Comics is a weird place. Everything from the way publishers gauge sales and popularity, to just trying to start reading at the right issue and volume can be tricksy. Even breaking into the comic book industry—the subject of today’s Web Crush—often seems mysterious.
Or at least, it was, until Comics Survival Kit showed up.
The Comics Survival Kit Tumblr was the brainchild of well-known comics author (and LGG&F favorite) Gail Simone, and contains all sorts of good advice for people looking to get their start in comics. And while our Web Crush Wednesday column is no stranger to sites that offer helpful references for writers, there’s something special about this blog: namely that, since it was started by a comics professional who reached out to other comics professionals, all the advice on the site comes from big names in the comic book industry itself.
From the blog’s introductory post:
Ask any professional comics creator, and they will almost uniformly tell you that the question they get asked the most, number one with a bullet, is how to get into the comics business.
How do you write a comic script?
How do you format for editors?
How do you speak with publishers?
Where do your ideas come from?
Where do I start as a comics artist?
On and on and on.
The problem is, we are usually asked this question at conventions, or by quick emails, and the answers are immense. We can’t possibly cover these topics in any real way in a brief answer, let alone over and over again.
The idea of the Comics Survival Kit is to provide as much helpful information as possible. Both practical and theoretical. For writers, artists and more.
And an excellent resource it is—Comics Survival Kit covers everything from character development to what not to ask your artist to how to sell your stuff at cons. My only complaint, if I had to offer one, would be that I wish the site was tagged a little more efficiently with respect to content—e.g., all the character development posts or artist reference posts should be tagged as such, so it’d be easier to find all of the advice on a certain topic—but that said, it is a 100% free, free-time project put together by a busy pro out of the kindness of her heart, so I’m not gonna look this gift horse in the mouth.
Most importantly, in my opinion, the site doesn’t give anyone false hope or a get-into-the-industry-free card. While it may give you tips on how not to screw yourself over artistically or what to present for a portfolio review, when it comes down to how to break into the industry, it reminds readers that what really counts is “hard work, time and determination mixed with a bit of luck and good social skills”.
While the site hasn’t been updated in a few months, it already has dozens of posts filled with useful advice, and Simone promised to share more soon in her most recent post. If you’re interested in becoming a comics creator or just want to see what the pros have to say about this fascinating profession, I suggest you check Comics Survival Kit out on Tumblr today!