Graphic Novel TK Episode 10: Being Professional

So you’ve got a book deal! And an agent, and an editor, and a publisher — you’re doing amazing. 

Or you’ve got a pitch that you’re just finishing up, and you’re ready to start the process of finding all of those people to work with you, people you hope you’ll work with your whole career.

Or you’ve got a book! Or a webcomic! Or a mini-comic! And you’re ready to start that Twitter account, go to a comics festival, put yourself out there and make the connections to build your career.

How do you go from being a private person to having a professional public presence, in person at meetings, talking on email, calling people on the phone, interacting online, and in public at conventions? What does it mean to be professional? And how do you determine what the right amount of professionalism in each situation is?

Basically the secret answer to this is that we all make it up as we go along, but we try to be nice and considerate and thoughtful and think twice about all our actions while we’re proceeding. And today we talk to amazing cartoonist Lucy Knisley about how she thinks about professionalism, both now and when she was just starting out with her career.

You can find information about all of Lucy’s amazing graphic novels and other things at her website,

Alison Wilgus is a writer, editor and cartoonist; her comics have been published by First Second, Dark Horse, DC, Del Rey and Nickelodeon Magazine, and she’s currently working on a graphic novel duology with Tor.

Gina Gagliano is the Publishing Director of Random House Graphic, Random House’s dedicated imprint for comics for kids and teens, and has worked with organizations like the Brooklyn Book Festival, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and the Toronto Comics Art Festival to coordinate programming and media.

Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at [email protected].