MUST-READ: Mark Waid’s Open Letter to Young Freelancers

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Mark Waid’s taken to his blog to write some advice for freelance writers who are just breaking in – or trying to break in – to the industry. And as expected, it’s thoroughly compelling, smart, and invaluable stuff. If Mark Waid were ever to take off his glasses, it seems almost certain that we’ll all collectively realise that he’s actually really Superman.It’s all important and worth reading, but this section in particular stood out to me:

Don’t let anyone scare you. Don’t let anyone bully you, ever. Some will if they think they can, but you teach people how to treat you. You can be confident and show integrity without being argumentative. And for God’s sake, don’t be so afraid to explore your options that you keep turning in work that makes you wince; no good decision was ever made primarily out of fear.

If you want to work in comics – or already do! – I really can’t recommend this blog post enough.

(and while you’re there, go read some of Thrillbent’s comics!)

Comments

  1. That was a really wonderful read; I strongly admire Mark’s ethical positions.

    -B

  2. Chris Hero says:

    Wow. The piece needs a much wider audience than just young comic freelancers. I can incorporate most of that into my current engineering position.

    Waid is one of the few “corporate” writers I really admire because he treats his work like a craft. Every story he writes is a little better than the last and he’s clearly applying lessons he’s learned over the course of his career. He’s kinda like the Bob Dylan of comics in that way.

  3. Synsidar says:

    The piece does offer excellent advice, although it’s implicitly aimed at people working on company-owned characters, i.e., working for Marvel and DC.

    Instead of freelancers, Waid could have used contractors or temps. A freelancer normally doesn’t treat an assignment as a job that he needs to cover his living expenses. If he has multiple assignments, or is generally pursuing more assignments, walking away from one that turns sour is much easier.

    Treating a stint on a series as a job can affect the quality of a guy’s work even without any editorial interference.

    SRS

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