If you wonder who is the hardest working man in comics biz, there is only one answer: Charles Soule, currently scripting seven monthly titles and running a law firm. As he admits in this post, people are always asking him “HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS???”—in fact I asked him that the last time I saw him—so he has written a blog post to explain so he doesn’t have to waste precious time answering that question any more.
I am currently writing seven monthly titles – Superman / Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing and Red Lanterns for DC; Thunderbolts, She-Hulk and Inhuman for Marvel; and a creator-owned title called Letter 44 from Oni Press (read the entire first issue for free here!) That essentially means I’m generating 140 pages of script per month, every month. My pagecount for 2013 is 1116. If I stay on this path, my pagecount for 2014 will be something like 1680. Every script that gets turned in also (usually) requires at least one rewrite to incorporate editorial notes (those are thankfully pretty quick, most of the time), art review and then a lettering pass, all of which have their own deadlines. There’s also a PR component, represented by interviews, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, convention appearances and store signings.
In addition, I’m running a law practice – it’s small, but that doesn’t really matter as far as workload. (Small aside, for years, while I was breaking in, I never mentioned the day job. I was concerned about negative associations with that profession, and intimations that it was somehow easier for me than it might be for others who didn’t have massive student loans and 80-hour work weeks to contend with… seems silly in retrospect.)
The answer involves a lot of discipline, planning and even color coding. I doubt that Soule or anyone can or should write seven monthlies for to long, but if you’re going to try, here’s a method.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.