F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)
This page will answer a lot of the questions people have about various subjects. I try to reply as much email as I can but it gets hard to do, especially when the same range of questions continue to flow in. It's a bit like Groundhog Day :) So before sending out an email read thru this page to see if you question has already been answered. This page will be updated often so please, check back if you have emailed a question you didn't see answered.
Q: How did you get your start in comics?
A: I attended a comic book convention and sat behind a table with my friends. I had my portfolio on the table and CB Cebulski checked it out, liked it and left his card. We became friends and were developing a few indy projects together when an editor at Marvel asked if he knew anyone that could do a fill-in issue on ICEMAN. CB gave my name and I did the issue, and have been working in the business every since. Basically, an opportunity presented itself, I took it and then busted my butt every day since to stay in.
Q: Do you have any tips on how I can break in?
A: Everyone thinks there is a secret to breaking into comics and there is...DRAW GOOD. It's pretty simple. Draw, draw, and draw some more. There is not just one door, there's 100 and they're all different. If you're drawing is at a professional level then the biggest part of the equation is solved. Get online and promote yourself. Start a site, a blog, a facebook page, a twitter account, a deviantart page, etc. Go to conventions, buy a table, sit behind and promote your work. Take a break from your table and drop off packets at the company booths. Create your own comic while waiting to get in the door at one of the companies. Who knows, you may not need the job at one of the companies.
Q: Can you show my work to any editors at Marvel? Can you give me any editors contact information?
A: No and no. Marvel, or any other company I work for is my employer and treat it as a professional relationship. I don't want editors and art directors dodging my emails and calls because they think I'm pushing artists on them. I expect editors to keep my contact information confidential and I do the same for them.
Q: Will you take a look at my work and give me pointers or tips on how to improve.
A: I wish I could dedicate the time to going over everyones portfolios and give them solid critiques, but it's just not possible. I look at as many as my schedule will allow but I can't promise that I'll always be able to reply to art critique requests. I do apologize.
Q: Did you go to college? Can you recommend any colleges to help me get into comics.
A: No, I didn't go to college. Because of that, I don't have any solid info on schools.
Q: Do you do sketches at conventions? If so, can how much do they cost and can I get on your list now?
A: Yes, I do sketches at cons. They are on 8.5x11 cardstock and are inked bust style shots of one character. No full bodies, no multiple characters. Prices differ depending on the level of finish I'm going with for the con but usually around $40. I do not take names for a list prior to a convention, it is first come first serve. If the list gets too big too fast I switch to a lotto pick to make sure it's fair and everyone gets the chance to get a sketch.
Q: If I send you my comic will you sign it and send it back?
A: Unfortunately, no. If I do it for one, its only fair that I do it for everyone who requests it and I just can't spend that much time at the post office. I'll sign as many books as you want if you drop by any of the conventions I attend each year.
Q: What tools do you use?
A: I do my rough drawing digitally on my Cintiq. I print those roughs out in light blue ink on an Epson 1400. I ink mostly with a Kuratake Brush Pen or a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. For the Kuratake I use a converter cartridge filled with Speedball ink. The Pentel pen I use an empty cartridge and fill it with Koh I Nor ink. I ink with traditional brushes as well but the brush pens are much faster and create the same look and feel.
Q: What programs do you use to draw digitally?
A: I draw almost everything in Sketchbook Pro. It's the closet thing to drawing naturally that I've found. If I do ink digitally, I use Manga Studio Debut. It's the cheaper version of the program but it has all I need. I color everything in Photoshop CS5 (any version will do) and sometimes Corel Painter 11.