Tag Archives: collaboration

Je m’Elance.

Get it? It’s a bilingual pun.

In French, “s’elancer” means to “make haste” and it’s funny because I am currently looking for an artist on Elance.com hence the post title:”Je m’elance”.


It’s like that joke the UPS guy told me the other day:

Two cats are swimming across the English Channel. The first is British and is named “One, Two, Three”. The second is French and is named “Un, Deux, Trois”. Which one makes it across???


Answer is: The British cat makes it because “Un, Deux, Trois” Quatre, Cinq.

oh wait, it doesn’t work when you write it… the funny part is that when you say it out loud, it sounds like this:  “Un, Deux, Trois” Cat Sank.


So yeah, Elance.

So far, it has been a great experience. I posted a job offer and got tons of proposals from artists in return. If you’ve been following, you know I have had the hardest time finding an artist and Elance has been nothing short of a godsend. You can see their portfolio, work experience, and ratings from past clients. That is super helpful. You also send messages and files to the freelancers all on the site so that there is a record of everything were a dispute to arise. I quite like that.

So far so good.

Of course, I’ll tell you guys how it all turns out when I select a candidate and go through the whole process.



Tangled in the web

I am real frustrated today.

In my efforts to find an artist to pencil and ink an 8 pages story I’ve written, I posted a thread on Digitalwebbing.com under PAID jobs. But it did not post. The next day I contacted the webmaster but no answer. I tried posting again yesterday and it still did not work. Contacted the webmaster again and waiting for an answer.

This morning I decided to post the job on Elance.com. I got a couple answers right away but then the job was taken down (RAAGH!). I contacted them to figure out what the problem is and I am waiting for an answer. I am SOO waiting. WTF Internet?!?!

Do you have any similar experiences? Any advice?

While I wait, here is the job post,



-Seeking Artist for 8 pages Fantasy/ Action Comedy ($60 per page, negotiable)

Hello Everyone,

My name is Nico. I am a Comic Book writer. I am currently looking for an artist to draw an 8-pages story.

I am looking for someone to produce both pencils and inks, $60 per page (negotiable depending on the quality of the art) and a cover.  I will be lettering the final artwork. You will send invoices and get payment through Paypal. You will receive payment for one page as a deposit upon signing the contract and the rest of the money once you turn in the final files to me as 300dpi TIF files. If you have a different payment set up in mind, I am flexible. There is no specific deadline but I would like the work to be completed no later than August 1st. I will retain ownership of the property but you can do with the final artwork as you please, of course.

The ideal candidate will have experience creating sequential artwork.  I am looking for an artist with integrity, strong work ethic, and with whom I can have an honest back and forth about the work.

The 8-pages story is an Action/ Fantasy Comedy about KING ARTHUR reincarnated as an amnesiac hobo (in the spirit of The Dude from the Big Lebowski) who is forced to retrieve Excalibur from the stone by his mortal enemy and Rich CEO MORDRED. In the end, Magical Hitman MERLIN saves him and takes him back to Avalon.  It’s over-the-top comedic madness.

A bit about me. You can see some of my work at http://activecomics.com/ I got a couple stories published by 8th Wonder Press but I am not yet able to share them on my site since it has to be one year since the book publication for me to be able to do so.

If interested, please send me an email with links to your work and page rate to nizambard@yahoo.fr

Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions and to request a copy of the script.

Thank you for reading,

From 8 to 15 in one week.

A couple weeks ago, I put a post on Zwol.org seeking  a comic book artist for an 8 pages Comic Book story. I received many responses back and after much debate with myself I settled for who I believed to be the best artist for the job (and the price). I sent the artist my script and the following week he sent me a 15 pages version of my story where he added entire new sequences and dialogue. He had rewrote my script as a 15 pages story. I was flabbergasted,confused, and a bit hurt. I did not know how to react.

