Again thanks to Jon Colton and comicscareer.com: more thoughts on getting work, this time from Marvel chief Joe Quesada. (edited by me for spelling and punctuation).
Joe Quesada’s Portfolio Tips
March 19th, 2009
This evening, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada was Twittering tips for new comics artists who are building a portfolio to show editors. We’ve captured these tweets for your reading convenience. You can follow Quesada’s messages yourself at: http://twitter.com/JoeQuesada.
- Okay, how about some portfolio building advice? Grab your notepads and pencils, kiddies.
- Okay, first, you’ve heard it before: don’t letter your samples. No SFX either.
- Don’t ink your work, unless they are ink samples over someone else’s pencils. Don’t color your own work unless you’re a painter.
- Keep it simple, an editor does not need to see a 30-page portfolio. We can tell by the second page whether someone has the stuff.
- I see people spinning their wheels doing these gigantic portfolios and I end up feeling bad, because whether they’re good or not, they wasted a lot of time.
- A perfect penciling portfolio can be built in 12 pages.
- Three stories, consisting of no more than 3 pages each. Three cover samples that relate to your story.
- Each story a silent vignette, with a beginning, middle and end. No words, but the viewer should be able to tell exactly what’s going on.
- Pick a single character vignette, a team vignette and then one with two people doing ordinary things. A quiet moment.
- Artists have it easier than writers folks, there’s no way to sugarcoat it.
- However, writers have the ability to make more money than artist if they’re prolific.
- Okay, so, out of your single hero and team vignettes, make sure one is DCcentric and the other Marvel. The quiet vignette can be Vertigo.
- Your vignette doesn’t have to be a brilliant story, keep it simple, just make sure it’s clear.
- Here’s an example of 3 pages and a cover that got me my first gig at DC.
- Page 1 Small panel of Supes flying, pull back it’s a TV screen, pull back its Luthor watching Supes on Multiple screens, he pushes a lever.
- Page 2 Supes flies, rescues a cat from a tree hands it to a little girl. Something off panel gets his attention. He flies off.
- Page 3 Supes encounters a giant robot, knocks it out with one punch, stands heroically on robot's chest. Pull back, he’s on the TV screen.
- Pull back and Luthor smashes his fist on his desk as he watches what just happened.
- Cover- Superman struggles in the hand of the giant robot.
- Simple, brainless story, but the point got across.
- I was going to give some writers submission advice, but we’re not accepting writer submissions at the moment.
- Marvel was accepting cold writer submissions until it recently became too overwhelming to keep up with. Hopefully we will again.