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April 13, 2011

A note about editors

Editing is a widely misunderstood job.


For some the editor is a favorite punching bag, and even a subject of regular online ranting—mostly ignorant ranting.


Yes, there are nightmare stories of bad editorial relationships. But anyone aiming high with their own project, anyone wishing to produce something above ordinary ought to take the trouble to find out what a real editor does. An editor gives you distance. Now if you’re independently wealthy and you can spend twenty years crafting your magnum opus, then you will eventually get some distance from your own work. Barring that, an editor (a good one, and one that is well-suited to you and your project) can help give you several years worth of distance in one editorial conversation. And that’s a mighty enhancement, and a source of creative growth for an author, and something most books need somewhere along the way. Sometimes it’s a very light touch, sometimes it’s a robust, thrashing exchange. But there are, in comics especially, many, many, many books that are good but could have been great—for lack of a good editor.


So that’s a little offering on the matter of First Second and editing—yes, we tend towards some editorial dialog, not to meddle, nor to mold the author in our own image, but to push their project to its fullest fruition.


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I dig this post, Mark. Well put.

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