Although my comic creating guide is in the main primarily aimed at writers rather than artists, be aware of these principles...
1) Have you submitted strip work to the title of your
choice, as well as illustrations? In general, when
you submit artwork to a company (British or American), they want to see at least
three to four continuous pages - that is, a continuing story. They don't want
to see splash pages or covers.
Your whole package should be roughly eight to twelve pages long, so they can look
at it quickly and get a good idea of what you do. The most important thing an
editor is looking for is your ability to tell a story. The next thing they're
going to look for is your ability to draw a car, a telephone, a tree, a house,
a couch, and so on. Basically, they're looking to see if you can draw. People
are the last thing they'll look at; an editor assumes that if you want a job in
comics, you can already draw people. But if you can draw anything else, put it
in your samples ? let them see it.
2) Have you read the comic you're trying to get work
on? Do you know what makes the character you're
3) Have you submitted work to a company featuring
that company's characters? No-one at Rebellion,
publishers of 2000AD,
wants to see how well you can draw Spider-Man, for example, and no-one at Marvel
wants to see Judge Dredd. Tailor your submissions according to which company you're
selling yourself to.
4) Have you submitted photocopies? Never
send original work. It is almost never returned.
5) When you send something to a comics company, include
a covering letter telling them who you are, where
you're from and thank the addressee for looking at your samples. Hopefully, they'll
have time to respond although the big companies receive hundreds of submissions
a day. Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to include a stamped addressed envelope or
International Reply Coupons if sending material to the United States. Any response
is good, although most US companies now return material as a matter of course
to avoid potential claims against them for ripping off characters.
6) Always include your name, address and telephone
number on each sample and each page that you send
in. In a busy editorial office it's very easy for a covering letter to become
separated from the art? it happened to me on a couple of occasions and this is
frustrating, not just for the aspiring creator!
7) Presenting art at conventions: Artist
Dave Gibbons' advice is: "Leave the sketchbooks and most of the pin-ups at
home. Take a few (maybe six) finished pages showing continuity and a couple
pages. Don't bother lettering them unless you can do it to professional standard.
Make sure its your latest, best work. And never, ever, apologise for it!"