Comic Book Art...Who's with me???

  • I noticed a lot of illustrators in the forums are focused primarily on kidlit stuff. Who out there is interested in pursuing more comic book and young adult illustration work? I am just curious. I love children's picture books but I am very much drawn to graphic novels and comic art.

    If you are of this mindset, who are your heroes and inspirations?

    What kind of work do you see yourself doing in the future?

    Do you feel isolated here or are you thriving in this community? (No griping! Just real feedback)

    What can we do for each other to help us grow in this arena?

    Are there other resources out there that you would like to share?

    I just watched a video about Bill Sienkievic's and his work with the New Mutants. He is one of my foundational influences because he was one of the first comic artists to really push the visual storytelling principles of design. If I find the link I will put it up here.

  • @chrisaakins
    Hi Chris!
    This was on my mind this week too.

    Gonna try and answer all your questions

    I really like Moebius work. It's had a big influence on my aesthetic as well as Yoshihiro Togashi (manga). Terryl Whitlatch is also awesome, she does creature design work. Scott Mcloud and Will Eisner both wrote really great books on making comics and graphic novels.

    I'm currently writing a webcomic I'd like to make, working through the script day by day. There are several comic ideas I have that I'd like to do in the future.

    I'm currently listening to Comic Lab which is a fantastic podcast. They talk about making webcomics and making money from various sources. They even talk about tax season in it. It's great. Jake Parker had a few guest appearances on it as well. They have so many tips it's awesome and encouraging.

    Your question about the community here. I think the community itself is terrific I think there is a lot of focus on kidlit mainly because that's something that all of the creators have in common. And a lot of the basics classes are taught with that in mind.

    It is still relatively new though and they are developing that new curriculum.

    Also I think if you start a comic art thread it will create more interest and ultimately a broader community. Like Jake posted that mini comic tip so I feel more of a broader reach is coming.

    It would be interesting to see how comic book creators are using the svslearn classes to help them create comics though. Just generally speaking my illustration skills have improved so my comic drawing skills have improved too but I have yet to make the comic. There's also that copyright concern too.

  • Hey Chris, yeah graphic novels and comics are a great genre!
    My all time favourite graphic novel is the Bone series by Jeff Smith.
    As a teenager I thought all I wanted to do when I grew up was either draw comics or be an animator.

    I've seen comic book influences in a lot of those kids chapter books these days, which is cool. Working on an idea for one myself.

    For a long time my own style was influenced mainly by American superhero comics, and that can still be seen in a lot of my work, for better or worse, but these days I'm more influenced by art outside of the comics genres, although I feel like there are some absolutely incredible comic book artists still around of course.

    My top three mainstream comic artists at the moment would have to be Stuart Immonen, Pepe Larraz and Olivier Coipel.

    I'm no expert but I'm happy to swap tips and tricks!

    Here's an inked drawing of the potential lead character in my book:

    Squeegee Boy-Matt-Baker-art.png

  • @MattBaker this looks fantastic.

    I am planning to start a patreon once I start drawing my comic. I want to put it up on webtoons for free. Are both of you focused more on printed/graphic novels?

  • Moderator

    When I think of myself doing any type of comic I gravitate towards something like the Sunday funnies. I think the only comic book I ever read all the way though was a Betty and Veronica when I was 12. My father tried to condition me for drawing newspaper comics but it didn’t take, although I loved reading them. Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Bloom County, and Rose is Rose we’re my FAVORITE. Now that I’m older and have more opinions on the world I can see my dad’s thought process and have been considering what it would take to do something similar to an old school newspaper comic. Maybe something to post on IG once in a while. Similar to @nasvikdraws DadDas comic. A little four panel. I agree Comic Lab is a great podcast.
    This is an interesting topic. I will definitely be watching. 🙂

  • @burvantill i think you would really like the comiclab podcast if that’s what you like. Both brad and dave focus on comic strip like comics as well as long form webcomics.

    @nasvikdraws is my neighbor! His dadads comics are great.

  • SVS OG

    I’ve always wanted to make my own graphic novel but I’ve always been intimidated by the work involve.

  • @ArtofAleksey I've been tossing up doing a web comic and then printing it if successful. A friend of mine, Rene Pfitzner, has done that successfully with his Sneaky Goblins GN. He made it as a webcomic then ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to print it as a graphic novel. I found it more enjoyable to read as a traditionally printed GN:

  • This is kind of off the subject, but as a side, I binge watched 7 seasons of the show Comic Book Men and thought it was hilarious! My art class last year included some inking, so I started to learn more about comic book art. I discovered Draw! magazine, which includes a lot of really good information and interviews. I'm not quite ready to move in that direction myself right now though.

  • Moderator

    @ArtofAleksey I do like comic lab. Those guys are hilarious. 😂

  • I’ve always wanted to draw newspaper comic strips. It was what I was into growing up. I Drew my own in high school and never stopped. Fast forward to last year when I discovered the 3 Point Perspective podcast and then the forums, and... nope, I don’t feel isolated here because I’ve seen graphic novels rendered in really fine art. Kind of like the styles the Lee White and Will Terry have. Also, I love children’s books and would love to draw one some day!

