I’m sure that anyone in touch with the comics community as well as all aspiring comic writers are always looking to pitch their comic to all of the publishers who will look at it. I’m also sure that everyone in the comics community is well aware of the recent news about a certain creator-owned publisher officially taking submissions. That being said, I figured it was the perfect time to write about pitching your comics to submissions editors at creator-owned publishers.
Let me preface this article by saying, there are many different ways pitches could work, many different books about pitching, and many different styles to pitch creative works. There are a few key things I believe can give you an advantage when pitching a comic. My goal for this article is to help guide you to creating a pitch, that at the very least, will earn you a bit of credibility with the editors.
Okay, so… Now for the tips on pitching a comic:
Read the submissions guidelines for the publisher you are pitching to and strictly follow the guideline. The submissions team of publisher spent the time to write out their guidelines and you should do exactly what they say. Why? Because you want them to accept your submissions! Format your pitch exactly how they ask you to, because that shows that you could follow directions and it also makes it easier for them to read the pitch and not have to decipher any codes.
Make sure what you are pitching fits the mold of the publisher. If the publisher you are pitching to doesn’t do superhero books don’t pitch your epic superhero book. Duh…
Don’t pitch something that is similar to a comic the publisher currently publishes or has published in the past. If I was to go over to Image Comics and pitch a comic about a zombie apocalypse that challenges people’s morals and friendships I would get denied because they already have a comic like that, The Walking Dead.
Be sure to keep your Log line brief and fulfilling. You can go with the typical “It’s This meets That in a fantasy world where minions reign supreme.” You could also come with something more original if your comic is not really like anything else out there.
Don’t try to be crafty and give the submissions editor a cliffhanger. They don’t care about your cliffhanger right now. Right now all they care about is whether or not your skills are up to their standard and then they want to know the beginning, middle and end of your story. They need you to tell them everything in order to gauge the story and predict if it would be a worthy investment to publish your story. Tell them everything!
Don’t just steal an idea. Thieves suck.
Know your story, your characters, and your ending. At the very least you should have most of the answers people could ask you about your story. Even if those answers change while scripting it’s okay. You just need to be able to speak with confidence about your story. Nothing will make you have more confidence than knowing your comic.
Dialogue doesn’t matter in your pitch. It doesn’t, don’t think a line of dialogue will make or break a pitch. It won’t.
Pitching sucks. It’s hard to tell your story succinctly without getting excited and wanting to tell more than you are asked to tell because the comic is your baby. It’s good that you love your comic, but don’t let that hinder your chances at pitching. Trust me, if they like your pitch they are going to ask you to tell them everything you didn’t tell them yet.
As far as your script goes, please refer to OUTSIDE THE PANELS #9 and OUTSIDE THE PANELS #10.
Just believe in your project and if the publisher believes it is the right fit, then kudos to you! If not, look for another publisher where your story fits or look into self-publishing!
Good luck, everyone!