Hiring a comic book artist FAQ

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Getting a comic book from script to print can be a complicated undertaking, with lots of moving parts to consider. We’ve complied this article to help simplify the process and hopefully explain how the relationships between the illustrator, writer and publisher work in general without going into too much detail, but while still covering all the main talking points. Although this article is written with comic book writers being the primary audience, we do encourage comic book artists and others in the creative field to read it too.


These questions were devised and answered by Jason Piperberg (professional comic book artist), and edited and updated with additional content added by Darren Di Lieto and Jane Di Lieto. Feedback was also given by comic book artists Matt Timson, Brendan Purchase and Christine Larsen.

So, should I hire a comic book artist?

If you are working independently to publish your comic or graphic novel and you want to get your book into the hands of an adoring public, absolutely, yes, you should hire an illustrator – or more specifically a comic book artist. Independent and self-published comics are a vital part of the publishing industry. A lot of new writers and artists make their mark in the independent (indy) market, which can be a natural stepping stone into the mainstream market if that’s what they want. New ideas and creative stories keep the market vitalised and interesting, plus, everyone needs to start somewhere, so stop dithering!

For those who are more inclined to work with a publisher that will hire and handle the illustrator, you may want to submit your script directly to a publishing house for consideration. If a publisher decides your story is right for their brand, it’s very likely that the they will hire the illustrator directly without the author’s input, although some do require an artist to be attached to a book before it’s pitched to them. Either way, you’re only going to know what each publisher’s requirements are by finding and following their submission guidelines, and in most cases these will be available on their websites. Continue reading

Zombies Can’t Swim

We recently received our copy of Zombies Can’t Swim, a comic by Kim Herbst. Let’s be honest here. We have a bit of a thing for zombies at hai and we know that Kim has produced some interesting fantasy-based artwork, so we just had to get this!

There’s plenty of blood, gore and action, as you would expect, and the story is very well drawn. The use of two-colour printing works well – better than if Kim had gone for plain old monotone, as it makes the artwork so much clearer. The print and binding quality is very good, and it’s bound rather than stapled as it runs to 40 pages.

No storyline spoilers here I’m afraid, although suffice it to say that if you like the undead, Zombies Can’t Swim will make a fitting addition to your collection. Head on over to Kim’s Esty store to buy a copy. You know you want to – it’s a no-brainer!

Title: Zombies Can’t Swim
Author: Kim Herbst
Illustrator: Kim Herbst
Pages: 40