The Comic Publisher Landscape (2018)

For whatever reason, I decided to attempt mapping out the entire North American—and UK—comic publishing industry. I started assembling the rough files while I was updating this years’ comic submission guidelines directory.

I thought – why not tackle something bigger?

This graphic is not perfect – more like the beginning of a conversation. We’re now at Vers. 1.1 after the first round of revisions. The ~200 publishers and imprints are collected from 12 months of Diamond Previews customer order form info. The burgeoning Emerald Comics Distro does not have any publicly listed information on publishers that they’re dealing with – so I stuck with Diamond as my source.

Some things to note.

All of the categories are arbitrary. I invented them. You may have other ideas about where things fit.

Here’s a Google Sheet that lists every active publisher that I sourced, their website URL, and their Twitter, FB and Instagram profiles (if applicable).

No publisher is listed or ranked according to market share. I’m not a data visualization pro – but maybe one day we can implement this.

There are so many imprints, corporate mergers and *sister companies* in the publishing world that it made my head spin a little.

Some of these publishers might be out of business and Diamond is merely selling off past inventory in their warehouses. I’ll try to keep up.

This graphic is only my personal interpretation of the comic publishing space and will probably contain errors and omissions (with apologies). You can publicly identify or clarify your company in the comments section below – and I’ll update the graphic in the following revision.

every comic book, graphic novel and manga publisher

You can view the uncompressed and full-size infographic here. You can download this graphic in an assortment of sizes.

I expressly grant permission to reproduce copies of this graphic in full and “as is” on any website, up to a resolution of 3000 x 2896. A backlink to this very post would be greatly appreciated.

Comic Publisher Directory Google Sheet

You can access the Google sheet here:

Comic book, Graphic Novel and Manga Publishers Included in the graphic.



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Pen and Ink Techniques of the Masters

I recently posted a list of books recommended for comic creators. But for as long as the web has been around, artists have been freely posting how-to’s and step-by-step process shots. Study the masters in any way that you can.

Instagram, Youtube and Twitter have become a goldmine for drawing technique videos and photos. I’ve selected some of my favorites. Let me know about other ones in the comments.

The Artists

Jock Draws Batman

Here’s a quick 3-step ink drawing from Jock. He posts a lot of detail shots on his Instagram page.

A post shared by Jock (@jock4twenty) on


A post shared by Jock (@jock4twenty) on


A post shared by Jock (@jock4twenty) on

That was a bit quick. Here’s a video of Jock doing his thing.

Mike Hawthorne’s Venom Red Skull

Check out the process shots for Marvel artist, Mike Hawthorne’s Venom Red Skull. Cool right?

Sean Phillips Page Breakdown on The Fade Out

Sean Phillips has been very generous with sharing knowledge on his site. He went the extra mile with this step by step that he presented on The Fade Out.

Ed Brubaker script page from The Fade Out

After receiving the script from Ed Brubaker, Sean makes a thumbnail sketch in his sketchbook – just for storytelling purposes. From there he’ll shoot any photos and research out any other references needed for the pages.

thumnail art by sean phillips

Then it’s over to the Cintiq using Manga Studio to start pencilling. His reference photos are pasted up on another monitor and he sketches from them freehand. For the final panel he dropped the photo reference right into the page, along with a background in the first panel. This was ensure better accuracy on the finished drawing.

Then, on another layer he inks the pencils with a couple of Ray Frenden‘s Manga Studio brushes. And then draws in some grey tones on seperate layer to finish the page.

sean phillips digital inks manga studio Sean Phillips grey tones

The flattened page is then sent to Elizabeth Breitweiser to color in Adobe Photoshop.

Elizabeth Breitweiser colors for The Fade Out

Sean then adds the color file to the lettering and panel borders that he’s previously created in Adobe Illustrator finishing the page.

Sean Phillips lettering

Jason Shawn Alexander 9-Step Empty Zone Panel Breakdown

Here’s a very detailed step-by-step demo from Jason Shawn Alexander – following the progress of an illustration from his Empty Zone comic series.

Progress shots of 2 page spread from #emptyzone 9. #imagecomics @imagecomics

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Paul Pope’s Japanese Snow Woman

Feast your eyes on this Japanese Snow Woman by Paul Pope.

Yuko Shimizu Draws Big

Yuko is a world-reknowned illustrator and an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. You can take her Skillshare course—Ink Drawing Techniques: Brush, Nib, and Pen Style—and up your inking game.

Happy Halloween, and happy last day of #inktober2017 Have you had a lot of fun this year? Today I want to talk about how big you should draw. Well, there is no right answer for this, but there are various things you want to consider. + If you are making a ink drawing for a work project, then the first thing to consider is how big the image will get printed. Here is one of my largest paper. I draw this size for most of poster projects. Most of us illustrators draw larger than the print size, because lines look crisp and nicer when the image gets printed shrunk down. + Even if you are not a professional artist, there are things you can consider to make the size work for you. For example, how big is the most important part of the picture? If I am drawing a closeup of a face, I don’t need to draw big. I can get plenty of details with smaller canvas than usual. Besides, it is easier to see the whole composition when the paper is smaller. But if, say, the main character I am drawing is full figured and much smaller inside the canvas, I may use a larger paper, so the character would look good, and I can get enough details. + Another aspect can be very personal. We all have our comfortable size. Some artists draw better in larger canvas, and some do better with much smaller canvas. My canvas size is bigger than average. I draw better with whole arm, instead of just with the movement of my hand. I get frustrated when a canvas is too small. And the opposite may apply to some of you. One of the best ways to figure this out is to draw a very small self-portrait, and a life-size one. I got this as a homework during art school, and it helped me figure out what kind of artist I was. + This is it for this year’s inktober, but all this year’s inktober tips are archived under #yukoinkingtips This hashtag only works on my Instagram, for those of you who are seeing this post on another platform. My Instagram handle is @yukoart And you know, I will be posting more tips time to time. Cheers!

A post shared by Yuko Shimizu (@yukoart) on

First inking video of 2018. I’m drawing a gargoyle today. Downloaded a whole bunch of references from all over Europe. Then started drawing mixing things together from various references. It’s not based on ‘a’ gargoyle. As an illustrator, copyright issue does become important matter to keep in mind. I always use references, but learned over the years how to collage them together to come up with results that does not resemble any of them. If you are aspiring to be a pro, this is a skill I suggest you start learning early on. And, as you may know already, @skillshare is having a New year sale. 3months of trial, including but not just my classes, is offered at just $0.99USD. Follow link on my Instagram profile to redeem, or to access. Happy Resolution Month! #yukoinkingtips #yukoillustrationtips #inkingtips

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Practical Drawing Tips from Greg Smallwood

If you search through the #comicprotip hashtag on Twitter, you’ll unearth a long stream of indispensable advice for creators.

Sakura Pigma Drawing Pens Demo | Drawing a realistic skull – Alphonso Dunn

How to draw a skull with Sakura pigma ink drawing pens. This video demonstrates Sakura of America’s wide array of ink drawing materials including the pigma microns, graphic pens, mechanical pencils, brush pen, and electric eraser.

Here’s Jim Lee Drawing the Joker

Jim drew this Joker sketch during his Twitch stream [] and gave it away to one lucky viewer.

THE PROCESS: Inking Old-School

Shane White shares a few techniques for inking with a brush.

HOW to INK! Supplies & Techniques

Mary Doodles: “Here’s the inking video of my How to Art series! I’m gonna go over the supplies & materials I use to draw & paint with liquid black india ink. I’m also gonna show you some techniques you can use.”

Kim Jung gi

Kim Jung gi with the Pentel Pocket Brush

Here’s Kim Jung gi drawing using a Pentel pocket brush pen and a Pentel Color Brush on Korean traditional paper mounts on wood.

Jae Lee Drawing and Inking Wolverine

How To Create and Develop YOUR comic style

Ever wonder how to assimilate your favorite artists into your own unique style? This video shows you how to use textures, and different approaches to start building that all up. Examples include a few David Finch pieces, Chris Bachalo art, and a really nice Leinil Yu Red Skull piece.

The feature image ‘Ink Pens‘ by TMAB2003 was used under a CC BY-ND 2.0 license.


5 Reasons to Draw in Pen and Ink (and Sometimes Big) – REVISITED!

crow quill metal pen nibs

I originally published this article on May 25, 2009. The piece has been read over 60,000 times since then. I wanted to give this post a new permanent home and revisit the 5 main points with 9 years of hindsight. I’ve changed my thinking on several of the original points – so I made some counter arguments. My new comments are posted directly under each point.

Things to note:

  • There wasn’t much diversity amongst the artists that I originally included back in ‘09. All male, mostly white. While I’ve since broadened my horizons – I’m not going to rewrite history to make myself look better. But seriously, check out the #VisibleWomen hashtag on Twitter. There’s a staggering amount of talent out there that’s underrepresented.
  • I fixed a lot of the broken links from the original piece. If the text refers to a period in time add on 9 years as this was written in the Spring of 2009.  

Now that computers and the internet have overtaken the world I sometimes fear that a lot of the traditional things that we take for granted will slowly begin to disappear. It may be an irrational fear as the internet has also brought to light, amazing factions of creators in different pockets of the globe.

I’ve been noticing new practices taking hold in the comics, manga and illustration professions. Digital inking, Wacom tablets (yes they are cool) replacing pens, vectors overtaking hand-drawn artwork and a strong reliance on Illustrator and Photoshop.

Don’t get me wrong; this is not a knock against utilizing those techniques. I have seen some amazing art created on Macs and PCs. I just don’t want it to get too carried away.

I have never personally experimented with digital drawing suites like Manga Studio and I will one day when I get the time. For now, I continue to love getting my hands dirty with ink and owning a growing collection of original pages and illustrations.

The main reasons to draw by hand

1. Permanence

If you create your pages with a half-decent ink on acid-free paper, your artwork will survive for decades and perhaps centuries. Paper is still the most portable storage format. Digital works are stored on your hard drive, CD-ROM, DVD or back-up tape. But digital file types and storage mediums change each decade.

We backed up files on tape in the 1980’s and part of the 90’s. Then we used zip cartridges. Then DVDRoms and portable hard drives. Meanwhile paper is still paper. My stack of originals is nicely filed away in a flat drawer. I still like to keep photocopies and high-resolution digital backups though just in case.

[Jay 2018] I was obviously obsessed with the idea of permanence back in ‘09.

Cloud storage was not a common idea, and we had witnessed the comings and goings of the 8-inch floppy, 5.25-inch floppy, 3.5-inch disc, CD-ROM, DAT, MiniDisc, Compact Flash, Zip, DVD and SD Card. I had reason to be wary of storage mediums.

I’m a little more optimistic about cloud storage services such as:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Dropbox

They continually upgrade their tech—server side—without you having to change multi-media devices every 5-7 years.

And as a drastic solution – an artist could always print out their digital work using the largest printer they could afford, with archival inks and paper.

2. Mastering techniques

I realize it takes years and a lot of artistic skill to render quality digital paintings and drawings, but there’s just something more immediate about pen on paper or brush on canvas. Whether it’s spending years figuring out how to perfectly sharpen your pencil or the exact pressure needed when drawing lines with a dipping nib or technical pen.

It could involve changing up your ink brand, paper type, and size or finally investing in some high-quality Windsor & Newton watercolor brushes. I’m sure we’ll arrive at a day where students will sit around a live model and sketch them with their Wacoms into a laptop. I just hope that day doesn’t arrive too soon.

[Jay 2018] That day has arrived. The Wacom Intuos Pro pen and tablet promises 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. And the accessories! Ballpoint pen, fine tip pen, pencil, texture sheets (from smooth to rough), and pen nibs. Things have come a long way in 9 years, and Wacom seems determined to ease the change over to digital.

Kyle T. Webster’s collection was acquired by Adobe, and they integrated over 1000 of his digital brushes into Adobe CC. That’s forward thinking.

Digital artists such as Cristiano Siqueira are creating mindblowing work with Adobe Illustrator.

3. The Monetary Value of an Original

I realize most art out there isn’t worth much more than the paper or canvas that it was created on and that’s often not the point when creating it. But what about down the line? What if the creator strikes it big? Having a back catalog of originals could become quite lucrative in that case.

The idea of parting with my originals pains me, but my grandkids might not have the same issues. And although I know it’s happened, it’s not often that we visit a gallery to view a showing of digital print-outs.

Jose Munoz original batman art

[Jay 2018] I still 90% agree with this sentiment. Most of the comic artwork available for sale—online—is still largely undervalued. But then I come across a set of 8 pages of original José Muñoz work for Batman: Black and White – The Devil’s Trumpet for $32,000.

4. Drawing Big

Once again I realize a computer screen can become an infinite canvas if you zoom in and out far enough. But the sheer power of wild brush strokes on a larger sheet of paper still captivates me. I was so used to crafting comic pages on 11″ x 17″ sheets that I thought I might be confined to those dimensions forever.

Then I went to a few comic art exhibits. I saw original pages by Dan Clowes and Chris Ware which were much larger. It completely changed my mindset. And seeing that Paul Pope creates comics on pages as large as 19″ x 24″ was a revelation. And in the art world, larger sized works often do command higher prices.

[Jay 2018]  Most of this still holds true. I wonder, with the ever-increasing megapixel capacity of digital cameras, if we’ll return to capturing traditional artwork for books [and online] by photographing it. A 36MP camera has a native resolution of 7360 x 4912 pixels. That’s a lot of image area to play with.

5. Having a Completely Portable Skill Set

If you can draw, you can draw anywhere. If you’re well practiced with pen or pencil, you can draw in your studio, at a cafe, park, bus station, prison, etc. No need to boot up software or rely on electricity. Back in the 1990’s R. Crumb traded in a box of sketchbooks for a villa in France. You probably won’t be able to trade in your old laptops and digital printouts and get the same deal.

[Jay 2018] so coming back to that Wacom mentioned above and Kyle’s Photoshop brush set, I’d say as long as you have battery power, you can now create art anywhere. You don’t even have to worry about ink spatter.

With the variety of traditional ink pens out there now – I’d still give serious thought to filling a sketchbook with drawings.

