25 Things Mark Evanier has Learned About the Comic Book Industry

Mark Evanier, one of the biggest writing talents in TV, comic books, and blogging is writing a series of articles on the comic book industry, which – no surprise here – it turns out is very much like the TV biz as well.

Here’s Mark’s latest installment on the subject. (I couldn’t find all of the previous parts, but here’s one.)


by Mark Evanier

    1. In the previous century, the decisions about who would write, pencil, letter, ink or color a comic book usually had a lot more to do with “Who’s available?” and/or “Who needs work at the moment?” than with “Who would be the best person for this job?”
    2. And some assignments — not a majority but some — were assigned according to who was kissing up to the assigner or maybe to what he or she could do for that assigner in other areas.
    3. If you work in comics for an extended period, look over the books published by the company or companies that buy your work and ask yourself, “What comic am I totally unqualified and ill-suited to work on?”  Then prepare for the call where they say, “We discussed it here in the office a lot and decided you’re the perfect person for this job!” It will be that comic.
    4. The fact that a comic book was canceled does not mean it was not a good comic.
    5. The fact that a comic book was canceled does not mean it was given enough time to find an audience.
    6. The fact that a comic book didn’t sell well does not mean that a better marketing division could not have caused it to sell better.
    7. The fact that a comic book was canceled does not mean that it didn’t sell well.  Companies have been known to cancel books based on incomplete or even misread sales figures.
    8. It may even have been a matter of the guy with the power to cancel a comic making a political move against someone else in or around the company.
    9. If an inker cannot capture all that the pencil artist put into the faces, it’s bad inking no matter what the rest of it looks like.
    10. Most tricks involving fancy lettering styles in word balloons have not worked unless they were in a comic strip done by Walt Kelly.
    11. Most tricks involving Wally Wood-style lighting have not worked unless they were in a comic book done by Wally Wood….

Read it all at Mark Evanier’s outstanding blog

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