So, your boss has made it infinitely clear that your movie quality spandex replica of Superman’s suit isn’t office appropriate attire. The world has little love for the comic book fan and the corporate world even less. So, what can you do to show your passion for graphic novels? Well, you might want to consider changing careers to one of these jobs if you are a comic lover.
1. Shop Owner
The most obvious choice for a comic book lover is to own a comic book store. You will be amongst like-minded people, surrounded by comic books and related merchandise and best of all you will be the first to get the latest issues of your favorite super hero’s saga. It doesn’t pay all that well but…comics. Everywhere.
2. Traditional Corporate
I hate to break it to you but comic books are products of huge corporations that need accountants, managers and social media marketers. If you don’t have the talents to become a writer, artist or editor, maybe delving into the corporate side of things might be an option. Although you won’t be directly working on comic books, at least you’ll be able to respond to friends and family “I work at Marvel” when they ask you.
If you have a little bit of talent you might want to consider pursuing the creative side of comic books. Comic book publishers use artist, writers and even designers to produce their publications. Writers create the stories that you obsess over and if you want to become one, a degree in English and an internship with a major publisher definitely helps. Here’s an interesting video in which Marc Sumerak talks about how he became a comic book writer. The next step in the publishing process is the artist, although it’s not necessary to have a degree in Studio Arts, a degree especially in drawing and illustrating helps immensely. You’ll also need a portfolio which shows your ability to draw and tell a story.
4. Prop/Costume Maker
Although slightly outside the realm of the actual publications, prop making often involves making suits/weapons/prosthetics for movie remakes of your favorite heroes. Granted, not all the jobs you get will be comic book related but I think creating the original (and my personal favorite) 1989 Batsuit will more than make up for doing prosthetics for the Notebook. If you break into the industry now, considering the recent trend of superhero movies, you might actually be involved into more comic related projects than previously.
With the ability to self-publish another market has opened to comic book creators: independent graphic novels. Although it’s a competitive industry even at the mainstream level, there have been numerous success stories. One of the most well-known is indy comic Scott Pilgrim vs. The World created by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The series not only became a cult classic, it was also made into a movie and video game, for the nerdy trifecta. During an interview at Google Bryan Lee O’ Malley reveals that he received bad reviews from the industry, yet his widely popular comic redefined the industry itself.
Do you know of any other jobs for comic book lovers? Let us know in the comment section below.