Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Finding an artist and submitting work
Downpour_guy at 3:21PM, March 13, 2009
posts: 46
joined: 1-27-2009
Ok, not posted on here for an age so you probably won't remember me.

But anyway, I'd like tips on the following regarding artists.

How do I go about finding an artist?

How do I pitch my work to the artist? I.e. What is the acceptable length of a pitch, does it have to be a full script or just notes, do I have to say what I want in each panel, etc.

How do I go about publishing a comic both independently and commercially?

Ok, thanks in advance.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
lba at 7:47PM, March 13, 2009
posts: 2,688
joined: 5-29-2007
To find an artist is actually pretty easy. Here on DD we've got a forum devoted to just that. Make a thread there. Additionally, most comic sites have their own version of the networking forum.

For the pitch, you would just give a brief synopsis of what you're looking for and what you're planning on making. A short summary of the story and the kind of artwork you're looking for is more than enough. Don't put up the whole script because nobody will read it and you'll just end up giving away your script.

I don't have any tips on publishing. I've never been there myself except for what I've put out on DD.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
Speck at 1:28AM, March 14, 2009
posts: 39
joined: 10-15-2006
Since I don't think I can add anything to the “finding an artist” question…

You've got a couple of options for printing.

A ) You could go with a print-on-demand (POD) service. (I know that requires that you format the book yourself, though.) There's an overview of POD services over at if you're interested.

B ) You could submit to an actual publisher. All of the publishers that I've researched have submission guidelines on their website. Most of them require a certain number of pages done, a synopsis of the comic, and other such stuff. Just look at some of the publishing companies you're interested in, or companies that you think will accept your work (in style and genre).

C ) You could print stuff yourself. The minicomics or zine route, if you will. Basically, this involves you folding and stapling your own Xeroxed comics. It's a nice way to add that homemade touch to your work, but not the best solution if you want to print more than 50-100 at a time.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
Ironscarf at 5:12AM, March 14, 2009
posts: 1,341
joined: 9-9-2008
Remember you? How could I forget my buddy from the Spot?!

What Iba said on the synopsis: you need to find artists who are enthusiastic about your project so don't get bogged down in panel breakdowns; that comes when your artist is ready to go.

More details on the publishing - do you actually mean you want to print/distribute your own comic, or get someone to do some/all of that for you, or are you just looking at the options. Speck offers good advice there, but why not test the waters with an online comic, or part of one, first? That should give you a better idea of the viability of the project.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Downpour_guy at 6:22AM, March 14, 2009
posts: 46
joined: 1-27-2009
Thanks guys.

Hey Ironscarf.

Yeah, I'd like to do a webcomic format too, I'm just doing research really to find out all the different formats I could use and if they are possible for myself.

But thanks for the good advice!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
Eddie Jensen at 6:19AM, March 15, 2009
posts: 256
joined: 6-7-2007
as an artist I've really gotta say you shouldn't say what art style you want because that will scare artists like me away. If I have to be pegged into a category to be your artist I'd rather not. Y'know what I mean? Or just email artists who's work you enjoy who you don't know for sure if are busy or not. the worst you can get is a no really.
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Skullbie at 6:41AM, March 15, 2009
posts: 4,805
joined: 12-9-2007
Eddie Jensen
I've really gotta say you shouldn't say what art style you want

Bad advice. Downpour you should definitely mention what style you prefer because a) It's what you're looking for and shows you know what you want, and b) It fortifies the people with the style you want as in ‘hey this guy knows he wants ’my' style'. This is one of the first things artists look for in your ad. And to be honest not listing it is a good way to draw in crap artists

With that aside:

-what genre is it?
-Give a brief summary: Give a one paragraph synopsis of your stories beginning. If it has twists say so at the end, like ‘lots of twists and turns make this idea come to life’ etc. Don't give away your whole story just the basic premise.
-show that you are flexible: since this is a collab your artist can walk away at any time, show that you are open to input on the story and follow through on it.
-Use nice vocab: don't be pretentious but use good grammar and stronger word choice when typing the ad. This gives a better presentation for everyone.
-be friendly: durr but you'd be surprised how many people act like dicks when asking for FREE artists. Don't act holier than thou and show that you're agreeable.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
Eddie Jensen at 8:23AM, March 15, 2009
posts: 256
joined: 6-7-2007
Bad advice. Downpour you should definitely mention what style you prefer because a) It's what you're looking for and shows you know what you want, and b) It fortifies the people with the style you want as in ‘hey this guy knows he wants ’my' style'.

or "Hey this guy doesnt want an artist he wants a tool! :D
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Downpour_guy at 9:13AM, March 16, 2009
posts: 46
joined: 1-27-2009
I understand what Skullbie says.
It cuts out the people that think they are better than they are, and if the story is a really dark horror story, you don't want little cute cartoony characters and back backgrounds.

But yeah, it does sound like you need a tool, but surely the reason why I need an artist is to be an extension of my creation.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
mattchee at 10:46AM, March 18, 2009
posts: 347
joined: 1-18-2008
I think as far as artists go, you probably need to at least find someone who is approximately close to what you want before you start really honing in on an exact style. Obviously, if its your project and you want the final say, then that's the bottom line, but a lot of it is about finding a good match, fundamentally, I would think.

Good places to find artist (and other) collaborators are sites like or… Make sure if its non-paid, you make it clear and post in the appropriate place.

As far as publishing goes there's a few routes:

Submissions is one. Most comics publishers have submission guidelines and information right on their website. Some of these even give you a clear idea of what kind of stuff they expect to see in a submission pack. So check those out and put them together accordingly.

Self publishing is the other. DIY aside, your major options would be get a print run done yourself, or POD (print on demand).

IF you're trying to get into retail comics shops, getting the printing done yourself is probably the rout to go. Its less expensive, so it will allow you to discount (from the cover price) appropriately and still make a profit when you sell to stores or distributors (though, good luck with getting hooked up through diamond). The downside is you have to order in bulk, and you could find youself stuck with a bunch of product that you can't move.

If your goal is to sell directly to end users only (zero wholesale), POD might be the better option. You pay more per issue, but the initial output is minimal. You could order on 1 issue or 1000 issues if you want. Plus, the major comics POD houses ( and both have online order fulfillment as part of their service, so you can sell online, without having to worry about keeping an inventory, or filling the orders yourself. You make the same amount of profit, too. Also, Ka-Blam is introducing some sort of distribution program, though whether or not that will work, remains to be seen. I happen to print all my comics through Ka-Blam.

Both options will require bit of knowledge (or education) about prepping your work for print, etc (unless you want to pay huge pre-press fees, I know ka-blam charges something like 50 or 100 dollars an hour for that– not atypical for many print houses). Its fairly easy, and good stuff to know.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM

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