Joe Quesada, on MySpace My Cup O’ Joe, not only released this sweet Alex Ross Captain America cover, but gave out some great advice for prospective comic book artistes. (Know how I know? Because he’s in charge of what goes out when. So listen to the man, for Pete’s sake.)
One of the biggest mistakes I see artists make, no matter how talented they are, is coming in with too much material in their portfolio. That’s a huge mistake, because if editors are honest with you—and I’ll be honest and tell you this right off the bat—they’ll tell you that we know in the first 3-4 pages if you’ve got the chops or not.
The Mighty Marvel Poobah then discussed what he calls the 3x3x3 method – it’s apparently the method that Joe Q got hired on himself.
Three stories, involving three different scenarios. With three covers. Now also keep in mind, this isn’t brain surgery, and you don’t have to create your Watchmen here, keep your stories simple.
But I think you do need some create vignettes, with a complete beginning-middle-end, without having to rely on words. A sequential pantomime for lack of a better way to describe it.
And the thing that’s really important, Quesada said — don’t just focus on one of the Big Two. Do one story Marvel, another DC, another one as a “quiet slice of life story, just to show [you] could do it,” Quesada added. Also — make one story a single-hero story, another one a team story. And finally…
If you’re trying to get a penciling job, don’t get your work inked. Certainly don’t color it. And never letter it! You run the risk of hurting your chances.
What I see way too often is someone guys who might be a great penciler, but they’re certainly a lousy inker like I am. They end up destroying their samples, and an editor has to try and decipher if maybe there was good pencil work under there.
Some more choice bits from the Marvel EiC:
Regarding Spider-Man revealing his identity to the New Avengers: I talked to [New Avengers writer] Brian Bendis about this before the fact, and it’s part of a larger storyarc for Peter Parker/Spider-Man. And the outcome of it…well, I don’t want to give away Brian’s story, but it will go on and weave through New Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man with a specific outcome in mind. Maybe “outcome” is the wrong word, but for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, so you’ll see how that plays out in the books. But in all, it was not a decision we entered into lightly.
What is up next for the mighty Hercules?: A massive throwdown with the Dark Avengers rocks next month’s #128, to be followed by a harrowing three-issue jaunt into the Land of the Dead, where Herc and Cho learn the terrifying secret why death is so…impermanent in the Marvel Universe. That storyline causes a major change in Herc and Cho’s friendship—and major change in status for the Incredible Hercules title!
If you didn’t know what Wacker meant by “Hardy, boys!“: You should see the Black Cat back in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man within the next year, though we’re not ready to spill on precisely where or when just yet.
The real secret to the Captain America workout plan: “Assuming that the shield has a diameter of 3 feet and an average thickness of 1 cm, and making some reasonable assumptions about the density of steel/vibranium alloys, the star-spangled disc would have a mass of 65 kilograms, weighing 143 pounds. Presumably Cap can throw his shield as fast as a major league ballplayer can pitch a fastball, which is more impressive than it sounds, as the shield weighs nearly 450 times more than a baseball.
At 100 miles per hour, if the shield ricochets off the noggin of Hydra henchmen or Batroc (ze Leapair!) with a collision time of a hundredth of a second, the force it exerts is roughly 65000 pounds! No wonder all those who deal with the mighty shield must yield!