Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Deathstroke #8 Cover

Here's the cover to Deathstroke #8. Pencils by myself, digitally inked by myself and colored by Jason Wright.

(Artwork is available and for Sale.)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Batwing Covers

Doing some Batwing covers for DC.  Take a gander.  Issues 6 and 7.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Creating a Comic Book Portfolio: The Ramblings of an Artist

New York Comicon this year was a fun experience.  I got to meet some new friends, hung out with old friends, met comic fans, and also go to spend some time with the top brass at DC comics.  It was literally a whirl wind of activity and 5 days quickly flew by in a flash!
  But one part of a convention that seems to drag by is when an aspiring artist asks for a portfolio review.  I don't mean that to sound like I hate looking at portfolios because I really don't.  But what's frustrating is the fact that out of maybe 20 portfolios that you see, one person actually took the time to research what goes into a good portfolio.  In fact, it's very mentally taxing to look through portfolio after portfolio to simply give the same advice, over and over again.
  A few days ago I read my friend and Editor Vince Hernandez's blog on how to break into comics as a writer. I would suggest you read this first. I really liked the info he gave and felt that maybe I could help a few people by giving my advice as to how to make a comic book portfolio.
  Now, just a disclaimer, when you read on I may sound very blunt and almost rude but if you can take what I say as constructive criticism and work it into your portfolio, it will give you a better overall product.  I don't mean to sound mean, or like a jerk, but sometimes this kind of article can come off sounding that way.  Remember, I'm on your side and trying to help make a dream a reality.

Things to get into your head:

  First, let me say, it's almost impossible to break into comics.  Think about it.  You are literally going up against hundreds, no, THOUSANDS of others all around the country all trying to get a shot with a company.  Not only that, but you are also going up against people from all over the world.  With the internet, new talent can be discovered from around the world at any time.  You need to go into your portfolio preparation with that in mind.  You need to be better than everyone else if you want to get a job.  And even then, you may never get work professionally.  It's a tough reality, it's not fair, but thats how it goes.
  Second.  You need to put the time, and years of work necessary to make a professional portfolio.  It took me my entire life of hard work to get a job.  Over 20 years of focussing on art.  As a kid I took art classes, I studied films, made my own films, read books, sought wisdom from artists I knew and generally was never satisfied with what I was doing.  I always wanted to get better.  I made a decision when I was 20 that I wanted to shoot for comics as a took me another 5 years of hard work to finally get a job.  During those 5 years I busted my butt eating up all the information I could about art.  I took 3 years of art training in college focusing on Animation, and after graduating spent another 2 years worked on anatomy, storytelling and all the other bells and whistles of comic art.  Then I got the biggest break of my life when David Finch, my favorite comic book artist decided to teach me one-on-one.  You may call it a lucky break, but the fact of the matter is the hard work I put into the craft paid off.  Dave saw something in my work that impressed him.  6 months later I was working for DC comics.  It took me a total of close to 25 years to get to where I am now.  How much time have you put into it?
  Third, are you willing to learn?  I'll touch on some of these things in the next sections, but the worst is when you start to point out things an artist is doing wrong, or is generally bad at and they get defensive.  The worst is when someone defends their work saying, "Well, I didn't get to spend as much time on that page as I would have liked."  Really?  Then why is it even in your portfolio?  Instead, come prepared with a pad of paper and a pen and write down everything the person looking at you work points out.  You must have a heart to learn.  You must have a soul that is never satisfied with your achievements and wants to strive for more!  To be better with every drawing!  You need to put the time into learning everything about art.  Not just comics, but everything.  You never stop learning so embrace that and get to work!

The Meat and Potatoes:

The Portfolio:

  The first thing you need to do is to create a portfolio of your work to show your employers.  Unlike other jobs where you simply put your credentials and work experience on a resume, in comics you need to prove you can actually do the job with hand drawn work.

