and that "It's great when you first start but after you progress you move on," I won't bother with commenting on any specific art pieces that you have crafted, even ones of very recent vintage. I will leave that for those with the clout and the inclination to speak to.

Ultimately in life, we all deal with frustration, each in our own way. Allowing it to get the best of you probably isn't in your best interests, long term or otherwise.

There really aren't a lot of top tier comic book companies out there. But, there are countless different ways to make a decent living capitalizing upon one's artistic talents, skill sets, and abilities.

In any event, know that I wish you well in overcoming your frustrations, and in achieving greater success in pursuit of your artistic ambitions!

Scribbly
02-16-2015, 02:59 AM
Talking about browsing DJ's stuff.
This is what I found. The date is 01-21-2015, 11:13 PM. (Not even a month ago.)
Here he was asking to these forums: What's is the best way to send out a submission?
WE can read here he was "putting together a proposal"

Next to that, the 02-13-2015, 01:31 AM he did start this ranting post:
Frustration is waiting on someone else to decide your fate
Well, what can I say? Is not even a month than he might have his submission sent and he has this reaction?
Well, this sound kind of amazing to me. Nice way to shoot yourself in the foot.
I don't know about you. But, frustrated? Irate? What about some patience and common sense DJ?
With rejection letter or not.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p214/yeyed/DJKEAWEKAN_zpse23lya6p.jpg


In memoriam of Siegel & Shuster who did expend 6 years of their life trying to sell their proposal for "Superman".
What did we learn from that?

DaveyDouble
02-16-2015, 06:20 AM
No fuckin shit Sherlock! Wow you must be some sort of genius or something! I mean who would have thought that by following the submissions guidelines to a tee could make things better for me. Jeez I wish I ACTUALLY DID THAT!
But no no one is smart enough to do that you fuckin turd!

No no no this is the internet! This is what people do! Bitch about it! That's what I'm doing here! I'm bitching about it!

Dude. Don't be a fucking prick all your life, eh?

Do you have any idea how many people send in submissions and job applications (because that is what your submission is when you boil it down) and fuck up their chances by not following what has been explicitly asked for?

Do you know what submission reviewers do in those situations?
That's right, those that have prominent spelling mistakes, erroneous information or just look like they've been put together by someone who hasn't been paying attention are the first to go in the shredder.

And they don't get a fucking ounce of feedback because the people doing the reviewing are too fucking busy doing something else they're getting paid for to give two fucks about how an applicant who can't follow written instructions feels.

Haven't heard from someone about your trail blazing idea? Too fucking bad.

Steven Forbes
02-16-2015, 08:15 AM
Okay.

Everyone feel better now? Frustrations all out? Good.

Let's return to civil conversation, or else I'll close the thread up.

Thanks.

DJ Keawekane
02-16-2015, 07:58 PM
Okay.

Everyone feel better now? Frustrations all out? Good.

Let's return to civil conversation, or else I'll close the thread up.

Thanks.

You know what Steve? I do feel better. See I told you this is good. I feel way better. So it's good for me.

I do feel like swearing some more but out of respect for you I won't do it.

And thanks to Charles and Scribbly for connecting to the frustrated part of someone and actually getting to know me off of what I've done. That speaks more to me directly than whatever else BS people wanna throw at me. People see a frustrated person and their best response is to poke at em. But you guys along with all the others that have something valid to say have actually put me in perspective, which is what we all need sometimes.

Yes location is a huge problem. I'm not planning on moving. I would love to but I'm too rooted here. But a huge part of this is trying to bridge this gap between the way the internet connects the world and at the same time it floods the slush piles. I've thought about doing a Kickstarter again location is a factor I have to pay to get them here only to pay to have them shipped again. I could probably bring up my target goal higher but honestly I'm petrified, the way a lot of other people are. I wish there was an online class to train people about running these campaigns. I know there will be one eventually until then though...

Conventions- I love those, but too costly. I could definitely make a go at it if we had a con circuit here but no circuit big enough.

Does anyone have any experience with Patreon? If so I'll be glad to hear any thoughts on those. I know it's still relatively new so I'm not so sure anyone has any sort of feedback there yet.

