Geeky Motivation

Reposted from Budjette's multiply blog:

Comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis talks about …

I’m always amazed by the people who work so hard to get here [a job in Marvel], or so lucky to get there. It takes an insane amount of work to get there and when they get there and they start bucking around, they start diva-ing it up and get high and mighty and totally forget … [you have to remember] what job you have in comics, someone else had that job before you.

Settle down!

And work!

Now is the time to do the work of your life.

Now is the time to express yourself like no one else has ever done.

You should [write or draw this comic book] like it’s your last, like you’re going to be fired after this. And I do this.

Remember … someone else had this job and someone else will have it after you. It’s up to you how long you can keep it.

Big name people –BIG NAME PEOPLE—cannot get work because they act the fool.

Just getting the book out … just birthing it to the world… is not enough. They think the whole world is somehow looking at them. [What you] really have to do is get out there and hustle –hustle your butt. No matter what level you are in the charts. You see Springsteen’s out there. He’s hustl’n. He’s not just there pretending to be the god of rock. He’s been runnin’ around [promoting his new album]. You just gotta hustl’ brother! If you really believe in [your work] … if you think there’s an audience for it … go find that audience.

You think you’ve [promoted it] a million times and it’s enough? It’s not enough. You’ve got to promote something until you’re sick of the sound of your voice. And if you don’t want to do that, then find someone else who will do that for you. If you really want to make sure you’re heard and if you’ve got something you’re really proud of, you really gotta hustle—LOUD!

These are excerpts from the podcast Word Balloon, hosted by John Siuntres.
You can download the complete episodes at:


  1. 'Making your LAST comic book'? As told by Bendis?!? Then why can't the mini series he writes always have to lead up to another event. (Ending of Civil War to Initiative, House of M to crappy Omega Flight, Secret Invasion to Dark Reign')

    I hate the part about always having to promote your work. It's true but I don't like that truly excellent titles are being cancelled because nobody's promoting it while some big name writer/artist keeps going just because he toots his own horn and people swallow the load.

  2. Ben, I got something different from it. Out of context. People like to rest on their laurels. They get to a certain place and begin phoning shit in, taking things for granted. In times like this, you have to be the best you can possibly be, no matter what your doing.

    And further more, you need to tell people you are the best there is at what you do. Look at Wolverine. Would people know he was the best he is at what he does if he didn't go around telling people "I'm the best there is at what I do"? Would people know that Psylocke's psychic knife was the "totality of her psychic power" if she didn't blurt it out to every tom, dick, and harry she met? Would people know it was Batman if he didn't sneak up to you and say "I'm Batman"?!

    So yeah. Self-promotion is one of the best ways to get ahead. It's different from a company not marketing good products. People don't have any control over that. What the artists/writers Bendis is talking about DO have control over, and what we as employees have control over is how many people actually KNOW you're worth giving another job to after this one doesn't pan out.

  3. Take promotion into our local comic industry. It's really an exercise in social climbing. Darna tying with Siglo? The comic awards thing disappeared right? Because no big name person is making a comic? Why in the world would the Neil Gaiman comic/story contest ask for people's resumes? (do they need to see if the person is well known? Why not judge it from the work itself first.)

    This is a stereotype but you'd say comic book people = geeks, sorta meaning having poor social skills. They may be the best at what they're doing (writing, drawing, etc) but they'll be overshadowed by people with louder voices, bigger personalities and more contacts. It's not just enough that you're good at what you're doing, you also suppose to be able to throw your weight around and know the right people. That means it's no longer about your own skills and talents in the comics side of things; it means going into something else. It might be turning into a slice of showbiz but with deviantart, multiply, facebook, twitter, friendster etc and not all people want to get into these stuff. They just want to do the thing they enjoy.

    BTW, (I'm not up to date but) Mark Millar keeps promoting himself, doing controversies, interviews, saying 'my comic is being made into a movie'. Yeah, he's playing the game. He knows what he's doing. Same with Bendis and Grant. I'm not too into their work (their dialogue makes everybody sound like jerks for heroes and villains. Y'know, the : "I have the greatest superpower ever. Money." or "You'll die

  4. or "You'll die a thousand bleeding whateverwhatever horror terror etc etc then I'm going to step on your face"). Yes, it influences people, making Mark Waid's Legion into jerks and turning Jeph Loeb into a wannabe (Ultron - "Wasp, you are my mother." Pym - "Well, I'm the mother @#$%-er!"). It may seem like it's what people want but that's not always the case. I no longer know if Gail Simone really writes nasty stuff (but then she really wrote hilariously disgusting stuff in her old column in comicbookresoures) for real of if she's just taking a ride on the wagon. I prefer Tony Bedard, Fabian Nicieza, Peter David (who's also controversial but not so much right now)------- aaaand I'm starting to ramble into tangers here so I'll stop. [and I noticed the post had to be cut for space already, ha ha]

    Yes, I know Bendis says to find someone else who's blow your horn for you and hire a promoter. Guess people really have to do that.

    Yes, promotions has to be part of the comics industry BECAUSE it's an industry/business. But, like life, it's really not fair.

  5. Haha, I think I hit a nerve, Ben. If I make it to the Tagcom, definitely going to continue this.

    But like I was saying, I'm not talking about Bendis' views as applied to the comics industry. Tell you the truth, I don't even know his work. I'm saying what he's talking about applies to ALL industries. You can't just say to someone, I've been here 5 years, I should get a promotion! You need to have prove that you deserve the job by doing your damndest at whatever it it you do.

    And yeah, Peter David rules!

  6. You don't read Bendis? Well his non Marvel work was good (Torso). Count Alias too (even if I didn't finish it. It was something new.). But his work was no longer 'write each issue as if it was your last' after he started doing the big events. Really. Secret Invasion was just padded, padded, padded.

    I read about promoting yourself in a 'get ahead at work' article in Reader's Digest before so I know where you're coming from. But there's a line between promoting yourself honestly and just bragging and boasting and blowing hot air. Plus, in a committee, who knows who'll steal your thunder?

    I'll be going to Tagcom on Sunday but I might be in costume. I bought a Jollibee Cheetor juuuust when my nephew found his. Sigh. I'll see you if I see you :)


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