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Marvel's CB Cebulski shares tips for aspiring comic book artists, writers

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, November 10, 2017 | 11:10 am
Marvel's CB Cebulski shares tips for aspiring comic book artists, writers

Writers and comic artists should maximize their social media accounts as a way to promote their work. (Shutterstock/File)

Marvel has been home to quite a few Indonesian creators, with most of them working for the company as artists and colorists.

During pop culture events, such as the recently held Indonesia Comic Con, some of them, including artists Ario Anindito and Alti Firmansyah, were invited to share their knowledge.

“I think we’ve hired between 10 and 12 Indonesian artists over the past two to three years,” said CB Cebulski, the vice president of international business development and brand management for Marvel. “I have traveled to Jakarta several times, been to several Comic Cons and received some portfolios to review. I must say the level of talent is really rising.”

During a recent phone interview with The Jakarta Post, Cebulski shared some tips that could be used by aspiring artists and writers, especially those who are interested in working for Marvel.

Prepare to write in English

If you want to attract a global audience use English in your manuscripts, said Cebulski. He added that it is also important for writers to communicate clearly in English. “You have to write your script in English because that’s the way the system works.”

Make the most of social media 

“I think any talent, writers or artists, have to realize that Marvel is not that far away,” said Cebulski. “It may seem that it is a big company based in Los Angeles and New York, but the world has become smaller thanks to social media -- it’s easy for you to reach out to us and make contact.”

Ario, for instance, met his Italian agent when he posted his illustrations on the online art-sharing platform DeviantArt.

Cebulski also believes that social media can be used to create a buzz about you. “One of our current creators recommend another creator to us… and sent us the link to the artist's portfolio,” he said. “So it’s important to use the internet as a tool to market yourself -- not just to Marvel, but to other creators as well.”

Read also: Finding Indonesia in Marvel universe

CB Cebulski, the vice president of international business development and brand management at Marvel, with some superhero props.CB Cebulski, the vice president of international business development and brand management at Marvel, with some superhero props. (The Walt Disney Studios/File)

Use a different approach

Many young artists and writers are inspired by certain characters or stories from when they were younger. “And our natural inclination is to try to tell something similar; to try to recreate that magic using similar storytelling devices or dialogue,” Cebulski said. “But the Marvel universe is, as long as we’ve been around, not about rehashing the past. We’re about taking those characters that we love, looking at their history and coming up with something new.

“Dwelling on your favorite characters or stories may inspire you, but it is better to think about what the next generation is going to love. Look at the things [that’s happening right] now. Don’t tell us what you know about Marvel; show us something we haven’t seen in the Marvel universe.”

Be authentic

During the interview, Cebulski, who currently lives in Shanghai, China, said Marvel would love to see Indonesian superheroes. “We really want international heroes that we create to be authentic. Our current challenge in creating Indonesian superheroes is finding the right Indonesian writers and artists who are able to create not just a cool Indonesian superhero, but a real Indonesian alter ego. We really want to find creators who can build Indonesian heroes from the ground up.”

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Marvel Studios seems unstoppable. Following Thor: Ragnarok that premiered in October, the studio is scheduled to release Black Panther in February, Avengers: The Infinity War in April and Ant-Man & the Wasp in July. (kes)

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