During the first week of April I sent off my completed crime-fiction graphic novel, CHAMBERS to the publisher and began playing the waiting game on editorial feedback.
Today, those edits dropped in my mailbox.
It’s been an interesting experience leafing through 88 pages of notes, feedback, suggestions, errors and inconsistencies. I’ve never worked with a comics editor on this level before and it’s a crazy feeling to know that someone has gone through my story with a fine-toothed comb. A story that, just a year ago, only existed in my brain.
While you hope for an editor to come back say “It’s fantastic! Amazing! We’ll sell millions of copies of this!” it rarely works out that way.
Because this is the first comic that I did for an actual company, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect in the way of feedback. When I finally garnered the courage to kick open the PDF file I saw note upon note upon note upon note.
My heart dropped.
As I re-read my way through my work taking a new viewpoint into consideration, I realized everything that the editor suggested was right.
As humans, ego is a funny thing. I enjoy giving feedback to others and know the importance of being open to it. By the time I reached the final page of my story, I was re-invigorated by the notes and ready to dive back in and start making corrections to ensure that the comic is best it can be. It also made me aware of similar mistakes that I was currently making in other projects currently in the pipeline.
Not that I expected it, but I’m glad that I wasn’t told it was amazing. I’m glad that I’m being asked to make changes that will ultimately lead to a better product that the publisher will be proud to put their name on. I’m glad that the editor takes their job seriously enough to take the time to give feedback on the level they did. It really meant a lot, and I felt bad for “letting them down.”
This is the type of thing that makes a writer better. Pushes them. Fixes them.
I work under the rule, “how do you know if no one tells you?”
It’s nice to have people in your corner who will tell you.
Editorial is typically a thank-less job, but I’m thankful for both the editor, their insight and for the entire experience thus far.
As I work on the next pass of the book, here’s the final character sketch for Chambers, as drawn by series artist, Kristian Rossi.
Meet Detective Kurt Emerson. If you have a problem, he’ll solve it.