From the mailbag: I’m just wondering how would one send a graphic novel script on its own without illustrations to a publisher, or can you even do so?
The short answer is the ever-popular “It depends.”
Slave Labor won’t consider a script without art — or art without a script, for that matter.
Dark Horse will, but make sure to read their very detailed submissions guidelines for writers.
Many publishers won’t look at unsolicited submissions of any kind.
For writers who want to break into graphic novels, I think it’s worth your while to pay an artist to illustrate a short comic that you can make available as a chapbook to sell or give away. Yes, it’s an investment, but it accomplishes two important things:
- It’s an introduction for you to what it’s like to work with an artist. Anything you find challenging about collaborating on a short story will only be magnified when you work on a full-length graphic novel. Better to learn on a shorter-term project, so you can use what you’ve learned to make whatever changes in your work style will make the graphic novel collaboration process more successful.
- You’ll have something tangible to hand to editors at conventions that they can read through quickly to assess your work. (Caveat: not that they’re likely to do so while you’re standing there.)