1. The state of the comics industry today.
For much of the past 40 years -- since the days Stan Lee and Jack Kirby saw Fantastic Four first hit the stands -- writers were usually current or former staff people. At Marvel, for example, the "Marvel Age" roster of scripters were Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, Gary Friedrich, and so on. They were all on staff as editors or assistants; the biggest exception was writer/artist Larry Lieber, who was the editor-in-chief's brother.
Today, the situation has changed.
Image Comics (Image Central) welcomes comics with "strong personal version" but requires a completed drawn and lettered first issue for consideration.
Vertigo Press (a division of DC Comics) offers a variety of genres and works with writers all over the world.
Marvel Comics under new editor-in-chief Joe Quesada is opening its doors to edgier talent.
Such smaller companies as Oni Press, Caliber Comics, and even internet-based publishers are openly co