A Pen and Ink Love In

I wanted this particular blog post to be more of a celebration of the amazing array of hand-created artwork that’s out there and specifically works rendered in pencil, pen, and ink. I’m hoping the next generation of art students and bedroom illustrators embrace the techniques of the past as they forge on ahead crafting new styles and merging the practical with the digital.

In this next part, I’m going to focus on comic artists, but I’ve mixed in a couple of poster artists and illustrators as well. I’ve kept the number down to around a dozen artists, but I could have easily put 50 or 60 (or 500 or 600) more up here. Every artist listed below is one that I hold in high regard. Some have influenced me while others I simply stand in awe of to both their talent and dedication to their craft.

Florian Bertmer

Florian Bertmer is an incredible draftsman who’s taken influences such as Pushead but run with it into a darker direction. He’s a German artist who creates art for posters, t-shirts and album covers.

Paul Pope

Paul Pope is the perfect melding of European, Japanese and old-school American cartoonists. And he draws big. On his large-sized boards, he deftly creates his comic book masterpieces. He’s one of the artists that I simply stand in awe of. The good people at First Second books will be releasing his out-of-print series THB this fall. The Beguiling comic shop in Toronto has a lot of his art for sale.

Paul Pope 100% original art

Aaron Horkey

There’s no point in trying ever to draw more detailed than Aaron Horkey. His unique artwork adorns record covers, t-shirts and fast to sell-out prints. There’s nobody out there quite like him. His hand-lettering is elegant enough to make dozens of artists want to quit and change professions.

His ink illustrations are so intricate that they blow the art up in size (rather than the standard procedure of reducing) before printing it. I’m the proud owner of several of his silk-screened prints which is the only affordable way to obtain his art. His originals fetch thousands of dollars when you can manage to find one for sale.

Jae Lee

I’ve been in love with the art of Jae Lee ever since first buying up all of the issues of Namor that he worked on in the early 90’s. Despite the murky coloring and poor-quality newsprint that Namor was printed on his edgy style cut through. He became a fan favorite while he was very young.

He continually refined his style by at first taking a loose approach following after Bill Sienkiewicz, Barron Storrey, and Kent Williams. After a hiatus, he came back in the early 2000’s sporting a more realistic approach yet still with the jagged edges and razor-thin lines that he was always known for. He must have gone through an oil tanker worth of black India ink throughout his career.

In 2006 it was announced that he would be providing art for the Marvel adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. He worked strictly with pencils for this project, and colorist Richard Isanove darkened his grey tones to black in Photoshop and went to town with them. Check out his originals at the Albert Moy Gallery.

Jae Lee pen and ink original art Jae Lee pencil art

Lee Bermejo

Lee Bermejo has risen to the cream of the crop of the comix industry. He came out of the gate around ten years ago working for Wildstorm where his work looked like it had been created by a seasoned pro despite his young age. You don’t hear much from him on the interwebs.

We snagged an interview with him recently, but he has no website or much of a presence online. You can, however, find his gallery over at Splash Page Art. I’m guessing he’s too busy busting out insane amounts of detail on his artwork to bother much with the internet. His graphic novel Joker (written by Brian Azzarello) was and is a bestseller. It hit stores shortly after The Dark Knight was in theatres.

As amazing as he is with pen and ink, it’s his recent style that he’s been developing over the last few years that has found him new fans. He creates textures and layers with pencil and then highlights and outlines the shapes with ink.

The Stand issue 4 cover

Bryan Hitch

Bryan Hitch made everyone in comics take notice of him and his art when he joined Warren Ellis for the first 12 issues of The Authority. The two of them helped to make famous the more cinematic “widescreen” approach of comics in the late 1990’s.

But it was his five-year run with Mark Millar on Marvel’s Ultimates that sent his name soaring into the stratosphere. His masterful combination of exaggerated super-heroic realism pushed front and center over painstakingly rendered backgrounds has won him hundreds of thousands of admirers. And artist Paul Neary must have the patience of a Buddhist monk to have inked a lot of those pages.

You can find a lot of Hitch and Neary original art over at Comic Art Fans. And if you have a spare two or three grand sitting around you could commission an original.

Bryan Hitch captain america splash page

Tim Bradstreet

It’s no secret to anyone who’s followed Optimum Wound for a while that we’re big fans of Tim Bradstreet’s artwork. When I happened upon his book Maximum Black I was immediately inspired to start experimenting with realism and photorealism, and I haven’t looked back since. Tim’s style has also evolved over the years, and his graphic design skills are razor sharp. He’s brought a movie poster and book jacket sensibility to comic covers and won himself a legion of fans in the process.

Tim Bradstreet’s art is always a source of inspiration around these parts.

Geoff Darrow

I was blown away by the art of Geoff Darrow from the first moment a friend showed me a copy Hard Boiled. I needed to see more. Unfortunately, Geoff takes a long time to create his painstakingly detailed artwork. The originals (that I’ve seen listed on eBay) are massive in size.

I believe the pencils are done on illustration paper and then the inks are drawn on a vellum overlay. He could have rested on his laurels after working on the production designs for the Matrix trilogy, but he cut no corners when working on his most recent series, Shaolin Cowboy.

Batman vs Superman illo Geof Darrow DD 500 pinup by Geof Darrow

Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips is one of the most reliable artists currently working in comics. Whether he was working on one of my favorite series of the past decade, Sleeper or earning a bigger paycheque on Marvel Zombies, I am always inspired by the results. He described the look of his style on Criminal as Kent Williams inking Mike Mignola.

He has a nice chunky realistic style and extremely intuitive design skills when it comes to laying out panels on a page. He’s also quite an accomplished painter. You can go to Splash Page Art to see Sean Phillip’s gallery of originals for sale.

sean phillips blue line and pen and ink sean phillips original art

Bill Sienkiewicz

Bill Sienkiewicz has always been one of my absolute favorite artists. I treasure my set of Elektra Assassin comics. I feel he’s the artist mainly responsible for bringing the look of organized chaos to mainstream comics. Melding the bold illustration styles of the 1980’s with Neal Adams, Ralph Steadman and probably a million other influences, Bill knocked us on our asses with his wild drawings and layouts.

From his more realistic subject portrayals in his commercial art projects to his “far-out” experiments in series like Stray Toasters, he has never let us become bored with him. It was his collaborations with Alan Moore on Big Numbers and Brought to Light that really did it for me and showed what could be done with the comics medium.

Sienkiewicz pen and ink commission Bill Sienkiewicz original art

 So what compels you to keep drawing?

Photography Credits:

Both photos at the top were used under a Creative Commons License.

Featured image: ‘nibs’ by Denise Chan

‘Scientific Data on Demand – NERSC’s High Performance Storage System’ – credit: Lawrence Berkeley Nat’l Lab – Roy Kaltschmidt, photographer


How to Save DC Films in 2 ‘Easy’ Steps

How to Save DC Films

I was thinking out loud back in April, 2017 on the Twitter. I started throwing some images together. It was too good!

It was something that had been haunting me that week. But not enough to write about it.

Then in January ’18 I finally had a look at Justice League. Oh my. 😬 😰 😱 😳 🤪 😵

From all of the yelling online during 2016-17, I knew DC Films could be doing a lot better. I decided to have a look at the first five films they released (2013-17) and chart audience and critical sentiment. The Dark Knight Rises is included for context. Check out this graphic and then join me underneath.

Fan & Critic Sentiment Analysis of DC Films First 5 Movies
Graphic by Massive Kontent.
I bet Warner Bros misses those Christopher Nolan Batman days – but that Patty Jenkins WW situation is looking pretty damn good.
Here’s the box office totals to put things into perspective.
box office charts for first 5 DC Films

Now let’s play a game called “imaginary studio head”. You can play along at home – and in the comments (please do).

Contrary to popular belief, most of us filmgoers aren’t ‘Marvel fanboys’, or ‘Team Marvel’. When we pay our 13 bucks at the theater, we’re not looking for a DC movie to fail. We just wish the new DC films were better. Like a whole lot better.

Step 1: Get Dark Knight Returns with Michael Keaton into production.

And don’t crib from the graphic novel. Don’t adapt elements of it. Just fucking make it whole hog. Michael Keaton turned 66 last September. The time is now.

Hell, just get MK to recommend a writer and director. His taste in movies is damn near impeccable.

Or choose someone inspired this time. Korea is putting out some of the best movies on the planet now. How about Jee-woon Kim (A Bittersweet Life, I Saw the Devil, The Age of Shadows) or Joon Ho Bong  (The Host, Snowpiercer, Okja)? Not only do they know how to make mainstream films that are loved worldwide – they have vision.

And after 80 years in existence, Batman is pretty ‘bendable’ to different styles. Remember back in 2008 when DC did a pretty rad anime anthology, Batman: Gotham Knight?

Or how about the upcoming Batman Ninja?

Let’s do this!

Step 2: Hire Brad Bird for 10 years / 3 films.

Drop 2 or 3 stacks of cartel-sized bushels of cashola off at Brad Bird’s offices.


Brad makes Darwyn Cooke’s DC: New Frontier [as a 2-parter] and then follows up with Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come

Now Brad is already clocking in at 60 years of age. He still has to do the promotional circuit for The Incredibles 2. And filming these 3 movies will probably kill him.

Which would be a shame, as the man is a goddamned national treasure!

Step 3: Collect 7 billion dollars

And while we’re at it DC / Warner could do worse than getting a low budget [~$40 million] production of Arkham Asylum helmed by James Wan in the queue.

But who’d want to make an extra $3-500 million? That’s crazy talk.

Now it’s your turn to play. How would you turn all of this around?

45 Essential Books for Comic Creators

As an obsessive list maker, I started putting this catalog of “how to” books for comic creators together a few months ago.

I then turned to James Lynch’s extremely resourceful Facebook Group – Connecting Comic Book Writers and Artists to help me fill in the gaps. Many thanks to Shawn Demumbrum, Robert Menegus, Simon Robins , Fred Kinslow, Kenn O’Neal and so many others for suggesting titles that I missed.

It’s not a perfect list, and there’s several books from my own library that I haven’t included here due to going out of print. But it’s a good start. I’m sure I’ll add in a dozen more titles throughout the year.

[Disclaimer: the links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you purchase a book through one of these links, I get a kickback that helps fund the high-speed hosting of this site and occasionally a coffee down the road. Many of these books are also available through your local library and friendly neighborhood comic shop.]

Table of Contents

Essential Books For Comic Creators

‘Bookographic’ created by Massive Kontent.

General Comics Theory

There is a wealth of books covering the creation of comics including university texts. I chose to stick with the mainstays. You can’t go wrong with either Scott McCloud’s trilogy or Will Eisner’s classics. 

Understanding Comics The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art | Scott McCloud

If you only read one book on this list… Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics is a seminal examination of comics art: its rich history, surprising technical components, and major cultural significance. Explore the secret world between the panels, through the lines, and within the hidden symbols of a powerful but misunderstood art form.

Reinventing Comics The Evolution of an Art Form by Scott McCloud

Reinventing Comics: The Evolution of an Art Form | Scott McCloud

McCloud takes comics to the next level, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are created, read, and perceived today, and how they’re poised to conquer the new millennium.
Part One of this fascinating and in-depth book includes:

  • The life of comics as an art form and as literature
  • The battle for creators’ rights
  • Reinventing the business of comics
  • The volatile and shifting public perceptions of comics
  • Sexual and ethnic representation on comics

Then in Part Two, McCloud paints a breathtaking picture of comics’ digital revolutions, including:

  • The intricacies of digital production
  • The exploding world of online delivery
  • The ultimate challenges of the infinite digital canvas
Making Comics Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud

Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels | Scott McCloud

In Making Comics, McCloud focuses his analysis on the art form itself, exploring the creation of comics, from the broadest principles to the sharpest details (like how to accentuate a character’s facial muscles in order to form the emotion of disgust rather than the emotion of surprise.) And he does all of it in his inimitable voice and through his cartoon stand–in narrator, mixing dry humor and legitimate instruction.

McCloud shows his reader how to master the human condition through word and image in a brilliantly minimalistic way. Both comic book devotees and the uninitiated will marvel at this journey into a once–underappreciated art form.

Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist by Will Eisner

Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist | Will Eisner

Will Eisner refines the art of graphic storytelling into clear principles that every cartoonist, comic artist, writer, and filmmaker needs to know. Adapted from his landmark course at New York’s School of Visual Arts, Comics and Sequential Art is an essential text filled with invaluable theories and easy-to-use techniques.

Eisner reveals here the fundamentals of graphic storytelling. He addresses dialogue, anatomy, framing, and many other important aspects of the art form. Fully updated and revised to reflect current practices and technology, including a section on digital media.

Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner

Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative | Will Eisner

Will Eisner lays out the fundamentals of storytelling and their application in the comic book and graphic novel. Eisner reveals how to construct a story and the basics of crafting a visual narrative. Filled with examples from Eisner’s work as well as that of artists like Art Spiegelman and R. Crumb, this book covers everything from the fine points of graphic storytelling to the big picture of the medium, including how to:

  • Combine words and images into seamless storytelling.
  • Wield images like narrative tools.
  • Master different types of comic book stories.
  • Write and illustrate effective dialogue.
  • Develop ideas that can be turned into dynamic stories.
Make Comics Like the Pros: The Inside Scoop on How to Write, Draw, and Sell Your Comic Books and Graphic Novels by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente

Make Comics Like the Pros: The Inside Scoop on How to Write, Draw, and Sell Your Comic Books and Graphic Novels | Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente

A step-by-step guide to all aspects of comic book creation–from conceptualization to early drafts to marketing and promotion–written by two of the industry’s most seasoned and successful pros.

In Make Comics Like the Pros, veteran comics creators Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente team up with a who’s who of the modern comic book scene to lead you step-by-step through the development of a comic. You’ll learn everything from script formatting to the importance of artistic collaboration to the best strategies for promoting and selling your own sequential art.

The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics Inside the Art of Visual Storytelling by Carl Potts

The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics: Inside the Art of Visual Storytelling | Carl Potts

This is a great resource for aspiring comics creators looking to make comics like the experts at DC Comics. This book shows readers how to take full advantage of comics’ sequential visual storytelling possibilities. With examples direct from DC Comics, featuring their best creators and classic superheroes like Batman, Superman, and the rest of the Justice League, it presents key principles and techniques for crafting professional-quality comics.

Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels by Brian Michael Bendis

Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels | Brian Michael Bendis

Brian Michael Bendis reveals the tools and techniques he and other top creators use to create some of the most popular comic book and graphic novel stories of all time. Words for Pictures shows readers the creative methods of a writer at the very top of his field. Bendis guides creators through each step of the comics-making process—from idea to script to finished sequential art—for fan favorite comics like The Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, and more.

Tips and insights from other working writers, artists, and editors are also included providing an extensive look behind the creative curtain of the comics industry. The book contains script samples, a glossary of must-know business terms for writers, and interactive comics-writing exercises.

Foundations in Comic Book Art: SCAD Creative Essentials Fundamental Tools and Techniques for Sequential Artists by John Paul Lowe

Foundations in Comic Book Art: SCAD Creative Essentials (Fundamental Tools and Techniques for Sequential Artists) | John Paul Lowe

In Foundations for Comic Book Art, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) enlists one of its top instructors, John Paul Lowe, to provide aspiring comic book makers with a thorough primer for creative comics, featuring must-know concepts like contour drawing, mastering perspective, using photo-reference, and adding digital patterns.

Lowe provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step lessons and exercises for readers, demonstrating the vital processes all would-be sequential artists have to know before joining the ranks of the comic book–making elite.

Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond Jessica Abel & Matt Madden

Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond | Jessica Abel, Matt Madden

Drawing Words and Writing Pictures is a course on comic creation – for college classes or for independent study – that centers on storytelling and concludes with making a finished comic. There’s chapters on lettering, story structure, and panel layout providing a solid introduction for people interested in making their own comics..

How Comics Work by Dave Gibbons and Tim Pilcher

How Comics Work | Dave Gibbons, Tim Pilcher

The artist behind juggernauts like Watchmen and The Green Lantern, Dave Gibbons teaches you scriptwriting, page layouts, lettering, cover designs and uses scans of original artwork and rarely seen workings to illustrate his personal processes.

How Comics Work covers both Gibbons’ hand-drawn and digital design techniques in depth. You’ll learn how he layers text for editing, creates effects such as flares and neon glows, and prepares artwork for print and online.

Creating Comics from Start to Finish: Top Pros Reveal the Complete Creative Process by Buddy Scalera

Creating Comics from Start to Finish: Top Pros Reveal the Complete Creative Process | Buddy Scalera

Scalera’s book tells you everything about how today’s mainstream comic books are produced and published. Top working professionals detail how comics are created from concept to completion.

Every step of the process including writing, editing, penciling, inking, coloring, lettering and even publishing are covered. Working professionals talk candidly about breaking into (and staying in) the industry.

Writing and Illustrating the Graphic Novel: Everything You Need to Know to Create Great Work and Get It Published by Daniel Cooney

Writing and Illustrating the Graphic Novel: Everything You Need to Know to Create Great Work and Get It Published | Daniel Cooney

This book gives detailed instruction in all aspects of graphic novel composition–creating characters and plots, and transforming them into dynamic illustrations that tell an interesting story. The introduction describes uses of tools of the trade, from drawing pencils, inks, and paper to word processing and Adobe Photoshop software.
Other chapters include:

  • The language of comics and graphic novels
  • Establishing characters and story structure
  • Scripting the story
  • Illustrating the story, from sketches to finished art
  • Selling the finished product
  • Instruction includes how-to techniques for creating layouts, panels, captions, dialogue, panel transitions, and angles of view.

Books on Writing Comics

Over the past 2 decades there have been several notable collections of comic scripts (From Hell, Writers on Comic Scriptwriting Vols 1 & 2). But none of them remain in print. Below these books on writing I’ve linked to a fantastic resource for writers – as a lot of the material has moved to the web. 

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics by Denis O’Neil

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics | Denis O’Neil

Dennis O’Neil reveals his insider tricks and no-fail techniques for comic storytelling. Readers will discover the various methods of writing scripts (full script vs. plot first), as well as procedures for developing a story structure, building subplots, and creating well-rounded characters. O’Neil also explains the many diverse formats for comic books, including graphic novels, maxi-series, mega-series, and adaptation. Also included are dozens of guidelines for writing proposals to editors that command attention and get results.

Alan Moore's Writing For Comics Volume 1

Alan Moore’s Writing For Comics Volume 1 | Alan Moore

The master of comic book writing shares his thoughts on how to deliver a top-notch script. The main essay was originally written in 1985 and appeared in an obscure British fanzine, right as Moore was reshaping the landscape of modern comics, and had been lost. Avatar brings it back in print, collected for the first time as one graphic novel.

The Art of Comic Book Writing: The Definitive Guide to Outlining, Scripting, and Pitching Your Sequential Art Stories by Mark Kneece

The Art of Comic Book Writing: The Definitive Guide to Outlining, Scripting, and Pitching Your Sequential Art Stories | Mark Kneece

Comics writer and SCAD instructor Mark Kneece gives aspiring comic book writers the essential tools they need to write scripts for sequential art. He provides a practical set of guidelines favored by many comic book publishers and uses a unique trial and error approach to show would-be scribes the potential pitfalls they might encounter when seeking a career in comics writing.

Panel One: Comic Book Scripts by Top Writers

Panel One: Comic Book Scripts by Top Writers | Various

Contains annotations, plots, interviews, and scripts by many of comics’ hottest writers, including Kurt Busiek, Neil Gaiman, Greg Rucka, Kevin Smith, Jeff Smith, Marv Wolfman, and more.

The 2000 AD Script Book

The 2000 AD Script Book | Various

Original scripts by comics writers accompanied by the final art, taken from the pages of the world famous 2000 AD comic. Rebellion presents an extensive collection of 2000 AD scripts, featuring original script drafts and the final published artwork for comparison.

Additional Resources:
Comic Writer Services is a resource for aspiring and experienced comic book writers.
The aim of the website was to improve on, and update, a similar resource that Caleb Monroe had compiled many years ago for aspiring comic book writers.
The idea is to list every notable article and resource on the art and craft of comic book writing.

Books on How To Draw Comics

With comics being a visual medium, there is no end of books on how to draw, ink, or digitally create pages. Here’s some of the best ones out there.

Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers | Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Using his experiences from working in the comic book industry, movie studios and teaching, Marcos introduces the reader to a step-by-step system that will create the most successful storyboards and graphics for the best visual communication.

Marcos introduces us to drawing and composing a single image, to composing steady shots to drawing to compose for continuity between all the shots. These lessons are then applied to three diverse story lines – a train accident, a cowboy tale and bikers approaching a mysterious house.

In addition to setting up the shots, he also explains and illustrates visual character development, emotive stances and expressions along with development of the environmental setting to fully develop the visual narrative.

Framed Perspective Vol. 1: Technical Perspective and Visual Storytelling by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Framed Perspective Vol. 1: Technical Perspective and Visual Storytelling | Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Framed Perspective 1 gives artists the technical knowledge needed to produce successful visual storytelling-related drawings: from understanding the basics of the space around us all the way to more sophisticated endeavors, like creating entire locations that will become the believable set ups our characters and stories will happen within.

The book includes extensive step-by-step practical explanations of how to build objects and environments, taking your first sketch to a fully rendered artwork with many illustrations as examples.

Framed Perspective Vol. 2: Technical Drawing for Shadows, Volume, and Characters by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Framed Perspective Vol. 2: Technical Drawing for Shadows, Volume, and Characters | Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Building on the foundation established with the first book in the series, Framed Perspective 2 guides artists through the challenging tasks of projecting shadows in proper perspective on a variety of environments and working with characters in perspective set in particular situation or setting.

Author and artist Marcos Mateu-Mestre reveals the many techniques and mechanics he employs, including using anatomy, shadows, and clothing folds to define the shape and volume of characters within an environment.

The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics by Freddie E Williams II

The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics | Freddie E Williams II

The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics shows how to start drawing dynamic, exciting comics art entirely with computer tools. Author Freddie E Williams, in clear, step-by-step directions, guides readers through every part of the digital process, from turning on the computer to finishing a digital file of fully inked comic art, ready for print.

Creating a template, sketching on the computer, penciling, and finally inking digitally are all covered in depth, along with timesaving shortcuts created by Williams, tested by years of trial and error.

The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics by Klaus Janson

The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics | Klaus Janson

Covering everything from anatomy to composition to page design, Janson details the methods for creating effective visual communication. Step by step, he analyzes and demonstrates surefire strategies for comic book pencilling. Using DC’s characters, he illustrates the importance of knowing the fundamentals of art and how best to use them.

The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics is packed with a wealth of tested techniques, practical advice, and professional secrets for the aspiring artist.

The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics by Klaus Janson

The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics | Klaus Janson

Legendary comic book inker Klaus Janson uses DC’s characters—including Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman—to demonstrate an array of inking techniques, covering such topics as using textures, varying line weights, creating the illusion of three-dimensionality, and working with light and dark.

A great how-to on everything from basic inking materials to storytelling techniques, this sourcebook is packed with a wealth of tested techniques, practical advice, and professional secrets for the aspiring comic artist.

How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way by Stan Lee & John Buscema

How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way | Stan Lee & John Buscema

The original! Stan Lee, and John Buscema, collaborated on this comics compendium: an encyclopedia of information for creating your own superhero comic strips. Using artwork from Marvel comics as primary examples, Buscema graphically illustrates various methods of comic art. Stan Lee’s prose gives assistance and advice to the apprentice artist.

And here’s more entertaining anecdotes about this book from Jim Rugg

The Art Of Comic-Book Inking 2nd Edition by Gary Martin

The Art Of Comic-Book Inking 2nd Edition | Gary Martin

Gary Martin’s two volumes of The Art of Comic-Book Inking have been combined into a single value-priced volume and expanded with new material, including three additional blue-lined artboards featuring pencil art by master comics illustrators Jack Kirby, John Buscema, and Gil Kane.

You’ll learn the techniques, tools, and approaches of some of the finest artists in comics today, including Terry Austin, Mark Farmer, Scott Williams, Alex Garner, and more.

How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling by Shawn Martinbrough

| Shawn Martinbrough

Shawn Martinbrough tells you why he loves black and white, then shows you how to do it. Lots of examples and easy direction. If you were never excited about black and white, you will be when you get this book in your hands.

Perspective! for Comic Book Artists: How to Achieve a Professional Look in your Artwork by David Chelsea

Perspective! for Comic Book Artists: How to Achieve a Professional Look in your Artwork | David Chelsea

This clever book teaches artists the unique skill of drawing perspective for spectacular landscapes, fantastic interiors, and other wildly animated backgrounds to fit comic-strip panels.

Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up by Jason Cheeseman-Meyer

Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up | Jason Cheeseman-Meyer

Vanishing Point shows you how to conquer the fundamentals of perspective drawing and then equips you with technical tricks and tools to make dynamic and complex scenes.

  • Instruction on drawing in one-, two- and three-point perspective and four- and five-point curvilinear perspective (where “straight” lines are drawn as curves).
  • Full-color, step-by-step demonstrations move you beyond the theories and let you practice the techniques in real scenes.
  • A special chapter on drawing curves helps you break out of the box and draw cylinders, ellipses, cars and, most importantly, people in perfect perspective.
  • Shortcuts and tips show you how to create believable perspective quickly.

Rendering in Pen and Ink: The Classic Book On Pen and Ink Techniques for Artists, Illustrators, Architects, and Designers by Arthur L. Guptill

Rendering in Pen and Ink: The Classic Book On Pen and Ink Techniques for Artists, Illustrators, Architects, and Designers | Arthur L. Guptill

Arthur L. Guptill’s classic Rendering in Pen and Ink has long been regarded as the most comprehensive book ever published on the subject of ink drawing. This is a book designed to delight and instruct anyone who draws with pen and ink, from the professional artist to the amateur and hobbyist. It is of particular interest to architects, interior designers, landscape architects, industrial designers, illustrators, and renderers.

Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide by Alphonso Dunn

Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide | Alphonso Dunn

Pen & Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide covers the essential aspects of pen and ink drawing and more. It explores basic materials and instruments; fundamental properties of strokes and pen control; key elements of shading; and indispensable techniques for creating vibrant textures.

Pen & Ink Techniques by Frank J. Lohan

Pen & Ink Techniques | Frank J. Lohan

Richly illustrated and containing dozens of simple exercises, this book covers everything from the basic tools and materials to the production of advanced effects.

Author Frank Lohan presents dozens of exercises for beginning, intermediate, and advanced artists. Topics range from the creation of hatching, tones, and stippling to dealing with the problems that can arise when adding texture, light, and shade.

Books for Lettering Comics

There are precious few resources in print for comic letterers. Hopefully Comicraft’s masterpiece never goes out of print. Letterers often need to get creative in their education mixing the disciplines of typography and calligraphy.

Comic Book Lettering The Comicraft Way by Richard Starkings & J.G. Roshell

Comic Book Lettering The Comicraft Way | Richard Starkings & J.G. Roshell

From the award-winning Comicraft studio, this full-color, step-by-step guide of comic book lettering tips and tricks is illustrated with two Hip Flask strips – one by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen, and the other by Jeph Loeb and Ian Churchill.

Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques, and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art

Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques, and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art (Creative…and Beyond)

Creative Lettering and Beyond combines the artistic talents and inspirational tips and tutorials of several professional hand letterers and calligraphers for a dynamic and interactive learning experience.

After a brief introduction to the various tools and materials, artists and lettering enthusiasts will learn how to master the art of hand lettering and typography through engaging, easy-to-follow step-by-step projects, prompts, and exercises. From the basic shape and form of letters, to cursive script, spacing, and alignment, artists will discover how to transform simple words, phrases, and quotes into beautiful works of hand-lettered art.

Books for Coloring Comics

The bulk of education for colorists is online in the form of YouTube tutorials. Luckily there’s these 2 books as well.

The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics by Mark Chiarello & Todd Klein

The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics | Mark Chiarello & Todd Klein

Artists Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein demystify the essential steps in traditional graphic storytelling. Chiarello explains the entire coloring process, from computer and software choice to creating color effects that give the action its maximum impact.
Klein discusses whether to letter by hand or by computer and demonstrates an array of techniques for creating word balloons, fonts, logos, and more.

