When Harley Was One

Today’s portfolio review, from someone seeking representation from Glass House.

Hi —

Thanks for showing me. I think you need to take a mental “step back” and try to study your own art objectively, while comparing it to the professional artists who are already getting the jobs.

Look for storytelling sense, clarity in the layouts, sense of finish of figures, backgrounds, and overall style.

Let’s use your first Superman vs Amazona page here —

Quite a few problems.

Page one —

* Panel 1, Superman grabs her by the neck. She holds her hammer in her LEFT hand. Yet in the bottom panel, Amazon swings the hammer with her RIGHT hand. How did the hammer change hands? This would not have been an easy switch, because Superman’s arm was BLOCKING her ability to switch hands.

* Your LAYOUT is problematic. Is this page 2 panels? 3 panels? 4 panels? You’ve contained panel one with borders on all sides, yet you extended the floor and Superman’s cape out of the panel; that all by itself is OK, BUT other elements don’t work. You have the hand of someone on a ledge, looking at them; is this part of the same panel? If not, if it’s a separate panel, a gutter between the panels would make that more clear. Is that unfinished generic/futuristic skyscape above the hand part of panel 2? Part of Panel one? I’m not sure because the lack of any gutters (double lines between panels) makes it confusing.

* Are Superman and Amazona inside, or outside on a finished rooftop? The marble-type flooring is not a helpful clue; it could be either. The hand on that roof ledge makes it seem like it’s outside, and the ledge is just a second tier on that same roof. And yet in the bottom panel Superman is knocking over a table, a book, a test tube, and other items, leading the reader to think it’s inside.

Page 2 —

Unfinished, this page finally confirms they are outside (making the test tube and other elements on page 1 even more confusing).

Superman is out floating between buildings in panel 1, yet he’s suddenly back on the roof (or is it on the street?) in panel 2. It just doesn’t seem to be well-stage or defined.

* The Harley Quinn page from our website’s test plot is…odd. It doesn’t look at all like Harley Quinn; the sexy fun of her pose and holding a large title card have been dropped in favor of an awkward butt shot that desn’t seem to flow well into the rest of the page. What’s more, all the STORY elements from the script — like the plush supervillains including the Joker — are missing, though some random boy is talking to her instead. The perspective is all messed up, as well. In the circular panel (why is it a circular panel?), Harley has to be 12 feet tall for that perspective to make sense.

There’s just too much stuff on these pages that show you’re still in the early stages of learning your craft. Keep at it. You have some talent, but that alone doesn’t get you the work.


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