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Singapore ComicCon: Andy Kubert, Whilce Portacio on Barriers to Industry Entry

Renowned graphic novel artists Andy Kubert (“Batman”) and Whilce Portacio,(“X-Men”) were on hand to share their vast experience at the Singapore ComicCon on Saturday. The event is a new addition to the annual Singapore Media Festival.

Kubert and Portacio said that, despite the popularity of comic books, it is quite hard to break into the industry, and that practitioners have to excel. Kubert is the son of legendary artist Joe Kubert (“Sgt. Rock”) and is a graduate of and teaches at The Kubert School, founded by his father. “I help a lot of newcomers come in,” said Kubert. “They have to be very good and talented. You will get rejected and rejected, but don’t ever give up. If you love it, stick with it.”

Speaking about writing versus art, Kubert said, “Writing is a whole different ball game, it’s a whole different set of muscles and I don’t know if I enjoyed it that much. It’s going to take a lot for me to write again. Drawing is not work, this was actual work.” Kubert wrote and drew “Damian: Son of Batman.” He spoke to Neil Gaiman, who advised him not to hold the characters back and let them speak. That helped Kubert tremendously.

Referring to a childhood spent reading science fiction novels, Portacio said, “My mind is always about world building. Writing, or world building, I haven’t flexed that muscle, as much I have as an artist, but it is something I’d like to do. I don’t really like characters who are characters or one note.”

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Fans of “Sgt. Rock” have something to look forward to, as Kubert plans to revive the all-American war hero, as he revealed on stage on Saturday. They were in conversation with Leslie Lee, the head of WarnerMedia Asia’s kids content channels.

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