Some companies will list what they are looking for in a portfolio but for the most part, it's not how many pieces you have but the quality in which the pages are done.  For example, my portfolio simply consisted of 6 pages.  6 well done story pages.  In fact I spent over a month working on 6 pages.  It took me a week per page because I wanted every page to really scream, "Look what I can do."  I knew that when I got work, I would have to pump out a page every day or so and that I would lose some of my quality but that doesn't matter at this point.  I knew I could do the work very quick if I needed to and over time I would develop speed as well as quality.
  Most of the time I see portfolios filled with everything from pages to covers, to concept sketches to inks, to colors to everything.  I can't stress it enough: If all those pieces are junk it doesn't matter if you have 100 pages, it's still junk.  In fact, I can immediatly tell if a portfolio is something worth looking at or something worth giving back simply by looking at the first page.  So if your work isn't up to par with the top artists working at DC or Marvel from the first page, you've literally killed your chances.  5 or 6 pages of a comic book story is what you need, but it also needs to be 5 or 6 pages of killer, mindblowing, professonal art.  Does it have to be perfect?  Nope.  Mine wasn't.  But it showed the publisher what I could do and that I have the seeds of talent that could grow into something more.   You can also throw a few pinups and covers, but for the most part it should be a great story to really show off your work!  Also, focus on ONE thing. If you want to be a penciler, only show pencils.  If you want to be an inker, just show inks.

  Back to Basics:

  This is the information that I repeat for all of the portfolio reviews I look at either over the internet or at a con.  Take this information seriously and get to work on it!
FUNDAMENTALS.  This is the word you need to focus on for years and years before trying to put together a portfolio for serious consideration.  This means going back and learning the fundamentals of art.  Everything from pose, anatomy, perspective, composition, storytelling, lighting and shadows, line quality, line weight, buildings, cars, trees, plants, faces, dogs, cats, everything.  The best way to learn these things is to take a course.  Try getting into a local college, or art program that goes into heavy detail on all the subjects of art.  I took the tradigital animation program at St. Clair College in Windsor Ontario. Even though it wasn't a comic book course, I still learned all of the fundamentals as well as using computers and 3d programs to create art.  I also learned storytelling, storyboarding, page flow, action, and movement from the course.  In the end it still took me 2 years of heavy research to learn even more.  On top of that it took 6 month of hardcore work to let Dave Finch mould my skills into something further.  Am I getting the point takes hard, long work.

There are some options as well for people who can't take a course.  But I am warning you, learning by yourself is very tough and only the strongly motivated will survive.  A good thing to do is get some books, read them front to back, then draw them out, front to back 4 or 5 times.  You need to learn everything you can.  Here are my book suggestions:
Bridgeman's Guide to Drawing from Life.  Literally draw this book out 2 or 3 times until you can memorize every system of muscles and anatomy.
Drawing Comics the Marvel Way.  This has everything you need to know about drawing comics.  Read it, draw it, study it.
As for perspective, look online on Amazon for a good perspective book.  I have this book:

Vanishing Point: Perspective For Comics From The Ground Up.  It's a pretty good book with everything you need to know about perspective.  

Another good suggestion is to pick up David Finch's Gnoman DVD tutorials .  This is pretty much what I did with Dave but over the course of 6 months.  

Again, from here it's what you are willing to put into your art that is going to help you become a better artists.  

Also, try to pick a style that is popular.  Jim Lee, David Finch, Olivier Coipel, Michael Turner ect.  sell books simply because of their art.  They are the guys with the longest lines at comic conventions.  They are the guys you want to be.  If you can draw like these guys, comic companies will want you because their style will sell.  I was taught by Finch and because of this my work resembles his.  When I told Dave I felt like a rip off, he told me that it was a good thing and because of it, my career would go far fast.  He was right.  Now, I am able to branch out and try to create my own thing but I will always follow the style he taught me.    What artists do you like?  A good thing to do is simply get some of their work and try to draw like them.  For myself, it was Dave Finch, Ivan Reis, and Alan Davis.  Copying their work for a month is a good exercise. From this I learned anatomy better, their storytelling style and how to incorperate their styles into my own.  Do it.  
  Sometimes you'll hear that comic companies only want someone that looks unique.  Thats not entirely true.  Let your style turn into it's own over time.  For now focus on the artists who sell.

The Portfolio Review:

  Once you have a portfolio and have gathered up the courage to take it to a con, remember these few things.