Again thanks guys. Sorry for being an ass, but it did spark up some good conversation- you're welcome, and not everyone is a retard, though a retard may disagree lol

Stewart Vernon
02-17-2015, 01:39 AM
You sound in better spirits with that post... try to hold onto that. I know it can be rough. It's easy to explode and go nuts... and it's not healthy to hold everything back without an outlet. But I try as much as I can to feed the creative monster with my frustrations rather than blow up.

I used to argue a lot with people... sometimes out of frustration... but I learned that for me, even if I "won" the argument... I still felt like crap afterwards and felt like I'd wasted a lot of energy that could have been put to something useful.

So, I may not be 100% useful all the time... but I've really worked to curb the arguing instincts over the years and turn that energy elsewhere.

Hopefully you take some useful information from the discussion you started, because there are good words from a bunch of people in here.

DaveyDouble
02-17-2015, 05:59 AM
DJ, if you're frustrated and ranting then any feedback you get should put it all in perspective. Including when you get a bunch of people pointing out the blindingly obvious and telling you to get over it.

It means your 'problems' ain't all that.

ponyrl
02-17-2015, 06:27 PM
Talk to Ray Dillion about the Patreon.

I know he does that.

SamRoads
02-17-2015, 09:50 PM
My day job is pretty much equivalent to the people you're hoping to impress with your art - I'm editor at a writing magazine, and I get several blind submissions for articles every day.

Whenever I'm interested in a prospect, I do my internet due diligence to find out if that person is likely to be polite and hard-working, or whether I find anything online which concerns me.

If I were to do that to you and came across this thread, you can imagine what that would do to your chances of getting published. Not the original question - that's fine. It's your being mean to people. I have no time for that.

Steven Forbes
02-17-2015, 11:39 PM
My day job is pretty much equivalent to the people you're hoping to impress with your art - I'm editor at a writing magazine, and I get several blind submissions for articles every day.

Whenever I'm interested in a prospect, I do my internet due diligence to find out if that person is likely to be polite and hard-working, or whether I find anything online which concerns me.

If I were to do that to you and came across this thread, you can imagine what that would do to your chances of getting published. Not the original question - that's fine. It's your being mean to people. I have no time for that.

Makes me wonder if I'd get hired by you, Felix. ;)

Lightdragon
02-18-2015, 03:40 AM
As far I read from the 60's, 70's and 80's period in comics, the slush pile of submission was handled by interns, not Editors.
When the intern find something of interest he would report it to his Editor and things will go from there.
Nothing changes very much.
I know of great comics artist waiting more than a year for response, even having the OK of the main Editor.
This is very common in any other media that may involve creative people and producers.

I think internet brought some democracy to this state of things.

I was an intern at marvel in the 80's. the only things the interns were allowed to do with submissions was to put it in a bin for the submission editor.and we usually got maybe one or two submissions a week. although we had thousands of fan mail. only thing interns handled was fan mail. some interns would give critiques if they were being groomed for editorialship.

DJ Keawekane
02-18-2015, 04:06 AM
I am in better spirits. I do apologize to you guys for being a dick. It's not that I meant to be that way. But everybody feels this way from time to time. Not trying to justify anything but you know what I'm not ashamed of my actions. I'm asking someone to give me perspective (which is what happened in the most case) but it's a time bomb every passionate creator faces. I'm not afraid to say I don't have it all together. I mean I get it, we're all here to be working professionals and there's things you just don't do- call it PC or whatever. And you want to portray yourself in the best way you can.