I might not be an Official Professional Comic Book Writer but I do have a couple stories published and I have worked with other artists. I enjoy collaboration tremendously and I am always looking forward to an artist’s opinion of my scripts. I take their feedback to heart and make the necessary changes. I love the back and forth and arguing about the best way of telling the story. I love the dialogue.

But this was no dialogue. This was not a collaboration and I knew it was something the artist and I could not get over and continue working together. I explained to him that I would have rather he gives me notes and let me handle the writing than do it for me. After all, how would he feel if I was to redraw his artwork without consulting him?

I did end our “collaboration” but still felt like maybe I was somehow in the wrong. Was I being too protective of my work? Too arrogant? Was he right?


First of all, I was not going to pay for a 15 pages story. There is no way. Second, he should have communicated with me before retouching the script and send me his notes. He did not communicate and that’s the biggest issue. I cannot work with someone who is going to do things their own way and not include me in the process. Comic Book making is always a collaboration (unless you do it all yourself and Kudos if you do).

Still in doubt, I turned to my peers for comfort and I cannot thank them enough. I will leave you with their opinions below.






Library Pile 03/29/13

Not much news this week. I am rewriting my 8-pager about King Arthur so that it is real tight once I have an artist. I am currently trying to find someone local but I may end up working with someone I find on a forum or Deviant Art. I don’t really know what will happen. It is both exciting and scary. I am a bit apprehensive because of the not-so-great experiences I had in the past with people not returning emails and disappearing AFTER I wrote a story (or three) specifically for them. I just don’t want anything like that to happen again.

Until I get more news on that front, I wish to share my Library pile with you guys because, well, it’s been a while.

Here it is:


I think it will take me a wee bit to work my way through that one.

And NO, I am not a Scientologist.

Onto next time,


Through the desert and back for more.

After completing both submissions last week, it’s hard not to feel a little empty, a little depressed. After all, I pretty much worked on my Top Cow submission for 5 months straight on a daily basis. That has to leave a mark, an empty space, a hole to be filled… but with what?

Our 8th Wonder Press project was only 2 pages so, well, it did not take as much time…

Thankfully. I have an ongoing go-to writing project that I was working on before the Talent Hunt. It is my go-to writing Scrivener project, a world I know I can go back to anytime and have fun writing and discovering as I move forward into my first pass at it.

Still, I have to figure out what’s next. What project can I add to my writing portfolio? Well, here it is.

I have a pretty cool 8 pages story that I am currently reworking and I need an artist to draw it. Once completed, I will put it in the hands of the editors at the September Rose City Comic Con so that they remember me. I make it a yearly habit so that they get used to seeing my (handsome) face.

All I need now is an artist. If you are interested or know someone interested in working on a Comic Book involving King Arthur reincarnated as a hobo, send me a link to your portfolio and your desired page rate.


Artist Wanted.

I have been looking for another artist to work with for a little while now. and by little while , I mean MONTHS!

It’s not that I don’t want to work with Nick anymore, I love working with Nick. I just wish I could work with somebody else, get a different experience and write something different for a different style. I also simply have the time to work with several artists since writing takes nearly as long as drawing does.

I got in touch with people I met at Starbucks, emailed people I have met online and even met people through common friends. It seems that I always hit a brick wall though. Some never answer my initial email, like it’s hard to say NO or something. Others just stop communicating along the way, they stop answering emails, etc…. they are basically some fucking slackers and I fucking hate it.

Anyway, I figured that this time I’d put a flyer at the Art Institute near my work. I have yet to get any emails…I am actually thinking of going the Craigslist route.

What do you think of my flyer?





This week I met up with Nick and we collaborated on our next story that just went from 8 to 12 pages.

The reason that happened is that Nick got some very useful feedback from his art group. At first, I was resistant. I was kind of like:” Who the hell do you people think you are? You don’t know shit!”.

Then I took a deep breath and realized this was an OPPORTUNITY. Perhaps it is because I read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art since then…regardless I re-worked the script and it is even better than before so, yeah. That’s awesome.

