Save the date for Brooklyn Art Council's annual benefit to be held on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at Giando on the Water. Group exhibition featuring artwork by 14 Brooklyn artists commemorating the 1st anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
Over the past few years, the most rapidly growing genre of literature sales (most dramatically with hard-copies as opposed to digital publication) has been comic books and graphic novels. Those who are generically called a€?comic book artistsa€? originate from disparate origins, and each often displays work of completely distinct and different styles.
Check out the infographic below for some interesting information on Comic Book Artist careers. I took art classes throughout high school and a couple of junior college drawing and painting courses, as well as a couple of online anatomy courses, but the bulk of my learning came from books and tons of practice. Jason Raines began his professional art career at 21 when his comic book Joe Psycho & Moofrog was picked up by Goblin Entertainment and went on to win the Diamond Gem award. Comics can be rewarding and artistically satisfying like no other endeavor if you can live the lifestyle. And one more thing, despite the fact that we work from home all day, I can tell you this –comic artists know how to party. My average work day basically consists of me rolling out of bed, making coffee, and walking into the room that is my office at my house.
I most enjoy the freedom it gives me to work when the mood hits (unless there is a deadline, of course). University can be a huge boon for the artist, but in the end it is the artista€™s content that counts, and there is nothing better than the long hours devoted to drawing and amassing a body of work. In order to become a professional comic book artist, several things must be kept in mind if indeed one is serious and ready to face the numerous challenges (including the typical artista€™s financial struggle) in order to become a successful and self-sustaining comic book artist.
Extraordinary and specific technique is what will make the artist stand out and become easily recognizable and memorable should success be attained. As already mentioned, a comic book artist must have the ability to effectively communicate story and, of course, must be able to give birth to the stories themselves in the first place. What is often one of the most important aspects in achieving success in this business is having a body of work.
Again, it is paramount you create a portfolio that showcases some of your best work and to pepper it with as many pieces as possible that show off your art skills.
It is also highly recommended to visit all the comic book conventions, as this is where you will meet and hob knob with the best in the business, including potential artist mentors and the editors and publishers of some of the world’s best in graphic novels and comics. One can also query the major comic companies to see about being hired as a comic book artist. If you’re like me, who only recently discovered that comics industry veteran artist Paul Smith has a website and is on Twitter, suffice to say you are in for a treat. The story of how a then still-trying-to-break-into-comics Smith ended up in the comic through a chance meeting with Roy Thomas makes for an interesting read.
Famed British comic book artist known in America for various DC Comics projects, in particular a long run of Wonder Woman comic covers. It seems that even after a zombie apocalypse, there are still dickheads you have to deal with. That’s the story cartoonist Chris Moreno is telling in his new comic book Zombie Dickheads Are NOT Coming To Get You, set for release in October. The October release clocks in at 48 pages, and will debut  at Chris’ table at the Nashville Comic and Horror Fest on Oct.
And with the incredible success of film, television, and video game adaptations of stories having originated on the proverbial funny pages, many enthusiasts have attempted to climb on board the band wagon.
What every successful comic artist has in common, though, is the ability to tell a story using images and short bursts of succinct yet impactful words.