BE HUMBLE.  You need to realize you are not a professional.  Even after working this last year as a comic professional, I still feel like an amateur with lots to learn.  Go into a review looking to ask questions and learn, never to get a job.  This is an opportunity to show your work and get critiques.  Again, being a jerk and acting like you're the best will not help.  Write down what the professionals tell you, go home and work on that for another year.  

DON'T hand in a portfolio that showcases your home made character.  Sadly, however great you think your creation is, the reviewer will think it's crap.  I don't want to see "metal armor man" fighting mutant rats as your professional sample.  Pick a good story (there are tons online you can find) change it up a bit and incorporate a character like Batman, Superman, Wolverine, or Daredevil into the work.  You want to show a company you can draw their characters.  If your version of Batman is something great, they will notice that and you will have a better chance at work.  In fact, everyone has seen Batman and can tell if you got the chops simply by seeing you draw such a well known character.

BE REALISTIC.  You may never work in comics, ever.  I took the animation program because I wasn't going to take the gamble of putting all my eggs in one basket.  If you buy stocks it's not good to plunk down $1000 on one stock.  Instead you may buy 1000 stocks at $10 each in order to diversify.  I knew that if my comic book dreams would have never come true, I could fall back on my animation training, or graphic design, advertising art or something of the sort.  Thats why taking a strong college course is a good idea.  You may be able to break into something else.  Maybe you're meant to work in comics, maybe you aren't.  If you find that years and years and years have gone by and you've never landed one good comic job, maybe its not for you.  If you hear from guys that you have the talent, it's just going to take some more work, than that's a sign that maybe it's for you.  Get your work out to every company possible.  Working for a small comic company (and I mean those small, small, indie companies) making $20 a page is better experience than doing nothing.  I planned on doing my own book with a buddy if things didn't work out.  Find an aspiring writer and come up with an indie book.  Maybe publish it online.  Do what you can to get your work out there.

Remember, taking a good, long, realistic look at your work can really help.  Pick up a modern comic, maybe something that isn't a top selling book or with the best art, and hold it up to your own.  Is your work better?  Are you a stronger artist then they are?  Stop listening to your mom, girlfriend, or friends who tell you that you are amazing, and look at your work with a critical eye.  Is your work at the same quality as a DC comics or Marvel comics artist?  Thats where you need to be.  WORK hard and get to that point.

Also, don't draw manga...

Lastly, a little spiritual wisdom.  Being a christian, I believe that God has a plan for my life.  I was actually going to a bible college when I felt that God wanted me to chase the comic book dream again.  I prayed about it day and night asking Him to show me what he wanted me to do.  Was it any coincidence that I got to learn one-on-one with my hero?  I don't think so.  It was all God.  Is it any coincidence that in only a year and a half of working in comics I've been able to accumulate a resume that includes working on characters like Superman, Animal Man and Batman?  No, it's God.  Being a christian puts life in a very different perspective.  It gives me contentment with my life.  If God chose to bless me with a career in comics, or not, was all up to Him and not me.  I would just follow where He led me.  Even today I'm being faced with some HUGE career decisions but it all comes down to prayer and seeking His council.  God is my secret weapon in my career and I believe it's my Faith in Christ that has allowed me to get to where I am.  If God takes it away tomorrow than I have no worries because He's always come through for me.  He's Faithful even when I am not.  I give him the glory for my career.  My talents are His and not mine.  What a difference it makes in life when you have the God of the universe driving the car instead of yourself.  
Lastly, my final piece of advice: your hard work and a hard work ethic can pay off where you lack talent.  When I got my first job on Superman/Batman #70, I BOMBED the book.  The deadlines were tight, I was sick and throwing up from the stress, and my work sucked.  It was the worst thing I ever did in my life.  BUT I hit my deadline against all odds.  I got every page done on time.  Even when my inker bailed on me, I called DC, told them what happened and they helped to get the book done.  Because of my work ethic and my passion to get the job done, they gave me another job...and another... and another...  Even though my worked sucked at first, I still got work because I was reliable.  I showed them I could hit deadline and save the day.  It's moments like that that lead up to getting the chance to draw two issues of Batman: The Dark Knight.  Two issues that needed to be done in 8 weeks.  Two issues that I finished and rocketed my career to a place I never dreamed it could be.  HARD WORK PAYS OFF!!!!

