Working Professionally as a Cartoonist

A few things that I’ve learned over the years that have crystalized through teaching…


• Devote your time to sharpening your art skills AND your business skills – trends, networking, contracts, etcetera all.

• Don’t pigeonhole yourself to one small aspect of the art form, like limiting yourself to just comics. Remember that Michelangelo wanted to devote himself to sculpture when he was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel.

• The people who succeed are generally the people who are working their asses off. Surround yourself with people like this, people who commit themselves fully and are getting their work out into the world. They’ll generally be better than you which is a GOOD thing – that way the bar keeps getting raised.

• Working hard isn’t enough, you have to work smart as well. You have to create work that’s marketable – that will suit the needs of someone who will then pay you.

• Working long hours with no sleep to meet deadlines isn’t the answer. Your career is a marathon, not a fifty yard dash. Eat right, exercise and sleep regularly like your parents told you to.

• Start now (yesterday is even better). Research the jobs you want, look at the submission guidelines (and follow them METICULOUSLY), then work up samples that will blow the competition out of the water. Follow Steve Martin’s advice to those aspiring to enter the entertainment field – “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

• To cap this off… If you treat your skills as a hobby then that’s where they’ll stay, as a hobby – and that’s FINE as long as that’s your conscious decision – but if you want to have it as your career then you need to get on board and on track.

And that’s…
The-More-You-Know

For more info, check out the following links:


Comics – Pricing your Work

Things to Consider When Commissioning Artwork

Work for Hire – The Fallout

Homage or Swipe?

Cartoon Art Scams


Comics – Tools of the Trade

Comic Book Inking Tutorials and Videos

Recommended Books on Drawing & Cartooning

Smudging

Using Reference

Procrastination

When you wish upon a star…

Motivational Misinformation


Convention Prep – AHHHHH!!!

Networking and the High Cost of Comic Conventions

Mike Wolfer on Fan art/Homage art


Graphic Novels

Comic Book Podcasts

Intro to Anime – sorely needed…


And last but not least, The Business of Cartooning.
This page has a number of subcategories, including…

1 Comic News Blogs
2. Contracts
3. Resources/Articles
4. Print On Demand Publishers
5. Self-Publishing Resource Articles
6. Convention Resources
7. Cartooning Schools and Organizations
8. Financial Aid

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I started these posts after teaching Comic Art at the
Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Here’s the biggest thing I learned teaching there.

Hammerstein

…and a special thanks to Professor Barb Schulz, head of the department,
for giving me that opportunity.

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Kaiju Warning

From the mind of Francesco Marciuliano and ink laden pen of Jim Keefe…

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Babymetal

For all those writing in wondering what the BabyMetal T-shirt Hil is wearing stands for, here’s a quick clip from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

For more info, check out www.babymetal.com

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Wonder Woman

If there was any question, Sally Forth is totally behind the new Wonder Woman movie…

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Japanese Monster Theme Park

The Comics Kingdom blog recently asked cartoonists to tell them about their summer plans (for the strip’s characters or for themselves).

So a quick heads up that Sally Forth and the family are going to a Japanese Monster Theme Park – and Faye and Nona are along for the ride as well!

So stay tuned…

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Sally Forth – Rollercoaster

As some of you may have noticed, The title panels of this week’s worth of dailies had a little side story going on all of it’s own.

Here it is in its entirety.

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Coloring Spider-Man

Back in 1992, when I was the colorist on staff at King Features Syndicate, I got the chance to color the Spider-Man newspaper strip. Usually this would be handled by someone Marvel hired, but if it was a reprint or Marvel hadn’t hired anyone yet, I would fill in.

Ron Frenz was approached to draw the strip at that time and recently posted the pencils for this Sunday page on his Facebook page.

Click on image to see larger.

Ron Frenz’s pencils.

The inks were done by none other than the legendary Joe Sinnott.
Here’s my color guide followed by the old color chart that the numbers correspond to.

And last but not least, how it appeared in the paper.

As I grew up with Romita’s Spider-Man newspaper strip, any chance to work on Spider-Man I deemed as quite the honor.

Speaking of John Romita – here’s a quick color guide I did when they reprinted his origin story back in March of 1992.

The numbers on this one were on a tracing paper overlay (for clarity).
And here’s how it appeared in the newspapers.


And just for fun, here’s how the strip originally was colored back in 1977.
(Pardon the rubber cement – it’s from my old scrapbook)

And here’s the cleaned up version from the highly recommended IDW Spider-Man newspaper strip collection.

Side note: Despite the fact that I love the limited palette of the original, I thought it would be fun to put my own spin on it.

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Though I left my staff position back in the late 90s, I still color a few of the Sunday comics for King Features to this day. For more check out Coloring the Sunday Comics.

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Wizard World Minneapolis 2017

A few pics from Wizard World 2017 here in Minneapolis.

Danny Fingeroth, Bob Camp, Guy Gilchrist and Phil Ortiz.

Phil Ortiz drawing Sideshow Bob.

Guy Gilchrist

Colleen Doran

My signed copy of Troll Bridge.


One of the best parts of Wizard World this year was getting to see Jose Delbo again.
He was one of my teachers at the Joe Kubert School back in the 1980s.

Jose Delbo and his wife Maybelle.

Batman by Jose Delbo.

The last time he was in town I had him sign some old assignments I had saved.
More on that at the following link – Jose Delbo at SpringCon 2012

We talked about Philippine comic book artists, European comics compared to America, Hugo Pratt, and of course Joe Kubert.

Jose Delbo and Jim Keefe.

For more on Jose, check out JoseDelbo.com

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