Archive for July 23rd, 2009

Jul 23 2009

Some tips for comic book artists interested in portfolio reviews

Published by under Comic Book Art

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Randy Stradley, one of Dark Horse’s editors, has some portfolio review tips here.

I’d like to add a few of my own.

1.  Include a good mix of regular people, cities, cars, and trees/plants/landscapes. Many artists focus on closeups of superheroes and, frankly, that’s only one part of the art that goes into a superhero comic book.

2.  Show that you have a well-rounded grasp of human anatomy. In particular, a lot of artists have trouble with legs and feet.  If an artist’s portfolio didn’t include any shots that showed at least a bit of human anatomy from the waist down, I’d assume that the artist wasn’t ready yet.  Backshots are also sometimes a problem.

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Jul 23 2009

How I Would Reboot Superman

Superman is a waning superhero.

In the past year, his comics have consistently been outsold by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Flash, Green Lantern, Deadpool, and every A-list franchise.   (For example, his top-performing comic book in June 2009 placed #43 on the bestsellers list).

According to io9, even DC Comics acknowledged that the Superman movie franchise is struggling.  Superman’s latest film-outing grossed about $390 million on a production budget of $270 million.  That’s notably worse than 1996’s Batman Forever, let alone either of the two most recent Batman films.  Yes… even Joel Schumacher, the “director” that put nipples on the Batsuit, beat Superman.

Here’s how I would reboot Superman.

1.  Give him a real personality with some actual flaws. This does not mean that he has to be brooding.  (Please see Spiderman or Ironman– characters can be three-dimensional and fun!) For example, maybe he’s a bit overconfident or careless.  Even a small flaw would make him more likable and believable.

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