When Comics Should Be Good, Uber-Mensch, Brian Cronin asked me to write a bit about the pleasant experience that is Comic Book Idol, I said, Oh no - forget that - we're doing train wrecks.
People losing it in the Idol forum.
Here in western society (specifically Estados Unidos), in this little thunderdome of competition we like to call the free market economy, people have a tendency to only remember the winner... that means I should introduce myself.
So, hi, my name is Jonathan Hickman - first loser of CBI: season one.
My inner Lombardi is so proud.
I'll be honest; I was surprised to make it in the first contest. I hadn't drawn in three years and I was just getting back into comics after not reading them for almost a decade. I was having one of those I-absolutely-hate-my-job moments (this particular one had lasted about six months), and a friend of mine emailed me about the contest. I threw together some pages and submitted them. Somehow, I got in.
I really only blew one round (and almost got kicked out in week 2), and simply tried to do the best work I could at the time. I probably shouldn't have made it to the finals as there were easily 4 to 5 guys more talented than me at the time, but I relied heavily on my design background and that leveled things out a bit.
The most difficult part of the contest for me was waiting on the next assignment after making it through a previous stage. I knew I would need the entire time to complete my assignments; so getting a head start each round was imperative. On a side note: Many of the guys (in CBI 1 and 2) really struggled with critiques from both the judges and posters in the forums. While that kind of stuff has never really bothered me, you could see it really paralyzed a couple of contestants.
After losing the final, I took a bit of time to work on my craft (and, hey, figured out that I wanted to write as well). Last year, my first book, The NIGHTLY NEWS, was published by Image.
I've also done some work at Marvel and Virgin, and have three new series coming out from Image starting with PAX ROMANA in November.
Comic Book Idol was definitely one of the catalysts to getting all that started. Which is kinda the point of the show.
Before wrapping this up, let me very quickly give you some general guidelines for enjoying the contest:
1. Pick a horse. In week one, make a decision on a contestant. Don't be a passive observer - get in there and fight for your guy. Recruit voters. Argue online. Oh, for God's sake - blog already.
2. Don't tear down other contestants - build yours up. The only way for your favorite is going to win is to get people to vote for them, denying a vote to others isn't really going to help.
3. Play along. Every year there are lots of potential contestants that don't get in who play along at home. It's usually in the Never Ending Forum at CBR.
4. Don't be a know-it-all dick.
Oh, and one thing I failed to mention:
If you're wondering what perfect little prince won the first Comic Book Idol, his name was Patrick Scherberger; he struts like Jagger, dresses like Bowie and you see him, punch him in the nose for me.