Chris Staros has a long and distinguished career in comics as the co-founder and main editor of Top Shelf — you may have heard of books such as Blankets, March and Lost Girls. From discovering some of our best contemporary cartoonists to working with everyone from Jeff Lemire to Alan Moore to James Kochalka…he’s seen it all.

But he’s just announced a new role that incorporates some of his learnings from all this: “Comics Coach”

According to his website, Chris Staros will offer “Personalized Comics Portfolio, Project, and Career Mentoring.” Because of the pandemic, he has some time on his hands…and is available for consulting:

If you’ve ever sent me a submission — as Editor-in-Chief of Top Shelf Productions — you hopefully received a polite and encouraging response (as I always try to get back to everyone). But it may have been frustrating that I wasn’t able to go into a lot of detail about what the particular strengths of your work were, and what areas I had constructive suggestions. Or, maybe you’ve had an idea for a comic, or written or drawn something, but didn’t know if it was any good or what to do with it.

I often visit Universities to speak and answer questions about the business of comics and to also give one-on-one portfolio/project reviews, but with in-person visits so limited these days due to the pandemic, I find myself with a bit of extra time on my hands. So, I thought I might try and offer an after-hours/weekend service to provide personalized advice in the following areas, tailored to your needs:

— A detailed portfolio/project review … along with answering the ins-and-outs of:
— How to make your submission more attractive to publishers
— What makes the medium of comics unique & the key elements of good storytelling
— Self-publishing/marketing your work through social media, press, crowdfunding, and conventions
— How money is made in the business/financial planning
— Publishing contracts and agents
— Hollywood exploitation, management, and contracts– Careers in comics (creative and business)

Prices begin at $99 for an hour consultation but go up for reading complete scripts or completed graphic novels.

There’s been a rise in comics consultants in various roles of late…and I think it’s a healthy sign. This industry is growing and growing, and for some creators, getting the chance to get an honest appraisal from someone with Staros’s depth of knowledge (and genuine desire to help up-and-comers) could be well worth the price of a few dinners (or if you live in NYC, A dinner).

Staros is already full up for May and June, but is taking bookings for July and August.