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The Editorial Approach

The question on many writers’ minds at the San Diego Comicon…

Well, it’s that time of year again, so let’s take a look at the question often asked by thousands of writers storming San Diego this weekend.

How do I approach editors at cons?

 

 

The following are The Creative Adviser’s foolproof strategies for getting an editor’s attention amidst San Diego distractions like thunderous sounds, flashy lights, pushy pedicab operators and booth babes.

Quantity over quality. First and foremost, you need to show that you can write and write a lot. At least 12 full issues of scripting should work. Doesn’t matter what you write or if it’s that great or not as long as you can show volume. Quantity wins out in the assembly line of modern comics. Be sure to print all of those out with your name in big, bold letters across the top of each page to haul around with you at the convention to prove to the editor you’re serious.

Know it all. Editors admire people with the balls to stand up to them and let them know when they’re wrong, so go through the books they edit and make sure you can point out at least three major problems with their projects. Continuity errors are best and after that, spelling and grammar mistakes, missed deadlines, and substandard artwork will work in a pinch. Do not back down no matter what they say–they like to work with writers that know the editor’s job as well as or better than they do because it makes their jobs easier.

Be memorable. When you approach editors at a convention, you want to create a moment to associate with later when they’re going through your hundreds of pages of scripts. To do that, you need to get their attention in a big, flattering way, and showing up in costume as one of the characters that person edits is just the trick. It shows your passion for their work and the characters they invest so much time and effort into day-after-day. What editor wouldn’t want to read a script straight from the mind of Spidey, Batman, or Faye Valentine?

Strength in numbers. Sure, it’s still easy for an editor to ignore someone if it’s just one person. But what if it was 4 people? Or 6? Join forces with other aspiring writers, and you can easily surround an editor guaranteeing all of you will get more attention than you could ever imagine at the show.

The ol’ bait-and-switch. Notice how they give artists the time of day, but not writers? Familiar with the Trojan Horse? If you can’t directly approach an editor, sneak in through the back door. Buy an artist portfolio case and use that to get into the portfolio review lines. Make sure it’s completely filled with scripts, and the editor will have no choice but to make sure you get the attention you deserve.

Perfect timing. Knowing when to strike makes all the difference. You want to approach an editor when you’ll have their undivided attention. Imagine how much of an editor’s attention you’ll get if you catch them waiting in line to get a drink, using the restroom, shopping for original art, or best yet… in the elevator at their hotel.

Voodoo. That’s right, good ol’ fashioned voodoo magic. The big problem with editors at conventions is they’re always busy. Tons of people to talk to and not enough time in the day, but there’s a way you can help that editor out. Nothing clears a crowd quicker than ritualistic live animal sacrifices, and if the editor has no one else to talk to, he or she will have ample time to read your scripts and listen to your pitches.

With these strategies, you’ll be the talk of the convention. Your transformation from aspiring writer to comic book superstar will be almost instantaneous… screaming fans, media attention and personal escorts to lead you to a car waiting out front.

 

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