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Mail Marz vol 3 - the mailbag

Q.: Ron, what's up with the trade binding on the Witchblade books? Two of two have fallen apart on me minutes after opening them. I picked up vol.1 after Vince B. from EOC recommended them, and I took the first one back to my shop and had him replace it, but I don't want to put him out again. Sincerely, Chris Miranda Ron says:

Sorry for the binding troubles, Chris. When Top Cow rebranded its trade paperback program, starting with my run on Witchblade, it had the first three or possibly four volumes (I can’t remember which) printed in one large run at a printer in China. Unfortunately, the printing plant used a batch of bad glue on the bindings. Obviously there’s no way to know that until the books actually hit shelves and are purchased. Those volumes have been reprinted (at the printer’s cost), but some copies of the “bad binding” batch are still out there. You or your retailer can contact Top Cow via their website for replacement copies. I’ve had fans complain to me about “inferior Chinese printing,” which I frankly find a little bit racist. Most publishers utilize Chinese and Korean printers for certain trades and hardcovers, and the quality is usually superior. The binding problem was an isolated incident, but it impacted a number of volumes because they were all gang printed. I definitely appreciate you picking up the books, Chris, and I hope you enjoyed them despite the binding issue.

Q.: Mr. Marz, I am a writer who would love to work in comics, but every time I try to submit samples or published, I get told, “We won't even look at it!” What is the deal on submitting scripts, or story ideas, to comic companies? Any help you could give would be appreciated. Thanks, Jason Phillips Ron says:

Jason, large publishers like Marvel and DC won’t consider anyone unless they’ve already been published elsewhere. Smaller publishers have pretty specific submission guidelines usually listed on their websites. Breaking in as a writer is akin to trying to be a professional athlete; there are many applicants, but very few openings. The best way to have a publisher see your work is to have published work to show them. Editors are much more receptive to a comic than a submission pitch. I know, “How do I show a published work if I can’t get a publisher to look at my work?” You have to start small, working your way up from self-published work, to small press, to larger publishers. It’s a long process, almost like a baseball player trying to work his way up through the minors to the majors. Most don’t succeed. The ones with the most talent, and the best work ethic, have the best chance. Find an artist to work with and make your comic. Find a GOOD artist, because fair or not, your story will in large part be judge upon the art. Get your work on the web, so it can be seen. Network at conventions, where you can get face time with editors; always be polite and never demanding. They’re doing you a favor even talking to you, so be appreciative of their time. It’s a long, hard process, and you have to really want it. I’ve been giving some advice on my Twitter feed, so hope you’ve been following. Good luck.

Q.: Hi, I wanted to know what the status of the series The Path was. I know that the company that released it went out of business. Is it still going? Signed, Matt Moore Ron says:

The Path ceased publication a few months before CrossGen tanked, so the story had an ending of sorts (though not the one originally envisioned). CrossGen’s properties were purchased by Disney, which now owns Marvel Comics. Some CrossGen books are coming back (as mini-series, thus far) from Marvel, but I don’t know if The Path will be one of them.

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