Are there any artists or those who work in the field who could provide some advice?
I wrote a manuscript recently for a funny-book, but totally lack in any illustrative skills. I have been browsing sites, posting in different areas, etc looking for an artist. One place that I thought had tons of potential was conceptart.org…but no avail.
What I see a lot of is “how much does it pay”. I get that people want to get paid…but you need to actually put in some work if you want to get paid. Especially if you are new in the field like I am.
I understand if someone established mentioned pay…but it strikes me as arrogant when up and comers want paid before it has been submitted and accepted somewhere.
Anyways, does anyone know someone who is looking for art-work or can advise on a place to seek out up and coming artists?
I tried to go down the free art route, and it was mostly a failure except for one pitch I did with a personal connection.
In the end the stuff I’ve paid for is the stuff that the publishers are interested in, because I’ve proven that I can get published artists involved with my work.
You’re going to need five pages for the pitch, so it’s going to cost you about $500.
Having spent the last few years “breaking in” (and probably announcing something before Comic Con, fingers crossed), I’ll tell you that learning how to find and work with artists is a good chunk of the craft of writing comics.
I found the artists for Impaler (published by Image) through Digital Webbing. If you post an ad, expect to get a lot of crap, but odds are that you will also find a couple guys worth talking to.
If you do find an artist, make sure that you have a contract that clearly specifies who gets which rights, how any profits will be split, etc. Always have a contract. Always.
In terms of submissions, most places require 5-10 finished, lettered pages. Don’t waste your time going to Marvel or DC. They won’t look at anything. If it’s a short story, you can try and get into the Digital Webbing book. Ed (the guy who runs DW) is a great guy.
Speaking from a few years of experience at the editorial end, I can tell you that first impressions really count. If I flip through your submission and the art and layout catch my eye, then I’ll be more inclined to read it sooner. Good art can often make a mediocre story publishable (sad but true); bad art can render a good story unreadable.
Also, at the scripting level, take the time to understand what is unique about comics and write to the medium’s strengths. The comics industry is filled with bad writers who don’t have a (fucking) clue about the medium, and that kind of work is rarely remembered or reprinted.
I am meeting with an artist this weekend to go over my manuscript.
After talking with him on the phone, I was impressed by his professionalism and knowledge…as well as his samples.
I liked that he respected my wishes in regards to protecting my manuscript (not posting it online or emailing it into the nether) and appreciated that he was the same way about his work. We also agreed on signing a contract.
To anyone who has worked in the field before either in writing or art, do you have any advice for going into the meeting? Besides matching up my writing with his style, what are key indicators I should be looking for?
In general, I am interested in his knowledge of comics and the way the art and writing assist one another, but I also do not want to come across as insulting. I’d like to be respectful of his role in the matter.
As for your question about Understanding Comics, McCloud has also written Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels, which is probably well worth looking into for a person in your position.
From what I’ve “heard” (read, rather), Will Eisner’s lecture books such as Comics and Sequential Art and - perhaps - Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative are pretty amazing reads, too
Grats on your landing the artist by the way.
Oh, also; as for how to deal with your newly found artist, this little guide on Elance “outsourcing” might provide a tip or two. Of course, working with an artist is way more of a collaboration than the other matter, but there still might be some interesting pointers, such as not being too much of a wuss to express disagreement on something.