ICAW: PJ Holden's 10 MUST DO Comic Creator Strategies

The comics industry is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. And to help you get a leg up from wannabe to professional, I’ve compiled a list of 10 MUST DO strategies:


  1. At a convention, who has time to shower? Make an impression by having some lingering BO.
  2. Portfolios are at their most impressive when they’re massive and chocced full of hundreds of random things. Make sure to explain exactly why some of those pages are unfinished and suck.
  3. Comic publishers have seen lots of comics, they don’t need to see you draw comics, they need to see that you can draw cool pin ups of Wolverine (or Batman – or, better, Wolverine AND Batman)
  4. It’s much easier to sell yourself if you point out how much better you are than the crap that the publisher is currently printing.
  5. Some editors will try and let you know how to improve. Don’t listen to them. Argue with them. They’ll never forget you.
  6. Follow up! The moment you walk away from an editor is the moment you should be emailing and, if you’ve been clever enough to steal a card with a phone number, leaving voice mail messages!
  7. If you can’t get to a convention, send to the slushpile, the more memorable your submission the better. Try and include some information about where the editor lives – that’ll help put you to the top of the pile!
  8. Everyone else in a comics con is potential competition. If you see someone who’s art represents a threat, now is the time to shut that shit down.
  9. Editors and writers hang out at the bar, you should too. Try and stay close to an editor, but don’t say anything. Eventually he’ll HAVE to talk to you.
  10. Fortune favours the bold. Follow an editor home and pitch at 3am. It’s all about who you know! (And knowing where they live)

Good luck!



PJ Holden
PJ Holden has been a professional comic artist for nearly a decade. Within that time he’s only ever been able to quit his day job in the past three years. Which shows what he knows.