You need to understand publisher submission guidelines, if you want to break into the comic books. This list of submission guidelines includes links to comic book publishers.
Many comic book publishers do not want to be inundated with submission packages. As of this writing, Marvel Comics has a line on their submissions page that reads “…and if you have the right stuff…we’ll find you.”
Breaking into comics is a real challenge for creators, particularly writers. My name is Buddy Scalera and every year, I host panels at New York Comicon where I ask comic and book editors to offer advice about breaking in. Just about every comix editor wants the same thing from aspiring artists: sequential comic book work samples. You need to submit more than pinups and sketches. Nothing proves that you can make comics like making actual sequential comics.
If you’re interested in breaking into Marvel Comics, check out this interview I did with Joe Quesada, chief creative officer at Marvel. Although Quesada is former CCO, you can still learn a lot from this conversation.
Check out the educational videos on our Comic Book School YouTube Channel.
Also, explore our growing resources for NFTs for Comic Creators. And our Kickstarter for Apocalypse Blvd by Comic Book School founder Buddy Scalera.
For writers, it’s even more difficult, since an editor can’t review your work at a convention. So creating a comic, having it drawn, and getting it published will give you an edge with editors. I know, I know, it’s a chicken-or-egg thing of “I need something published to get something published,” but there are always small publishers and Kickstarter to help you get your first project off the ground.
If you want to work in comic books as a professional, learn about the industry and the publishers you are targeting. Buy (never pirate) the comics they publish, which will help them stay in business as you break in as a pro.
Here’s a list of submission guidelines by publisher. Bookmark this and check back. I’ll keep it updated. If you see a broken link, let me know.
The Big Two: DC and Marvel Submission Guidelines
There’s a reason Marvel and DC are considered “the Big Two.” By sheer sales numbers, they dominate the newsstand and the direct market (comic shops). Marvel and DC tend to be difficult to break into because they have highly desirable superhero characters. For many writers and artists, Marvel and DC are their fantasy dream job. This isn’t true for all creators, but when you go to conventions and see the lines for portfolio review, you know that a lot of people want to get paid to draw and write their characters. I’ve written Deadpool and other comics for Marvel Comics and will tell you that it is a lot of fun.
Publisher of Batman, Superman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Sandman, Preacher, Teen Titans, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Mad Magazine, Watchmen, Vertigo titles, and many others.
Publisher of Spider-Man, The X-Men, Avengers, Daredevil, Iron Man, Hulk, Deadpool, Wolverine, Captain America, Ghost Rider, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Ultimates, and many others.
http://marvel.com/help/category/14/topic/30 (no longer available)
https://www.marvel.com/help/category/17 (Click General Feedback. Look for Submissions.)
Large Independent Publishers Submission Links
There are quite a few top independent publishers, and you can debate who they are. Some of them are so large and established that it may not be accurate to call them “indy publishers.” But this is why they are part of the elite “large independent publishers” section. This list is completely subjective and you should feel free to challenge my listings in the comments section below.
Publisher of A Walk Through Hell, Her Infernal Descent, Animosity, and Stronghold
Publisher of Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Sonic, Afterlife With Archie, and other comic books and supermarket digests.
Publisher of Crossed, Robocop, Friday the 13th, Night of the Living Dead, and many others.
Publisher of 3 Guns, Adventure Time, Peanuts, Planet of the Apes, Irredeemable, and many others.
Dark Horse Comics
Publisher of Hellboy, Star Wars, Buffy, Conan, Buffy, Grendel, Terminator, Ghost, and many others.
Publisher of Bionic Man, Battlestar Galactica, Project Superpowers, Shadow, Flash Gordon, Green Hornet, and many others.
Publisher of Love & Rockets, Hate, Acme Novelty Library, Eightball, and many others.
Publisher of Kiss, Locke & Key, Transformers, GI Joe, My Little Pony, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and many others
Publisher of Walking Dead, Invincible, Spawn, Savage Dragon, Chew, Kabuki, Dead @ 17, Saga, Youngblood, and many others.
Top Cow Entertainment
Publisher of Witchblade, Darkness, Cyberforce, and others (part of Image Comics).
Publisher of X-O Manowar, Archer and Armstrong, Quantum and Woody, Harbinger, and other comic books.
Indy Comic Book, Graphic Novel, and Book Publishers Submission Guidelines
Some of the most interesting and creative comic books are being published by independent (indy) publishers. Even though many of these publishers are smaller in total number of titles, they may be the perfect way for you to get your foot in the door, if you want to make comics.
Many of us broke into comics through indy publishers willing to take a chance on a new writer or artist. My first published work as a comic writer was all through independent publishers.
Not all comic book publishers have clear guidelines for submission, especially independent publishers. In that case, the links I include here may drive you to an About page or a Contact page. If I haven’t found anything else, I will send you to the home page.
Remember, not all small indy publishers are prepared to publishing anything beyond their own projects, so do your research.
As with any publishing submission, read a few issues of comics that they have already published. You can get a sense for their publishing strategy by reviewing upcoming releases. Get as much information as you can about a publisher before reaching out with your comic book ideas.
