Last week there was a bit of a Comicsgate howl of rage against a decision by Marvel to hire academic, writer and visual artist Eve L Ewing to write IronHeart, the new ongoing series starring Riri Williams, with the thrust of the message being that no one gets hired to write an ongoing comics series at Marvel or DC without previous comic book experience, unless it's through some PC/quota/pandering bullshit. And it's just not fair. I'm not going to quote those tweets, I'm sure you can imagine them well enough.
But it did inspire the likes of Neil Gaiman to point out that he was hired to write Black Orchid for DC Vertigo without having any published comic books at the time. Comicgate instigator Richard Meyer objected to this, pointing that Neil Gaiman had had comics published before Black Orchid was published. Gaiman kindly and semi-patiently answered this attempt at Gaimansplaining by pointing out that the painted work of Dave McKean on Black Orchid – and the pages of Violent Cases they had shown Karen Berger took a long time to create, and they had to finish Violent Cases first.
Also, when Neil first suggested Black Orchid to Karen Berger, she misheard it as 'Blackhawk Kid' and asked who that was, Two countries, divided by a common language…
But it led to others taking the opportunity to point out their own off-the-streets experiences.
And that included Joe Quesada, the chief Creative Officer of Marvel Comics.
Which inspired more to point out that Joe had done the same for them.
While he didn't post, I could also point out that Dan DiDio started in comics writing Superboy with no previous comic book experience, either, he just happened to be a Warner Bros executive who knew Jimmy Palmiotti. Given that Dan and Joe have Jimmy in common in their creative careers, it clearly means that Jimmy Palmiotti is… a lizard. That's how these conspiracies are meant to end up, right?
And the current editor-in-chief of Marvel, C.B. Cebulski is famed for travelling the world (he's in Stockholm today) and hoovering up local talent to work for Marvel. All he needs is a few pages of samples to make a judgement call.
I once pitched a comic to Dark Horse Comics' Mike Richardson in the line at Ralph's corner store in San Diego. By the end of the line, we'd shaken hands on a deal. I mean, I had had a couple of comics out before that but no one had actually read them…
There is no one way to break into comics. And being a successful poet, author and showing interest in a property is certainly enough to get you a gig when you decide to pitch for free and people like what you send in…