Comic Book Artists

Comic Book Artist Jerry Ordway

Comic book artists tell stories through the graphic images they create. They team up with comic book writers, who create the characters, plots, and dialogues for the artists to illustrate. Some comic book artists write and illustrate the comic books themselves. Whereas cartoonists’ work is short form, either a single panel with a caption or several panels with some dialogue, the comic book artists’ work follows a narrative; they create images in sequence to align with a story. There are 12,240 craft and fine artists, including comic book artists, employed in the United States, according to the Department of Labor.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Graphic Novel Artists, Comic Book Illustrators
Duties Create drawings to illustrate stories; use pencils, pens, color markers, paintbrushes, paint, ink, and computer art programs like Adobe Photoshop; use artistic techniques of shading and rendering to show lighting and accurate angles for lighting, facial features and expressions, and body language and movement; create all art on deadline.
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, but New York, Los Angeles, Portland, OR, and a few other cities form the center of the industry
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
School Subjects
  • Art
  • Art History
  • English
Experience Internship at a comic book publisher; assistant for an established artist
Personality Traits
  • Artistic
  • Creative
  • Enterprising
  • Computer
  • Drawing/Design
  • Writing
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Senior Comic Book Artist
  • Comic Book Artist
  • Assistant Comic Book Artist
  • Comic Book Artist Intern

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