Generally, the story script is written first and then it is laboriously segmented into separate panels with the dialog and captions created for each individual panel.
From those who did, I hear that it can be great if you’re willing to really work hard and wring all you can out of it. An experienced artist has a library-sized repertoire of everyday and not-so-everyday objects in their head, ready to be pulled out in a moment’s notice and an ability to create new objects (or characters) from scratch. Comics is one of the art forms most open to new ideas, new concepts, and differing visions.
Beware of a€?contestsa€™ and what Mark Evanier calls a€?Unfinanced Entrepreneursa€™ who rope you into free work by promising a€?exposure.a€™ Banks and grocery stores do not accept a€?exposurea€™ as payment.
They commissioned me to work on several supplements in their Villains and Vigilantes line of books.
And just because someone says a€?this is how it’s always donea€™ doesn’t mean ita€™s the way you have to do it! I check my emails for any new information from clients, and then I pull up what I’ve been working on in Photoshop and begin working.
When all is said and done, the art of the comic book or graphic novel is all about bringing a good story to life through exceptional illustration. Of course, one wona€™t take the market by storm with no experience, so, as with all fine art, you better love to draw! It is still quite egalitarian in that anyone can get a website and start creating his or her own a€?web-comica€? series. This is your calling card when you are pitching yourself to comic book editors and the like.
This can be quite challenging if dealing with the major comic book companies such as Marvel, DC, or Dark Horse, but it is important to keep in mind that there are quite a few independent comic book companies out there as well and they are often seeking new blood in the talent pool.
There is definitely an increasing demand for this kind of literature, but that does not change the fact that comic book illustration along with concept creation and development is a complex and challenging set of skills to acquire. Some artists even write their own narrative and dialogue, while others pair up with a writer, but either way, compelling and effective storytelling is a must. But if you only do what it takes to pass your classes, you’re not going to get anywhere. A comic artist is also a 4 dimensional artist… we work in up, down, forward, back, left, right and backward in time. But if you love to draw while hanging out in your own kick-ass home studio (always important to have a comfortable drawing space) then comics may be for you. In America, the superhero comic genre is still largely dominant, but in markets like France and Japan, comics are just a media outlet like television or Netflix. Best of all, I went to conventions and asked for feedback from as many editors as possiblea€”they are the ones who give out the work. Learn from everyone and everything, even if they’re half your age or not in the field a€”knowledge can come from anywhere. A social media site for musicians and artistic types named Woodbangers Entertainment has also had me doing a line of images based off a mascot I designed for them.
If I sit idle for too long it almost seems like I get rusty and have to work harder to put something on the canvas. A competent comic book artist, like all fine artists, must know the intricacies of shading, the process of rendering, and how to employ the use of lighting effectively. No matter how much martial arts action there might be, nor the size of the explosions, or the number of bodice-breaking Amazons there are populating the pages, without a good story you will not have readers. Years and years and reams and reams of drawings is what ultimately will allow the comic artist to develop and hone his or her talents, not to mention to have something to show for his or herself. It also will instill discipline in the artist through the commitment of getting out a strip on a daily basis and will also provide an excellent forum for experimentation with and the development of drawing and story-telling styles.


The biggest and most famous of all is Comic-Con, which takes place every summer San Diego, California. When you feel you have attained a professional level to your work, review the submissions policies of these publishers and always remember to never send in originals of your work. After that it’ll be available at all his future convention appearances, as well as a website he set up for the book. A friend who’s been very successful in concept art for movies and videogames told me that only a handful of people in his graduating class could really draw.
The thousands of hours you put in at the drawing board will mean more than anything anyone else can teach you.
You need to not only be able to draw something but draw how it appears in a specific moment –this is what determines its position, pose, and momentum. You can find everything from sci-fi to horror to romance to comedy to drama all within the pages (physical or digital) of a comic book. Lastly, I have just been tapped by FASA Games to work on a couple of their projects that I can not say anymore about at this time. Also essential is onea€™s draftsmanship and the overall knowledge of human (and animal) anatomy.
One of the most helpful books that this writer has ever owned that aided and abetted his understanding of the art of storytelling is the late Joseph Campbella€™s seminal work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which explores what he called a€?The Hero’s Journeya€?, the basic pattern that is arguably found in practically every story from around the world.
Many of the best companies offer portfolio reviews at these major industry shows, so be sure to bring along your work should the opportunity arise. Make some high quality copies of your best, include a SASE envelope (postage paid) with your query to get back potential feedback, and then let it rip! These photos come on the heels of Disney's announcement to rework Cinderella as a career girl. In addition to traditional comic books and graphic novels, internet web-comics are also growing in popularity.
This is why comics are called Sequential Art –moment A happens before moment B, which preludes to moment C. If several people are telling you to work on your anatomy, crack open the books and take a life-drawing class. Drawing charactersa€™ bodies and facial expressions accurately and organically while also showing off the aforementioned personal technique and style is what makes a good artist great. Draw actual comics pages, not just pictures –storytelling is as much a part of the skillset as drawing is.
In some fields, just having the degree is enough, but in art, you have to really have the skills. Each panel must be a masterpiece of awesomeness all by itself, but it must also work with the sequence of panels before and after it. If this comic is intended to be released in color, then the last step is to color all the pages.
The style I work in is influenced heavily by comic books and Japanese animation, so naturally I have worked closely with many Japanese Anime Conventions. Often these days, artists will use a computer program, such as Adobe Photoshop, for the coloring process.
Izumicon, Anime Crossroads, and MTAC (Middle Tennessee Anime Convention) are a few of the conventions I have done mascot design work for.



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