Jumping into the World of Comic Books

If you dream of being a successful cartoonist, one of the best arenas you have an opportunity to succeed in is the world of comic books. The comic book industry has grown faster in the last decade than any other cartooning-related industry.

Comic books were once thought of as something read by nerds or geeks, but those nerds and geeks are laughing all the way to the bank. All you have to do is look at how many movies have been made in recent years that were based on popular comic books: Superman, Batman, Hellboy, Spawn, Iron Man, X-Men, Spider-Man, Sin City, and the Hulk, just to name a few. DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics, and Todd McFarlane Entertainment are some of the biggest comic book publishers, and they're always looking for new talent. But you've got to be really good to get a job there!

Taking a trip to the largest comic book convention

If comic books are your passion, why not start at the big kahuna of comic book conventions? To demonstrate how much the comic book industry has grown, all you have to do is look at Comic-Con International San Diego, commonly known as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con. This annual convention is traditionally a four-day event that runs Thursday through Sunday and is usually held in late July at the San Diego Convention Center.

Originally showcasing comic books, the convention has expanded over the years to include a variety of pop culture areas such as anime, manga, animation, video games, newsprint comics, webcomics, toys and collectibles, and, of course, the movie industry.

The convention is the largest of its kind in the world, with more than 145,000 attendees in 2008. The event is basically a Star Trek/Star Wars convention on steroids and is an absolute must-see for any cartooning fan. Attendees can browse the hundreds of booths set up by professional cartoonists and industry-related practitioners showcasing their latest art, toys, or comic book publication; sit in on any number of lectures and seminars scheduled throughout the convention; and meet many of the star illustrators, like Spider-Man creator Stan Lee, or the latest star of a comic book-based movie.

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