Also, know yourself. Do you need to get paid to make comics? If making an income from comics, understand that a small indy comic publisher may not be able to meet your needs. Research your options carefully to determine the best creative and business fit for you. Educational videos on our Comic Book School YouTube Channel.
Publisher of Casefile Arkham, World War Kaiju
Publisher of The Ride, Body Bags, 25 to Life, Boondock Saints, R.P.M.
Flutter, Black River, & Breakneck
Publisher of Judge Dredd.
Publisher of comics, prose books, and non fiction books, including Futurians.
Publisher of Femforce and other comic books.
Publisher of comics and digital comics.
Publisher of Pandemonium, Supernatural Agents, Champions of Hope, Titan the Ultra Man
After Hours Comics
Publisher of Genie the Genius and a bunch of comics that I wrote a long time ago.
Publisher of Wendigo Wood, Elena, & Folktales of the Cryptids
Publisher of The Wrong Earth, High Heaven, Captain Ginger
Check out our Comic Book School interview with Ahoy Comics Publisher Tom Peyer
Publisher of Fubar, The Chair & Mother Russia
Amazing Action Comics
Publisher of Project Shadow Breed, Red Hyena
Publisher of Titan, Tales of Rogues, Call of the Suicide Forest, Ghost Wolf
Publisher of Gold Digger, Ninja High School, Airship Enterprise, and others.
Publisher of Kade, Isis, and other comic books.
Publisher of Fathom, Shrugged, Charismagic, and other comic books.
Publisher of Adversary, Asylum of Horrors, Warlash BioBurden
Publisher of: Chariot, Fight Girls, Marjorie Finnegan: Temporal Criminal, Knighted
Publisher of Rok of the Reds, Invention of Comics, Mighty Women of Science, Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics
Big Blue Comics
Publisher of The Resistants, Hyper-Action, Sophia Saturn
Black Box Comics
Publisher of I.T.: The Secret World of Banking
Black Crown Comics
Publisher of Lodger, Kid Lobotomy, Euthanauts
Black Josei Press
Publisher of Arrive in My Hands, Ode to Keisha, The Saddest Angriest Black Girl in Town
Black Mask Studios
Publisher of 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, Space Riders, Ballistic
Blank Slate Books
Publisher of Psychiatric Tales, Nelson, & The Silver Darlings
Blood Moon Comics
Publisher of Pop-Up, Hoan of Orus, Usher of the Dead
Blue Fox Comics
Publisher of Macbeth: The Red King, Hexes, Mountains of Madness, Robyn
Carbon Age Comics
Publisher of Soul, Giallo Gumbo, The Legend of Pinky
Publisher of Die Kitty Die, Captain Canuck, Life Death & Sorcery, Agents of P.A.C.T.
Publisher of Lucky Luke, Iznogoud, Blake & Mortimer, XIII, Valerian, Thorgal, Largo Winch, Spirou & Fantasio
Publisher of Cla$$war and other comic books.
Publisher of #Adulting, Artful Daggers, The Casebook of Rabbit Black, Devil Skin, Welderkin
Comics Experience Publishing
Packages comics for IDW & educational resources
Digital publishing distributor
Publisher of The Standard, Oxymoron, & educational resources
Devil’s Due Entertainment
Publisher of Mercy Sparx and other comic books.
Drawn & Quarterly
Publisher of many graphic novels.
Publisher of zombie comics by Bill Jemas. (Out of business.)
Publisher of Hercules Intergalactic Agent, XIII Mystery, Lion of Judah, Kriss of Valnor
Evil Kat Comics
Publisher of Vampire Books for Blood and Manchester Unbreakable
Publisher of Noir Is The New Black, One-Hit Wonder, Lady-Bird, Intertwined
Publisher of Hero Hotel, Identity Thief, Penguins vs Possums, Quince, & The Gamma Girls
Full Moon Comix
Publisher of Dollman and many horror movies.
Ghost Machine Publishing
Publisher of Tell Tale Heart and Black Lantern
Publisher of The Antagonists, Keisha Carter is Mega Woman, Sharpshooter
Graphix (imprint of Scholastic Books)
Publisher of Bone, Amulet, Smile, Ghosts, Baby-Sitters Club, Bad Island
Heavy Metal Magazine
Publisher of Heavy Metal magazine and many graphic novels.
Publisher of Flare, Lady Arcane, Icicle, Murcielaga She-Bat
Hocus Pocus Comics
Publisher of Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allen Poe, Elevator, Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits
Publisher of Metabarons, Gregory and the Gargoyles, The Retreat, Carthago Adventures, The Magical Twins
Publisher of American Bison, Convoy of Corpses, Hang Low Aim High, Hollow Girl
Publisher of Doctor Crowe, Freaks & Gods, Kodoja
Publisher of Antitheis, Flesh of White, Roadkill Du Jour
Publisher of Skip to the End, Clockwork Lives, The Baker Street Four
Iron Circus Comics
Publisher of graphic novels including Poorcraft, Letters of Lucardo, Smut Peddler Presents, Shadoweyes
Publisher of The Bible Trilogy, Echoes of Eden, The Remaining
Publisher of Gates of Midnight, Pet Noir
Last Ember Press
Publisher of Pneumatic Cases, The Crimson Badge, and the Emberverse
Publisher of The Fifth Beatle, Tin Tin, and other graphic novels.
