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Don’t Just Read Comic Books!

rowanIf you want to be a professional comic book creator, it takes more than just talent and perseverance. It also takes “connections!”

Like any other industry, who you know makes a world of difference. The problem for many creative types is that we tend not to be extroverts. Some of us are just downright socially inept. And that’s bad because the people who hire creators want to work with people they know, like and have chemistry with. And how do you achieve “chemistry” when networking? I’ll tell ya…

While we all got into this because we LOVE reading comic books, as a creator, there are great advantages to exposing yourself (yeah, I said it) to other things besides comics. One of those advantages is being versed (even if barely) in a wide range of topics. You see, a big chunk of chemistry is all about being able to have great conversations. And the wider the range of topics you can speak on, the better the chances of finding a common interest with whoever you’re trying to network and build a relationship with. And unless you want to be seen as just another fan boy, you don’t want to talk about continuity. You want to be seen as a regular guy.

So how do you become versed in other topics? Here are some suggestions:

  • Watch Documentaries – Netflix and YouTube have a bunch and they’re quite fascinating!
  • Listen to National Public Radio – It’s not as boring as you think, in fact it’s quite interesting!
  • Go to Different Kinds of Events – Cultural festivals, museum exhibits and plays. I personally like trade shows
  • Ask People About their Jobs and Hobbies – Also a great way to practice having conversations
  • Join a Group About Something Other Than Comics – Be warned…there will be girls
  • Read Magazines! – They’re short and cover a wide range of topics and are often entertaining to boot!

What’s more, the equally great reason for doing all this is that these are all great sources for story ideas. If all you do is read comics and watch movies, then chances are, your ideas are derivative of what’s already been done!

So bone up and feel confident in your conversation and networking skills, charm those editors and make comics!

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