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Author Topic: Pro Comic Creator Tips  (Read 6275 times)

pauljholden

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Pro Comic Creator Tips
« on: 30 June, 2009, 09:20:48 PM »
Hello all, I know many of you can't abide twitter (which is fine) so I've collated a bunch of things I posted about becoming a pro comic creator. Here they are:

http://tinyurl.com/pjtips

Comic Artist tips (everyone else is doing it, why not me?) Want to know what it’s like to be a pro comic artist with kids? Punch yourself in the balls 4 times a day, sleep 4 hours per night, eat dinner standing up and… that’s it!

Comic Artist Tips:why not make sure you eek out every last minute of your deadline,filling the time with self loathing and fear of rejection

Comic Artist Tips: remember, when asked how fast you are, the answer is ALWAYS “1 page per day”

Comic Artist Tips: that writer you can’t stand? him? yeah? you’ll end up working with him eventually. Bite your lip.

Comic Artist Tips: the ‘zone’ happens at exactly 10 minutes before you hit the sack. Why not fool yourself by working a full 24 hrs…

Pro Artist Tips: A silhouette looks cool AND is quick to draw.

Pro Artist Tips: Make sure you sneak wolverine into every page – that’ll give you a good secondary income when you sell the pages…

Pro Artist Tips: Writers will buy you drinks. Writers will buy anyone but other writers drinks. Remember this. It will save you a FORTUNE.

#ArtistTips if you find yourself attacking the table at awkward angles-like a snooker player on a trick shot-it may be time to lose weight

@simonfraser find a writer you like DRINKING with. A pro can work with ANYONE…

#ArtistTips find a new, unpublished writer, offer to do a three page strip for them, from that day on – you OWN THEM.

#ArtistsTips do work that excites you or you die a little with every compromise. Do work that pays you or you die of starvation.

#ArtistsTips There IS a magic pen that can make you draw just like Adam Hughes/Mignola/[other] – you just have to find it – now get looking!

#ArtistsTips to misquote Kirby: every time you erase a line you lose money! Remember this!

#ArtistsTips Don’t want to draw that panel? why not photocopy an earlier panel and ENLARGE it. Almost no-one will notice.

#ArtistsTips your mother and your girlfriend are NOT good judges of your talent. But your dad probably is. And he hates you.

#ArtistsTips if you’re too embarrassed to draw nekkid girls in case people think you’re a perve – why not make ‘em superheroes!

#ArtistsTips when an editor tells you what’s wrong with your portfolio – why not disagree with them! They can’t tell you how to draw. Idiots.

#ArtistsTips your portfolio case can handle more than 12 pages! Why not pack it full of stuff, an editor is BOUND to like something in there

#ArtistsTips buy some books on anatomy and drawing and leave them on your drawing table. Osmosis isn’t just for plants.

#ArtistsTips instead of drawing, go to twitter and keep hitting refresh – eventually an editor will spontaneously commission you via a DM.

#ArtistsTips when your wife asks what were you doing til 2:30am – tell her you were drawing.

#artiststips you’re right: it IS about WHO you know, unfortunately, though editors know a LOT people who can draw better than you.

#ArtistsTips the only person you can rely on is yourself. And even then you can only be 50% sure of that.

#artiststips spend at least five minutes a day wistfully remembering what sleeping was like.

#artiststips – just as you’ve suspected, once YOU’VE connected to an editor via a social network everyone abandons it, including the editor.

#artiststips – forget the naysayers, Comic Sans is a GREAT font to letter your samples with. Also: DON’T letter your samples.

#artiststips while you spend your weekend drawing that two page spread of 100s of clones vs x-men, just remember-it took 5 minutes to write.

#artiststips thinking of a career in comics? look at your local newsagents. See that? more magazines about Koi Carp than comics. Think FISH.

#artiststips don’t forget – ‘Leave Behind’ is not only a bunch of photocopies to give an editor, but also the odor peculiar to man sweat

#ArtistsTips – if you’re smart you’ll NEVER have to draw feet.

#artiststips Marry someone rich.

Writers Tips

Goaded into doing the equivalent for writers, here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

#writerstips Your first PAID work is actually a gruelling test of stamina that editors call The Gauntlet-run by interns for amusement

#writerstips that first pitch will resemble the final paid work only in so far as the credits will be the same.You will not tell people this

#writerstips remember, BEFORE you break in QUALITY is important, once you get your first gig QUANTITY is important. Don’t mix them up!

#writerstips remember, the more you write, the less you have to edit. And editing is DULL – ask any editor.

#writerstips if the first thing you wanted to get published WASN’T a 100 page opus, stop now: you’re not a writer.

#writerstips start saving now, remember the first rule of write club is that no-one will work with you unless you buy them drinks.
#writerstips get your artist while they’re young and hungry. Literally hungry; don’t feed ‘em unless they’re drawing.
La Placa Rifa

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #1 on: 30 June, 2009, 10:50:42 PM »
I think you forgot the most important one for writers and artists: never, ever, try and match Colin MacNeil pint for pint.

