[Eds note: want to get a portfolio review at Comic-Con? READ ON.]
by Bon Alimagno
I’m Bon Alimagno, writer of the #Tweetfolio portfolio review column Heidi has linked to here on the Beat in the past. As a longtime reader of the Beat and even longer friend of Heidi’s, I’m pleased to bring this column to Stately Beat Manor. As I’ll get into below, I’m looking to pivot the column around from what it was to something much wider in scope, while taking greater advantage of social media and technology to be more responsive and personalized to the Beat’s unique audience.
It all begins with #TWEETFOLIO LIVE — face-to-face portfolio reviews at a secret location in San Diego the Sunday of Comic-Con. (It’ll be near the Convention Center, don’t worry.) Not able to get into Comic-Con? No problem. Didn’t get selected for a portfolio review? Here’s another chance. Can’t get noticed in the all the online noise? That’s what social media and painfully specific hashtags are for.
Here’s what you need to know: Tweet a link to your online portfolio to my twitter account (@karma_thief) with the hashtag #TweetfolioSDCC included. Please include an email address in your portfolio so I can contact you. (For additional ground rules on formatting and more, please check here.). Open to all pencilers, inkers, colorists and cover artists.
The evening of Saturday, July 21, I will reach out to three to five artists. I’ll give them a location in San Diego to meet me at on the afternoon of Sunday, July 22. There we’ll conduct a portfolio review as if you were getting one in San Diego Comic-Con. But this time, we’ll be sharing your art as we go through it to my twitter account and capturing moments from the review to instagram video and youtube. I’ll write a recap column here on the Beat the week after Comic-Con of each of the reviews and include art and any video highlights.
The first season of #Tweetfolio on Ifanboy.com consisted of just online portfolio reviews, taking advantage of social media to reach out and connect with artists who would otherwise never be able to get a portfolio review because they couldn’t get to a convention. They’d tweet me and we’d start an email correspondence that I then edited together to read like a seamless conversation, as if you were eavesdropping on a portfolio review. As the column further developed though I started giving more and more career advice to these artists, to an extent I would not really give even in a face-to-face portfolio review.
The column I wrote about comic book coloring in particular got a lot of notice and some excellent feedback from The Beat’s readers. It wasn’t so much the portfolio review I gave but what I intended to be footnotes that got people’s attention — an overview of the current state of comic book coloring. For two years I was Marvel Comic’s talent coordinator, which meant a million different things. But one of the things I most enjoyed was managing Marvel’s pool of colorists. Readers gleaned a lot from what I had to say about how colorists got and kept their jobs at Marvel and they wanted to know more about craft and process. And more I thought about it, more I realized that was perhaps the kind of advice would-be comic book creators needed: not just how to break into comics but how to stay in it, how to stand out from the pack, get noticed, forge professional relationships and make a living out of making comics.
I’ll be making greater use of many social media platforms, particularly Instagram, Tumblr, Pintrest and Flipboard to involve you in this column. And instead of the asynchronous method of email, I’ll be doing what I can to use Skype to interact with artists in real time.
New platforms allow artists to be discovered in ways they wouldn’t have been even a year ago. We’ll use as many as we can here. And now more than ever, the opportunities in comics are growing and I want to help you take advantage of them.
Let’s begin again.