#MakeComics: So You Want To Be An Editor?

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 guidance could you give a prospective editor looking to get into editing comics?”


David Hedgecock

Managing Editor, IDW Publishing

If you don’t love everything about comics, don’t try to get into comics.

John Barber

Editor, IDW Publishing

It’s a weird job to wind up in. There are fewer comic book editors than there are NBA players, so… be in the right place at the right time? It’s a strange job to aim to get into. If you’re in college, try to get an internship at a comic book company. That’s not what I did, but it’s a reasonable path to that goal…

Maybe try talking to creators online or in artist alley at cons? I don’t know, that might be creepy. I don’t think I’d react well to a stranger coming up and telling me they should edit me.

I think a lot of people who get into editing initially have different plans, whether they’re working in comics or theater or journalism or any number of things. And then an unusual opportunity comes up and before you know it, you’re editing comics. Or doing some other weird job. Sorry I don’t have a better answer.

Denton Tipton

Editor, IDW Publishing

Look elsewhere. If you fall into it, fine, but no sane person should pursue this line of work. If it’s something you really want, then seek professional help.



Sierra Hahn

Senior Editor, BOOM! Studios

If you want to break into editing get to know publishers—which houses are publishing titles that strike a chord with you as a reader? What publisher potentially represents your core values as a reader? Follow their job sections online as they’re updated constantly. Go to conventions and meet editors, especially the ones whose books you might be familiar with. It’ll help you strike up a conversation and show an editor that you’ve done your homework. Keep it casual and find a way to continually keep in contact with that person—be it at other shows or via email. If you’ve presented yourself maturely then that editor just might let you know when job opportunities become available.

I also give the same to advice to prospective editors as I do writers or artists: EDIT. Get involved with your local comics community. Read people’s work. Develop that critical eye and find opportunities to provide productive feedback. Also, be willing to take the job at the front desk or administrative assistant; it’ll give you the opportunity to get the know the company and shift to a different position once something else opens up. Also, you may discover that editing isn’t what you want and find that marketing or design is more your speed.

Eric Harburn

Editor, BOOM! Studios

If you want to edit comics, edit comics. Browse online for creators on the rise whose work you admire, and ask if they’d ever be interested in some editorial help (pro bono, until you’ve built up your resume). Hit up your local convention circuit to meet like-minded creatives and form friendly relationships where you give more than you take. Be passionate, be relentless, be kind. Be a student of the game.

Shannon Watters

Editor, BOOM! Studios

Edit your friends’ stuff! Critically examine the media you consume, and see how it ticks. Meet professionals at comic book shows, and let them know you want to be an editor! Get yourself out there. Actively consume media. Why do you love it? What makes it bad or good? All an editor is someone with a specific point of view who can articulate that and help others execute their good ideas in the best way possible.

Dafna Pleban

Editor, BOOM! Studios

Take a writing class! There are great courses in comics writing both at local colleges and online. Even if you don’t want to be a writer so much of that class will be reading and noting your fellow students’ work and you’ll get first-hand experience on what it’s like to give AND receive notes. Learning how to look at a piece of work, intuit the story they’re trying to tell, and articulate what is and isn’t working and suggest fixes is the biggest part of the job.


Circle back to the beginning of #MakeComics week and read what you may have missed:

#MakeComics: The Business

#MakeComics: Advice From Editors

#MakeComics: Con Survival

#MakeComics: Life Behind The Editor’s Desk

#MakeComics: Where The Magic Happens

#MakeComics: Editors Talk Pitches

#MakeComics: Surviving Deadlines