I only did this once ... it wasn't a drinking contest or anything -- he and GordonR had come down to Nottingham to visit Black Library, back when BL did comics and we were all on speaking terms with them. So there I sit, having a very pleasant conversation with Colin, Gordon and (if memory serves) Karl Kopinsky. Rennie was on his usual white wine spritzers and Kopinsky was on diet cokes due to an allegedly heavy night previously, so it's just me and MacNeil. Colin sits there beaming cheerfully and exuding generally good-natured bon-hommie, putting away pint after pint after pint with no visible effect whatsoever. About four hours later, Colin is apparently in the exact same state as when I arrived at the pub, whilst I have lost the use of my legs also the power of speech.

I asked around and apparently I am not alone in this experience!

Cheers

Jim
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GordonR

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #2 on: 01 July, 2009, 12:13:54 AM »
You've got to be kidding, Jim.  MacNeil's a total lightweight, due to health problems earlier in his life that I'm not going to go into here.   We used to call him the 45 Minutes Man - when he lived in Edinburgh and came out with us to watch the footie in the pub, he once had to go home at half time because he was too pissed to keep on drinking.

If you're referring to the same night I'm thinking of, Colin spent most of it later on throwing up all over Karl Kopinski's bathroom.  Blocked sinks were involved.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #3 on: 01 July, 2009, 07:15:38 AM »
Quote from: "GordonR"
If you're referring to the same night I'm thinking of, Colin spent most of it later on throwing up all over Karl Kopinski's bathroom.  Blocked sinks were involved.

Then I admire his fortitude for feigning normalcy during the duration of the afternoon in question (out the back of Fellows, Morton & Clayton, by the canal, in the rain ... I think the Kopinski's Sink incident was another time).

Cheers!

Jim
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locustsofdeath!

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #4 on: 01 July, 2009, 08:27:36 AM »
Thanks for the tips...a few of there ring so true I laughed out loud. Strange how things seem so serious until you hear them from someone else, then realize that it's all a laugh because everyone has to go through the same thing!

Richmond Clements

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #5 on: 01 July, 2009, 11:03:20 AM »
#writerstips: yes, that is a great idea for a story. Now, why don't you shut the fuck up about how you're going to write it and actually write it. I don't want to hear the same great idea in the bar a year from now.

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #7 on: 01 July, 2009, 02:49:29 PM »
Good link Emps, and I'm not ashamed to say that there are some things there that I really could do with getting to grips with.

Mike Gloady

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #8 on: 01 July, 2009, 04:55:54 PM »
Well, that was in interesting insight into the industry, thanks PJ.

Colin MacNeil?  Blocked sinks?  Another hero turns out to have feet of clay (that are covered in sick).
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Peter Wolf

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #9 on: 01 July, 2009, 05:23:02 PM »
Thanks for those as they were quite clever and a good read and even though i am new to doing artwork there were a few i could identify with.
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TordelBack

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #10 on: 01 July, 2009, 05:52:31 PM »
Quote
the ‘zone’ happens at exactly 10 minutes before you hit the sack. Why not fool yourself by working a full 24 hrs…

This is true of almost all forms of brain-based work.  Just as I give up with whatever shite I'm wrestling with at about 1am and decide go to bed, it suddenly starts flowing and I think 'fuck, can't lose this momentum!'.  Next thing it's 5am and my wife is no longer speaking to me and I'm totally fucked for the day ahead.

Art

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #11 on: 02 July, 2009, 07:05:24 AM »
Things that artists have complained to me about on the grounds that they are hard to draw:

Rocks
Some trees
An empty feild

Art

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #12 on: 02 July, 2009, 07:08:45 AM »
Oh, and those three artists all post here or at least read the board - anyone able to guess their identities without being one of them gets an un-prize.

Robin Low

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #13 on: 02 July, 2009, 09:34:01 AM »
Quote from: "Art"
Things that artists have complained to me about on the grounds that they are hard to draw:

Rocks
Some trees
An empty feild

Feilds are notoriously difficuly buggers to draw, what with the bits poking out at odd angles and all.

Regards

Robin

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Re: Pro Comic Creator Tips
« Reply #14 on: 02 July, 2009, 06:47:09 PM »
John Freeman has posted a list of resources for people looking to promote their comics:

http://downthetubes.ning.com/forum/topi ... mics-comic

Very useful for anyone trying to get the word out if their comics aren't being published by a larger American company.

Comics Bulletin is possibly the highest profile mainstream site that will cover smaller comics (including small press) and they will intereview pro writers, Rob Williams managed to get one for his "Breathing Space" on 2000AD:

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/features/ ... 697083.htm

Equally the Pulse at Comicon.com (the online comics convention site Rick Veitch set up) do a wider range of intereviews and have, for example, interviewed Henry Flint about Low Life:

http://www.comicon.com/ubb/ubbthreads.p ... Post322823

Interestingly Broken Frontier recently started reviewing 2000 AD material, mainly the trades (which seem to have disappeared during their site improvement) but the odd prog too, so might be worth approaching:

http://www.brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p ... 00-ad-1526

If anyone knows of any good resources then throw them in. I'll also pop over and add my thoughts to that thread when my account is activated.

Quote from: "Robin Low"
Quote from: "Art"
Things that artists have complained to me about on the grounds that they are hard to draw:

An empty feild

Feilds are notoriously difficuly buggers to draw, what with the bits poking out at odd angles and all.

And here's my thinking they justifiably objected to being asked to draw a hollow tiger.
if I went 'round saying I was an Emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

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