How to Become a Freelance Writer for Marvel and DC
Comic books have been a part of childhood since the first comic strips began appearing in newspapers in the latter part of the 19th century. Just about every kid growing up had a stash of comics stuffed under his mattress. Marvel and DC are two of the biggest names in the comic book industry and have produced such classic heroes as Batman, Superman, Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk. Those classic comic heroes have inspired many young readers to dream of writing and drawing for Marvel and DC. Becoming a freelance writer for one of these companies takes determination, talent and a love for the comic book industry.
Consider creating your own characters and story lines. While you can pitch a story line based on an already established or ongoing story line with one of these companies, your chances are better if you pitch original work. Ongoing story lines are usually assigned to writers and artists and scripted well in advance.
Think about taking a few art classes. Writers are not required to illustrate their own stories at Marvel and DC, but some do.
The ability to illustrate some of the story you plan to pitch to either of these major comic companies will give you an extra edge when you pitch your story. The ability to draw is a way to get your foot in the door at one of the major comic publishers.
Attend comic book conventions. Both Marvel and DC have instituted policies against accepting submissions by mail. They do have policies in place for accepting submissions at comic book conventions (see Resources), so this is your opportunity to get your work directly into the hands of the people at Marvel and DC who have the power to buy it.
Post your work at Deviant Art and other comic presentation web sites (see Resources). Consider making your own writing blog. Web sites like these are scouting grounds for Marvel, DC and other comic book companies.
Work as an intern at Marvel or DC. Both companies accept internships (see Resources). The positions are not paid, but it does get you into the company, which puts you near the people who have the power to look at your work and to purchase it.
Pay attention to submission guidelines (see Resources). It is possible to become a freelance writer for Marvel or DC, but both companies have specific submission guidelines in place that need to be followed.
Following the guidelines is your best chance for success. Most importantly, be sure to attend as many comic book conventions as you can (see Resources). Networking with Marvel, DC and other comic industry representatives is the best way to get your work looked at.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.