I finally got caught up on this whole ‘social media’ bandwagon. Just got a twitter account and I’m examining all the really deep relationships that can be built using these methods. People I would have never met at any other point in history are there. Social networks really are evolving quickly. Embracing these new avenues correctly is key to entering and winning at the comics game. But it should be more than just socially “pimping” your products out. It should be about developing life changing friendships.
Introverted social media comic book geeks as most of us may be–have found a way out of our shyness, through these social media outlets and sharing ourselves with others who are passionate about creating comic books. We can do and say almost anything because it not face-to-face contact–the thing that trips most shy, introverted people up. Social media has given a new face, a new voice, and a new hope to shy creatives that used to sit in the back of the room and doodle on their sketchbooks. Online we can be as popular as the jocks were in high school. Except now, this is our land of technogeek status and the geeks can rule.
For those looking for jobs in the comic book industry, I suggest looking at the relationships being built around us and get involved SLOWLY. There is a whole lot of people that have jobs in Marvel Comics, DC Comics, or the Comic Book / Narrative Art industry that have gotten them from the contacts they have made with people in the industry. This is changing now a little because ultimately it will rely on your work, what the company needs, and when they need it. People aren’t just hiring their “friends” anymore. But if you have a friend who is AWESOME at what they do, the person will have an AWESOME shot–just knowing that the job is available. So you need to build you relationships with those around inside and outside the comic industry whose radar is in tune to things that you would not be aware of. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This isn’t true. It’s “Who knows you?”
My mom was the most powerful relationship that got me my first job in the comics business. She had a habit of scouring the want ads everyday trying to find me a job in the field. I never had much time to look at doing anything different since I was newly married and holding down 2 jobs just to pay the bills. I never would have even known about the opportunity if it wasn’t for her.
The thing about relationships is that you never know which ones will be of benefit to you. My mom’s relationship was beneficial to me in more ways than just getting me a job. She gave birth to me, she fed me, and she raised me, so I am eternally indebted to her anyway. So, we really can’t look at relationships as a ‘paycheck’. Relationships that you build with people are a human interaction. Person-to-Person. You must treat them respect, honor, value, and humility. You should value the RELATIONSHIP as the PRIZE-not the means to attain a prize. If the relationship ends up having secondary benefits, so be it, but the focus should be building a GENUINE relationship. What breath of life can you give to another person? How can you make their life better just by knowing you?
Just the fact that you got to meet another human being should be well worth the price of admission. If you cherish people and place HIGH VALUE on them you will truly get great rewards in life. We tend to take people for granted because there are so many people in the world, we think they are an expendable resource. In fact, we are very rare. Each one is unique and special, like a cave filled with diamonds. We are a very limited resource, here for a little while then gone, like a whole field covered with lilies for a season.
Don’t think of people as a commodity for your personal gain. Think of them as the most valuable gift you will ever receive in your life. The best relationships are only as good as the foundations on which they are built. The more you give, the more likely you will be able to make a connection with someone. So start giving of yourself in a variety of ways and make relationships with friends in the comic book business, make relationships with those who enjoy aspects of the business, share your work with other creators, or just meet friends from everyday life who are looking for ways to make comicss just or enjoy reading them.
If we are going to rule, what better way than to rule together. This post is going to be a free-for-all. Feel free to promote whoever has made the most value in your life. Promote your comic book leadership heroes–not yourself.