I hope this little write-up can help.  I'm sure there is a bunch of other things I could talk about or forgot to touch on, but maybe I'll add to this the next time I head to a con.  Good luck, work hard and do things right!

Below are scans of my portfolio samples.  First editor I showed them to at DC gave me a job.  They aren't the best, but they showed what I could do.  Notice I tried to put one of every element I would need to be able to draw... City, cars, stores, people, smoke, Batman (anatomy vs. clothing), Men, Women, bad guys, different scenery, children, guns, special effects and shadows.

-Jason Fabok
Oct 30, 2011

Monday, October 03, 2011

New York Comicon 2011

I will be heading out to New York, New York in the coming weeks to take part in the festivities known as the NEW YORK COMICON!  I will be at the Aspen Comics Booth (Located next to the DC Comics Booth) for the weekend, signing books, doing commissions, and having fun!  I always love to hear what fans have to say, talk comics, and make new friends.  Come on out if you are in the area.

Also, you will be able to purchase the Fathom NYCC Exclusive at the show.  I did the cover for this one.  I wasn't to crazy about the finished piece but I think Peter's Colors helped it to turn out better than I thought.  Check it out below!  I love the purples and teals with the blues.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2 Signings This Next Week

First, on September 24-25th, I will be a guest at the Detroit Fan Fare at Cobo Hall.  I'll be at the Aspen booth with Alex Konat (Fathom) and writer JT Krul!  Come out and check out the goodies we will have on sale.

Then on September 28th, I'll be signing comics with DAVID FINCH and Tony Gray at Border City Comics in Windsor.  Come out and grab a copy of BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1 and grab some of the back issues as well.

Monday, September 05, 2011

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1 Signing at Border City Comics, Windsor!

On Wednesday, September 28th, I will be doing a signing at BORDER CITY COMICS in Windsor, Ontario for the launch of BATMAN: The DARK KNIGHT #1.

The big guest will be DAVID FINCH himself, as well as special guest TONY GRAY.

Here is the link to the facebook event for more info:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Batman: The Dark Knight #5 in stores tomorrow! (Aug 24)

Check out the preview of the issue on DC's The Source!  Killer colors by Peter Steigerwald!

Can Dawn Be Saved? -DC's The Source

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Batman and Soulfire Pencils

Here are some pencils from both books that were released this past week.


Soulfire Issue 2:

Just a few thoughts on the two books.  
Batman turned out fairly close to what I imagined but because of a super tight deadline for the whole team, the book could have been a bit stronger on the art side from myself.  I think that fans looking in from the outside believe that the art teams have months and months to prepare a book but it isn't always the case.  Because of the relaunch by DC, we needed to get these books done quickly and out on the shelves fast to end this arc and prepare for Dave's relaunch issue in September.  This can lead to rushed pages from everyone on the team.  There are pages I'd love to go back and fix but alas, I cannot.  I was happy to learn that I could complete a book in less than 5 weeks when the need is there.  Hopefully this won't be a common occurance. Ryan Winn and Batt also did a killer job on inks.   I am thankful for the opportunity to work on the book and here's hoping for more of Batman in the future!  

Soulfire issue 2 was a real surprise for me when I picked it up.  John Starr's colors totally stole the show. I'm very very picky with colors and most of the time, I don't like the look of my books but John has been killing it on all these books.  The work he did on issue 2 left me speechless.  This is a great example of hard work and going the extra mile to make the colors really scream off the page.  I use a lot of black in both the foreground and background and John's use of color holds really creates depth in each panel.  I had left John some color notes as to what I imagined and he hit everything right on the head.  Even though I am proud of my batman work, Soulfire #2 is by far my favourite looking book and the best colors I've seen over my work.  John Starr is my new hero.
ALSO Mark Roslan deserves a huge credit for his digital inks over my mucky pencils.  The guy is a miracle worker.