It’s hard to take criticism especially if it is deserving. It seems to me that the trick is to not take your work too seriously. It is just a Comicbook after all. And if you are a true collaborator, you know that other people’s critic and feedback on your work is only going to enrich it. So don’t be a pussy about it.


That’s my sock.


Collaborating with an artist is real easy when you’re a writer. You just gotta be kind of a dick. I go through the script with Nick, show him the layouts I have in mind and because he is WAY too nice, he considers them and creates roughs in the moment. I sit there and watch him slave. It’s pretty cool. Seriously though, I do love watching Nick do his thing and bounce ideas back and forth with him. It’s rewarding. I am also glad we get along well enough that we can be real honest about the work.



Talking to strangers

I know your parents probably told you not to talk to strangers, but this week, I want to encourage you to do the opposite.

The other day, I was going to my local Starbucks so that I could refuel for work when I saw someone drawing a famous DC character. This person, whose name I will not disclose, was drawing pin ups, headsets on. This person looked deeply enthralled in their work. I admire that.

I hesitated. Should I interrupt them?

Then I realized this was an opportunity. I had a choice to make. I could walk away and keep going with my day or try and make something happen here at the risk of getting rejected. It’s a lot like trying to pick up a date.

I stood on the other side of the small table and put my hand out in order to make my presence be known.

“Hi”, I said. ” These look great!”

“Thank you”, said the stranger.

“Do you also draw Comibooks?”, I asked.

“Yes. yes, I do!”

“Would you mind if I give you my card? My name is Nico and I write Comicbooks. I am always looking for new artists to work with. You can go check out my website”, I said as I handed him my card.



We are now set to meet up and talk about a possible collaboration.

So, yes, my advice for you this week is to take a risk and go talk to a stranger. The worst thing that might happen is that you will be rejected….which is good practice for a writer.



For the first time, I feel that Nick and I are truly collaborating.

So far, I’ve been writing full scripts for The Activist and given them to Nick to draw. Period. We have discussions about layouts and whatnot but the story is mostly unchanged from the script to the final product. After the art is finished though, I always adjust dialogue in the lettering phase (or even delete it completely) so that it looks natural and the story is being told by the sequential art, not by the word balloons.

On our current project, things are different…and for the better.madthumb2

We are working on a new story to submit for the 8th Wonder Press Anthology : Science/Mad Science. I came up with an all-ages story that includes some sort of mad science (no spoilers here) and loosely wrote an outline but no script yet. From there, I figured Nick and I would meet and “make” the comic as we go, working together on telling the story, making choices, debating, and arguing, while he thumbnails every beat in the story without restrictions.madthumb3

We are only 3 pages in and meeting tomorrow to continue and finish telling the story. The script I will write will be based on this collaboration.

I have never done anything like that before. I do have a background in collaboration though, with my experience in Theatre as both an actor and a director but this is the first time I get to apply this to story telling in such a direct and rewarding fashion.

Many thanks to Nick for the opportunity and for being so flexible. We’re having a ball.



As much as I like doing the Photoshop thing for the Activist and such, I have to face the fact that it will not help me get published. Most professionals I have talked to agree, it is NOT publishable.

The thing is I want to get published, and in order to do that I need a seriously talented artist with whom to collaborate. I need someone publishable.

Can you help me find the ONE? Are you IT?

If you are, we would do short- shorts ( 3 pagers), pitches, and submit our work to Dark Horse and especially Image. I also know a couple freelance editors we can talk to.

Though I am open to work with anyone, I would prefer someone Portland-based. Not just so that we can meet face to face, but because I would love to tell pdx-based stories.

Important fact: I can’t afford to pay you the hundred of $$$ you so rightfully deserve but I can buy you lunch and coffee. Plus you get my eternal gratitude which is priceless.

If interested, check out some of my work below. You can contact me by email: nizambard@yahoo.fr

The Activist