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Neal Bailey here with a Superman Homepage article exclusive... an article on publication and the comics industry, with words from Norm Breyfogle, Tom Nguyen, and Richard Caponetti (a young and coming with potential).
As you may or may not know, I've been trying to break into comics for a while now, mainly with take-offs of Superman, a new hero of my own, and other things designed to catch the eye of the mainstays of both DC, Marvel, or any comic company that would have me. Comics are a dream of mine, I mean, I'm sure they're a dream of yours if you've managed to find this article.
The problem? No one, not even the people in comics, seem to know how to do it.
I was listening to the radio last night to Adam Carolla on Loveline, and he was lamenting such a situation. He said, paraphrased, that we are generally a public that looks for a catch-all solution to hard work. He pointed out that we are constantly asking those who have "made it" how we too can "make it", as if there is a magic formula. I wonder to these things, I mean, hard work can carry you so far, but how long should you wait before cashing in your chips?
To this end, and in complete irony to my aforementioned paragraph, I asked Norm Breyfogle and Tom Nguyen just that. How to get in. And at the same time, I asked a series of similar questions to Richard Caponetti, the gentleman who called me up with the opportunity to interview Norm.
Following are their responses, as soon as I finish my setup here.
I received a letter from a fan recently regarding my reviews. You get two kinds of letters in this writing gig for the Superman Homepage, in my experience. Positive people, who mean the world to you, and the rare person who will just go out of their way to try and smear egg on your face and make you feel like a loser.
This guy, he writes me, and he points out in many expletives what I might be in terms of the symbols ABOVE the numbers on a keyboard, but in the middle of his random and rather illogical ravings, he did point out something that struck a chord in me. Paraphrased for libel, he indicated:
"Your reviews are just one big way to get noticed by DC. Good job, &(&)($#%!, and etcetera."
I thought about it. How much is just a need to be seen, to be understood? Then I figured as I had originally. That jerk was full of beans. Why?
Well, because of men like Richard. He sent me some of his work, which you will hear about below, and I read it, and I realized, hey, here's someone who really cares about what he is doing. He would, and does write comics with or without the approval of DC. And surely, he hopes to be published, but not for fame or the like, but more just to be a part of that great creative endeavor. And after asking myself the same question that made Richard the gold standard for me... would he still do this if he didn't make dollar one, and after I'd said yes?
Well, I slept well on my &(*&%#ing head.
So as we, the fans and pseudo-sponsored creators endeavor further to better our relatively new medium, comic books, we can console ourselves with the fact that there is no magic bullet of publication with the fact that there is an intrinsic reward for creation.
That said, click on the link below for a few words from Richard Caponetti... and before you go all emailing me angry, know that I didn't know Richard before we did this... I just met him, read his work, and was impressed. If Norm and Tom had never come through, I still would have written this article.
Click here to continue on to Part 1 of our "Welcome to the Comic Book Work Force" article, to read the interviews with Richard Caponetti, Norm Breyfogle and Tom Nguyen on their thoughts on breaking into the comic book industry.