Dark Horse’s Tips on How to Submit and Get Your Work Published


Over on the Dark Horse blog, John Schork, DH’s submissions editor, has published a handy guide on how to submit your work to Dark Horse, and get it noticed. I figure that a lot of readers may be interested in this, so here it is, cross-posted from their site:

Dearest Dark Horse submitters, I’ve been Submissions Editor for a good while now and I wanted to take a moment to dole out some helpful advice. This is meant as a supplement to our existing submissions guidelines found on our submission page. Think of this as a gritty, no-nonsense, street-level education in submitting to Dark Horse. Like The Wire, but about home-making comic books instead of murdering people for drugs.

Ground Rules

1. Don’t send original art. Always, always, always send copies. You probably worked hard on your pages and it’d be a shame if they were caught in the middle of an all-too-often-occurring Editorial champagne fight.

2. Fill out and include the submission agreement. It protects your intellectual property and acts as written confirmation of your submission. It’s your own personal, paper-based mob enforcer, but you don’t have to cut it in on the action. Plus, we won’t read or reply to a submission without a signed submissions agreement.

3. When it comes to presentation, it’s not necessary for your pitch to arrive in fancy packaging, so long as it’s coherent.

4. If you’re submitting written work, always include a full synopsis. We get a lot of submissions, and having a clear, concise encapsulation of what we’re about to tuck into makes it much easier to evaluate. A good synopsis also demonstrates that you have a good grasp on your work. Be passionate, but be into the whole brevity thing, too. This is what’s standing in place of you chatting up an Editor at a convention.

5. If you’re submitting art, choose whatever subjects are best going to showcase your skills. Also, make sure you’re submitting the kind of work you’re interested in pursuing. If you want to do interiors, show us comics pages, not just sketches and pinups.

6. Screenplays, letters trying to gauge our interest in an idea, and other material not shaped like a pitch aren’t actionable items for us. We’re looking for complete, professional-level scripts for comic books.


1. Due to the sheer volume of submissions we receive, we only respond to material we’re interesting in pursuing. If it’s been a long time since you’ve submitted your work and you haven’t heard from us, sorry, but you probably won’t.

2. Pursuant to point #1, everything gets read and nothing is passed on without due consideration. This isn’t Logan’s Run.

3. I know you have a vision, and I’m not here to tell you how to write your books, but as a yet unproven talent, try to be realistic. A pitch for a four-issue series from an unknown creator is much more appealing on a fiscal level than a pitch for a series of five 300-page graphic novels. Remember, the Jamaican bobsledding team from Cool Runnings started with a ramshackle wooden cart. They had to find John Candy and prove some smug Olympians wrong before they got a real bobsled.

4. Above all, if we don’t respond to your submission, don’t take it personally. The comics industry is a tough one to break into and most people who have found success here didn’t strike oil on the first try or by accident. Working in comics isn’t as similar to The Beverly Hillbillies as it seems.

If you still find yourself in need of some sage advice on this topic, I’d suggest taking a long, slow gander at the following link:


If you didn’t click impulsively, it’s Frank Miller making a point about comics better than I can, as he is wont to do. This is his personal account of showing his work to Neal Adams as a hungry young artist. You should probably read it anyway. You like comics, right?

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