Introducing…#Tweetfolio Reviews with Bon Alimagno

Welcome to the first step in what will hopefully be an exciting and fun experiment: #Tweetfolio Reviews @ iFanboy!

For eleven years, I sought the best comic book artists in the industry, first as the editor-in-chief and managing publisher of Harris Comics, and then as Talent Coordinator for Marvel Comics. My love of the comics medium became a passion to nourish that medium with the best talent the world had to offer. And for the most part, I did it all from my desk.

The seemingly eternal question, “How do I break into comics?” has never been easier to answer. You don’t need to fly half around the world to get a portfolio review. You and I are separated by nothing more than access to the internet, the most powerful tool at an artist’s disposal to close that gap between themselves and the comic book publishers looking for them. For those who think that they can somehow convince an editor, publisher or talent scout of their talent only in person, they really need to understand something that I learned very quickly: your work speaks for you stronger than any show you put on in person.

Indeed, many of the talents I hired at Harris and found work for at Marvel, I did so through email, through passing around links to blogs and deviant art portfolios and galleries I would build myself out of the attachments artists sent me. Remarkable when I think about it, that the road to a gig on Spider-Man may have started with an email and a digital hello.

With that in mind, I experimented with something on twitter I dubbed “Tweetfolio” where I asked my followers, and really anyone else who’d be interested, to tweet me (@karma_thief) a link to their digital portfolios. I’d take a look, select a few and give feedback — a virtual portfolio review right over twitter. It also allowed me to let all of my followers eavesdrop on review sessions through my feed, hopefully learning what it was like to actually get a review, in my particular style.

Of course I wasn’t able to give as thorough and useful a review as I would’ve liked at 140 characters at a time. It was just impractical. I’d been looking for an opportunity to migrate the concept to a website and am thrilled IFanboy’s given me the opportunity to do just that.

What I aim to do is recreate the experience of getting a portfolio review in person. I want you to come to me as prepared as if you were dropping off your portfolio at a show. And I want to be able to have a meaningful back and forth with you, the better to understand you, your work and your goals so I can tailor my feedback to help you achieve the highest potential in the comic book industry. This may unfortunately mean you’re just not the sort of artist who’ll ever draw Wolverine or Batman. But don’t be surprised if I tell you you’d be perfect for other subject matter and genres where you could truly shine and find as much success and fulfillment as you would drawing superheroes. I’d still consider that time well spent and I hope you would, too.

The Ground Rules:

  • Tweet me the URL to a digital portfolio as an @reply to @karma_thief with the hashtag #tweetfolio included.
  • I’d prefer if you didn’t send me a link to a homepage where all the work you’ve ever done is available for perusal. You wouldn’t present everything you’ve ever done at a show and you shouldn’t do that here as well. Keep what you present tight and focussed, showcasing only the best and most representative examples of your RECENT work. If you’ve worked in multiple styles and multiple genres feel free to make pieces from each available.
  • My baseline expectation is you’ll have at least five pages of sequential comic book art to show. If you want to include more it ought to only be more pages from other stories, still holding to five or so pages a piece and no more, and perhaps three to five cover samples. If you think your strengths lie in conceptual or background design feel free to include those as well, again capping the number to something like three to five.
  • I know many of you have your websites set up differently and that’s fine. But I’d like what you send me to be as close to the above format as possible, even if it’s a bundle of links to specific pages on your site or deviantart, etc. Just like a real portfolio review, there is only a limited amount of time I’ll be able to look over your work, so make it as easy and convenient for me as possible. If I spend more than one second not knowing where to look then it’s a problem (not just for me but anyone visiting your site).
  • Please identify exactly what art you want me to look at, where it came from (like series title or publication name) and when it was published or if it’s unpublished and reprinted with permission.
  • Colorists and Inkers: I specialized in managing the colorist and inkers stables at Marvel so you have a special place in my heart. Feel free to tweet me samples as well in the above format.
  • I will post a column up here at iFanboy, with my feedback to your work and including the same links you sent me. I’ll likely reach out to you before that, with follow-up questions so the column has as much back and forth between us as possible.
  • As with any portfolio review session, I can’t give feedback to everyone. I’ll be selecting those I think are “close” meaning with some feedback, time and hard work they may be 12-18 months away from being hired for a gig. At this past New York Comic-Con, I did all the portfolio reviews for Marvel. I went through nearly 250 submissions, selected about 20 for review and recommended only two for immediate hire.
  • This will be public. It won’t just be you and me, it’ll be you and me and everyone else who reads iFanboy seeing what we discuss. But hopefully you’ll be able to use that public forum to better acquaint the world at large with your work. But don’t be shy.
  • What I care most about is your storytelling: STORYTELLING IS KING. You could be the best stylist in comics but what will give you the edge is if you could take a script, marry it with your style and make the comic feel greater than the sum of its individual parts. Can you bring the story to life, clearly and effectively? Can you capture the readers’ imaginations, seducing them into suspending their disbelief from the first panel to the last? Poor storytelling ruins the illusion and kills the magic of comics.
  • I don’t care about whether the pages are any particular size, if the layouts are more suited to European or Japanese comics, etc. Again, I’m looking at your storytelling.
  • If you’re afraid your English is “bad” please don’t worry about that. Good comic book art is a universal language and we’ll figure something out.
  • I will be tough. I will be honest. I might tell you what you don’t want to hear. I don’t do that for my own amusement but because I think you need to hear it and will be better for it. Be prepared. And if you want to push back and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, well I’m prepared for that, too.
  • Don’t follow-up with me or anyone at iFanboy about when or if your submission will be reviewed. There’s just not enough time in the day for any of us to get back to everyone, so I will only be corresponding with artists I will be giving reviews to.

I no longer have any affiliation with Marvel or any other comic book publisher, but I would not be surprised if anyone looking for artists still comes to this column anyway. I promise to give you the best possible career advice as to your next steps.


Tweet the URL to your digital portfolio as an @reply to @karma_thief with the hashtag #tweetfolio!


  1. This sounds like an incredibly useful (and incredibly generous) service. I hope it proves to be worthwhile.

  2. This is great, and I hope people get good use out of it – thanks!

    How long will you be doing this? I’m working on putting my colorist portfolio together for Kapow! comic-com next month but have a lot of other work in the meantime.

  3. this sounds great….i will have to scrounge up some courage and choose some pages.

  4. What a fantastic, and generous idea. Good luck too all involved.