Make Comics Podcast
The Comics Experience Make Comics™ podcast provides ~15 minutes of advice per episode on all aspects of creating comics and breaking in to the industry.
Join Comics Experience founder and former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt and his co-host Joey Groah as they discuss making comics! (Also, big thanks to the co-host of the first 50 episodes, iFanboy’s Josh Flanagan!)
Do you have a question about making comics you’d like to hear discussed on the podcast? Email us at info@ComicsExperience.com.
Andy Schmidt is taking the week off, and filling in his chair is Robert Atkins, Comics Experience instructor and professional comic book artist. Robert is here to talk with Josh Flanagan about what an artist needs to have in their portfolio. The portfolio is the resume of the aspiring comic book artist. It’s going to say everything you have to say to editors looking to hire artists, so you’d better do it right. Robert talks about what should be in your portfolio, and what shouldn’t be in your portfolio, and what should be on the pages that do make the cut. This one went a bit long because it is chocked full of useful advice. Whether you want to write or draw comics, it’s worth a listen.
A listener writes in with a question this week, and it’s about using conventions as a beginning creator. Dave wants to go to some shows, and use the relationships he’s built up as a way to get good and honest critiques of his work, therefore making himself a better creator. Andy and Josh talk about the hows and whys of such a tactic, and the best way to go about it, as well as what Dave’s already doing right. For one thing, he’s decided not to be creepy. So he’s off to a good start.
It’s all about the pitch! You’ve got a great idea? Then you’ll need to pitch it. That requires knowing who to talk to, how to talk to them, and figuring out what they want to hear. For some, it’s terrifying. Andy and Josh talk about the age old art of the pitch, and what that actually means in today’s comic book industry. Granted, after you do the pitch, you’ve still got to make the comic book. But one step at a time…
You’ve got a job. You’ve got school. You’ve got a family, a dog, bills, a lawn that needs mowing. But you’ve also got a drive to make comics. This week we talk about making time to work on those comics and finding a way to put in that time. It works differently for everyone, as the creative process is wont to do. So if you can make time to listen to this, surely there can be a little time left over to work on your masterpiece, right?
It’s all about story, and if you’re making comics, that needs to be foremost on your mind. What’s the story? You’ve got beautiful art, crackling dialog, and the best cover on the stands, but if the story isn’t there, it’s all for nothing. Beginning, middle, and end are the name of the game, and this week Andy and I go over some of the ideas behind making sure your story is the best it can be.
Marketing comics, especially those that don’t contain everyone’s favorite superheroes, is about the hardest thing in the world. Indie comics have little to no budget, and it’s a challenge to get anyone outside of the existing comics market to even look at comic books. And yet, without marketing your comics, there’s almost no point in making them. We’ll talk about some of the ideas and tools creators have at their disposal, and the importance in thinking about marketing when it comes to comics. It turns out there’s a lot to talk about.
We’ve got our first email question, and it’s about portfolios. An artist trying to break into comics relies on their portfolio, either physical or digital, it’s a group of artwork specifically choreographed to show exactly what kind of comic book skills they have. But what should the portfolio highlight? Should there be superheroes? Action shots, storytelling, talking heads? A little of everything? Andy breaks down what editors are really looking for.
â€œWhere do you get your inspiration?â€ It’s a question asked of almost all artists, writers, and creators alike, but we take a moment to explore where we have heard inspiration springs from. Some comic writers read poetry, for example. For real. Most important is that where you get your inspiration spurs you to better creations and art.