Thursday, March 18, 2004

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find copies of Y? Or Doctor Who: The Forgotten?

The collected trades of Y and Doctor Who: The Forgotten are available at comic shops and many bookstores. If you don't see it on their shelves ask them about ordering one in.  You can also find them through Amazon. Hint: they make lovely gifts!

Will you be selling any pages from Y?

We're phasing out The Hellkitty Store but you will be able to purchase pages through Cadence Comic Art. Sorry, we aren't taking requests for specific pages because we don't have them all, some have been sold or some have gone to the inker Jose Marzan Jr. and it takes a while to sift through the boxes to see if what you're looking for is there.  What shows up at Cadence is what we sent over that month. 

Do you do commissions/sketches?

If you send a request to I can give you a commission quote starting around $250 and going up depending on the size and how complicated the request is.  I can still do a quick convention style sketch for you for free (yes, free), though I have to warn you, there's a backlog right now and I'm doing my best to get them all out, all the while trying to work on my regular schedule of work.

Here's what you need to do for a free con style sketch.

Send your backing board and request (example "I would like a picture of Ampersand please") along with a self addressed stamped envelope to the following:

Pia Guerra
#169 - 2416 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
V5T 3E2
If you are from Canada please add a few stamps to the return envelope. People from the US or other countries can send me those international coupon thingies (NO MONEY!) if you can't get those don't worry, it doesn't cost THAT much for me to send boards in the mail. Of course if I suddenly become inundated with requests I may change that policy.

Please, please put a note on your package saying DO NOT BEND. The PO box I get my mail from will sometimes bend envelopes in order to cram it into that little mailbox and this will ruin your backing board. If you can, add a stiff board of cardboard in there that I include with the return art, just to be safe.

I promise to get these requests done as soon as posible. Those who have already sent stuff out I am currently working on them, sorry for the delay. If you've had an address change or need to contact me about your request you can drop me an e-mail at and I'll do my best to get back to you asap. If you're looking to get one for a birthday or special event please write TIME SENSITIVE on the outside of the envelope and I'll do my best to get to them back to you in time.

Oh, and if your request is personalised please don't let me see it turn up on e-bay. It's incredibly tacky considering I've taken the time away from work to give you a free sketch. And those thinking of buying one on e-bay, come on.

What is a backing board anyway?

Backing boards are the acid free pieces of white cardboard you get with bagged comics to keep them from bending. If you don't have one of these you can send a sheet of bristol or art paper. 8x10 or thereabouts is a good size, it keeps postage low and reduces the chances of it getting mangled by the post office. Don't forget to add a piece of stiff cardboard for added security!

I saw an interview with you the other day and I really feel you'd be perfect for this book idea I have.

I'm currently working on a few projects so I won't be available for some time. You're still welcome to e-mail me but just to let you know I may not be able read pitches or proposals.

Can you give me information on submitting work to comic book companies?

The best advice I can offer here is to put together three to six sample pages (photocopies, no originals) of your BEST sequential art. The idea is to show off your range so make the pages interesting. Make certain you put your name and address on the back of each page in case the pages get shuffled about. The last thing you want is an editor discovering a random page, loving your work but having no idea who to contact.

Pick a title you feel best suits your style and look at the credits box, there you will see the name of the editor and possibly an assistant editor. Get the address off the disclaimer bar and send your samples c/o of the editor or assistant editor along with a brief letter stating your interest in submitting work and a self addressed stamped envelope. You won't be guaranteed a response but if they do have an interest the SASE will make sure you hear it. Some editors will look at work via e-mail but avoid clogging their inboxes with huge files. Either keep them under 500 kb or host the files on your own site and send in links.

Conventions are also a good way to get your stuff seen. It's a great place to talk to other creators and hear feedback. You may also run into editors willing to look at work. If you do, keep it short, show only your best work and LISTEN. Take whatever critiques/advice they give you and WALK AWAY. You'll probably be running into these people again and again in the future and you want to be sure you leave them with a consistent, professional impression of yourself. Many newbies get overly defensive of their work and in the process make asses of themselves (believe me, I've done it myself). You can bitch and complain with friends about your interview later.

Remember, there aren't a whole lot of bridges in this business so don't go burning them all willy-nilly and then wonder why you're not getting work.

Good luck!