Jim Zub stopped by Ryerson University on Monday to talk breaking in to the comics industry and writing for a broad audience.
Zub spoke about networking and how it’s not forcing yourself on an all-important contact in the industry, but being genuine and maintaining connections with other independent writers. Zub references John Barber as a friend in the early part of last decade, who he used to share online work with. Now, Zub and Barber work together at IDW where Zub writes Samurai Jack and Barber is Editor-in-Chief.
One key takeaway is not writing down to your audience. Kids don’t won’t a cookie-cutter “safe” story, but rather, something challenging and just beyond their age, which brings its own appeal. Zub cites David Michelinie‘s work on Amazing Spider-Man as a book he enjoyed as a kid that contained complicated scientific jargon, which he would look up in the dictionary to understand.
On the process writing Samurai Jack, Jim Zub shared that he is a huge fan of the original series, and sees the open ending-that-never-was as an exciting place to go for the comic series. Zub watched three episodes of the animated series each night to prepare to write the comic, and compliments the work of Andy Suriano, who actually worked on the original show.
Zub encourages writing in any capacity, but allowing your work to be shared online. He gave away copies of Skullkickers and made his appreciation clear for his recent surge of success and fan passion for Samurai Jack.