The summer I graduated from Kent State, I flew to New York City with an illustrated story and several story treatments in an attempt to land a job at DC or Marvel comics. As my plane circled over the city, I was suddenly struck by the realization that I had just crossed a line. If I didn’t make the attempt, I’d never fail; but it was too late for that, and the prospect of failure was now a part of the equation. I met with an editor at DC Comics who ripped not only my work up and down but me as well for having had the temerity to show up at his office with it. He must have felt a pang of compassion, though, because as I got up to leave he handed me a piece of original DC art and said, “Here! At least do it at the right size!” But it was only a momentary lapse, because as I reached the door, he yelled after me, “And don’t go telling everybody that DC is giving away free art!”
My reception at Marvel was much more gracious, and associate editor and writer Roy Thomas deserves a shout-out for knowing how to treat a neophyte cartoonist with a much gentler touch. (I should note here that Roy was a fellow letter hack from the pages of The Flash.) Although he told me basically the same thing that the DC editor had, he left the door open with an invitation to submit more work, and I left feeling more optimistic.
*From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. One