Level 8 Comics
Publisher of Brethren Born
Lightning Strikes Comics
Publisher of Lightning Strikes Presents
Publisher of Knight Rider, Airwolf, and other comics.
Publisher of The Lightbearer & Dreams
Mad Cave Studios
Publisher of Speed Republic, Wolvenheart, Battle Cats, Midnight Task Force, Knights of the Golden Sun
Watch our CBS|Live interview with Mad Cave Studios VP Mark Irwin on YouTube. Includes details on submissions.
Publisher of Lexian Chronicles and other comic books.
Publisher of Bannockburn, Guardians of Scotland, Dagon, & The Big Comic Con
Publisher of anthologies, Shakespeare Unleashed
Check out this interview with Editor James Aquilone https://youtu.be/2O4vwDm_tbg
Publisher of Kolchak, Mandrake, and other comics.
Publisher of ComicsLit, Boneyard, and other graphic novels.
Publisher of Garbage Night, Nightlights, Audubon, Sparx, and graphic novels
Publisher of The Legend of Bold Riley, Rise, & A Waste of Time
Publisher of New-Gen anthology comic
Publisher of Dread Gods, Demi-GOD, Beasts of the Black Hand, Ominous Press: Legendary
Publisher Scott Pilgrim, Queen & Country, Courtney Crumrin, Wasteland, The Sixth Gun
Publisher of Pack 3: Temperence, LOMACK, Mr. Guy, OPCA anthology
Publisher of Thistleheart, Salamandra, Vanquish, & Infinity Agents
Publisher of Only Living Boy, Barbie, Trolls, Smurfs
Random House Graphic
Publisher of The Runaway Princess, Bug Boys, Aster and the Accidental Magic, Witchlight, Stepping Stones
Red Anvil Comics
Publisher of The Mighty Titan, Owlgirls, Cyberines, Mazscara
Red Giant Enterprises
Publisher of Exposure, The First Daughter, Markiplier
Publisher of Neozoic, Seven Percent, Versus
Publisher of The Time Trader, Making Markum, MacBryde & Grüm
Exclusive: See a full interview on YouTube with Rogue Matter Executive Director Michael Dolce
Publisher of The Sea is Ours, Echo Gear, DayBlack, Stories for Chip
Publisher of Henchgirl, Solarman, Girron, White Ash, Sam and His Talking Gun, Stake
Self Made Hero
Publisher of Art Masters: Basquiat, Maggy Garrisson, Memoirs of a Book Thief, Blossoms in Autumn, Guantánamo Kid
Publisher of Days of Dark Fire
Publisher of Halo and Sprocket, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, and other comics.
Source Point Press
Publisher of Norah, Holliston, The Rot, Torso Bear
Space Between Entertainment
Publisher of Destiny NY, Clonsters, Prison Witch, Modern Dread.
Publisher of European comics under Titan Comics
Publisher of United States of Magic, Fab, Only Hope
Team Girl Comic
Publisher of anthology featuring women creators
Publisher of comic books and graphic novels.
Tidal Wave Comics (formerly Bluewater Comics)
Publisher of Logan’s Run, 10th Muse, and biographical comic books.
Publisher of Albion, Charley’s War, & licensed properties.
Publisher of Sara, The 7 Deadly Sins, Goodnight Paradise, The Fearsome Doctor Fang, The Banks, and others.
TO Comix Press
Publisher of Wayward Sisters, Yonge at Heart, Shout Out, Toronto Comics, Osgoode As Gold
http://waywardsistersanthology.com/?page=about (look for email address)
Top Shelf Productions
Publisher of Box Office Poison, Owly, Blankets, and many others.
Publisher of science fiction, horror, and fantasy books and graphic novels.
Publisher of Theatrics, Twisted Dark, The Theory, Tabatha
Publisher of comics history, comics journalism, and other fan publications.
Publisher of Dark Souls II, Persona 4, and art books for video games and manga characters
Publisher of Sojaquan, Alien Bounty Hunter, Spiritus, & Failsafe
Publisher of CITY, BLAME!, Moteki, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Pop Team Epic and more!
Publisher of Elfquest
Publisher of Horsemen, Signed C: The Missing, The Ascendant, The Committee
Will Lill Comics
Publisher of Fun Adventure Comics, Firefox, Mercury
Publisher of Dead Samurai, Clownman, Killswitch, Cronos
Publisher of Twilight & Maximum Ride.
Publisher of Grimm Fairy Tales and other comic books.
To learn more about making comics, please check out my books and CD-ROMs. #makingcomics
You have a better chance at winning the lottery tbh.
I know a lot of people who have broken into comics. If I had better chances of winning the lottery, maybe I should have played the lottery. 🙂
Hey Buddy. Last update on the Publisher’s Submission Guidelines is Nov 17th 2021… Is that a typo? Or have you finally mastered time travel?? 😀
Time travel restrictions were limited temporarily, so I went into the future and updated the list. Everything in the timestream has returned to normal.