Joe Quesada’s Portfolio Tips

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 you 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 pencilling portfolio can be built in 12 pages
  • 3 stories, consisting of no more than 3 pages each. 3 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 quite moment.
  • Artist have it easier than writers folks, there’s no way to sugar coat 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 DC centric and the other Marvel. The quite 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 robots 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 in struggles as he’s 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 submission at the moment.
  • Marvel was accepting cold writer submissions until recently, it became too overwhelming to keep up with. Hopefully we will again.
  • Since so many of you are asking, I will Tweet about writer’s submissions next week as well as suggestions for cover artists.

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