How To Break Into Comics: Networking

by Omar Spahi

I’m the host of Dreamer Comics Podcast, my name is Omar Spahi. I’ve decided to make it my life mission to help people break into comics. My goal is to help others create mind-blowingly awesome comics.
Simple, right?
Well, I’m going to give some advice that others don’t necessarily give in the industry, but to me, it’s one of the most important aspects of any business.
This week, it’s all about NETWORKING in comics.
It’s the dream to write for major publishers, like DC Comics, Marvel, Image Comics, BOOM! Studios, Aftershock Comics, Waxwork Comics. To get paid to write or draw characters you love or grew up loving. Heck, getting paid to write at all is a blessing.
The problem is they always hire from the same pool of talent, you see the same names on books time and time again. Because those are people who have proven that they can get the job done, and they’re trustworthy to get jobs done on-time with quality.
To get there, it’s simple. You have to be good at writing or drawing, but most people won’t just look at a script or sketches. You have to have proven you can produce quality work in comics. But having a comic isn’t enough, they want to know that you have a track record and other professionals can vouch for you.
But the real trick is that to be successful at anything in life, it’s about people.
People are the ones that hire you. You’re not going to get discovered because you wrote or drew this amazing comic. It’s not the way the industry works.
You have to talk to people, and that means getting up off the couch and forcing yourself to go to store signings, conventions, or anywhere you can meet creators. Talk to everyone, because the more people you know the better.
The key is to be kind and try to get to know them, it’s not about getting a job. You have to build a relationship.
Ask for a way to keep in contact, such as phone number or email address, and follow up.
Don’t ask for work, it should come up naturally that you also work in comics on this or that. Once you start making a few friends, you can ask if it’s okay to pitch something.
The key is with people that it’s not about you, it’s about them. Genuinely care for others.
Help others in ways that are humanly related, not comic related.
Build relationships and build them well.
Because the way comics works is that if you build meaningful relationships, people will help you.
The goal should be to help others, not help yourself.
Comics work in a funny way, where today’s intern could be tomorrow’s CEO.
So always treat everyone with respect and focus on building your tribe of creators. Because if someone is kind enough to give you work, odds are that down the line you’ll be in a position to give them work as well.
I know a lot of people are introverts, and this is not easy or comfortable, but it is important if you want to work in comics.
Get out there, make some friends and have some fun with the process.
Comics has some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and some of my closest friends have come from here. If you don’t know where to start, you can always reach out to me!
Good luck, and have fun.

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