Posted by on Aug 18, 2011 in Artists, Comic Art and Comic Artists, Comics | 0 comments

The Secrets of the Superstars panel hosted by Glass House Graphics artist agency CEO David Campiti featured two of Marvel Comics finest in a discussion on secrets of the comics business. His international talent company helped launch the careers of panelists Mike Deodato (Secret Avengers) and Will Conrad (X-Men) and all three shared thoughts and answered questions.

Some general tips from the trio included:

  • Create a portfolio with the characters of the company you want to work for. They want to see if you can draw their universe.
  • Tell the story with as few words as possible because you will be limited by word balloons.
  • Omit common American phrases because you are writing for an international audience.
  • Learn to draw poses with shadows and practice drawing the folds in clothes.
  • Use reference images or personal photographs of things that interest you to practice drawing.

It’s great advice and simple to apply. These guys obviously enjoy what they do and get a lot of pleasure out of being comic artists as you can tell by this video from the Glass House Graphics web site.


As you might expect from top flight professionals both Deodato and Conrad are self taught artists (most comic artists seem to be) but they both continue to study in order to constantly improve at the craft.

Mike emphasized that knowing more can only help you by making you more versatile. One response to a particular question was that a tool is a tool and you should become as comfortable with as many traditional and digital drawing tools as possible.

Will Conrad shared his typical day with us.  His day can start with taking the kids to school then getting home to work from 7:00AM to 12:00 noon. He’ll take a break for a little while and get back to it from 2:00PM to 6:00 or 7:00PM. Then he’ll allow a longer break for family time and life and he’ll hit it one more time from 11:00PM to 1:00AM. As a parent and a graduate student I can identify and his answer was very affirming too me.

David gave great tips on how to assemble a sample test plot before submitting a portfolio. His company has a wealth of information on the process so you guys should definitely read up on it if you’re serious about breaking into the industry.

Secrets of the Superstars was a great panel. I can apply much of what I learned and I hope that you can do the same.

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