ASSEMBLING YOUR PORTFOLIO
Below are things you NEED to catch editor’s attention and get jobs.
To be a comic book artist, you need to draw comic book pages. The most obvious mistake that we see in most artist’s submission is that they want to be a comic book artist without trying to draw any comic book pages, they draw nothing but pinups.
The most important part of your portfolio are your sequential sample pages.
An aspiring comic book artist can get a job from 6 pages of sequential artwork. If they’re the right six pages.
Here you’ll find Sample Scripts:
Sample Script #1 - X-Men
Sample Script #2 - Scandals
Sample Script #3 - Batman
Sample Script #4 - Harley Quinn
Sample Script #5 - Superman
Sample Script #6 - Bad DC Girls
Sample Script #7 - Red Sonja
Sample Script #8 - Fantastic Four
Sample Script #9 - Wonder Woman
One of the plots posted is for the X-Men, Although the six-page test plot features X-MEN characters, you don’t have to draw your sample with those Characters. You can use any set of recognizable, established characters from ANY popular comic book universe. You can use Spiderman and Mary Jane, Lois and Superman, Glory and Supreme, Captain America and Scarlet Witch, etc.
This is applicable to almost ALL of the tryout script available here.
Adapt the script on the characters to be used accordingly.
The tryout plot tests the artist to draw a little bit of everything — body language, gesture, expressions, real clothes, real people, buildings, cars, children, pets, wet things, aliens, monsters, super-heroes, babes, space ships, shattering glass, forced perspective, dramatic lighting. — real SCENES that make the artwork reflect LIFE in the real world.
Red Sonja plot sample pages from Caio Reis. Click each to enlarge
COVERS AND PINUP PAGES
It is also a good idea to include a couple of covers to show how well you can create cover SCENES that are dramatic, compelling situations that draw in the readers. The following are covers done by various artists. Click on each to enlarge.
Do NOT submit drawings of characters standing around doing nothing; no body language, no facial expression, no gestures, nothing that makes it dramatic and interesting.
Do NOT submit poses swiped from artworks done by other comic book artists.
When drawing a pin-up or cover, make it a compelling SCENE, something that would make a reader want to read the book, learn about the story behind the scene, and make an editor want to buy your drawing.
Always try to pick a pose that has your characters doing something, interacting with someone or something, or with their environment.
Many times we see artists draw generic super-heroes. Sometimes made up, sometimes swiped from other art, sometimes referenced from photographs and very often with no background. Drawing a character simply standing and posing in front of the “camera” will not get you work.
Always try to create an environment that will make your scenes interesting, something that will tell a story — crushed buildings, a car wreck, victim of a monster or villain attack or whatever. Adding any of these to a scene makes your art more compelling, never boring. Ask yourself, “How do I make this different from what anyone else would do?”
A comic book artist not only needs to prove he can draw well, he should also show that he has the ability to tell a story with his art.
There are two kinds of great covers and pin-ups. Neither one is characters just standing around doing nothing looking angry or smiling, or posing with fists clenched, or running out at us.
STORY-BASED COVER OR PIN-UP
For this, you imagine a story concept, even one from a book already published, and create a SCENE from a pivotal, dramatic, compelling moment. Even if the exact scene never takes place in the book! — It can be a combination of elements, as long as it gets across the dramatic impact. In the case of pin-ups and a teen hero book, for example, it can also be a character/humor-based scene. The best ones help define personality and/or powers. The more specifically character-oriented they are, the better. Click on each image to enlarge.
DESIGN-BASED COVER OR PINUP
These can ALSO have story concepts, although the design element is the key here. If you do 3 or 4 of each type, you’re set to go. It wouldn’t hurt actually to assemble a couple of them with logos in place, to show you smartly left enough room for the company and book logos, credits, prices, etc. Click on each image to enlarge.