    I’m currently fleshing out the plot of a graphic novel. Once that’s done, I’ll think about starting a Patreon. The classes on SVS Learn and the stuff the guys talks about on the podcast apply very well to drawing comics. Everything from inking, to layout, setting up scenes, even the 50 thumbnails, helped sharpen my skills. I think they help us take our comics to a more immersive and beautiful experience. Check out Marvel’s OS comics series by Eric Shanower. Beautiful rendering! Or the Fleischer’s Superman cartoons of the 1940s. Though there is a certain aesthetic beauty to the simplicity of, say, Peanuts, Bloom County, Tin Tin, and Asterix.

    Writing a story for a comic/graphic novel is quite different from writing for a children’s book. There’s timing, guiding the reader’s eye, etc. I’m sure more courses will en added. I enjoyed the graphic novel one and picked up a few tips that I’ll be using for my project!

    I’d say I have been influenced by Bill Watterson, Jeff Smith, Charles M. Schulz, Berkeley Breathed, and many here on the forums! I get so inspired by all your art!

    Not sure what we can do to help us grow — a zoom chat? 🙂

  • @MattBaker oh yeah i know sneaky goblins! It’s great!

    I think today im gonna take a break from writing and drawing and just read some comics

  • @deborah-Haagenson Where did you watch it? It sounds interesting. I may want to watch it. Thanks for sharing!

    @MattBaker Same. I got in trouble with my art teacher because I didn't want to draw anything else. Now I realize how prideful and foolish that was because doing good art requires a mastery of the basics no matter the genre. It wasn't until years later after I had given up on the dream and had focused on making other kinds of art that I realized that when cam back and dabbled in comic art it was SOOO much better. It's funny because now I am often sharing my story to my art students who ONLY want to draw manga or comic art. God has a sense of humor.

    @ArtofAleksey Is comic lab a podcast? Do they have a website? I am not sure. I think I would be up for doing either one.

  • My kids got this for my birthday. I haven't used it yet. I may sully it today. It is a comic sketch book.
    20200328_132601.jpg ![alt text](

  • @chrisaakins yes its a podcast.

    Also check out

  • @ArtofAleksey wow! Thanks. What a great resource!

  • @chrisaakins I believe it was an AMC show, but I got it from Amazon Prime tv/movies, using my Fire TV. If you have a service/device to view tv/movies, you might search for it. You might be able to get it by searching Amazon itself on a Tablet or Computer too. Your not going to learn much about creating comics from it, but I found it to be really funny and the cast loves comics so much that it's infectious.

  • Pro SVS OG

    I would love to do a graphic novel - it’s definitely on my bucket list. I’ve been fascinated by sequential art my whole life, and while the classical super-hero comics were not around in my time and place, the whole Italy-France-Belgium area has always had a big tradition in graphic novels. My favorite artist by far is Sergio Toppi, though I’m a big Moebius fan too. At the moment, the comic artist I’m most inspired by is probably Skottie Young but I collect books by a lot of other artists, mostly Italian and French artists.

    Here’s some information and thoughts for career consideration (keeping in mind that I’m only following kidlit):

    • Graphic novels for midgrade are a huge thing at the moment. They are sales leaders, very high on the bestseller lists, with many large publishers starting imprints dedicated to midgrade and YA graphic novel exclusively. My agent started clamoring for GN samples months ago, and I obliged, making a few pages for her. Midgrade does not demand the same style and subject matter as adult comics, but I personally like it a lot and it’s worth taking a look whether it’s something you would want to dab into. It’s not just “Dogman” (which I detest, though it dominates the Bestsellers since months), but books by Raina Telgemeier, Nathan Hale (who has a course here at SVS), Molly Ostertag, James Burks and many many others. Samples in that vein have a chance to capture publishers’ attention, because they’ve all got books like these in their lists for the next years. Same goes for story ideas from authors/illustrators for GN for midgrade and YA.

    • Standard midgrade books (books for 8-12 year olds) are often more or less heavily illustrated in a style that is very close to comics. Though they don’t generally use panels (an exception would be the “Tank and Fizz” series or the books by Lincoln Peirce, which mix panel sections with text), if you like inking and a more comic-like style, this could be a good market for it. I’ve done two so far, with more contracted in 2020 and 2021, and it’s always been the more comic-like samples in my portfolio that attracted the AD attention.

    This assuming you’re interested in going the traditional route - nothing speaks against a self-published project, of course. I just wanted to make the point that there is no gap between children’s illustration and comics: a huge sector of children’s illustration nowadays is graphic novel. I also believe it’s the largest sales driver in GN at the moment.

  • I think you can draw much inspiration from the artist ... Art Baltazar and Franco. Itty bitty hell boy

  • @chrisaakins Hello Chris. My name is Frank Johnson III. I am currently working on well just practicing and getting better haha.

    There are a lot of great comic book artist. I follow some on Instagram along with tattoo artist and others types. Here are a few I would recommend: Arthur Adams, joe madureira, Eddie Nunez, Tyler kirkman, Peter Han, Kim jung go, irezumi,

    One artist that has been great for me was Lorenzo etheringron. He has one of the most popular Kickstarter series called “ how to think when you draw.” You can find his tutorials on

    As for your other questions I think svslearn is a really great community. As I am personally trying to find my style and my genre I think there is a ton of wisdom and encouragement here in the community. I am also working with a well-known comic book artist. I will tell you though that sequential art is a task to be wrestled with.

    As for the question, what we can do to help each other. Well with anything it starts with building a strong relationship. Though I think it is a little more difficult on this site. Maybe a mobile version with notifications would help.

    Hope something in this helps. Have a blessed one.

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