Monday, July 25, 2011

...Look what showed up on my front stoop this morning

It's always great when you open your front door and a package filled with comics falls back into your home.  For the most part, I'm happy with the book but just like anything I do, I see all the flaws and things I wish I would have done better.  But that's the best part of this job, you can take your shortcomings, work hard at them, and come back better and stronger on your next project.  Technically I've only been doing this job for little over a year and it's crazy to believe what I've worked on so far.  I'm very thankful.  
I also finished issue 5 this weekend and just looking at this book compared to what I did on issue 5, I can see that I made improvements and took my critiques to heart.   It's now time for a little vacation.  My wife sacrifices so much in order to allow me to get these books done on time, so now it's time for a week dedicated to her.  I love her very much.
I've also got some emails asking for pages for issue 4 and 5.  Once I get some of the inked pages back, I'll post them here with a price guide.  

Remember, shoot high, dream big and know that sometimes these dreams can come true.  I'm living proof!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Batman: The Dark Knight #4 In Stores July 27th!

Batman: The Dark Knight Issue 4 of 5 will be released this Wed, July 27th.  Written by David Finch with art from myself, inks by Ryan Winn and Matt Banning, and colors by Peter Steigerwald.  Pick up your copy!

I'll post some pencils once the book is out and for fans wanting to purchase pages, I'll make an announcement once they are ready for sale.


                                                             Cover by: David Finch

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just Sketching

I'm awaiting a few more changes in the current script I'm working on, so I did a sketch.  This is based on the character seen in Batman #700.  I guess he's Post- Apocalyptic Batman.
Also, Batman: The Dark Knight #4 comes out July 27th.  I'm hoping it turns out well.  I'll post some of the pencils once the book is on shelves.


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Contact Info:

I've been getting some facebook messages from people who couldn't find a way to contact me through the blog...I then realized I didn't place my contact info on my site.  Feel free to email with comments, suggestions or questions and I'll do my best to respond as soon as I can.  I'm very busy there days so please be patient.



Saturday, June 18, 2011

Career Update!

My good friend, David Buck ( ) informed me over diner a few nights ago that I hadn't updated my blog in a while with anything new.  So, for him (and the people who want to know what's happening in my world of comics) here is a little update.
   I finished up issue 4 of Batman: The Dark Knight this past week.  What an experience!  This book was one of the biggest labours of love I've ever done.  Batman has been my favourite character in comics since I was 5 and to be working on one of the main Batman titles at this time in my career was a dream come true.
  The script that Dave Finch wrote was a lot of fun to draw.  I've been lucky work with JT Krul and now Dave on my last few books.  JT knows how to write for an artist and Dave, being an artist, knows how to really tell a great visual story.  This also gave me a chance to work closely with Dave on the layouts and get his final approval on the finished pages.  Ryan Winn is inking the book and has been really blowing me away with his skills.   I feel this book is really going to look fantastic.
  I started issue 5 on thursday and I'm excited about the final issue of the first run.  This book is going to be packed with some really insane detail.  It's going to be a hard book to pump through but I think the final outcome will have fans excited.
  It's also been really great to interact with my editors at DC.  I've been blessed to have some really great bosses in my short career.  First with Eddie Berganza and Adam Schlagman on my first few jobs, then with Vince Hernandez at Aspen and now with Mike Marts and Katie Kubert at DC.  Mike is a great guy and we really get along well.  His enthusiasm and passion for Batman and making every comic the best on the shelves really pushes myself to perform at top notch quality.
  I've also been doing some signings and appearances here and there.  I got to speak to my old High School art class a week ago.  That was a blast.  My art teacher, Sue Leslie has been a great friend and inspiration to my life and career and it's always cool to go back and see your teachers (and I'm sure they like it when you bring a giant stack of your work to give to them).  I also did a signing with my good buddy Tony Gray (The Incredible Conduit) who lives and works in Windsor at Border City Comics.
  So far, looking back on the first year of my career, I am really thankful for all of the opportunities I have been given and the trust that Aspen and DC is giving me with their properties.  It's now time to get back to work on Batman, but I won't leave you empty handed.  Here is a new piece of artwork I did with Ryan Winn that I've been using at signings for promotion.  Ryan inked my pencils and I did the colors.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Motor City Comicon and Windsor Ontario Signing

Hello everyone.  I'll be at Motor City Comicon on the May 13-15th weekend.  Im not sure where I'll be sitting, but I think I'll be by Alex Konat.  Come by, say hi and shoot the breeze for a bit.  I'll be doing commission sketches while I'm there.  They cost between $80-$140 depending on what you want.

