#MakeComics: Editors On Assembling a Creative Team

Editors. We hear about them a lot when people are discussing comics, but often times we don’t hear a lot from them. #MakeComics Week 2016 is changing that, and giving the people behind the desk a platform to make their voices heard!

That’s right, we’re giving the mic to the editors of IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios to answer questions everyone wants to know about life in the Editorial Department.

The question we posed:

What qualities are you looking for from creators when you are assembling a team for a book?


Sierra Hahn

Senior Editor, BOOM! Studios

When assembling a team for a book I look for individuals who are mature and can communicate well. Communication is key. I’m more likely to hire and stick with an artist for years who might not be the most polished if that person communicates well. What rates do they require? What deadlines can they hit (and if they miss a deadline, can they strategize a plan to get on track)? If my notes are unclear or off the mark, let’s talk about the concerns and find common ground—together and as a team who collectively wants to make the best books possible and inspire a legacy of readers.

Eric Harburn

Editor, BOOM! Studios

Talent, professionalism, compatibility with the project and collaborators in question, a love for storytelling.

Shannon Watters

Editor, BOOM! Studios

Dependability. An interesting POV. Harmony. A fine work ethic.

Dafna Pleban

Editor, BOOM! Studios

A collaborative spirit. Comics is a collaborative creative medium, and everyone involved has a voice that deserves to be heard. A willingness to let someone else on the team put their stamp on what they do best, be it a writer, an artist, a colorist, or a letterer. If you’re precious about your work and unwilling to see what others bring to the table, it’ll be a hard go of it.


David Hedgecock

Managing Editor, IDW Publishing

Talented, professional, thoughtful individuals who I can trust. Friendly and responsive are a bonus.

John Barber

Editor, IDW Publishing

It’s all about what unique voice the creator brings to the table. At least from my point of view, an editor wants somebody with with something that sets them apart from the pack—this is writers and artists. Especially as you’re starting out—I already know people who will do a perfectly fine job on a book, but I want somebody who’s going to have something new to say, or some new way to say it.

Beyond that, it’s sort of a weird alchemy of trying to figure out who will make the comic interesting and exciting and different—what writer will work well (personally and creatively) with what artist and colorist and everything. There’s a lot of sort of gut feelings an editor has to go with. Sometimes you want to go with somebody that’s known and maybe has a following; sometimes it’s better for the project to go with new people that have a certain dynamism. And many things in between.

Like days, every book is different, which isn’t helpful but is true…

Denton Tipton

Editor, IDW Publishing

Besides the obvious skills, I look at how each creator interacts with others and try to bring together teammates that complement one another. It’s fine if they compliment one another as well, but if you don’t know the difference between those two, you definitely shouldn’t be an editor.