Hi-Fi Color for Comics by Brian Miller and Kristy Miller

Hi-Fi Color for Comics | Brian Miller, Kristy Miller

You’ll learn digital coloring from start to finish–taking black-and-white art to stunning full color!
Topics included:
Importing art, color flatting, light & shadow, color selection, color rendering,advanced brush techniques, color holds, special effects, and color separation.

Books on Self-Publishing Comics and Graphic Novels

There’s no “one set way” to publish your own comic – but you could do a lot worse than read these 3 books.

Unnatural Talent: Creating, Printing and Selling Your Comic in the Digital Age by Jason Brubaker

Unnatural Talent: Creating, Printing and Selling Your Comic in the Digital Age | Jason Brubaker

Jason has done an excellent job at laying out all of the trials and tribulations an aspiring graphic novelist / artist needs to go through to break into the market. If you plan on going into the field of comics as an artist or writer, this essential read will explain in detail, exactly what it takes.

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Comics: How to Create and Sell Comic Books, Manga, and Webcomics by Comfort Love

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Comics: How to Create and Sell Comic Books, Manga, and Webcomics | Comfort Love

With The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Comics, creators/instructors Comfort Love and Adam Withers provide a step-by-step breakdown of the comics-making process. You get in-depth coverage of each step—writing, drawing, coloring, lettering, publishing, and marketing.

How to Self-Publish Comics: Not Just Create Them by Josh Blaylock and Tim Seely

How to Self-Publish Comics: Not Just Create Them | Josh Blaylock, Tim Seely

Josh Blaylock’s How-To prose book about the business of comic book publishing, now includes Tim Seeley’s companion writings on the behind-the-scenes realities of being a comic book artist.

The Creative Process

Some of these books below will form the most important and valuable parts of your library. You’ll return to ‘The War of Art’ numerous times. Maybe even once a year.

Eisner/Miller by Will Eisner

Eisner/Miller | Will Eisner

Two of the medium’s greatest contributors—legendary innovator and godfather of sequential art Will Eisner, and the modern master of cinematic comics storytelling, Frank Miller—discuss one on one in an intimate interview format, the ins-and-outs of this compelling and often controversial art form. Eisner/Miller is profusely illustrated and features rare, behind-the-scenes photos of Eisner, Miller, and other notable creators.

Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala by Heidi MacDonald & Phillip Dana Yeh

Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala | Heidi MacDonald & Phillip Dana Yeh

“Alfredo Alcala is one of the most disciplined and perceptive artists inking in comics. The years of distinguished work have earned Alfredo a special place in comics history.” — Gil Kane.

This unique work is loaded with amazing art and pointers on observational methods, composition, and other techniques. In addition to interviews with Alcala, the book features pages from his groundbreaking masterwork, Voltar, which was hailed as a new concept in comic book form, an epic in narrative art, and a milestone in sequential art illustration.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

| Steven Pressfield

Novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach higher levels of creative discipline.

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work by Steven Pressfield

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work | Steven Pressfield

The follow-up The War of Art, Turning Pro navigates the passage from the amateur life to a professional practice.

“You don’t need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.” –Steven Pressfield

Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield

Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way | Steven Pressfield

Could you be getting in your way of producing great work? Have you started a project but never finished? Would you like to do work that matters, but don’t know where to start?The answer is Do the Work, a manifesto by author Steven Pressfield.

Do the Work is a weapon against Resistance – a tool that will help you take action and successfully ship projects out the door. Picking up where The War of Art and Turning Pro left off, Do The Work takes the reader from the start to the finish of any long-form project—novel, screenplay, album.

Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life by Jessica Abel

Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life | Jessica Abel

Go from overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck, to consistent, clear, and in control of your creative life.
If you feel like you’re floundering in the deep end (Not waving, drowning!), and anxiety over the complexity and enormousness of your creative projects overwhelms you, stop scrambling to fit everything in and feeling stretched thin. DIVE DEEP AND SWIM

  • Sustain the energy you feel when thinking of how awesome your projects could be.
  • Value your own creative work as highly as work you do for other people.
  • Build a reusable structure and process that will consistently get you to the finish line.
  • Blast through your stuck-ness.
  • Focus. Finish. Move on to the next project.

The Artist's Way: 25th Anniversary Edition by Julia Cameron

| Julia Cameron

First published twenty-five years ago, The Artist’s Way is “the book” on the subject of creativity. Author Julia Cameron takes readers on a twelve-week journey to discover the inextricable link between their spiritual and creative selves.
A revolutionary program for artistic renewal from the world’s foremost authority on the creative process, The Artist’s Way is a life-changing book.

The Definitive List of Comic Publisher Submission Guidelines for 2018

Manga, and Graphic Novel publishers who accept creator submissions

So you want to break into comics but are unsure how and where to submit? Well, you’ve landed on the right page. This latest update of all of the comic publisher submission guidelines includes ten new additions, some subtractions, and fixed broken links.

We’re living through uncertain and turbulent times in 2018. Disney has been spending the last decade buying up all of your childhood, the mainstream comic biz is experiencing a bit of a downturn, and Mark Millar has sold the bulk of his comix empire to Netflix.

The good news is society needs your creations, art, and passion now, more than ever before. Now’s the time to be daring and original. Time to step up and inspire the next generation.

It’s been just over a year since I’ve last updated this list. Nearly 44,000 of you visited this page 62,000 times since then (or just under 1.5 times each). I hope you can get some use out of it.

I’ve been keeping this directory alive since 2009, and it’s still a joy to revisit each year. My day to day involves my content marketing business Massive Kontent – but I’ve never stopped being inspired by all of you badass comic creators.



  1. Make sure to click on each company name within the lists to be taken to each submission guidelines page. This way you’ll find out exactly how to submit to each publisher in the method they prefer. I’ve only included a short synopsis for each publisher.
  2. This list only covers print publishers. I reviewed twelve months of Diamond Previews catalogs to determine who was still publishing in print and distributing to comic shops and bookstores.
  3. “This is a great resource, and my company Time Bomb Comics has been regularly listed for a few years now and I’ve found some great creators through it. I still get loads of submissions that don’t follow our specific guidelines though, so the message is simple from the publisher side: follow the guidelines listed! No excuses – publishers are looking for professional talent, so a professional approach from the outset is the way to go. And that means following the set guidelines!” – Steve Tanner, Time Bomb Comics
  4. I’ve tried to be as thorough as possible, but there’s a good chance I missed some publishers. Feel free to let me know, and I’ll add them below.
  5. Writers will always have a tougher time breaking into the comics industry. Having said that – there’s always room for good writing, and a lot of publishers will still accept writing submissions. But conventional wisdom says to partner up with an artist if you can. An editor is more likely to read your words if it’s already on a sequential page.
  6. And as always DO YOUR RESEARCH before submitting to a publisher. Search our their sites, social media pages and a do basic Google search. How is their reputation? Does your work fit with their line of books?
  7. You can also check out my list of book recommendations for creating comics.
  8. And please don’t email me looking for work. I haven’t published a book since 2009, and I don’t have any connections in the industry.
  9. Go here for a complete list of comic publishers.


The BIG 4 Comic Publishers Submission Guidelines

Submission guidelines for the 'big 4' comic publishers

Dark Horse Comics

Writers, Artists, Inkers, Colorists

Dark Horse Comics is the third-largest comics publisher in the U.S., known for such titles as Star Wars, Buffy & Hellboy.

Linked here are individual guideline policies for writers (both prose and comics), artists, inkers, letterers, and colorists.

Dark Horse still welcomes your submissions, and all submissions will still be reviewed, just as they always have been. The only difference is that submissions can no longer be mailed back to the sender.

All unsolicited story/series proposals must have a full creative team on board. Writer-only proposals will not be reviewed.

DC Entertainment

At this time, DC Entertainment does not accept unsolicited artwork or writing submissions.

What Is The DC Entertainment Talent Search?

“Like many creative fields, breaking into the comic book business as an artist can be an exciting but challenging process. It takes proper training, a ton of practice, making the right contacts, learning to sell your talents, building a strong portfolio and much patience. However, time and time again, the best advice we can offer aspiring artists is: Go to a Comics Convention! Comic book conventions offer an ideal forum for meeting working professionals and publishers in the same location. It’s also a great place to get feedback on your portfolio, speak to editors, and ask lots of questions. The only catch is being realistic about the process – not everyone is ready to work in comics.”

Mad Magazine

MAD is actively looking for new talent! They welcome all humor submissions and the best way to know what they’re looking for is to take a look at what they’re doing now! Originality and visual humor are especially prized!

They’re interested in material focusing on evergreen topics, such as dating, family, school and work, plus topical material about celebrities, sports, politics, news and social trends.They also welcome submissions for their Strip Club (artist-writers or artist-writer teams preferred).

They will not consider movie or television satires, rewrites of established MAD premises, your take on existing features, cover ideas, or gags with Alfred E. Neuman.

Image Comics

Image Comics only publishes creator-owned material. They do not contract creators; they’re only interested in publishing original content for which you would retain all rights. Do not submit any work that utilizes already-existing characters—Image characters or otherwise—as they will automatically be declined.

Image Comics publishes creator-owned/creator-generated properties and THEY DON’T PAY PAGE RATES. Image takes a small flat fee off the books published, and it will be the responsibility of the creators to determine the division of the remaining pay between their creative team members.

Artists: Image accepts inking, penciling, lettering, or coloring samples. These will be kept on file, and you may be contacted if and when the occasion presents itself. If your art-only submission is not kept on file, you will not get a response. DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL ART as your work will not be returned.

Writers: They accept proposals only —please do not send storyboards, scripts, notes, or manuscripts—anything other than a proposal that meets the below specifications will be automatically declined.

Top Cow

Pencilers, Inkers, Colorists

For Writers: Unfortunately at this time Top Cow is not accepting unsolicited ideas or scripts from writers.

For Pencilers or Complete Artists: Send 3-6 pages of sequential art. Demonstrate your ability to tell a story using sequential panels and pages. Please use existing Top Cow or other published characters. Samples do not need to be of Top Cow characters.

For Inkers: Send three to six pages of sequential art. They’d need to see the original penciled pages for comparison, so be sure to send them as well.

For Colorists: Send 3 to 6 pages of sequential art. Top Cow would need to see the inked & uncolored pages as well, so be sure to include them with your coloring samples for comparison. Show that you can utilize color to evoke a mood, are conscious of and consistent with lighting, and can clearly separate a scene.


“Marvel does not accept or consider any ideas, creative suggestions, artwork, designs, game proposals, scripts, manuscripts, or similar material unless we have specifically requested it from you. Marvel is continuously developing and creating its own ideas and materials, and we don’t have the resources to review or respond to unsolicited material. Unfortunately, any unsolicited material you send will not be read or shared. It will be destroyed, and it will not be returned.

While we can’t accept your unsolicited submissions, please know that Marvel is always looking for new comic book artists and writers. We constantly read and review indie, self-published, creator-owned, and web-comics, review popular online art communities, ask other artists for opinions and recommendations, and host portfolio reviews at conventions from time to time. If you are an aspiring comic book artist or writer, we suggest you publish or publicly post your material, continue to create, and if you have the right stuff…we’ll find you.”

Submission Guidelines for Independent Comic Publishers: Arthouse & Literary

Arthouse Indie Publishers who accept creator submissions

Blank Slate Books

BLANK SLATE BOOKS (WE CAN STILL BE FRIENDS, SPARKY O’HARE) is always interested in working with new authors. They are primarily interested in cartoonists who both write and draw – who, in fact, produce the whole comics work. They aren’t interested in art samples or scripts and outlines. They don’t pair writers with artists. They are interested in both black & white and color work. If you are a new cartoonist, making your work in black & white – thus cheaper to print – will improve your chances of getting a response.

Submit no more than 12 pages if you are sending work as an attachment. Just send them your best work.

Your work can have appeared before as small press, webcomic or self-published, and they may be interested in collecting strip work into a single volume.

Look at the kind of books that Blank Slate have published previously as an indicator of what they might publish in

Drawn & Quarterly

Please send all submissions via low-resolution PDF to We do not respond to all submissions, and we do not read scripts. If you mail us a physical copy, which we strongly discourage, please do so knowing you likely will not hear back from us. Please research what we publish in advance to make sure your comic is well-aligned with Drawn & Quarterly’s existing titles.


Submission Questions

Fantagraphics Books (Love & Rockets, Hip Hop Family Tree, Eightball) publishes comics for thinking readers – readers who like to put their minds to work, who have a sophisticated understanding of art and culture, and appreciate personal expression unfettered by uncritical use of cliché. Fantagraphics will practically always reject any submissions that fit neatly into (or combine in a gimmicky fashion) the mainstream genres of superhero, vigilante, horror, fantasy, and science fiction.

Try to develop your own, equally individual voice; originality, aesthetic maturity, and graphic storytelling skill are the signs by which Fantagraphics judges whether or not your submission is ripe for publication.

Fantagraphics does not hire illustrators or pair artists with writers. They are looking for independently-created, publishable work.

They want to see an idea that is fully fleshed-out. Please submit a minimum of five pages of completed art (high-quality reproductions only, please — no original art!). They do NOT look at work submitted in digital format, whether via the internet (email, web, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or disc.

Iron Circus Comics

Completed Works
What Iron Circus Wants:
Graphic novels. Proposals for graphic novels previously unpublished in print, between 150 and 500 pages in length, aimed at readers 12 years of age and older. Both color and black and white proposals will be considered. All genres, with the exception of superheroes, zombies, and children’s books, will be considered.
Erotic graphic novels. Proposals for erotic graphic novels previously unpublished in print, between 150 and 500 pages in length. Both color and black and white. Erotica submissions will be part of the Smut Peddler Presents line of comics, and Smut Peddler creator and content guidelines will apply to these submissions.
Online comics previously uncollected into print volumes.

What Iron Circus Doesn’t Want

  • Submissions from creators younger than 18 years of age.
  • Monthly serials.
  • Children’s comics.
  • Fan fiction or re-imaginings.
  • Portfolios from colorists, letterers, inkers, pencillers, etc.


They are happy to look at new or old unpublished work. Send a synopsis of the story and 6 to 10 pages of artwork. If you have already self-published a story, they want to see a copy.