Also, I'll be doing a signing at Border City Comics in Windsor, Ontario on May 28th.  I'll be there with my buddy, Tony Gray who is signing copies of his book The Incredible Conduit.  I should also have copies of Soulfire issue 0 to buy and sign.  I don't think I'll be doing any sketches, but hopefully I might have a new print (I just need to find time to draw it and colour it)

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Cat's Out of the Bag. I'm working with Dave Finch on Batman: The Dark Knight #4

So the news broke today earlier than I was expecting.  This is something that I'm very excited about but can't really say much about.  I don't know what DC wants me to say and not to say, so I won't say anything.  I'm going to be doing pencils for Dave's Batman: The Dark Knight #4 and it's really a dream come true.  Dave has been my mentor for the last few years as well as a great friend.  It's an honor for me to tackle this book and I'm looking forward to everyone seeing it when its done.  I really want to make Dave proud with this one.  More to come in the future!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Soulfire Issue 3 cover

Here are the pencils to cover A for Soulfire Issue 3.  I will post the colors once I find a high quality shot.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I'm heading out to Wondercon this weekend in San Francisco.  I'll be there Friday and Saturday only.   Come on out and say hi,  get a sketch and chat!  I'll be at the Aspen Comics booth.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Not Available for Commissions

Hello everyone.  I'm posting this to let everyone know I am not going to available for commissions from now until the fall.  With recent additions to my busy schedule I am not going to be able to get to any for a long, long time.  You'll understand when some more news is brought to light.  Anyone who was expecting commission work in April, I am sorry.  If you can find me at Wondercon, Motor-City Comicon, or San Diego Comicon, I will be doing sketches there.

If you want some of my art, make sure to check out my store on


Monday, March 21, 2011

Art for Sale

I've been receiving many messages about people who would like to purchase original art by myself.  You can now head over to and see which pieces are for sale.  As books come out, I will update this blog and that site.

Head on over and check things out.  All prices are negotiable as well!

Jason Fabok-Comic Art for Sale

Friday, March 11, 2011

Soulfire Vol 3 Issue #0 is out now!

Hey everyone!  Issue 0 of my Soulfire run for Aspen is now out and in stores.  It's a very cool feeling to see your work published and on store shelves.  It also is humbling to see how far your art can come in only a few months.  Here are some pencils from that book.

I will also be attending C2E2 this year and you can find me at the Aspen Booth.  I'll be doing sketches/commissions and signing books!  Bring your Soulfire, Untold Tales of Blackest Night, and Teen Titans Cold Case books out!! There will also be a con exclusive #0 cover which features an old sketch I did for concept design on Soulfire.

Come out and meet me that weekend, March 18-19-20!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Teen Titans: Cold Case - My first DC Cover

This was my first DC cover and I thought I'd talk a little bit on how I got the gig and the process I went through to create it.  Right after I did the Animal Man story in Untold Tales of Blackest Night (Around October) I was offered the chance to do my first DC cover.  It was described to me as "Captain Cold standing by the frozen bodies of the Teen Titans, specifically Cyborg, Tim Drake Robin, Ravager and Wondergirl."  
There were a few different layouts that I went through to get at this one.  I really liked the one of Captain Cold standing tough with the Teen Titans frozen in ice, but in the end it was decided that my third layout was the one to go for.  They also wanted Deathstroke in the background in some way.  I thought it would be cool to have his face hidden in the snow.

Ryan Winn inked the line art and it turned out great (sorry I don't have the inked file).  Ryan is such a great inker.  I met him through Dave Finch and was lucky enough to have Ryan ink my work on Untold Tales of Blackest Night.  With Soulfire, the work is going from straight pencils to colors.  Mark Roslan is doing some great digital inks of my work, but I know myself and how I draw and I need an inker.  Im not a clean line artist like Gary Frank or those guys.  Im interested in seeing how the soulfire pages turn out.  Im looking forward to working with Ryan again in the future.  
Also, did I mention the interior art was done by Sean Murphy?  The guy is amazing!  Check out Joe the Barbarian and be amazed!