But consider this. There ARE creators who feel like this who for the same reasons will remain quiet. And never be heard. They read this and say you know what I feel the same way but I aint saying shit! So here's to you creators out there who have ever felt frustrated you are not alone. Let me take the jerk for you. And besides art is life, life is art- all that stuff resonates into our work as artists. I mean jeez Amy Winehouse was a wreak but my goodness she was definitely an amazing artist. If everyone is so perfectly put together how is that exciting? And here you can insert all the reasons why we should present ourselves perfect and boring as all get up. But if this one thread on this forum ruin my chances that my book will get published then I really failed to deliver a solid pitch. I mean either the work stands as its own basis to stand on or it doesn't. And if it doesn't because of this? This? Btw if any editors find this post and actually turn my submission away I will be happy. Because then at least I know where they're looking. And will now spend a big chunk of time here but who knows. And btw if you are a submissions editor and you are still following this thread along this far into the discussion you must be entertained right? You must find this interesting to some degree right? Geez imagine the writing and story and art in the actual pitch. Just saying I've kept you coming back using only words- imagine with some pictures.

I remember days here on these boards where Musgrave would flay people and they loved it (or was it just me?). I mean he had opinions and although not all agree (go figure) they were valid. Love him or hate him his opinions did open peoples minds to other ways of thinking. Not saying I want anarchy or anything like that, I'm just saying playing it safe- there's a point where that just gets irritating, if that's not the real type of person you are. I'm being real here again. Not everybody plays it safe. Some people take the beatings and get better for it. Some take the gamble win or lose, I definitely do. And lost way more times than I won. I can count the few times I actually won. But I wouldn't change a fricken thing. I've learned more from losing than I ever did winning. I ain't perfectly put together but who's brave enough to admit that? Everyone wants to portray perfection. Is that the real you? Perfect? Seriously? I know I'm going off the deep end and I don't wanna start up on anyone else. I really do feel remorseful about what I said earlier (again how many people are brave enough to say that after a flame war?) but they were also reactions. Who was it Alan Moore (?) said- he'd rather over react than betray the person he was (?) Something along those lines- not to compare myself with him but there's gotta be a place for that sort of thing. Yep I think so- and I'm delegating here to be that place.

We're all peers here aren't we? I mean I've gotten into a few beefs (not all that major) but if we were all sitting next to each other I think it would be a much different story- a better one honestly. I'm not always the dick you think I am. We could probably get our points across without it blowing up. But this is healthy discussion- for me at least. Thank you to everyone else who chimed in and helped me get out of the whole I was in. It does happen from time to time. And not only to me.

Anyways. I do like the discussion. I do apologize to DoubleDavey and Alyssa for responding the way I did. If this is your first impression of me- I understand if you write me off as an asshole and I'll just have to take it. But my apology is sincere even if you choose not to accept it.

ponyrl
02-18-2015, 04:44 AM
Hey man, you're still aces in my book. :D

DJ Keawekane
02-18-2015, 06:34 AM
Hey man, you're still aces in my book. :D

Thanks ponyrl. You are literally the first person that ever even spoke to me right here at DW which is the first place I came to on-line ever.

SamRoads
02-18-2015, 04:08 PM
Apologising is an exceptionally good way of not being a dick. Nice one. :)

Steven - I don't think you're mean. Well. Not very. ;)

ponyrl
02-18-2015, 06:10 PM
Thanks ponyrl. You are literally the first person that ever even spoke to me right here at DW which is the first place I came to on-line ever.

Hey man. I don't like people, but when I do, I tend to ride or die with 'em.

You and LilGreenMan is my peoples. ;)

Alyssa
02-19-2015, 12:02 AM
If everyone is so perfectly put together how is that exciting? And here you can insert all the reasons why we should present ourselves perfect and boring as all get up.

It's not about being perfect, politically correct, or chronically nice. Just pick your fights, so that when you DO go off, people are liable to gather under your banner, rather than write you off as an asshat. ;)

Anyways. I do like the discussion. I do apologize to DoubleDavey and Alyssa for responding the way I did. If this is your first impression of me- I understand if you write me off as an asshole and I'll just have to take it. But my apology is sincere even if you choose not to accept it.

I've held a grudge against just one person in my life, and he ain't you. You're all good. :cool:

Steven Forbes
02-19-2015, 12:07 AM
I've held a grudge against just one person in my life, and he ain't you. You're all good. :cool:

Yeah, and I still don't know why she continues to talk to me...

ponyrl
02-19-2015, 12:17 AM
Yeah, and I still don't know why she continues to talk to me...

My paypal payments are on time that's why. :whistlin: