Tutorial: FAQ Round-Up

With my current work schedule it’s been difficult to put together the kind of tutorial articles I did a year or two ago. Even still, I try to keep up with questions from aspiring creators on my Tumblr page. If you’re not following me there you might have missed some interesting information or helpful advice.

I’ll use this post as a hub to paraphrase the best questions and point you toward my answers:


Q: For email submissions, what format should I use?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/137816013685/for-email-submissions-what-kind-of-format-do-you

Q: Is it better to submit a mini-series or ongoing series?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/136881062290/one-thing-i-dont-think-i-saw-in-your-posts-was

Q: Is it better to release one graphic novel or a mini-series and trade collection?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/80599971891/what-incentives-are-there-to-making-monthly-issues

Q: Is it okay to pitch a book you already self published?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/117516172775/hi-jim-i-wondered-if-it-ever-makes-sense-to-pitch

Q: Once you get a ‘green light’ on a comic project, then what happens? What’s the next step?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/149440050655/newb-question-once-you-get-a-greenlight-on-a

Q: Do you worry about a publisher rejecting a pitch and then stealing the idea?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/117459511565/not-sure-if-youve-experienced-this-jim-but-when

Q: How many “no’s” did you get before finally getting something published?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/128724185655/i-dont-expect-any-a-response-but-how-many-nos

Q: When did you realize you’d “made it” in the comic industry?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/112012600650/hi-jim-loving-your-inspirational-posts-and


Q: How do I get started making my own comics?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/111979954730/how-do-i-get-started-in-making-my-own-comics

Q: How do I get started with making my own art?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/182010613970/i-know-that-to-someone-like-you-it-may-be-funny

Q: What are the most common mistakes you see from new comic creators?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/83015069393/dear-jim-what-are-in-your-opinion-the-top-5-or

Q: Did you go to school for writing?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/113687068195/hi-jim-im-curious-if-you-ever-took-any-college

Q: What do your comic scripts look like?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/91880015085/wheelr-guttersnipercomics

Q: How long does it take to write a comic?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/128750360600/how-long-does-it-take-to-write-a-comic

Q: I’m having trouble getting my ideas down and organized. What do you suggest?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/137623641105/ive-had-an-idea-for-a-comic-ive-wanted-to-write

Q: How do you come up with character personalities and develop them? Any tips?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/139937550740/how-do-you-come-up-with-character-personalities

Q: What advice would you give to someone working on their first ongoing title?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/132541809000/how-do-you-plot-out-an-ongoing-series-ive-tried

Q: What things make up a great first issue?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/135708402045/hey-man-hope-youre-doin-well-if-you-have-the

Q: Do you have any advice on how to make a comic book adaptation of a novel?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/134056703515/do-you-have-any-advice-on-how-to-make-a-comic-book

Q: How do you come up with titles for your stories?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/127197979645/do-you-struggle-with-story-titles-if-so-how-do

Q: How do you structure a short comic story?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/131748911780/how-do-you-structure-a-small-5-page-comic

Q: How many panels should I put on a page?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/105349206560/hello-im-an-aspiring-comic-book-writer-and

Q: Do comic writers have to use sound effects?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/131588272400/do-you-know-any-writer-that-doesnt-write-sfx

Q: How do I get feedback on my comic writing?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/127826664080/it-hurts-when-you-say-you-wont-review-peoples

Q: How do I critique my own work?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/124574148000/ive-re-written-my-first-issue-nearly-six-or-seven

Q: Do you have advice on co-writing a story with another writer:
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/133898589330/though-im-not-the-anon-who-sent-you-the-previous

Q: How can I improve gender-racial equality in my writing?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/117986754960/id-like-to-think-that-im-sensitive-to-the

Q: How do you balance writing minority characters with respect for their cultures?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/167590963060/how-do-you-balance-writing-minority-characters

Q: How do webcomics differ from print comics?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/115577681220/in-terms-of-process-how-do-web-comics-differ-from

Q: I want to be a comic writer but I feel like I’m running out of time. Should I call it quits?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/147345886260/i-want-to-be-a-comic-writer-but-i-feel-like-im


Q: Is it better to buy single issues or trades to support a creator-owned series?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/115630267710/as-a-comic-loving-dad-space-can-really-be-an

Q: What’s the difference between self-publishing and being published by Image?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/104336034670/whats-the-difference-between-self-publishing-and

Q: How much money do creator-owned comics make compared to working for Marvel/DC?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/127593623035/not-knowing-much-of-the-business-side-of-things

Q: Could you provide any advice on copyrighting or trademarking your work?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/135191109785/jim-could-you-provide-any-advice-on

Q: Do I have to pay to print my own book if I’m published by Image Comics?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/125199459950/im-working-on-a-superhero-comic-book-series-and

Q: What’s the proper percentage breakdown for profits between a writer and artist?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/125706365715/in-a-creator-owned-work-the-profits-are-50-to

Q: Do creators always control their work with creator-owned comics?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/121641083195/am-i-correct-in-understanding-that-creator-owned


Q: How much flexibility are you given on work-for-hire projects?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/131757402180/hey-jim-just-read-your-last-ask-and-thats-a

Q: How much interaction do you have with the art team when you write work-for-hire?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/132868342705/how-much-interaction-do-you-have-with-the-art-team

Q: is it normal for DC/Marvel to approach you instead of you approaching them?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/111979546285/hey-jim-is-it-normal-for-dcmarvel-to-approach


Q: How can I find an audience for my work?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/132950500770/reposting-from-fb-what-would-your-tips-be-on

Q: How do you work on multiple projects at the same time?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/130304241340/hey-jim-i-have-two-questions-for-you1-how-do-you

Q: How do I get involved with the social side of the comic industry?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/132116904370/i-follow-a-bunch-of-comic-creators-on-twitter-and

Q: Is there anywhere I can see what a professional contract looks like?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/128748976440/is-there-a-place-where-i-can-see-what-a

Q: If someone had a great comic story idea and you liked it would you consider co-writing it with them?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/133896865595/if-someone-had-a-great-comic-story-idea-and-you

Q: I hear about writers needing other jobs to make a living. Is that true with writing comics?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/137239239485/i-hear-about-writers-needing-other-jobs-to-make-a

Q: Do you get invited to comic conventions you attend? How does that work?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/139378699795/hello-jim-do-you-get-invited-to-the-comic

Q: How do I become a comic colorist?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/92426334105/youre-a-writer-and-know-things-how-does-one

Q: Do you have any advice on where to start/any good articles on lettering?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/170133237220/do-you-have-any-advice-on-where-to-startany-good

Q: Have you ever had a comic or project you were involved in turn into a disaster?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/134066715390/ever-have-a-comic-or-project-you-were-involved-in

Q: What do you think of the diversity trend in mainstream comics?
A: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/post/133038810685/snippy-nope-answer-is-kinda-funny-but-im-serious

If you found the above Q&A links helpful, feel free to let me know here (or on Twitter), share the post with your friends and consider buying some of my comics to show your support for me answering all these questions instead of doing paying work. 😛

  1. Hi Jim,
    I’ve had this link bookmarked forever and finally took the time to go through almost all of the links and read the content. A big thanks for the responses to the various questions but also for cataloguing it all here for us to find.

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