RIOT ON AN EMPTY STREET
Just goes to show, it’s always bad when you don’t take your own advice.
For a while now, whenever the idea of me trying to get work from the big superhero publishers has been mentioned, my reason for not trying very hard to do it has always been, “I don’t want to be the guy who spends months working on a Blue Beetle proposal, only to find out they’re going to kill him.” A joke I must have come up with around the time of 52.
Well, no joke, I ignored that thinking and decided to work on some proposals earlier this year. Not out of any expectation that I’d get the specific books greenlit, but that I could create showpieces for myself and maybe parlay that into other work. To play it safe, however, I decided not to get obscure with my character choices but instead to monkey with some mid-level perennials that weren’t likely to go anywhere. That’s always the hardest thing, you see, and the first question any editor will ask you: what characters do you want to work on? It drives me nuts. I lean toward a joke from an old pre-fame Johnny Depp movie called Private Resort. Johnny claims to be a doctor, pretty girl asks Johnny, “What kind of a doctor are you?” Suave eyes, suave reply: “What kind do you need?”
Tell me what you're looking for, I will tell you if I can delivery, but let's not play a guessing game.
In doing this, I honestly thought what would likely happen was that, since I was pitching with Joëlle, that she’d get a gig out of these efforts (because how could she not?) and I’d have some plots I could recycle elsewhere. Because between the two of us, I know which one I’d hire.
Well, I suppose DC rebooting their entire line is the reason I can tell myself for why no one ever returned any of my e-mails. Even mid-level perennials have been unplugged and plugged back in again. Too bad. Now you’re even less likely to see the already unlikely Power Girl/Supergirl team-up by myself and Joëlle Jones.
This isn’t a pity party, nor am I looking for positive reinforcement or showings of support. Just sharing mildly interesting anecdotes from my freelance life.
By the way, it doesn’t always work even when you try to fulfill a specific need. For a while, I had the ear of an editor who had a particular property I was interested in, and I kept looking for ways to pitch fill-ins or spin-offs, stuff the guy might actually have a use for. Every time I thought I had a great idea, I’d send it in. He tended to agree that it was good stuff...only I was working with a status quo that was about to change. You know, they were about to (metaphorically) kill Blue Beetled. Always a step or two behind.
So, yeah, mistakes I likely won’t make again anytime soon.
Current Soundtrack: Brian Eno guest DJing on "All Songs Considered"
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All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich