Comics Creators

Image v Icon v Vertigo v 2000ad v self publish. Getting Published.


okay just wanted some clarity and opinion here on the differences between the difference ways of getting published.

Here’s what I think I know

All creator owned with the exception of vertigo which has a part ownership clause and 2000AD which is work for hire

Submission includes
-5 pages lettered and inked
-cover mock up
strike a deal
all profits to creators after costs

Invitation only usually with marvel signed creators used solely as a distribution channel
all profits to creators after costs

drop off your work to an editor at a convention and hope for the best (seriously this is all i could find for them)

Self Publish
swing for the fences, post online, submit to comixology market the hell out of it, back yourself.

4 page thrag future shock stories
submitt your arse off and get better at your craft
Am I missing anything?

I am basically at a point in my life where my partner has given me her blessing to spend our lifes saving on getting material produced so we can have a happier future together. Current job pays very well but is a bit soul sucking

Am I missing anything??


What’s your goal?


Personally. Produce my own work . Write some stuff for the big two. Continue with my own work.

I was just curious to see if I’m misreading the landscape when it comes to image and vertigo in particular .


That’s the landscape, but the landscape is pretty tough. Icon an non starter. Vertigo very tough without having some evidence of self published stuff. To write for the big two you need to give them confidence they can work with you, which means showing previous work produced on time at a high quality with fresh ideas and new perspectives. It’s like applying for a job that requires at least 5 years experience.


First write. Write three things of your own. Keep at it till they’re good, then ask others for input. Think and refine continually. This gives you three books you can talk about at any time. Then write a couple of scripts for the big 2 as if they called you up. You can aim for a big character, but develop your skills better on smaller guys. Look at what some of the greats did with their early books - Hickman and Johns and Aaron and BKV and Kirkman and so on. Get good at seeing characters in a new light. Doesn’t matter that these scripts won’t be optioned, consider it going to the gym for comics.

Of the three self created stories pick the best and write the best issues you can. Share with others and get feedback. Make it great, make it something that will have others paying attention. Don’t make it a gimmick, or a slight variation on a typical comic convention (like a superhero who’s also a serial killer or something). Look at some of the best first issues to come out in the last few years, particularly the mini series that have done well. Study Millar with Huck and Chrononauts and Starlight and Superior and Empress. Look at We 3 or Saga. What did they do, how did they structure things, what was put into that first issue?

Then you’re ready. 2000AD is a lottery, and not the jumping on point it was 20 years ago. There’s lots of small press publishers out there who can get you connected or publish you. But it’s all going to be for no profit. Your best bet is the Image path, and with that great script you find a great artist and go for it. If you self publish get ready to work conventions and sell every copy 1 at a time. But that can get you noticed, simply by being part of the self publishing community.

If you feel discouraged don’t. Lots and lots and lots of people have picked this path and made it work for them. It’s an industry that’s welcoming to new talent. It’s worth looking at some of the folks who have done well, whether thru convention sales, kickstarter or comixology. Every path is different, that’s the main thing, but you can get there so long as you focus in the right direction.


Thanks Jim . Really solid advice and confirms my thoughts . No more porterhouse steak for this household!
I’ve really enjoyed expanding my creative pipeline.
When I’m ready to share you guys will be the first to see it


I would say that while 2000ad is nowhere near the creator factory it was years ago when Vertigo picked up everyone who got published the previous week there, they still do feed a lot of talent into the big US publishers. Rob Williams, Al Ewing, Si Spurrier, Michael Carrol etc have got good profile books in recent years.

It is harder though for new writers to get in I think because the old stagers like Wagner, Grant, Mills, John Smith and Dan Abnett take up quite a lot of the real estate in the book.


I’d say be wary of who you get involved with in the small press/self-published end of the industry spectrum. For all the lovely people working out in the field, there are definitely people out there who will jump at the opportunity to waste your time, rip you off and/or screw you over.