Howard Porter graduated from Paier College of Art in Connecticut where he majored in illustration. One of his teachers there was Frank McLaughlin. McLaughlin also worked as a comic book inker and he began to give Porter work assisting him in his inking jobs which led Porter to assist other inkers and eventually find work for himself in the industry.
Porter eventually became a penciller, and his first major run on a title came with DC Comics' The Ray (vol. 2) (1994–1995), where he worked with writerChristopher Priest. Shortly afterward, Porter worked on DC's summer 1995 crossover event Underworld Unleashed, with writer Mark Waid, followed by the Justice League of America relaunch, JLA (1997–2000), with writer Grant Morrison and inker John Dell.
Porter temporarily left comics to work in banking, doing graphic design work for Credit Suisse First Boston. He left that job in 2003 to open an artists'studio with comics artist Ron Garney. Porter returned to comics that year with a six-issue run of Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four, reuniting with writer Waid.
In 2006, DC announced Porter would pencil the limited series The Trials of Shazam!, collaborating with writer Judd Winick. Unfortunately he was unable to finish the series because he severely injured his hand (severed a nerve and almost the entire tendon in his thumb) and had to take time out from comics for recovery. Unable to draw, he worked as a school bus driver until his return in late 2008, when he drew DC Universe: Decisions #2. He became the regular penciller on Titans and then was the first artist for the Doc Savage series. He also drew an issue of The Brave and the Boldfeaturing a team-up between Static and Black Lightning. He then became the regular penciler on DC Comics' Magog for the series' first ten issues, before being replaced by Scott Kolins.
As of 2012, Howard Porter is still drawing for DC Comics, with recent works including Superman Beyond. In August of 2013, he was announced as the artist on Justice League 3000.