More on Freelance Editing

Allow me a moment to elaborate on the freelance editing I’ve been mentioning over the last few weeks.

Platinum Studios is an intellectual properties company that licenses other content or generates their own with an eye towards leaping from the four-color page to movies and television. They’ve had some success already with the European series Jeremiah that wound up a series on Showtime.

Look at their website and you see all manner of concepts from humor to crime to science fiction and even a nascent shared universe of costumed crimefighters. Something for everyone and Hollywood is paying attention.

They’re gearing up to finally get a number of their properties into print later this year with a ton to follow in 2007. Up until recently, my former DC colleague Lee Nordling has been the Executive Editor, solely trying to wrangle something like 100 projects. Too many for anyone to handle without losing their mind (or in Lee’s case, hair). Anyway, we started talking back in February about my helping the company in some capacity.

It started with some proofreading, which exercised some muscles I hadn’t used in a while and gave me a feel for what they were producing.

Then, right before Memorial Day, I was invited to freelance edit Ghosting, a project that corporate moved to the top of their To Do list. It had a script but needed an artist and someone who could shepherd it. I read it over and accepted.

No sooner did I say yes, then the corporate office called and asked me to take on another project, this time one in need of a writer. I liked the concept for Dark Forces and signed on. As I write this, I have six projects to handle and it’s an interesting feeling.

I was asked how I could do this without an office environment. There will be trade offs. I certainly can’t sit with a book designer or stand over a marketing person’s shoulder. I can, though, read scripts on screen and check art files from the home office. With the advent of the Internet and digitalization, it gets easier. Or so the theory goes.

In some cases, I am reading full scripts and giving notes, and in one case will be asking for a total rewrite. In others, I have been seeking artists. Eventually, I’ll have to start hunting colorists but fortunately, not yet.

While at DC, I could open up an on-line program and access any freelancer’s address and phone number so I could acquire work. If I was looking for something new, every office had a slush pile of submissions. Here, in my home office, I have neither and have to hit my network of contacts. The nice thing about that is I am getting back in touch with colleagues I haven’t had occasion to chat with in ages. Some have led to offers of work, some have led to nice conversations and referrals to other people.

Still, I need artists and as it stands, I won’t be at the summer shows to haunt Artists’ Alley to seek talent. So, let me try something for a little while: I’m looking for artists, preferably those who pencil and ink or do tight enough textured pencils that we can color from. For my tastes, I am looking for people who draw fairly realistically, can do convincing looking people, places and objects. Most of this material is set in the world outside your window and the comics needs to reflect that. If you think you’re as good those now being published by DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, etc., then send me a few jpegs to PlatinumSamples@hotmail.com. Who knows?

More on the process of freelance editing as time passes by.

5 comments

  • Ali Kokmen

    Bob:

    Not that this is terribly helpful or anything, but my first thought is that it’s a shame you weren’t at the MoCCA Art Festival this weekend (http://www.moccany.org/artfest-main.html )

    Not only did it seem that many of the exhibitors were the kind of talent you’re seeking, but I did get the feeling that there were several potential publishers/employees finding it useful to troll the floor for talent. (Of course, who knows if they were successful or not…)

    ATK

  • Bob, what’s the page rate?

  • I freelance edited the Judge Dredd Megazine from Scotland for 18 months while it was being published in London and Oxford. The internet and digital art certainly made life easier, but this was in the days before broadband and before artists began uploading their pages direct to FTP space [eliminating the need for couriers, postage, etc].

    I guess the mechanics would be easier now, but the hammering to your phone bill won’t be any less! Still, sounds like an exciting project.

    Bumped into Platinum a few times in the late 90s as it was getting established – glad to see the studio is managing to make its concept work.

  • BOB A

    I’m sure I’m re-treading over previously explored territory, but have you considered the possibility of producing your own comic publishing house? Be the next “Dark Horse” or “Eclipse”? I don’t pretend to know much about it, and I’m sure the initial outlay would be tremendous, but do you have a few strings to pull and make this happen? “MEGA COMIX”… Bob Greenberger, publisher … Just a thought.>

    Bob Ahrens

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