NOTE: NBM are only accepting submissions from already published authors at this time, including ones with proven success in webcomics. They are also not accepting submissions from authors outside of North America, except for adult.

They are interested in general fiction, humor, a satire of fantasy and horror, erotica, mystery. No superheroes.


Nobrow are a publisher, not an illustration agency. You should have a specific type of work collaboration in mind when you submit work to them (i.e., a picture book or perhaps a graphic novel), make sure it is in line with something that they do.

Provide a brief summary and overview of your project. Look at their body of work and think, does what I want to pitch fit in with the Nobrow canon of works?
They have separated the submissions process into three distinct groups.

Category 1: Short-form comics – The 17 x 23 Series: They must be 24 pages beginning to end.

Category 2: Long-form comics/ Graphic Novels: submissions for graphic novels that are 90 pages or more. If you are an illustrator/author or an illustrator and author duo, you should supply a minimum of ten finished pages in the pitch to give them a taste of the ‘look and feel’ of the proposed book.

Northwest Press

Northwest Press is a small publishing house devoted to spotlighting the best in LGBT graphic novels and comics and is focused on encouraging upcoming talent.

Northwest primarily publishes graphic novels and comics and is not currently accepting submissions for prose work.

All the material they publish has strong lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender content. This can either be explicit (stories about situations and struggles tied to the queer experience) or implicit (looking at more general situations through the lens of the queer person).

They can and do publish shorter pieces as digital comics, and are actively seeking new and previously-published work to release digitally.

One Peace Books

One Peace is now accepting submissions. They are looking for work in the following categories: graphic fiction and non-fiction, juvenile fiction, adult trade fiction and non-fiction, how-to, cooking, crafts, and work in translation. However, potential authors and artists are welcome to submit in other categories as well.

Soaring Penguin Press

Completed Works

Soaring Penguin Press is open for submissions of graphic novels, or individual, self-contained stories for inclusion in Meanwhile… Submissions may be made by email or by post, and can be in whatever form you feel best presents your work.

For individual comic stories for consideration for inclusion in Meanwhile…, please provide the entire story. For graphic novels, a sample of the artwork is acceptable in the first instance together with a synopsis of the story and an indication of story length and how close to completion the graphic novel is.

Top Shelf Productions

(March, Bacchus, The Underwater Welder) Regarding submissions, they’re easy. Just send them a xerox copy of what you’d like them to look at (or email a link), and enough postage if you want the materials returned to you. Do not attach and send image files to their email addresses.

They cannot accept scripts or plot synopses unless they are accompanied by a minimum of 10-20 completed pages (i.e., fully inked and lettered comic book pages).

Submission Guidelines for Independent Comic Publishers: Genre and Pop

Indie genre comic publishers who accept submissions

2000 AD

So you want to work for 2000 AD? You’ll massively improve your chances of working for their rules.

2000 AD’s submissions period is currently open. It will close again on 1 March 2017.

Artists: They want to see if you can tell a story, not paint an album cover. Send black and white layouts of comic strip work based on the characters of 2000 AD. Only send copies – never originals!
Leave plenty of room for the dialogue and captions in each panel – the more dialogue, the more ‘dead space’ you need to leave. The panels must also flow sequentially – if it isn’t obvious which panel comes next, you’re not doing your job – which is to tell the story.

Writers: If you’ve never had a script published in 2000 AD, start by sending in ideas for one-off, four-page Future Shocks. If and when you’ve proved yourself by writing professional quality one-off stories, you’ll be invited to develop longer series in the future.

215 Ink

Writers, artists
215 Ink currently has open submissions for writers and artist who are looking for a project to work on, as well as complete projects ready to go to print.

The basic guidelines

  • Introduction about yourself and your credentials as well as the creative team on the project.
  • One sentence summing up your story.
  • One page (at most) summary of your story.
  • Completed pages for review.

AAM Markosia

Completed Works, Pencilers, Inkers, Colorists, Letterers

Markosia are now accepting comics submissions for works that have been previously unpublished in the UK. They are interested in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, All-Ages and Historical stories. If you feel your comic doesn’t fit into this, they will still look at all submissions.

They are also now publishing prose novels of all genres, so if you have an unpublished novel or one that you now have the rights back to then please contact Harry at

Preference will be given to projects that have all creative team members in place. It can be very time-consuming finding artists, colorists, and letterers for individual scripts.
One submission per team at a time.

Project Submissions
Your printed books need to be at least 40 pages; they will print short form comics electronically, but their focus is on collected editions and long form comics or graphic novels.
Individual Submissions

Markosia are still looking at submissions from writers, artists, colourists and letterers for designated projects.

Writers: they want to see a fully realized script from you. At least a 22-page script. These must be completed in a readable comic format.
Artists (Pencillers/Inkers): Specify whether you want to be considered as a penciler or inker (or both!). They want to see at least five sequential art pages. Preferably from a couple of different stories. Also send over books you have already been published in.
Colourists: 5 pages of sequential work or any concept sketches you’ve worked on. Try to show a variety of work so showcasing as much of your skill base as possible.
Letterers: Send through some examples of your lettering via sequential artwork.
All submissions to be sent by e-mail.

Action Lab Comics

Completed Works
Action Lab requires that project submissions have a complete creative team (writer, artist, and colorist). They don’t pair creators. They publish fully realized, creator owned projects. Please include the following:

  • A title page, including contact information
  • A simple, one-page story synopsis
  • 5-6 pages of sample script
  • 5-6 pages of art

PORTFOLIO REVIEW: Action Lab is not currently hiring artists. They will review art submissions, should the opportunity to pair creators arise.

Aftershock Comics

Pencilers, Colorists

Aftershock are currently only accepting submissions from pencilers and colorists.
-Make sure your files are in .jpg or .pdf formats, and make sure the file sizes are a reasonable size so they don’t bounce back
-If you are a penciler, please send sequential art pages (as opposed to cover art)

Alterna Comics

Completed Works

They don’t accept story ideas without accompanying art If you send a pitch/idea without art, the submission will be deleted.

  • No page rates.
  • Submit 8 complete pages. Keep your pitch short.
  • You’ll need to have a creative team attached and ready for a long-term commitment.
  • Creators retain all rights to intellectual, merchandise, film, television, video game, etc.
  • Alterna will only own publishing and distribution rights.
  • Art and story must be of professional quality. This includes all aspects such as lettering,
    coloring, inking, etc. Before you submit, please compare your book’s quality with other
    Alterna titles of similar genre.


Avatar Press

Artists, colorists, completed works

Avatar Press is a leading independent company which publishes a wide variety of comic books and is currently seeking out additional creators – both new and established – in a number of categories:

ARTISTS: Avatar Press is always looking for talented freelance artists, and often has a range of work in a wide variety of subjects and genres available.

If you have a web page or online gallery of your work available, sending Avatar Press editor-in-chief William Christensen a link to that is a good place to start. Your submission should include a wide range of samples, showcasing all your abilities.

They want to see panel to panel continuity (storytelling), as well as illustrative work (pin-ups, covers, etc.) Avatar will consider penciled and inked pages, penciled pages (so long as the pencils are tight and clean), fully-rendered pencils (grayscale tones), and painted pages.

COLORISTS: Colorists, send William Christensen a link to a gallery of your current work. We require 600 dpi files colored in CMYK with correctly trapped linework

Avatar Press is always looking for quality creator-owned projects. All genres and styles will be considered. Include an overview of the story, a detailed plot synopsis, sample script pages, character designs, and sample art pages (panel to panel continuity).

Benitez Productions

Pencillers and/or Colorists

Benitez Productions are looking for a few exceptional artists (pencillers and/or colorists), who understand and can draw a particular steampunk style.

Send art samples – and/or a link to your online portfolio – along with a brief introduction and description of any prior work to:
Art samples should be sent as jpgs or pdfs at web resolution (72 dpi).

Black Mask Studios

Writers, Artists and completed creator owned comics

  1. Creator-Owned Comic Pitch Submission Form
  2. Artist Portfolio Submission Form
  3. Writer Infosheet Submission Form

Boom Studios

Pencilers, inkers, colorists, letterers

The official submissions forum for prospective artists for BOOM! Studios is located on Facebook.

The Artist Submissions Facebook Page is a place for artists to post samples of their work. This page is strictly for artists, and ALL unsolicited writing submissions will not be reviewed.

Caliber Comics

Completed Works

” I am the submissions editor for Caliber Comics. I wanted to make you aware that 1) we exist (we rebooted with Gary Reed in 2014) — and 2) we DO accept submissions! I can tell you that we are VERY active in accepting good projects. I have personally approved well over a dozen titles in the last two months. We are actively and aggressively looking for creative teams. We accept ANY genre and the titles can be in b/w OR color.” – Andrea Lorenzo Molinari , December.27.2017.

Caliber Comics primarily print black and white graphic novels, whether original stories or collections.  They are NOT doing serialized individual comic (floppies) in printed format.  they’ll consider web comics and are looking into doing illustrated books and genre novels.  If you are submitting comics, Caliber will only release them in digital form and trade paperback collections….not single printed issues.

We do NOT assemble teams for titles and do NOT pay page rates although some creators might hire letterers or colorists but that is purely up to them.  When a title comes to us, it should be with a complete team in place.

They do distribute some titles via Diamond Distributors and put their titles out into the digital markets (Apple, Kindle, Comixology, Nook, etc) but sales are all over the place based on platform, title, creator, etc.  


Writers, Artists and Completed Works

If you are an artist or writer who would like to work for Chapterhouse, please send your portfolio or examples of previously published work to

For creator-owned work they are only looking for unpublished work that is complete or close to completion.

They are only looking at writers with previously published work.

Coffin Comics

Pencilers, Colorists, Letterers

Coffin Comics are always looking for new, up and coming artists and if your stuff is killer, they may consider hiring you.

Comics Experience Publishing

Completed Works

In alliance with digital distributor comiXology, Comics Experience Publishing offers assistance for new talent to reach a broader audience with their creator-owned work.

Comics Experience Publishing focuses on producing creator-owned titles from new talent associated with C.E. and its online community, the Creators Workshop.

They currently offer a digital publishing model for titles to be distributed through comiXology, the world’s #1 digital comics retailer.

The requirements to submit to the publishing program are:

  1. At least one member of the creative team must be a Creators Workshop member.
  2. That member’s portion of the project must be workshopped within the Creators Workshop.
  3. Creators Workshop members can submit at any time after the above criteria are met.

Committed Comics

Writers, Scripters, Pencilers, Inkers, Colorists, Letterers, Completed Works

Committed Comics is always looking for talented and driven creators.

Writers: Submit no more than a five (5) page story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. DO NOT send in a five-page excerpt of a longer story.

Pencils: submit no less than three (3) pages of a sequential story and no more than five (5).

Inkers: like pencilers – send in three (3) to five (5) pages and one pin-up / cover piece.

Digital Colorists: submission packet must contain the following: Six (6) pieces of sequential work and two (2) cover/pin-up samples.
Letterers: complete the sample pages on their site. Also please include a tear sheet (1-page example) of some of your sound effects and special effects.

Completed Series: You don’t need to have 100% of the book completed but more than a two-page outline. If you are doing a 4 issue mini-series, have at least one fully completed issue with scripts and layouts completed for the remaining three issues.

Dynamite Entertainment

Dynamite Entertainment will not read your submission without a completed and signed Submission Release Agreement.

WRITERS: Please send us an inquiry letter, detailing your writing experience and why you would like to write for D.E. Unsolicited writing samples will not be read. It is their policy to respond to submissions only if we wish to hire the creator.

ARTISTS: Please submit no more than five pages of sample artwork. Please mail in clean 8 1/2″x11″ photocopies of your sample pages and make sure the reproduction quality is high.

PENCILERS: Just send pencils. Do not send inked, colored or lettered pages.

COLORISTS: Don’t send samples colored over your line art. Any flaws in the underlying black and white artwork will influence their opinion of your coloring.

PAINTERS: If you are submitting samples of fully-painted (traditionally or digitally painted) cover work, keep in mind that Dynamite Entertainment covers tend toward iconic shots of single characters rather than groups of characters or storytelling elements.

Golden Liberty Comics

Writers, Interior Artists, Inkers, Colorists, Letterers

Golden Liberty Comics, a division of Golden Bell Studios, is looking for creators with an innate passion for storytelling.Our mission is to reinvigorate the creative process and to reignite the industry’s artistic spark.

Writers: Include A logline that summarizes the premise of the project using 50 words or less.
A fully typed synopsis of the story from beginning to end (i.e. an overview of the complete plot), not just the first issue. Use only one page for your synopsis,however,any additional pages outlining the rest of the story are not discouraged by an ymeans. Do not be afraid to include every major plot thread and reveal in your pitch, and be sure to be as original and unique as possible
Include any completed scripts that go along with the overview of your pitch packet.

Interior Artists: Submit at least five pages of sequential art with a minimum of 20 total panels.This is your chance to select your best material to showcase your ability to draw facial expressions that make an audience “feel” the characters, a skill for designing original and memorable characters that pop off the page,as well as locations that showcase your knack for understanding complex perspective and creating framed shots with depth, dynamic angles, and interesting prop placements. Interior Artists must not send pin ups and/or splash pages. Interior Artists may send model sheets (these are the frontal, back, and side views of a character’s design).

Inkers: Include at least five pages of sequential art, but there’s no limit in regard to the panels per page. Inkers should send the initial pencilled pages for comparison. A variable of detailed faces, backgrounds, and strongly rendered figures should be included. Be sure to show off a wide variety of textures and techniques in your submitted works.

Colorists: Include at least five pages of sequential art, but there’s no limit in regard to the panels per page.Colorists should send the initial inked and uncolored pages for comparison.

Letterers: Submit five pages of sequential lettered art with no limit on the number of panels per page.

Heavy Metal

Complete works

HEAVY METAL is always searching for cool science fiction, fantasy, and horror comics

They’re only seeking completed stories (preferably in full color since most of the magazine features color stories).
They do not pair writers with artists.

Stories can be as short as one page or as long as 96 pages (and now and then, even longer). They’re mainly looking for short stories from 8 to 16 pages in length, but they do print one-pagers, longer pieces and serialize graphic novels over several issues.

