Joan Hilty has an extraordinary gift for zeroing in on weaknesses in plot and character and years of experience in coming up with solutions to seemingly intractable problems. She works with gentle precision to draw out a writer’s best ideas. I felt complete confidence in her judgment, her taste and her knowledge of the market. She is, quite simply, a great editor. — Brooke Gladstone, host/managing editor of NPR’s On The Media, and New York Times bestselling author of The Influencing Machine
What I want out of an editor is a long list. I want a confessor, someone who’ll listen to the sins of my storytelling and offer guidance, if not redemption; I want a parent, someone who will chastise and encourage, who will criticize without destruction; I want a fan, someone who believes in me, and more, believes in the legitimacy of the work we are trying to do; and I want someone who, at the end of the day, will help me write the best story I can write, regardless of who or what that story may be about. Joan Hilty has been all of these things for me, and more. Her sense of story, and of storytelling in the graphics/comics medium in particular, is excellent, and the work I have produced under her eye is testament to that.— Greg Rucka, Eisner- and Harvey Award-winning comics writer and novelist (Alpha, Queen & Country, Whiteout, Batman)
In addition to her critical eye for plot and structure, Joan brought years of experience and a deep appreciation for graphic storytelling to the projects we worked on together. I learned a great deal from her about the unique process of putting together a graphic novel, from plotting to scripting to coordinating with artists and letterers. I can’t think of anyone better suited to oversee the many moving parts required to create a work of sequential art.— G. Willow Wilson, Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning/Eisner and Orange Award-nominated author of Cairo, Ms. Marvel, Alif the Unseen
When I started to work with big houses after self-publishing, I could hardly stand to have editors around. Now, I’m astonished at how much they’ve learned in the past few years. Joan wouldn’t let me get away with such bad paraphrasing of Mark Twain (note to Joan: please edit this!) and that’s why Leland Purvis and I are glad we sought her out. She immersed herself in our story and showed us where to focus our attention so that readers would focus theirs where we wanted them to. She didn’t let us get away with anything, and made us think about, work on, and see below the surface of the narrative. She did that because she thinks hard, works harder, and sees clearly.— Jim Ottaviani, Eisner-nominated and New York Times bestselling author of Feynman, The Imitation Game
We hired Joan to help us review storyboards and early designs for The Zen of Steve Jobs (John Wiley & Sons, 2011). It was Forbes’ first graphic novel and we wanted an industry veteran to make sure we were on the right track. Fortunately we were on the same page creatively! Joan did everything she promised and did it on time.— Bruce Upbin, Managing Editor, Forbes Media
The best comic book editor I’ve ever worked with. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Joan is a superb cartoonist and understands what makes a good story. She knows when to step in and when to step out of the creative process while exploiting the virtues of the script and the art and making them sing in harmony. She knows how to finesse a collaboration while encouraging each person’s A-game. She’s been doing this with eloquence, wit, and dedication. I’d have Joan’s back in a fight, anytime.
— Dean Haspiel, Emmy Award winner, Bored To Death (HBO); artist, The Alcoholic (with Jonathan Ames); The Quitter (with Harvey Pekar); Cuba: My Revolution (with Inverna Lockpez)
Joan’s thoughtful, insightful comments and questions were invaluable in shaping my graphic novel. I’m especially grateful that I had the chance to work with her from the proposal stage on. Her prompt, thorough suggestions are smart and effective at every level, from the layout in a single panel to a character’s arc throughout the narrative.
—Sara Ryan, Oregon Book Award winner, Lambda Literary Award finalist
The most comprehensive editor I’ve ever worked with. She takes an idea that you think you’ve looked at from every angle and she somehow finds a new way for you to think about it. She’s a staunch defender when she needs to be, and an easy collaborator always.
—Matt Kindt, Harvey Award-winning author, Super Spy, Revolver, 3 Story, Pistolwhip
Speaking as an agent, Joan is the best kind of editor — she doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, she tells you what you need to hear. Speaking as a reader, she’s kept the thrills coming for years. —Charlie Olsen, literary agent, InkWell Management