Jim Zub

The Official Tumblr of Jim Zub

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Anonymous asked: You're a writer and know things - how does one become a comic book colorist?

Here are some quick thoughts:

• Colorists should have a portfolio of page samples showing professional quality coloring. 10-12 pages in your online coloring portfolio is a good sample pool. Only post your absolute best work in there.

• Having different coloring approaches with various styles of line art can show flexibility/diversity that could help show editors/art directors what you’re capable of.

• Colorists are the last part of the art production pipeline so they need to know their own productivity. Unfortunately they’re usually the ones who have to deliver awesome work as a project screeches in towards the final deadline. If you’re not able to deliver under the gun it will be tougher to find work.

• Make sure you understand the file format requirements for print and understand the differences between CMYK and RGB file formatting.

• Comic coloring isn’t necessarily about detailed rendering. It’s about establishing focal points and creating mood. Look to your favorite illustrators/colorists. Carefully analyse how they establish light, volume, mood, and focus.

• Make sure your coloring samples are done using pro quality line art. If the line art isn’t publishing quality than even the best coloring will look unprofessional/sub-par.

• Quite a few professional comic artists post large/high resolution line art image files on deviantArt, so that can be a good place to start.

• Like most comic work, you’ll probably start off working on small/low-pay indy comics or anthologies before referrals for bigger jobs come around if your work is good/consistent.

Best of luck with your creative pursuits!

11 notes

JIM ZUB On Being A Writer!

comicssurvivalkit:

Note from Gail: Last year, I was in Norway for a fantastic event in Bergen, and one of the things I did was teach a two hour class to students aspiring to become comics creators. So, I asked many of my most talented writer friends for a simple tip to impart to the students. The question was, How…

More of my advice on the Comic Survival Kit Tumblr Gail Simone put together. I hope you find it useful!

Filed under how to tutorial

0 notes

mrs-cheese asked: I just wanted to say that the news of the new Baldur's Gate comics made me shed tears of joy. I just really hope that I can subscribe to the magazine even though I live in Europe and don't have to wait ages for it ...

So happy to hear the announcement made your day.

Diamond (the comic distributor used by IDW) distributes comics throughout the UK so it should be possible to track a copy down through a local shop or online outlet once it’s released in October. You should also be able to get the issues digitally via comiXology.

2 notes

Anonymous asked: Hey Jim! I know this isn't a question that is going to have different answers for everyone and probably every project, but I'd be interested in hearing what made you settle on your ideas for any of your series. Not a "where do your ideas come from" questions, but more of a "why was that idea right for you at the time?" What made you feel like that concept was the one you wanted to pursue over any number of other ideas you might have had at the time?

This may sound weird, but it’s usually “momentum”. Finding the right collaborator and production starts rolling. That’s what determines which project moves to the top of the priority pile.

Although it looks like steady progression from the outside, the reality is that for each project that’s announced there are probably a half dozen languishing in some state of development hell. Ideas are jotted down, outlines are written, artists are wooed, but it just doesn’t come together at that point.

I didn’t anticipate having a four year gap between starting Skullkickers and launching Wayward. Between those two projects I busted my hump on a bunch of different creator-owned concepts that haven’t come to fruition yet.

So, in short, I wouldn’t say that I settle on a particular concept, more that the stars align on one over others at that time.

537 notes

wheelr:

guttersnipercomics:

letteringlibrary:

