Faith Erin Hicks is a Canadian writer and artist. She worked in the animation industry for several years before transitioning into writing and drawing comics full time in 2008. She started making comics “for fun” and putting them on the web when she was in college. Her first published work was Zombies Calling (SLG Publishing) in 2007. Since then, she has published a number of other graphic novels, including The War at Ellsmere (SLG), Brain Camp (with Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan, First Second Books), Friends with Boys (First Second Books), Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (with Prudence Shen, First Second Books), The Adventures of Superhero Girl (Dark Horse Comics), The Last of Us: American Dreams (with Neil Druckmann, Dark Horse Comics), and the Bigfoot Boy series (with J. Torres, Kids Can Press). She won an Eisner Award in 2014 for The Adventures of Superhero Girl.
Faith currently lives in Vancouver, BC with her partner, Tim, and their helpful cat. Her current project is The Nameless City, a three book series with First Second Books. The first Nameless City book will be out in April 2016.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can you give me some tips on drawing comics?
Possibly! I’ve done some writing on drawing comics and working in the comic industry, so check out that before sending me a question. I might have answered it already. If your question isn’t there, you are welcome to email me or ask me via my twitter, although I can’t guarantee a response.
How do you make comics?
You’re in luck, I did a write up about how I work recently. You can read it here. I also did a write up about my comic making techniques when I used to work entirely traditionally, which you can read here.
Will you collaborate with me on a comic?
Currently I am super busy writing and drawing my own graphic novels (or working with select collaborators), so I’m not available for spec (or unpaid) work. If you are a published writer or artist with credits to your name and you think we might work well together, you are welcome to contact me about the project (but be warned, my schedule is super full right now). :)
Do you take commissions?
Right now I am too busy to take commissions, sorry!
Can I buy some original art/comic pages?
Occasionally I sell original comic pages. You are welcome to inquire through my email.
I’m emailing for a project for school, can you answer some questions?
I’m really busy with work right now, so can’t personally answer school project related questions. Please check out my blogging on making comics and working in the comics industry. You might find the answers to your questions there.
If I mail you one of your books, will you sign it and mail it back to me?
Unfortunately, due to (yep, you guessed it) my busy schedule, I’m not able to sign and mail books individually back to readers. If you’d like to get a book signed, check out my convention schedule on the front of this website. I might be attending a convention/book fair/library event near you, and I’ll be happy to sign however many books you’d like then. :)
Do you charge for signing books at conventions?
Goodness, no! :) I’m happy to sign whatever you bring, free of charge.
How did you get published by First Second Books?
They approached me, actually. I was asked to try out for a script they had that needed an artist, and I got the job. It was very exciting. After that, I pitched them Friends with Boys, which they liked and eventually decided to publish. Now they’ve published three of my books, and soon they’ll be publishing another three. I love working with them.
How do you get publishers to hire you?
There are many different ways to attract publishers. Some artists go to comic conventions and do portfolio reviews (I’ve never done this), other people self-publish mini-comics (I’ve never done this either), other people go to comic drawing college (haven’t done this either). I made lots and lots of webcomics, and eventually made enough comics (and got good enough at drawing) that publishers noticed me. It’s weird that it happened that way, but it did!
Do you have any advice for making webcomics?
Just make them! Really! The internet is accessible and allows anyone to put their work online. You could start out by making short comics and posting them on tumblr, and seeing what happens from there. If you want to build a website to host your comics, there are sites like Squarespace that provide affordable hosting and web building tools. It’s a lot easier to build a website and get your comics out into the world than it was when I first started making webcomics, back in the dark ages of the early ’00s. ;)
How did you get an agent?
I’m represented by Bernadette Baker-Baughman of the Victoria Sanders Literary Agency. As for how we started working together, I wrote her an email, introduced myself, talked a bit about my work, and she agreed to represent me. We’ve been working together since 2008. I recommend seeking out an agent for representation if you are a cartoonist who is interested in working with book publishers, as it makes getting your work into the right hands much easier. Agents work on a commission (15% of what you make; a reputable agent will never charge and upfront fee), and the right agent is absolutely worth that commission. I wouldn’t be where I am in my career if it wasn’t for Bernadette.