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The Long Cut

| August 19, 2014

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A couple of years ago, I got an email from someone purporting to be a family member of a pop star. This person wanted to know if I did things for “karma points”, and then wanted to know if a publisher would be interested in a story written by a family member of a pop star.

I didn’t take kindly to it.

This writer was trying to take a short cut, attempting to trade on they’re cousin’s name and fame, and had attached themselves to an artist who was subpar. It was bad all the way around: art, colors, letters, writing.

I, of course, do what I do: I told them about themselves.

I don’t care about the happenstance of birth. I don’t care who people are, and I don’t get starstruck. This allows me to do my job, because I can’t then be “bullied” into something that’s wrong.

Remember when Tyrese came into comics for a three issue run of his comic, Mayhem? He only came not because he had a story that needed telling, but because he wanted to take his star power out for a spin. I wasn’t impressed, and neither were others. It just goes to show that all you need to get something made is money. Just because it’s been made doesn’t mean it’s going to be good.

Money without understanding allows you to take shortcuts. Have a problem? Throw money at it! Something doesn’t make sense? Throw more money at it.

However, in order to show skill and facility with anything, you can’t take a shortcut. You have to take the long cut.

The long cut is doing the work and gaining skill in it. It’s being more than mediocre. That means putting in the hours and sacrificing in order to be proud of the work you do.

The long cut will still get you where you want to be, but you’d be able to do it on your own. You don’t want to trade on a family name. Doing it the hard way means you did it your way, and you’re not subject to anyone’s thoughts that you got the job because of your family. Nic Cage is actually a Coppola. That wasn’t well-known when he first started. He did it his way.

Whenever possible, take the long cut. You’ll be able to sleep better and be more respected because of it.

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Category: Columns, The Daily Dose

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at for rate inquiries.

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