Marvel historian Sean Howe has collected a bunch of Jim Lee’s instagrams of rejection letters from the ’80s, including this one from Eliot R. Brown. Although the curt advice “come back when you are consistent and can draw hands” seems harsh it’s just the truth. (One can only speculate on what Rob Liefeld’s rejection was…but perhaps there is no need to speculate.)
There are two messages here. #1 is, of course, don’t give up. DON”T GIVE UP. There, I said it.
But a corollary is KEEP AT IT UNTIL YOU’RE GOOD. Only a precious few geniuses are good right off the bat, and they do exist but most people need to do 1000 bad drawings before they do a good one. I’m sure Jim would be the first to admit that he didn’t draw like either Adams or Picasso when he sent in his art. But he got better. A lot better.
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.