I was listening to Robert Kirkman on Wordballoon this morning on my way to work.
It was an interview from about a year ago in which Kirkman talks about his writing process, his comics, and comics in general.
One young fan asks for advice on making comics and “breaking in”. In his response, Kirkman essentially describes my Rapid City project and says “don’t do that”.
His point is that by writing and writing and writing, you essentially bury yourself under and unpublishable mound of material.
And he is right. No publisher is going to agree to take a risk on a project which is hundreds of pages long. Not from an unknown, unproven, talent.
Instead, Kirkman advises that you find an artist and make comics. This is the best way to show that you can make comics.
He makes a good point, but I do not completely agree.
With this approach, you will learn how to make a comic book, but not how to make comics.
It is like trying to learn how to be a good husband by going on lots of dates.
You can be Mr. Right all night. Super attentive, romantic, sensitive, and funny, but what are you like the next day? And the next day? And all the next days after that?
You can find an artist and develop a one-shot project that you are both really excited about… but what about the next one? And the next one? You learn to work with giddy enthusiasm, but not with drudgery.*
My goal with this project is not to develop a pitchable project. My goal is to develop the much sought-after ability to reliably produce comics month after month. If some of this eventually sees publication, that is fine with me, but that is not the intended purpose.
This is not a pitch.
This is not a way to sell the idea of Rapid City. Rather, Rapid City is a tool with which I can demonstrate my skill and dedication.
Hopefully, there is an editor out there who needs someone who can reliably produce a comic book script on time. And, hopefullier, he is now googling the phrase “someone who can reliably produce a comic book script” and comes across this and sees that I can do what he needs done.
And beyond all that, in all honesty, the fun of doing this and the pride at knowing that I can do it is more than enough to call it a success.
*Beyond that point, the dating/marriage metaphor really breaks down, unless you take it to mean that I am symbolically “married” to this project.