NO SNAIL MAIL SUBMISSIONS – all submissions must be submitted via e-mail.

Heavy Metal publishes six issues per year, and if you’d like to submit work to be considered for a cover, it’s pretty much the same process as for comics. Please do not send links to websites/blogs/social media accounts because they don’t have time to surf sites

They don’t commission single illos – but they do have the “Gallery” and “Artist’s Studio” sections in the magazine that spotlight an illustrator by featuring 6 to 15 pieces of artwork and a short biography of the artist. There isn’t a page rate for them, so they’re for promotional purposes only.

Comic book series proposals must have at least eight pages of final art included with the pitch material so they can see what the finished comic book pages will look like. Beyond that requirement, please feel free to include as much additional material as you wish.

Hound Comics

Complete works (They do accept penciling, inking, lettering, and coloring samples)

Hound Comics will only publish creator-owned material. Hound will only accept proposals for brand new series or stand-alone graphic novels.

Writers: No script-only submissions. Any script or plotline unaccompanied by art will be unread and discarded. If you are an established professional, please send samples of your published work and they may be able to work something out.

Artists: They accept penciling, inking, lettering, and coloring samples. Art samples will be kept on file and may potentially lead to connecting you with other creators if and when the occasion presents itself.

Submission Guidelines:

  • A one page, synopsis of the overall story.
  • Send (at least 2-3 sequential) fully inked and lettered pages (preferably colored).
  • Hound publishes both full color and black and white books. If you have a colorist and can provide color pages, great!

Lion Forge Comics

Writers, Artists, Concepts

The Lion Forge, LLC (“Lion Forge”) does not regularly accept unsolicited ideas, treatments, concepts, scripts, artworks, or other materials. However, Lion Forge occasionally considers new ideas, formats, or concepts from outside sources.

If you have an idea, treatment, concept, artwork – you may submit such materials to Lion Forge, but only if you first acknowledge and agree to the Lion Forge Submission Policy and Submission Release Agreement.

Please note that if you choose to submit materials, send a link to publicly-posted portfolios. Any submissions in excess of 25 MB will not be accepted, and must be provided by sending a link.

You won’t always get an immediate response, but our editors DO look at everything that comes through the portal.

Red 5 Comics

Pencillers,  Inkers, Colorists, Letterers, Completed Works


Your submission should include at least five (5) pages of your best sequential storytelling art, not just sketches or pin-ups. These pages should demonstrate an ability to handle a variety of scenes, technology, backgrounds and characters… ranging from quiet dialog to intense action.

Pencillers: your portfolio should show pencils-only, not inked or colored pages. Make sure the scans are of good enough quality to clearly see your work.

Inkers: your examples should be black-and-white and include side-by-side comparison with the original pencils.

Colorists: your portfolio should be based on line-art from multiple artists and show your abilities in a variety of styles.

Creator Owned Projects

Red 5 Comics is always open to looking at quality creator-owned projects for publication. You and your team deliver print-ready pages, and Red 5 Comics looks after marketing, printing, distribution and related activity. The comic is published and there is a profit-split. You and your team retain full rights to the intellectual property.

Your project must already have a full creative team committed and on-board, including a writer, penciller, inker, colorist (if color), and letterer. Red 5 Comics is interested only in projects that are G, PG or PG-13 in nature. We will not accept R-rated proposals. No costumed superhero stories at this time.

Red Giant Entertainment

Writers, Pencilers, Inkers, Colorists

Red Giant Entertainment, Inc., is an Intellectual Property development transmedia company.

Unless they specifically ask you to snail-mail something to them — a printed book, a flash drive, bribes — submit your work to We’re well into the 21st Century, and our creators around the world send files digitally.

When submitting .jpgs by Email, LABEL YOUR FILES PROPERLY.

DO NOT send links instead of your samples, although it is OK to include links IN ADDITION TO your samples.

Include a COVER LETTER. Your name, your address, your credits if any, what you’re submitting, and why.

Before you send anything — concept or story or art or lettering or covers — download, fill out, and sign the RED GIANT SUBMISSION FORM.

Red Giant does not review any unsolicited story concepts, ideas, proposals, or scripts for properties they already publish, or any property not owned by the person/agent submitting it.


WRITERS: Please send us an Email outlining your writing accomplishments/experience and why you hope to write for Red Giant Entertainment.
ARTISTS: Five to 10 pages of sample artwork is plenty.
PENCILERS: If you pencil, just send pencils of your sequential pages. Don’t send inks, letters, or colors if you’re trying to sell your pencilling skills.
INKERS: Submit .jpgs of the pencils you inked as well as the inks, for comparison purposes. It’s best to show inks over more than one professional penciller.
COLORISTS: Send us sequential samples over PROFESSIONAL artwork.
COVER PAINTERS: traditional and digital painters are welcome.

SCAR Comics

Creator-Owned Projects

Scar Comics are always on the look out for original stories from talented creators, who wish to get their book published, but have not been picked up by other publishers, or can’t afford to publish their books.

They pay for the printing and marketing of the book. You provide a completed graphic novel.

Do not send any superhero stories, or scripts without any artwork as they only accept projects with an artist attached. If you are an editor submitting an Anthology send samples of each story.

Your pitch should consist of the following:

  •  6 – 10 pages of complete artwork from your book 72dpi, full size
  •  A full story outline including the concept in a sentence, beginning, middle and end
  •  Details of any main characters key to the story (optional)
  •  Full details of your final page count and format

Scout Comics

Scout Comics & Entertainment is actively looking for creator-owned titles to publish.

Writers: PLEASE DON’T JUST SEND US WRITING SAMPLES! If you’re an established professional looking for help finding an artist, they might very well be able to help, but their model is not to read raw scripts and put together creative dream teams.

Artists: THEY DO ACCEPT inking, pencilling, lettering, or coloring samples. They’ll keep your submissions on file and may hook you up with other creators if and when those opportunities arise.

A PROPOSAL should:

  • Mention what makes your comic unique and sets it apart from other comics in the genre. It
    should also explain who the target audience is.
  • Include A ONE PAGE synopsis of the story. An overview of the ENTIRE series or story arc.

Stranger Comics

Artists, Completed Works

Writers : If, however, you have a completed work or you have teamed with an artist for a creator-owned work and are seeking distribution, please see Publishing Services.

Artists: Please send all submissions to Please note your name and specific profession (penciler, colorist, etc.) in the subject line.

Publishing Services: Stranger Comics is a comic book publishing company with full publishing and distribution services. If you have a completed book or a creator-owned work in progress with an artist team, they are happy to consider your book for release through Stranger Comics. Contact prior to sending over any pitch material as they may require a submission agreement depending on the project’s stage of completion.

Timebomb Comics

Time Bomb Comics wants to publish a wide variety of comics from a wide variety of genres – science-fiction, thriller, mystery, romance, horror, superhero, adventure – and are looking to work with committed writers and artists

No Viz–style humor strips, parodies of existing works and sex comics.

WRITERS: send a fully scripted short story of no more than five finished comic pages. It can be in any genre, but your story must have a beginning, middle and end. If you have an example of work you´ve already completed or had published elsewhere then by all means send that as your sample.

ARTISTS: Submit no more than five pages of sequential storytelling in any genre which demonstrates your understanding of the comics format. Send work you´ve already completed or had published elsewhere as your sample if you wish.

Contact them to find out if there are any current opportunities.

*Note for all submissions*

  • Samples must be sent as separate attachments
  • NO links to online portfolios (or sites such as Deviantart)

Their guidelines are pretty clear and while they like to hear from new talent any submissions not following the guidelines (regarding how samples are sent) will not be considered.

Titan Comics

Writers, Artists, Completed Works

Titan Comics welcomes all submissions, and all submissions will be reviewed directly by the editorial team. They prefer to receive all submissions digitally.

NEW PITCHES: The chances of them picking up your title are vastly improved if you are approaching us as a writer/artist team, or if you are an artist writing your own title.

They are still open to writer-only pitches, and do read all submitted plots, so an electrifying concept will still make it through. Titan’s preferred format for new and original series is for stories to be told in four issues, each of around 20-22 pages in length.

If you have an artist on board, seeing art samples is essential. Similarly, if you already have a colorist and/or letterer as part of your team, seeing samples of their work, and how they will work together as a team, is paramount.

Valiant Entertainment

Artists and writers may submit portfolios and previously published work to

Submission Guidelines for Manga Publishers

Manga publishers who accept submissions

Antarctic Press

Artists, writers

Artists: ONE COMPLETE ISSUE (22-30 pages) of rendered (penciled, inked) SEQUENTIAL art via photocopies. They look for a MANGA/ANIME style of artwork, that many of their creators employ. Examples of published work could be used if applicable.

If you wish to submit your own original series, start with a one-shot or a 3- to 4-issue mini-series.


  1. 1- to 4-page typed STORY SYNOPSIS and/or TREATMENTS. If they like your idea, they’ll request a script from you.
  2. A typed cover sheet of the overview of your story. Example: How many issues the story will be and how many pages per issues. 1- to 4-issue mini-series are preferred over ongoing series. Stories that are finite encourage the retailer to give your new comic a chance.
  3. Published work that you’ve done if applicable.


For Individual Creators:

They are looking for up and coming creatives. They are looking to publish original manga, comics, novels, light novels, novellas, illustrated works, games, magazines, fiction, journals, memoirs, thesis, collected opinion pieces, commentary, literary biographies, foreign language publications, textbooks, and any type of creative work that you wish to share with the world.

Work submitted should be completed work, no project proposal, incomplete works, or pitches accepted.

Submit sample images or links to the work you wish to be reviewed.

eManga can also work with you to distribute your work on a variety of different platforms and marketplaces.

Seven Seas Entertainment

While they do not take unsolicited submissions, you can submit your portfolio to Seven Seas. You can contact them with your portfolio and/or information here.


Sweatdrop is not an employer but a group of artists who print and sell their work under the brand. All print runs are paid for by the individual creators, excepting anthologies; the group does NOT cover individual printing cost. It provides a platform for creators to self-publish their own stories and sell them online and at events.

Sweatdrop is always happy to consider new members!
You need to:

  • Live in the UK
  • Create original comics
  • Have one completed comic, to a high standard, ready to print

Comic Submission Guidelines for Book Publishers

Book Publishers who accept creator submissions

Literary Agents Who Represent Graphic Novels

Niki Smith has curated a list of literary agents who represent graphic novels and comics. Every agency on this list has mentioned an interest in graphic novels either on their website or their blog or made a GN sale– no second-hand info unless it was well vouched for.

Arthur A Levine Books

Arthur A. Levine Books do not accept unsolicited novel-length manuscripts outright.

They do look at the following materials:

  • Picture Books: Query letter + the full text
  • Novels: Query letter + the first two chapters + synopsis
  • Other: Query letter + 10-page sample + synopsis/proposal
  • Illustration: Three sample illustrations and/or links to online portfolios

They look for strong writing, beautiful artwork, authentic emotion, and ideas or perspectives they haven’t seen before, and enjoy working with debut authors and illustrators.

With the exception of picture book dummies (see below), all submissions are reviewed online through Submittable.

If you are met with the message “There are presently no open calls for submissions,” we have reached our monthly limit on queries. Please wait until the first day of the next month to submit your query.

If you are submitting a picture book dummy (full text and illustrations), it may be sent to them through the mail. (This is the only kind of query that will be accepted through the mail.)

Groundwood Submissions

Due to the large number of submissions we receive, Groundwood regrets that we cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts for picture books.

We are always looking for new authors of novel-length fiction for children of all ages. Their mandate is to publish high-quality, character-driven literary fiction. They do not publish stories with an obvious moral or message, or genre fiction such as thrillers or fantasy.
Please submit no more than one manuscript at a time.

Groundwood Books is looking for Canadian illustrators to interpret the words of some of Canada’s finest children’s writers. Their emphasis is on stories of real children in convincing situations and milieus, both contemporary and historical, for all ages from infants to teens. Art may be realistic or abstracted and stylized to any degree, but conventional cartoon and animation styles are not needed.

Nonfiction illustrators are also needed: scientific drawing in natural history and other fields, and historical reconstruction are among the areas we are interested in.

As well, they need cover artists for a wide range of fiction from early readers to young adult.

You may also send digital samples (PDFs, JPEGs, TIFFs) as e-mail attachments.

They also accept physical samples by mail as specified below:

  • 4 to 10 black-and-white or color copies or digital color proofs
  • 4 to 10 tear sheets, press sheets, postcards
  • 1 to 2 published, bound books or sets of folded and gathered sheets

Kids Can Press Illustrator Guidelines

Kids Can Press are interested in and look forward to seeing illustrations of all kinds. Every book is unique, and they never know what they’ll need regarding illustration style.
Send us an email with your contact information and a link to your website or portfolio. Attach only one or two low-resolution JPEGs that best represent your work.

Lerner Publishing Group

Lerner Publishing Group works with many talented authors and illustrators to create its books for children and young adults.

Illustrators: They accept resumes and portfolio samples from children’s book illustrators. Photographers: They accept resumes and portfolio samples from photographers who have content appropriate for children’s books.

Authors of books for Jewish children and families: Their Kar-Ben Publishing imprint does accept unsolicited manuscripts for Jewish-themed children’s books.

Fiction and picture book authors: They don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors. Occasionally, we may put out a call for submissions, which will be announced on their blog.

O’Brien Press

O’Brien Press Manuscript Submission Guidelines

The O’Brien Press are committed to new and developing talent, and encourage any aspiring authors to send their writing in.

However, please note the following:

They publish mainly children’s fiction, children’s non-fiction, and adult non-fiction. They do not publish poetry, academic works or adult fiction.

Should your submission be 1000 words or less then you may submit your work in its entirety. Please number all the pages of your submission appropriately. For anything more than this length — for example, a children’s novel — a synopsis and 2 or 3 sample chapters is more than adequate.

Penguin Publishing

Donald A. Wollheim (DAW) Books are strongly committed to discovering and nurturing new talent, and to keeping a personal “family” spirit at DAW—something they feel is all too rare in today’s world of international conglomerate publishing.

Submission Guidelines
DAW accepts unsolicited submissions of science fiction and fantasy novels. No short stories, short story collections, novellas, or poetry. The average length of the novels they publish is almost never fewer than 80,000 words.