How To Format A Comic Book Script
"Notes as follows:
1) A page header with the book title, number and writer’s name.
2) Each new script page should begin on a new document page. And you can’t miss the page number when it’s big and bold. Often, I have to skim through a script to look for a note or direction. Big page numbers help tremendously.
3) Panel numbers almost as bold and clear as the page number.
4) Panel descriptions for the most part don’t have to be that lengthy unless it’s really necessary. The actions of characters should be here, (not in the lettering area; see #6) set direction, and notes to the other members of the creative team if necessary.
5) Also, the digital age has given us the greatest source of reference that comic creators have ever had access to. Links to reference photos should also be included in the panel description.
6) Under each panel description is the lettering area. Everything that needs to be lettered goes here.
7) Each item in the lettering area should be numbered. If the editor is doing lettering placements, these numbers correspond to the placements sent to the letterer.
8) The call-out of each lettering item and any descriptors like these:
CHARACTER (OFF), meaning the character is speaking from off-panel.
CHARACTER (WHISPER), self-explanatory.
CHARACTER (BURST), meaning the dialogue is shouted and should be in a burst balloon.
CHARACTER (WEAK), character’s dialogue should be diminished.
CHARACTER (SINGING), self-explanatory. Usually accompanied by music notes.
9) Like dialogue, captions have their own descriptors:
NARRATION or CAPTION (CHARACTER), self-explanatory. The inner thoughts of a character.
CAPTION (TIME/PLACE), such as, “New York, 2013.”
CAPTION (VOICE OVER), meaning the character is speaking, but is not in the location shown in the current panel.
10) SFX, self-explanatory, “sound effect”.
11) Dialogue should be indented, NOT tabbed over. If you use tabs, the letterer has to run find/replace searches on the document to delete them all before lettering. (To use indents in MS Word, go: Format / Paragraph / Indents & Spacing.) Dialogue should also be written in plain sentence case, not CAPS.
12) Dialogue that should be bold in the comic, should be bold and/or underlined in the script. If you use caps for bold dialogue, the letterer will have to convert it to sentence case before lettering.
13) Non-English dialogue should be italic. Whole blocks of dialogue that are translated into English, should begin with a , and are usually accompanied by a caption explaining what language is being spoken.”
- Nate Piekos
http://www.comicbookscriptarchive.com/archive/panel-1/how-to-format-a-comic-script/

Very cool.

This is in fact the format I use, and one that I know is being passed around by writers both professional and aspiring. It’s an excellent, intuitive format.

I switched to this comic script format about a year ago and it’s been a real time saver.
Thanks go to Fred Van Lente and Ron Marz who browbeat me into using it. :P

wheelr:

guttersnipercomics:

letteringlibrary:

How To Format A Comic Book Script

"Notes as follows:

1) A page header with the book title, number and writer’s name.

2) Each new script page should begin on a new document page. And you can’t miss the page number when it’s big and bold. Often, I have to skim through a script to look for a note or direction. Big page numbers help tremendously.

3) Panel numbers almost as bold and clear as the page number.

4) Panel descriptions for the most part don’t have to be that lengthy unless it’s really necessary. The actions of characters should be here, (not in the lettering area; see #6) set direction, and notes to the other members of the creative team if necessary.

5) Also, the digital age has given us the greatest source of reference that comic creators have ever had access to. Links to reference photos should also be included in the panel description.

6) Under each panel description is the lettering area. Everything that needs to be lettered goes here.

7) Each item in the lettering area should be numbered. If the editor is doing lettering placements, these numbers correspond to the placements sent to the letterer.

8) The call-out of each lettering item and any descriptors like these:

CHARACTER (OFF), meaning the character is speaking from off-panel.

CHARACTER (WHISPER), self-explanatory.

CHARACTER (BURST), meaning the dialogue is shouted and should be in a burst balloon.

CHARACTER (WEAK), character’s dialogue should be diminished.

CHARACTER (SINGING), self-explanatory. Usually accompanied by music notes.

9) Like dialogue, captions have their own descriptors:

NARRATION or CAPTION (CHARACTER), self-explanatory. The inner thoughts of a character.

CAPTION (TIME/PLACE), such as, “New York, 2013.”

CAPTION (VOICE OVER), meaning the character is speaking, but is not in the location shown in the current panel.

10) SFX, self-explanatory, “sound effect”.

11) Dialogue should be indented, NOT tabbed over. If you use tabs, the letterer has to run find/replace searches on the document to delete them all before lettering. (To use indents in MS Word, go: Format / Paragraph / Indents & Spacing.) Dialogue should also be written in plain sentence case, not CAPS.

12) Dialogue that should be bold in the comic, should be bold and/or underlined in the script. If you use caps for bold dialogue, the letterer will have to convert it to sentence case before lettering.

13) Non-English dialogue should be italic. Whole blocks of dialogue that are translated into English, should begin with a , and are usually accompanied by a caption explaining what language is being spoken.”

- Nate Piekos

http://www.comicbookscriptarchive.com/archive/panel-1/how-to-format-a-comic-script/

Very cool.

This is in fact the format I use, and one that I know is being passed around by writers both professional and aspiring. It’s an excellent, intuitive format.

I switched to this comic script format about a year ago and it’s been a real time saver.

Thanks go to Fred Van Lente and Ron Marz who browbeat me into using it. :P

(via torymaybe)

32 notes

HOW DO I BREAK IN? BY JIM ZUBKAVICH!

comicssurvivalkit:

GS here!

One of the absolute BEST resources for the new comics creator is a series of articles by the wonderful Jim Zub, creator of many hit series, including Skullkickers and Figment. Jim is a writer, artist, and was manager of the successful UDON STUDIOS for many years. He’s done everything in comics, and always fantastically well…but his articles on these topics are particularly great. If you like this helpful article, I strongly encourage you to check out the rest of the series, they’re free and super-helpful, at jimzub.com!

Thank you to Jim for letting us post this here!

I originally posted this up back in June 2007 on my old Livejournal site, but all of the advice in it still rings true so I thought I’d re-post it here on to my Jim Zub Blog as a way to make sure it stays archived.

Read on…


I don’t know where I first heard someone say “Everyone at cons not already in the industry is trying to break in”, but it’s a great description. Although it’s not actually true, it certainly feels that way. Attend any of the How-To panels at a convention and they’re always packed. Go to any of those panels and invariably thequestion gets asked:

“How do I break into the industry?”

If it was just about making comics, it wouldn’t even be an issue. Just go make comics. Post them up online or self publish them. Just like that, you’re in the industry.

What they really mean is:

“How do I break in with a publisher?”

Editors and creators should just have their answer to that question on a photocopied handout so they can save themselves endless repetition and add 10 minutes of better questions to the panel. I know that sounds callous and cocky, but hear me out.

Every time I hear this question get asked the answer is almost always the same: hard work, time and determination mixed with a bit of luck and good social skills. It’s almost always a letdown to the person asking because they already know that. They wanted the ultimate secret, some kind of industry handshake or way to stand out from the rest of the submissions.

So, barring just saying “hard work, time and determination mixed with a bit of luck and good social skills”, here’s some important things to keep in mind:

Just like any other occupation, you’ve got to have enough skill to take on the job and be a part of a company’s workflow as seamlessly as possible. So…

Read More

A repost of my “How To Break Into Comics” article from Gail Simone’s new Comics Survival Kit site. All the advice still holds true 7 years later.

Filed under tutorial how to Breaking In

135 notes

Welcome!

comicssurvivalkit:

This tumblr was an idea I have had for a while. Welcome!

Like all comics pros, I am asked all the time for advice on how to become a pro, and how to maintain that position once you have attained it.

It is a huge question, even if we knew the answers, it would be a lot to process!

So over the…

Gail’s compiled a really valuable resource for aspiring comic creators packed with info from artists, writers, and editors aplenty.

Read, get inspired and informed, create!

Filed under how-to tutorial Comic Book Industry

7 notes

sutesuke:

I saw this ad for a new burger in Tokyo over the weekend. Kind of impressive, I know.

Need to visit Tokyo again, dammit!

sutesuke:

I saw this ad for a new burger in Tokyo over the weekend. Kind of impressive, I know.

Need to visit Tokyo again, dammit!