I’ve been working full-time in comics for over 18 years, a little freelance indy stuff going back to ’96, and self-employed for the last 15 years. Want to work in comics? 1) Make comics. 2) Don’t be an asshole. 3) Make more comics. 4) Read, read, read (not just comics). 5) Make more comics. 6) Don’t be an asshole.
Lettering comics wasn’t my plan in life, but working in comics was. My career in comics can be traced back to my interactions on CompuServe’s Comics forum back in 1993 and ’94. The possibilities for networking and collaboration online today are endless. My folks always supported my art and my dreams, but quietly worried that I couldn’t make a living in comics (I overhead them one night talking about it with my Grandparents). They were happy their fears were unfounded, even though there were days for years where I wondered if I could continue.
Making comics can be a one-person endeavor or an amazing team effort. Even folks who can do it all will sometimes collaborate and surprise everyone. There’s not just one way to make comics. I’ve been lucky to be a part of some great creative teams — since 2003 I’ve lettered stories for some of the giants of the medium (artists, writers, colorists), some who were giants in the ’60s and giants of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. I now letter for the giants of today. And I love all kinds of comics, from self-published, to Image Comics and other indies, to the Big Two, and beyond.
This medium can be used to tell any kind of story in ways no other can. I work late Friday night because I love comics, and I love helping others tell their stories, hopefully in a way few can. I’ll be telling more of my own stories soon…
PS – This isn’t meant to be a humblebrag or anything, but skimming it now I can see it probably comes off that way. I think I may be trying to convince myself that I’m on the right career path more than anything… been a rough week/month/year!