A literary agent is not required for submission. NO manuscripts that are currently on submission to another publisher unless prior arrangements have been made with a literary agent.

No electronic submissions of any kind. Send us the entire manuscript with a cover letter.

Seven Stories

An independent press publishing works of literature and nonfiction by voices of conscience.
Books for Progressive Children, Baby Radicals, and Curious Kids of All Stripes

Manuscript submissions, accompanied by a cover letter and two sample chapters only, with a 46-cent SASE or postcard for reply.

Sterling Publishing

No electronic submissions.

Adult and Young Adult Books

At present, the Sterling list is composed of a broad range of subject areas including current events, diet and health, parenting, pop culture, reference, history, art and artists, music, and everything in between.

Children’s Books
Sterling Children’s Books publishes both fiction and non-fiction, including the classics, picture books, joke books, and novelty formats, as well as books for babies and toddlers. FlashKids imprint publishes workbooks and flash cards for preschool, elementary, and middle school students in essential curriculum areas such as reading, math, writing, test preparation, and much more.

Submissions Guidelines
Please write to us explaining your idea and enclose an outline and a sample chapter of the proposed book (typed and double-spaced, please) along with sample illustrations where applicable. For Children’s books, please submit full manuscripts. No electronic (e-mail) submissions. Be sure to include information about yourself with particular regard to your skills and qualifications in the subject area of your submission.

Titan Books

They are looking for strong proposals for these titles, preferably creator or character-led. They prefer writers who have a proven track record in this area, and good contacts in the art & comics world. They are also interested to hear from writers who would be interested in working on licensed publications they have already contracted.

The majority of Titan’s graphic novel titles are licensed from overseas publishers or acquired through agents. They do publish a growing number of originated graphic novels. They run portfolio sessions at comic conventions where your work may be reviewed. They are interested to hear from writers and artists who would be interested in working on licensed projects they have already contracted.

TwoMorrows Publishing

If you have an idea for a book you’d like TwoMorrows to consider publishing, please e-mail publisher John Morrow at

To help them better evaluate your idea, send a 1000 word (or less) proposal, including a detailed description and highlights of the project, who you see as the main audience for it, and a breakdown of the chapters of the book.

For details on submitting art and articles for their magazines, please contact each of their editors directly for the submission requirements:

Comic and Cartoon Syndicate Submission Guidelines

Cartoon and newspaper syndicates who accept artist submissions

Creators, Inc

Creators, Inc. distributes a great variety of continuing features, such as comic strips and panels, columns and political cartoons, as well as books and original manuscripts. They are constantly on the lookout for quality features. The potential distribution for your work includes virtually every American newspaper that buys syndicated material, as well as other national and international publications.

Since 2015, Creators only accepts submissions digitally. All hard-copy submissions will be returned to the sender without being opened, read or considered in any way.

They like to develop a personal relationship with the artists and writers they syndicate – include some information about yourself with your submission (resumes are fine). While having been published before is, of course, a great recommendation, good writing, and cartooning stand on their own, and your material will be considered whether you have a cabinet full of clips or not.

King Features

King Features is always happy to look at new comic features for possible syndication. They believe in the art of cartooning and place great importance on looking at new material. They carefully consider every comic strip or panel idea submitted.

Your total submission package should include:

  • A cover letter — that briefly outlines the overall nature of your comic strip.
  • 24 daily comic strips — on 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper (you can fit up to 3 or 4 strips per page).
  • A character sheet — that shows your major characters (if any) along with their names and a paragraph description of each.
  • No submissions via email.

“We are looking for comic features that will simultaneously appeal to the editors who buy comics and the readers whose interest the comics must sustain for years to follow. We don’t have a formula for telling us which comics will do that, but we do look for some elements that we believe people respond to.

First, we look for a uniqueness that reflects the cartoonist’s individual slant on the world and humor. If we see that unique slant, we look to see if the cartoonist is turning his or her attention to events that other people can relate to.

Second, we very carefully study a cartoonist’s writing ability. Good writing helps weak art, better than good art helps weak writing. Good art is also important. It is what first attracts readers to a comic strip. We look to see that your art is drawn clearly and with visual impact. We want our comics to be noticed on a page.

Finally, we look for your ability to sustain a high level of quality material. We want comics that readers will enjoy for years and years.”

Tribune Content Agency

Tribune Content Agency accepts electronic-only submissions for columns, commentary, comics, editorial cartoons, puzzles and other content, including high-profile digital ventures and multimedia offerings.

They are looking for well-established brand names and talent with a history of strong audience appeal. Referrals from established contacts or agents are preferred. They approve and take to market only a small fraction of the content they receive.

Universal Uclick

Universal Uclick is always looking for great new comics and columns.

Submission Guide for Comics
-4 to 6 weeks of samples of a proposed feature
-A letter explaining the purpose and scope of your material.

Washington Post

Submit a Cartoon
To submit your editorial cartoons or comic strip/panel for consideration, please provide at least 24 cartoons in one multi-page PDF document, with at least two dailies on each page.
Email your submission to

Further Reading

Resources: How To Break Into Comics and Survive Once You’re There

A constantly updated list of resources for creators in all ends of the business, from the mechanics of pitching to the psychology or surviving, how to exhibit at shows, crowdfunding basics and more.

7 Awesome Free Comic Lettering Fonts for Commercial Use and How to Use Them

Featured image for comic lettering fonts

When done right – you tend not to notice great comic book lettering. Meaning it blends seamlessly with the art to make an amazing reading experience.

I used to letter all of the various comics that we created back in the mid-late 2000’s.

I’d pour a glass of wine (I’m not a wine drinker incidentally), fire up InDesign and get to it. It was a nice reprieve from writing, drawing, packaging, Myspacing and marketing our fledgling boutique comic publishing concern.

I wasn’t particularly great – but I was pretty good and lettered around 250 pages in total.

Hand Lettering Your Comic Was Sometimes Ulcer Inducing

Lettering your comic used to be a nerve-wracking experience. That is when you were talking about dropping in the lettering by hand with a technical pen or a #107 nib. While digital lettering today can still be a frustrating process it’s miles easier than in decades past.

comic hand lettering guide by Dale Martin

[image source]

Enter the comic book font.

Where the “Comic Book Font” Came From

When I was first hunting for free comic fonts to test out in the early 2000’s the pickings were slim. There were only two or three worthy contenders. Since then thousands of free fonts can be found and downloaded online. By sheer numbers, this also means more free quality comic fonts have also surfaced.

It just takes longer to find them now.

While I tend to stick with “paid for” Comicraft fonts you should play around with some of the free ones first to get a feel for comic lettering.

My goal for you with this post was three-fold.

  1. The fonts had to be free.
  2. They had to be able to be used commercially (or at least partially)
  3. They had to at least be “almost” as good as a paid commercial font.

Free Comic Lettering Fonts

Blambot Comic Fonts

My first stop was over at Blambot comic fonts and lettering. Nate Piekos has been at this for two decades and has lettered comics for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Oni Press, Dark Horse Comics and many others. Nate’s work has been seen EVERYWHERE.

He’s designed a lot of comic fonts and has made several of them free via a license agreement for independent comic creation.

  • Anyone can use Blambot free fonts for non-profit projects, excluding Embedding, Redistribution, or Webfont use.
  • If you are an independent/small press comic creator, you may use Blambot free fonts in your comic book project–even if you are making money with your project–even if you use the fonts printed on merch in support of your comic. (This excludes Embedding, Webfont, and Redistributive use.) This is Blambot’s way of supporting the independent comic community and applies only to indie/small press comic book creators.
  • If your use does not fall into the above scenarios, and you need a Basic or other license, see the License Options page.

Two of the standouts are:

Back Issues

Back Issues is a handy comic font to get you started. You can play around with it in captions and word balloons.
Back Issues free comic font from Nate Piekos


Badaboom is more of a display font. It would be useful for sound effects, titles or a loud voice word balloon.
Bababoom free comic font from Blambot

But really they’re all great. Other Blambot fonts such as Crime Fighter, Unmasked, and Evil Genius have been around longer than some comic creators have been alive.

While you’re over there be sure to read his post on comic script basics and grammar. It’s worth the trip.

Next up it’s over to for two more contenders.

Adam Warren Pro Font Family

Styles: Regular, Bold, Bold Italic

adam warren comic book font by Press Gang Studios

Made by Press Gang Studios

Komika Font Family

free komika comic font family

“The original plan was to have five 10-font packs which would constitute a complete lettering system for the comic artist, whether professional, independent, amateur, beginner or whoever wants to use the stuff. The biggest worry for any comic artist in these digital days, when it comes to letters, is what goes inside the speech, narration and thought balloons. I took care of that with Komika Text, which is based on WBX’s Sunday Komix letters.

Then there are the titles and the cover type, of course. Those are accommodated with Komika Display and Komika Title, based respectively on WBX’s Komixation and Supermarket Sale letters. To add variety and flexibility to the superset, 10 more fonts were added in a Hands set, all of which can theoretically be adequate substitutions for the text, display, and title sets, depending on the application. These supposed “alternative” fonts turned out very nice, and in certain respects are even better than the main sets.”

Then I stopped by Font Squirrel.

Font Squirrel is your best resource for FREE, hand-picked, high-quality, commercial-use fonts. Even if that means, we send you elsewhere to get them.

The Comic category had 26 fonts but only two really jumped out at me. You can head over there and decide for yourself.

VTC Letterer Pro

VTC letterer pro from vigilante typeface corporation

VTC Letterer Pro is brought to us by Vigilante Typeface Corporation aka Larry Yerkes who is a tattoo artist, font designer and freelance Illustrator. This one has been around for a while and I remember downloading it back when I was scouring the net for free fonts.


zitz comic font from Harold's Fonts

“ZITZ is my second cartoon font, based on the hand lettering in the King Features daily strip Zits by Jim Borgman and Jerry Scott. According to Robert C. Harvey’s thoughtful Children of the Yellow Kid: The Evolution of the American Comic Strip, “Zits” is a “teenage strip…ostensibly drawn by Borgman and written by Scott…. Borgman produces the final art.” The tall, tight lettering and expressive drawing style of Borgman’s political cartoons has long appealed to me; since 1997, “Zits” has represented a daily dose of his art.

The scratchy outlines of the letters reflect both the artist’s pen and the texture of newsprint. (I saved dozens of strips to get a full font.)
Contains two versions of each capital letter (in the upper and lowercase positions) for a more random look, plus numbers, punctuation, and accented characters.”

My last stop was over to Google Fonts. With hundreds of typefaces to choose from – I finally settled on just one for now. Kalam – a free font that comes in 3 weights.


kalam google font created by Lipi Raval and Jonny Pinhorn
“Kalam is a handwriting font family that supports the Devanagari and Latin writing systems. Even though Kalam’s letterforms derive from handwriting, the fonts have each been optimized for text usage on screen. All in all, the typeface is a design that feels very personal. Like many informal handwriting-style fonts, it appears rather fresh and new when seen on screen or printed on the page.
Kalam’s letterforms feature a very steep slant from the top right to the bottom left.

They are similar to letters used in everyday handwriting, and look like they might have been written with either a thin felt-tip pen or a ball-point pen. In the Devanagari letterforms, the knotted-terminals are open, but some other counter forms are closed. Features like these strengthen the feeling that text set in this typeface has been written very quickly, in a rapid manner.
Lipi Raval and Jonny Pinhorn developed the family for ITF; Raval designed the Devanagari component while she and Pinhorn worked together on the Latin.”

Alright – let’s take a brief moment to enjoy this amazing page from Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali (ALL-NEW COLLECTORS’ EDITION #C-56, 1978), lettered by the legendary Gaspar Saladino.

superman vs ali by Dennis O'Neil, Neal Adams and Todd Klein

Image © DC Comics.

Have fun with this, and when you’re ready trust me, you’ll probably start buying fonts from Blambot and Comicraft. I always check out the online sales in the summer (week of Comicon) and New Years over Comicraft.

Be sure to add your favorite fonts in the comments below. It’s always nice to grow a bigger list.

Comic Lettering and Typography Books

For book recommendations covering all areas of the comic industry go here.

DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics

Comic book lettering and coloring by Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein

Acclaimed artists Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein demystify these essential steps in traditional graphic storytelling. Chiarello explains the entire coloring process, from computer and software choice to creating color effects that give the action its maximum impact. Klein discusses whether to letter by hand or by computer—a hotly debated topic among working letterers—and demonstrates an array of techniques for creating word balloons, fonts, logos, and much more.

Comic Book Lettering: The Comicraft Way

64 pages of lettering tips and tricks

Step by Step, Comic Book Lettering the Comicraft Way guides readers through the process of lettering a comic strip digitally. From font design to balloon placement, sound effects, signage, title page and publication design, the creators of The World’s Greatest Comic Book Fonts cover every conceivable aspect of comic book lettering.

Lavishly illustrated by examples drawn from Comicraft’s ten years as America’s premier comic book lettering studio, this manual is an essential tool for comic book creators everywhere.

Lessons in Typography: Must-know typographic principles presented through lessons, exercises, and examples (Creative Core)

Must know typographic principles

In Lessons in Typography, you’ll learn the basics of identifying, choosing, and using typefaces and immediately put that knowledge to work through a collection of exercises designed to deepen and expand your typographic skills.

After a crash course in type terminology, you’re encouraged to walk the talk with lessons and exercises on creating type-based logos, crafting personal emblems, choosing and using the right fonts for layouts, designing your own fonts, fine-tuning text like a professional, hand lettering, and more.

Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques, and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art

Inspiring tips, techniques and ideas for hand lettering

Creative Lettering and Beyond combines the artistic talents and inspirational tips and tutorials of several professional hand letterers and calligraphers for a dynamic and interactive learning experience.

After a brief introduction to the various tools and materials, artists and lettering enthusiasts will learn how to master the art of hand lettering and typography through engaging, easy-to-follow step-by-step projects, prompts, and exercises. From the basic shape and form of letters, to cursive script, spacing, and alignment, artists will discover how to transform simple words, phrases, and quotes into beautiful works of hand-lettered art.

Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices

principles and practices from the legendary cartoonist

Will Eisner is one of the twentieth century’s great American artists, a man who pioneered the field of comic arts. Here, in his classic Comics and Sequential Art, he refines the art of graphic storytelling into clear, concise principles that every cartoonist, comic artist, writer, and filmmaker needs to know.

Adapted from Eisner’s landmark course at New York’s School of Visual Arts, Comics and Sequential Art is an essential text filled with invaluable theories and easy-to-use techniques. Eisner reveals here the fundamentals of graphic storytelling. He addresses dialogue, anatomy, framing, and many other important aspects of the art form.

Fully updated and revised to reflect current practices and technology, including a section on digital media, this introduction to the art of comics is as valuable a guide as it was when first published.

Further Watching: Videos

How CAPTAIN AMERICA Demonstrates BRILLIANT Comic Book Lettering!

Lettering is an unsung part of comic books, but a great letterer can impact the story more than you think! Today, we’re taking a look at Captain America: Steve Rogers #3 to see how the positions of speech balloons and caption boxes are critical to the story!

Lettering A Comic Book Page (#Adobe Illustrator)

Lettering a Comic Book Page from SK Comic’s Augmented using Adobe Illustrator.

Lettering & Ballooning

Lettering and ballooning are the easy part! We just need to pick or make our font and jam it onto our page.

Master Penman Jake Weidmann

As the world grows increasingly digital, storied art forms like penmanship are quickly dying out. Old masters pass away, leaving behind a gaping void. Enter Jake Weidmann, the youngest “Master Penman” in the United States by three generations. Weidmann’s work shows an attention to minute detail that only comes through years and years of practice. His finished pieces — which fuse calligraphy and fine art — remind us that handwriting can be beautiful.

Further Reading:

No More Klein Overlays

No More Klein Overlays

Calligraphy guide by Todd Klein


Lettering: who does it best and why?

Comic Book Grammar & Tradition

Comic book lettering has some grammatical and aesthetic traditions that are unique. What follows is a list that every letterer eventually commits to his/her own mental reference file. The majority of these points are established tradition, sprinkled with modern trends and a bit of my own opinion having lettered professionally for a few years now.

10 Greatest Comics Letterers

This article is ancient – but it discusses the masters. The images are broken, and I’d love to see this updated, but I felt it was important to include. You’ll have to ‘Google Image’ examples of each letterer’s works.

Comic Lettering Websites

43 Pen and Ink Artists You Should Follow on Instagram

pen and ink artists

And maybe it’s time you got your own work up on there as well.

When it comes to social networks these days you won’t get much better bang for your buck than Instagram. Especially if you’re a pen and ink artist (or any type of artist for that matter).

And if you do happen to be an artist – there’s nothing like the daily inspiration of a well curated Instagram feed. A non-stop barrage of amazing artwork for your eye holes to take in 24/7.

I’m always on the hunt for awesome artwork and artists – to keep my motivation running high. And do we ever have that in the list of creators below here.

I find the signal to noise ratio is a lot better on Instagram versus Facebook. While it’s nice to keep up with friends and current events on Facebook you also have to wade through a lot of outrage porn and clickbait articles.

On Instagram we get sharks!

According to an analysis done by Forrester, brands achieved  58 times more engagement on Instagram per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

So if you’re looking to get more more exposure on the web for your visual creations…

Get your shit up on Instagram.

From putting in a bit more of a concentrated effort on the network myself – I’ve come away pretty impressed with the results. The size of the creative community (and sub communities) on Instagram is vast and a little overwhelming at first. But you’ll quickly settle in.

So without further ado – here’s the most badass group of artists that I could find demonstrating mastery of pen and ink on Instagram.

Please add anyone that I’ve missed in the comments below.

Aaron Horkey

I’d put Aaron in the top 10 (maybe top 3) pen and ink illustrator / artists working on the planet today. He makes everyone want to pack up and go home. He’s that good. Enjoy!

Ashley Wood

If you’re like me – you’ve been following Ash for damn near 2 decades. Now we can follow him on Instagram.

Becky Cloonan

 Becky was one of the first artists that I ever interviewed. Good to see she’s even better now. 

“You bred raptors…?” My piece for the @mondotees gallery show “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth”! A photo posted by Becky Cloonan (@beckycloonan) on

Chris Riddell

Cash book sketchbook.

A photo posted by Chris Riddell (@chris_riddell) on

Chris Samnee

Chris captures the spirit and essence of Marvel and DC characters with his accomplished minimalist approach.  

Been thinking that it was Monday all day today– nope, still the weekend. ???? A photo posted by Chris Samnee (@chrissamnee) on

Dan Fraga

I’ve been admiring Dan’s work since the early days of Image.

Daily Sketch: 211 of 365. Blown

A photo posted by Dan Fraga (@couchdoodles) on

Dave Rapoza

 Killer figure work from Dave. 

24 hour auction for my original Wolverine inks! #xmen #wolverine #inks #original A photo posted by Dave Rapoza (@daverapoza) on


Simply jaw-dropping detail in his work. Master of multiple mediums.

Eric Canete

25 years on and I still love Eric’s work as much as the first day I laid eyes upon it.  

05.04.13 A photo posted by Eric Canete (@ericcanete) on

Fiona Staples

She doesn’t post extremely often on Instagram, but when she does…

I’m watching season 5 of Misfits, so here’s Rudy’s precious face.

A photo posted by Fiona Staples (@fionastaples) on

Florian Bertmer

I own several prints done by Florian. His work never fails to impress.  

WIP #amidemon #notofthisworld #coliseum #doomriders #danzig #florianbertmer #bertmer #art #illustration A photo posted by Florian Bertmer (@florianbertmer) on

Francis Manapul

Always cool to see his work show up in my feed. I’ve been digging his recent experiments playing around with various art styles.

Up close on #wonderwoman #justiceleague #godsandmen

A photo posted by Francis Manapul (@francis_manapul) on

Greg Tocchini

 Greg’s work has always felt alive. His innovative panel to panel sequences make my eyes happy! 

LOW … A photo posted by Greg Tocchini (@gregtocchini) on

J Scott Campbell

Unmistakable style.

Jae Lee

Every new Jae Lee piece that shows up on here is a gift for my peepers. I can never get enough.

#hulk #marvel #montrealcomiccon #commission A photo posted by Jae Lee and June Chung (@jaeleeart) on

Screw it – I’m posting a second image by Jae Lee…

Just head on over to his page and soak it all in.

#spiderman #sinistersix #greengoblin #venom #marvel #commission #jaelee

A photo posted by Jae Lee and June Chung (@jaeleeart) on

Jamie McKelvie

 Those warm up sketches… 

Kusanagi warm up sketch. A photo posted by Jamie McKelvie (@mckelvie) on

Jason shawn Alexander

Sweet Jesus! Now this is what I’m talking about.

Jeffrey Alan Love

 His various styles are more off the beaten path. And I appreciate all of them.

Jeremy Sorrell

Again – Jeremy has built up a legion of fans with his incredible off-kilter renderings.

my attempt at channeling some @jasonshawnalex and @kentwms inspiration

A photo posted by Jeremy Sorrell (@jeremysorrell) on

Jim Lee

Jim doesn’t play fair. He just toys with us. And after all of these years he’s still kicking ass and taking names.

Final scan #Batman1966 #dccomics #muse ???? A photo posted by Jim Lee (@jimleeart) on

Jim Mahfood

I had to scroll waaaaay down on Jim’s feed to find this drawing of ROM Spaceknight. His profile is one of the best (and most insane) ones out there on Instagram. He posts often and it’s always worth it.

Here’s more Mahfood. Simply awesome!

Seriously – go check out his page.


Jock’s sketches are a thing of beauty. I’m glad he keeps posting them on Instagram. You will be as well.

DKR sketch #SDCC

A photo posted by Jock (@jock4twenty) on

John Dyer Baizley

 If Pushead handed the torch off to any artist – it’s JDB. One of the most accomplished pen and ink artists in the game. 

Tomorrow @ brlsq. #coliseum. A photo posted by John Dyer Baizley (@aperfectmonster) on

John Welding

John has a playful old-school style that takes me to the happy days of ‘way back’.

#WatertonComic Page 10 Panel inking details.

A photo posted by John Welding (@johnweldingillustrator) on

Juan Francisco Casas

Juan draws mostly beautiful (and mostly nude) women in large format illustrations with blue ball point pens.

Kim Jung Gi US

Kim does more artwork in a week than most artists pull off in months. He draws big. He draws fast. And you’ll cry when you see how good it is.

KJG’s original drawing for sale! #SDCC #booth5005 #kimjunggi

A photo posted by Kim Jung Gi US (@kimjunggius) on

Lucas Ruggieri

Holy shit!

Finally finishing up the first layer of ink on this, looking forward to starting the second. #lucasruggieri #lrillustration A photo posted by Lucas Ruggieri (@lr_illustration) on

Mahmud Asrar

I was not previously familiar with Mahmud’s work. A Twitter friend suggested I take look. Glad they did!

Antlers – My new banner image for conventions #antlers #girl #art #illustration

A photo posted by Mahmud Asrar (@mahmudasrar) on

Marcio Takara

 Another artist who works primarily for the ‘big two’ and is worth your time.

#ArmorWars #SecretWars A photo posted by Marcio Takara (@marciotakara) on

Mark W. Richards

Mark of Heavy Hand Illustration seems to never stop creating and I hope he never does.

Michael Oeming

The one and only.   

#superman A photo posted by @oeming on

Mike Sutfin

Mike’s work is so good – it hurts.

Ming Doyle

I was worried we’d lose Ming completely to the ‘illustration world’ – because damn! – her comic renderings keep getting better.  

#BostonComicCon sketch, #BatmanReturns #Catwoman! #hashtags A photo posted by Ming Doyle (@mingdoyle) on


You know who’s a better artist than Pushead? No one.

Rafael Grampá

 The first time I was introduced to Rafael’s art I thought to myself, ‘1. Holy crap! 2. This guy came swinging out of the gates with a wholly original style. 3. I hope he can keep doing this for decades.’ 

Batgirl. #Comission #Batman #rafaelgrampa A photo posted by Rafael Grampá (@rafael_grampa) on

Rich Kelly

Rich is another very talented and distinct voice in illustration.

#tbt working out an eventual cover for @bicycletimes magazine.

A photo posted by Rich Kelly (@therichkelly) on

Richey Beckett

 I only discovered Richey’s art in 2015 – but if he keeps this up he’ll soon be in charge of the ‘illustration and poster’ cartel.

Pen and ink detail, part of a very exciting new project.. More soon..???? #richeybeckett #penandink A photo posted by Richey Beckett (@richeybeckett) on

Ryan Benjamin

Just straight up awesome!

Batman commission

A photo posted by ryan benjamin (@ryanbnjmn) on

Ryan Ottley

I had seen Ryan’s sketches and drawings periodically on Facebook – but holy hell it’s amazing seeing them all in one place!  

My first sketchbook cover. Violence and piggybacks. Her name is Unicorn Girl. And she kills stuff. A photo posted by Ryan Ottley (@ryanottley) on

Simon Kercz

Simon’s work is often not for the faint of heart – but it’s all rendered with undeniable skill.

Having some Sunday fun playing with some deleted halftone sheets I got. #drawing #punks #skunked

A photo posted by Simon Kercz (@simonyetikercz) on

Skottie Young

 I haven’t had enough of Skottie’s work in my diet lately. Time to fix that. 

Almost halfway #4pager #giantsizelittlemarvel #wip A photo posted by skottie young (@skottieyoung) on

Tula Lotay

Amazing travel photos mixed in with amazing artwork. A life well lived!

Rebels #5 sketch

A photo posted by Tula Lotay (@tulalotay) on

Yuko Shimizu

 There’s only one Yuko. Her style is unmistakable and she works every inch of the page. We’re lucky she shares her process with us every step of the way.  

???????????????? A photo posted by Yuko Shimizu (@yukoart) on


Nope – one image isn’t going to cut it. Here’s more Yuko!

Me tired.

A photo posted by Yuko Shimizu (@yukoart) on

And if you’re so inclined you can follow me as well…

 I’ve been using my Instagram page specifically for GoPro photography and pen and ink drawings. Felt good to ditch the cell phone photos and play around in two different mediums. 

Fun with a Pilot big blue, a 2-dollar brush and a razor blade. #penandink #madmax #illustration #furyroad A photo posted by Jason Thibault (@jay_thibs) on

Further Reading

The Complete Guide to Instagram Ads | Abacus

How to Get Your First 1000 Art Instagram Followers | Artwork Archives

25 Ways for Artists to Get More Instagram Followers | Patreon

Editorial Guidelines for this Blog

It’s been a long time since I’ve built a platform where I could use my own voice on the internet. Maybe as far back as MySpace in the mid 2000’s.

So in the spirit of building a site that I myself would want to keep returning to I’ve laid out some ground rules that I’ll need to follow.

#1: No lazy posts or meaningless horseshit. I’ll either endeavor to do deep dives into subjects or provide long exhaustive (and well researched) lists so that you can do your own deep dives. Similar to what we tried to do on up until 2010 where mega thousand+ word interviews and articles were the norm. There’s plenty of other sites that post 5-20 times a day and you know where to find them. I will try to maintain a twice a month posting frequency on here.

#2: I’ll curate a post once a month with all of the amazing and useful items that I come across during the previous 30 days. I’ll try to keep it to 15 items or less and filter out the pointless and irrelevant.

#3: I’ll keep the tone lighter and more authentic on here so we can have positive and productive conversations in the comments. I do miss all of the thousands of creatives that I used to routinely talk to when I was running my micro comics publishing biz. I also welcome healthy discussion and thoughtful counter arguments. Trolling and negativity however will have no place on here.

#4: This site will primarily be a way to write about and talk to creatives of all shapes and sizes. Self-publishing (both books and comics) will come up often, but so will film and other media. We’re all trying to carve out our own path and we all have a lot to learn from each other. When I launched (and eventually walked away from) my publishing company in the late 2000’s I was attempting to model it after successful indie record labels. I succeeded wildly in some aspects and failed miserably in others. But I’ll eventually put those lessons that I’ve taken from that amazing experience into words on here. And what I would have done differently.

#5: This list will be subject to revisions and additions but for now I’m cool with it.