Breaking Into the Comics Business – How to Create a Great Portfolio –
7 Essential Lessons Every Comic Book Aspiring Artist Needs.
A comic book convention is an event created to celebrate the art of storytelling through images, as well as meet people who, in one way or another, are connected to this small industry. Small but, through their stories and characters, is gaining more space in cinemas, tv shows and theaters worldwide. In the case of the New York Comic Convention of 2014, about 150,000 people gathered at the Javits Convention Center. Our first trip to New York in 2010 was incredible !!! Had never participated in an event like the NYCC !!! At that time we were, me and my wife, running from one side to another, delivering samples of sequential pages looking for a job! We delivered various portfolios during the convention but, unfortunately I was not able to get any work at that time … Although, it was very exciting, we have had meet many professionals and received many constructive criticisms. The highlight of this convention was meeting the talented Joe Kubert!
It was on 2011 that I got my very first work on a mainstream publisher: Zenescope. For many years I’ve been working with Indy creators and trying to break in the mainstream. Once again I went to NYCC with a hand full of left over samples and contact info and that was it. Several months later Zenescope contacted me for a job. They asked me to do a 1 page test sample and the next thing I heard was: You got the job!!
To get a job on the mainstream of the comic industry you need to master the two disciplines you’ll be working with for the rest of your life: drawing & storytelling. I’m going to share with you what you must have in order to impress the editors and get a job at a publisher:
1 – The things your pages must show are that you are a master of drawing & storytelling: you know perspective, composition, anatomy, proportion, etc… and that you know how to tell a story in a clear and efficient way. Show that you know how to draw hands and feet. Show that you know how to draw buildings and vehicles: cars, trucks, buses, helicopters etc… The editors want to see that you have the ability to cover a range of visual material a publisher would need from you.
2 – You must show that you know how to draw super-characters as well as real people. There are real people in comics too you know?
3 – Environment and backgrounds are part of the story. Give your buildings credibility!! Make them look real, creating a grid of lines won’t cut it!!
4 – Show quiet scenes with normal people and action scenes with super-heroes characters.
5 – Show Hands and Feet. Don’t hide them, Editors want to see that you can draw hands and feet.
6 – Try to show at every page: one close up, one full body character and an establishing shot.
7 – Draw a 3 to 6 pages of SEQUENTIAL ART not only Pin Ups! It’s a comic book and the editors want to see that you can draw pages with actual panels on it!!!
So, here you go. Five quick tips to make a Portfolio that impresses editors!!
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