Who’s Who In the SBCU Update 2003
Name: Beau Smith
My name is Beau Smith. Others have tagged me as ‘The Last Real Man In Comics’. That comes from a time when there was nothing but poodle skirt wearin’, crybaby , hobbit lovin’ liberals and former dope dealin’ hippies in comics . I was one of the few if not only men in comics that liked and participated in sports, enjoyed grade B-Action movies and had done time in jail.
I also did my time in Golden Gloves boxing as my father and his father did. I was in the first Tough man Contest in West Virginia in the late 1970s. My fists were sold for hire in college to girls that were gettin’ smacked around by abusive boyfriends. I never wanted to take their money, but they insisted. I rarely turn a damsel in distress down. The longest love affair I’ve ever had is with cold beer. It began when I was in the 6th grade and continues to this day. Don’t look all PC put out by that fact…things were different then. It was a time when Jonny Quest, a 14 year old boy , could blast bad guys with a machine gun and no one thought it was wrong.
I’ve been on the business side of comic books for 17 years. I’ve been writing comics for 18. I’ve been vice president of sales and marketing for Eclipse Comics, Image Comics, Todd McFarlane Productions and McFarlane Toys and am currently the same for IDW Publishing. I’ve written for almost every major or minor publisher in the business except Marvel Comics. They’ll come around sooner or later. I’ve written such books as. Beau LaDuke-Real Man, Dogs Of Danger, The Black Terror, Parts Unknown, The Tenth, The Berzerkers, Legion Of Super-Heroes, Guy Gardner: Warrior, Primate, Shi / Wolverine, Barman / Wildcat, Catwoman / Wildcat, Wynonna Earp and many more that you should be surryin’ for right now.
I’m currently working on Wynonna Earp: Home On The Strange that comes out in 12/2003 from IDW Publishing. In 1/2004 I¹ve got Maximo from Dreamwave that comes out. I also wrote the Maximo II video game for Capcom. It comes out in 2004 as well. I’ve done my share of uncredited dialogue work for a few motion picture studios as well as written business columns for Sketch Magazine, Entertainment Retailer, Comic Buyer’s Guide, Westfield Words, and Hero magazine.
That’s about as much as you need to know right now. You become a regular reader of Busted Knuckles and you’ll learn more.
Until then, step outta my way…I smell a steak and lonely woman.
I remember what it was like tryin’ to bust into comic books as a writer in the late 70s and early 80s.
It was tough.
But, it was somethin’ I really wanted to do. So I toiled close to eight years trying to bust in. Being from a small town in West Virginia didn’t really help either.
But I did it.
I sold the one thing in the world I knew best?me. I made contacts through the mail, I went to conventions and made face-to-face impressions, and I worked me, Beau Smith, like a southern diplomat. It all paid off and I made some really good friends along the way.
In some ways it should be easier to bust into comics as writer today. As I’ve preached here before, the interne t is a great tool to get yourself noticed. There are still loads of conventions to attend and press the ol’ flesh. It all seems that this is a prime time to get into comics and start a writing career?.
But it’s not.
In my never humble opinion, I think it’s even harder to be a comic book writer today. Why? Well, there are a few reasons, some good, some bad.
For one thing the big two publishers, Marvel and DC Comics have most of the writers they want under exclusive contracts. That means those guys are gonna get work before anyone else. That’s your first fence that stands in your way. There are more people under exclusive contract now than ever before.
As you go through the smaller publishers you’ll find that the other publishers get more specialized. That narrows the chances even more. Image and IDW Publishing fit a broader stroke. Both of these publishers are much more creator owned friendly. They are not really hindered by genre either. Your chances there seem to be better.
Getting work is really like the old saying?”Ya can’t get credit if ya don’t have credit.” It’s hard to get writing work if ya don’t have writing work. A tough situation. It can be done. Robert Kirkman of Walking Dead is a prime example. He was able to do his stuff and shine. It wasn’t long until other publishers started calling Robert to get him to write for them. It’s really nice to see that it can be done. It’s just getting that first break that is the hardest.
Another fence that ya gotta climb now days is the fact that so many established writers are out of work right now and are bottleneckin’ your path to get work. Most times these guys with a past history will get the new work before you do. Comics are one of the few pop culture mediums where you can ride off of past fumes for a long time.
You also have every artist, inker, letterer, business guy and colorist that think they are writers as well. The race to writing work is kinda overwhelming. I really don’t have a pat answer on how to get that first writing job. I wish I did. One thing I can tell ya from my own experience is this?Don’t Give Up!
I didn’t give up and I made it; it may take ya a while, but if ya really want it, you can do it. There were others that were trying to get into comics at the same time I was and they all fell to the wayside. They didn’t want it bad enough.
My advice is to keep up on comics. Know what the trends are. Know what editors from each publisher are looking for. Know who these editors are. Contact them. Make yourself known. Use the internet. Go to conventions. Meet people. Hook up with an artist. Most importantly?keep writing! Write something every day. Take the time to write a little every day.
Do not give up. Do not be weak. Do not wait for someone to hand it to ya. Reach out there and grab it by the balls and squeeze until you get work.
I don’t wanna come off as some hairy legged cheerleader, but if ya want it bad enough you will get it. Look for that opportunity to show up. It will, but you’ve gotta be there to recognize it. If you’re not the next guy in line will take it.
You’ll never know if that pretty girl is gonna dance with ya unless ya ask her. I’m tellin’ ya to ask! Then dance like nobody is watchin’.
The only way for me to become a better writer is to have you breathin’ down my neck. For me to be a better writer, I’ve gotta know that you are right behind me ready to snatch my work from me if I drop the ball. Eat red meat. Get aggressive!
But in doin’ so don’t expect any mercy from me. I’m gonna always be one step ahead of ya because I want it that bad. Be like me? go for the throat.
I’ll see ya out in the battlefield of comics.
I aint hard to find.
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fist Forum!