At Fan Expo Boston 2022, DC Comics co-publisher Dan Didio gave a panel on creating the perfect comic book pitch. When pitching DC, Didio clarifies that you want to avoid saying that you have “a radical idea that’s going to change everything we know about the superhero” without ever putting pen to paper.
Whether you’re pitching to a large publisher or embarking on an indie project, here are some essentials to include in your pitch.
Creators will need a “Logline” or single sentence summary of your story that identifies the protagonist their wants and obstacles. The Logline is like your north star and can be used during the creative process to make sure the project is going in the right direction to reach its destination.
Under the Logline should be the Outline. The Outline contains the beginning, middle, and end and summarizes everything important that happens in the story. Don’t bury the lead or keep plot-twists secret from your editor.
If your comic is an ongoing series, you should give sample episodes also known as “springboards.” Ongoing series live or die by a strong lead character and their supporting character dynamics. Make sure your lead character is well-defined and that every supporting character elevates your lead.
Didio gives examples of the self-contained and ongoing story models. The Simpsons is ongoing where the characters never age and the story never ends. Harry Potter, is self-contained where the characters age-up with the readers and there’s a definitive ending.
Once you have a logline, an outline, character descriptions/dynamics and sample episodes, it becomes easier for an editor, publisher, or potential collaborator to understand whether your story is going to be a good fit.
In closing, Didio makes a bold statement as the former co-publisher of DC Comics, claiming that the superhero genre is no longer king. Aspiring creators should match the genre style to the story instead of trying to force a story into a style. He also encourages people to put what’s unique about themselves into the pitch, only showing their best and finished work in a portfolio.