Brian Michael Bendis likened breaking into comics to winning the lottery. He felt so strongly about this that he gave up trying (I read this on Wikipedia, so it must be true!). Of course, I’m writing about BMB, so I think it’s safe to say Bendis got all six numbers and the Mega Millions ball (after tons of hard work!).
At the time I read BMB’s story, I agreed and feared the worse. No, not how many people don’t win the lottery every day but the fact that I have a better chance of being struck by lightning than breaking into comics. Moreover, it was December in New Jersey, and we really don’t have thunderstorms this time of the year. This week, I wrote a press release for IC Geeks Publishing (I’m the PR rep!) since we printed Brian Buccellato’s creator project Foster for the Amazing Arizona Comic Con. It was then I realized:
Experiment Status: COMPLETE.
Just looking at that is a little overwhelming.
In the last three months, so much has happened that sometimes I can’t grasp it all. Back in September when I lost The Seekers contest, I was crushed. I didn’t know what to do and contemplated quitting the experiment. Then I went to NYCC and felt welcomed back into the industry by amazing creators and fans. I took Saturday courses at the Kubert School, which were taught by the legendary Brian Buniak. I was hired by IC Geeks Publishing as a Public Relations rep, and come April, I’ll be manning a booth at C2E2.
Every day, I’m meeting awesome people who work/have worked in the industry, and the truth is reinforced over and over again. To some degree there is a lottery—yes—but there’s also timing and good, old-fashioned manners. Still, the key to success is work. It’s getting up at two-thirty in the morning to write that last page or putting on the finishing touches on those pencils after midnight (and for the majority of us, getting up early and going to a normal day job afterwards).
I’d like to think that what’s made this experiment a success. I’m not sitting around, waiting to be “found.” I’m out there, actively seeking a job, working, writing, talking, etc., and that’s what I will continue to do.
There will be changes to the experiment, however. For the foreseeable future, I will not be updating False Dawn. As much I enjoy discovering these characters and penning their travels, I’ve been told time and time again by my artist buddy Mau, by my boss Noel, and by my mom, the way to get into the industry is to publish a comic. That’s what I’m going to focus on—Destiny’s Fate, the Comic—so please continue to drop by and see how’s that coming! When it’s published, you’ll be the first to know! (I also will be continuing the “How Do You Know” column because that’s just fun.)
Of course, the experiment evolves. When I started this campaign, my goal was to be working for a comic book company in some capacity by my twenty-eighth birthday. CHECK! Where do I go from here? I’ve thought about changing the name of the blog, but I planned for three years. I think I’m going to keep it until I turn twenty-eight or publish DF. I guess I’m never satisfied, but then again, neither was/is Brian Michael Bendis. At least I’m in good company.
Devin Leigh Michaels
December 31, 2011