And another New York Comic Con is in the books. Many people go to these cons to meet movie stars or pick up hard to find merchandise. I may do this from time-to-time but I mostly go to talk to various editors and artists. It's an interesting story and I've probably made every mistake in the book along the way.
For years I would find editors and try to get them to hire me. Naturally, when you don't have a credit to your name, they aren't going to hire you. Yet, I made friends and continued talking and chipping away. The thing is, handing unpublished scripts to editors is not going to get you anywhere.
At one point, I made a ridiculous comic call To Hell and Back. That's when I vowed not to go to a con without something new to hand to editors. I continued to network, but I had a book and wouldn't hand the same book out two years in a row. This lead to my first published work at Grayhaven Comics.
Once my first published piece was released, I never missed a year without a new book. The quality improved too. That was a big deal. Now I had more professional work to hand to the editors I was slowly getting to know. I still had to introduce myself by name, but they were seeing me generate content.
Year after year of the same or similar conversations. These editors got to know me. They understood I wanted to write for them. I would email them on occasion throughout the year to see if they had any openings, but I wouldn't go crazy emailing. I think that was a big deal. I was patient. And while I waited for them to reply or offer me work, I continued working on other stories. I never stopped.
This year things seemed different. These people that I spoke to seemed to know me. I didn't have to introduce myself by name. I didn't need to hand them a business card, or take one of theirs. I simply said, "Hi," and began a conversation. Not a conversation about comics and jobs. That would come up in the conversation, but it wasn't the only reason I was sitting at the table. I spoke about the con, their time in the city, things they had planned, and just life in general. We smiled and laughed. It was a different feel entirely.
Leaving the con, I felt good. I'll shoot some emails out in a few weeks. Maybe I'll get work. Maybe not. The doors are opening.
There's a lesson to be learned here. Patience. Don't come off desperate. I was that guy long ago. I lost a story because I was that guy. It's hard to understand, but if you go into these shows and show editors you're desperate for work, they may be turned off. If you go in and talk to them like humans, which I've always done (to a fault), they are going to be receptive. Just don't ask them how much they paid for their honeymoon. That ends poorly.
Understand that this industry is small. It's a long game. Once you get published, it's addicting. Be patient and keep working. Find a way.
That's it for this week.