Making Comics: Exposing Yourself

So you've spent a couple of years developing your personal style, and have reached a point wherein you can pick up a Marvel or DC comic book (or other published work) and say, "Siguro malapit-lapit na ako dito." Or, better still, "Siguro naman, mas magaling ako kesa dito." The least being, "Puede na." The next step is to swallow your pride and test your tear glands through public exposure.

Online. The easiest way right now is posting your comics stories or sequential art online. There's DeviantArt, Comicspace, DigitalWebbing, and others. Announce that you're open to "crits," and accept whatever feedback comes your way. Maraming mga mababait at mayroon ding mga maaasim, pero ang mahalaga'y pinapansin ang mga gawa mo. Mas mabuti na 'yan kaysa iniisnab ka. DigitalWebbing has its own classified ads page where you can look for projects. You can also try the comic book professionals group of LinkedIn for networking purposes, but you can't post artwork there.

DeviantArt, on the other hand, has a social networking component which can prove useful in the long run. Hindi pa ako miyembro ng DeviantArt. Nahihiya pa ako. :P

Aaminin ko na noong unang panahon ay mataas ang pride ko pagdating sa mga crits, lalu na't kapag ang nangingilatis ay hindi talaga dibuhista. Sa tingin ko'y natural lamang na maapektuhan kung bagito ka pa. Itanim na lang ito sa isip: kung hindi ka pa handa sa anumang kritisismo, huwag ka na munang magpakitang-gilas. Or at least, huwag mo munang ipahalata na dumudugo ang tenga mo. Ituloy mo lang ang page-ensayo, dahil sa page-ensayo mo lang mapupuna ang mga pinagmumulan ng kritisismo.

What if you already have a comics story and would want to get it published online to a wide audience? You can try ComicGenesis or Zuda.

Getting Work. Admittedly, I don't have a sure-fire formula when it comes to getting instant work in the comics industry. But what I do know is that in order for you to get some kind of work, you have to do your part and build your portfolio while constantly improving the quality of your output. Plus, you have to be a little enterprising.

Gerry sent me this link to Marvel Comics' submission guidelines. It's something you could try. I had sent samples to Marvel and DC years ago, but never heard from them, which was okay. (While I would really like to draw an X-title, I don't know if my style would make a good fit.) I don't know if Glass House Graphics will be having another comics creation seminar next year, but now's a good time as any to prepare in case Mr. Campiti decides to drop by again.

When you're starting out, the key is getting a foot in the door. So if you have to do small projects for free the first time around, then do so. It's part of building your portfolio--you want to prove to people that you could deliver, that you could work with people, and that you could meet deadlines without sacrificing the integrity of your work. (Unfortunately, I don't know how things work if you want to focus on writing.)

Plus, comic books aren't the only option. Puede ka ring gumawa ng mga comic strips para sa mga pahayagan at magasin, tulad ng ginagawa nina Pol Medina, Jr., Ariel Atienza, Lyndon Gregorio, Manix Abrera, at Andrew Villar. Or, if you already have a graphic novel in the works, you can pitch a proposal to any of our local book publishing houses.

If there's one thing that I've learned over the past few years, however, is that there are a lot of opportunities out there for comic book creators. Kung hindi ka mapili. What's more, you can create your own opportunities. Ang sabi nga nila, kung talagang gusto mo, maraming paraan. Kung ayaw mo, maraming dahilan. All the best!


Anonymous said…
How does one submit comic strip samples to newspapers here in the Philippines? Who do I address it to?
Carver said…
When I want to get in touch with someone, I do the good old-fashioned phone call. Check the publication for their contact info and make an inquiry.

Or, get in touch with the people I've listed above and nicely ask for a contact person. Good luck! :-)
kc cordero said…
is it ok to copy at first the style of well-known artists?
Carver said…
hello, kc! Yes, definitely. It's like how Bryan Hitch began his career--his early style was a near-perfect clone of Alan Davis. It so happened that his copy was good enough to publish.

Still, he eventually grew a style of his own.

I've always believed that a personal style is inevitable, no matter how hard we try to copy someone else's. As an artist evolves, the style evolves. The more a person becomes attuned with his artistic self, the personal style becomes more and more evident.
kc cordero said…
thanks. of late i got interested in cartooning and the style i was able to copy with relative ease is that of randy glasbergen, an american cartoonist. i'm using the 'copied' images (though the ideas and executions are mine) when i'm writing an entry in my blog sometines... but somehow i feel guilty that i am fast becoming a clone of randy.
i'm hoping for the time that i can develop my own style.
what's giving me a natural high is the realization that at 40-plus, i can still doodle... and maybe at the age of 50 i can publish my own illustrated comics.
more power sa iyo... sa inyong dalawa ni zsazsa!

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