Tag Archives: pitch

High Concept and Pinterest

I am still submitting “Arthur King” to whoever still accept submissions and I actually got an answer from one of the publishers. No, they are not going to publish it BUT their answer was very positive and encouraging. So much so that I actually printed it, highlighted the kind words, and pinned it on the board by my desk along with other positive encouragements I keep right in front of me for motivational purpose. The fact that I actually got an answer at all is pretty amazing in and of itself. That was a Goooood day.

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I am currently working on a submission for Titan Comics. They mention on their site that you get a better shot if you submit a 4 to 5 issues limited series.  Arthur King was designed as a minimum of 6 issues but I think that last night I had a tiny breakthrough and found a way to cut the fat in some exciting way. Truly, this is what I should be working on right now so I better wrap this up.

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I have been concerned with “High Concept”. When I took Brian Bendis’ class at PSU, we had to introduce our final project as  a high concept. I had not idea what that meant so I just sat in front of the class and told the whole story. Brian was kind enough to let me I realize now. Yesterday, I read this article about it and realized that a high concept is basically what I have been calling my logline. It is the hook of the story told in no more than a couple sentences. For example, Arthur King‘s high concept is:

The legendary KING ARTHUR is reincarnated as an amnesiac, obnoxious hobo. With the help of a magical hitman with an anger problem named MERLIN, ARTHUR must find the Knights of the Round Table Magical Weapons and stop his mortal enemy MORDRED from finding the Holy Grail.

At least, that is where it stands now. The hook comes from the fact that King Arthur is now a Hobo.

Looking at some of the projects I am working on now, I realize that they are not very good since they do not land themselves to a High Concept pitch quite yet. One of them is just a straightforward revenge story. I have yet to put together a strong High Concept and I am working on that before I even bring them to DKaotic’s consideration. My High Concept MUST wow the reader or audience and that is freakin’ hard.

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I (finally?) started a Pinterest. The board you can see is just a general cool stuff one. I actually created a ‘secret’ board for each project I am writing so that I can fool myself into thinking that procrastinating on Pinterest is actually productive (it is not) but I’ll have plenty of pretty pictures to show an artist down the line.

ProjectBoardPinterest
A board for one of the projects I am currently developing.

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Wishing you all a happy February,

-N

Comic Book Pitch

I am currently working on a Comic Book Pitch for Arthur King.

Writing a comic book pitch is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I actually believed that I already got it since I had a logline, a synopsis, and an outline ready to go. But a pitch is so much more than just a run down of your plot and, simultaneously, so much less. It is like squeezing concentrated story juice.

So I did some research and found a couple resources that have proven deadly helpful.

Comic Book writer Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Wayward) posted a four part blog post on how to write a comic book pitch. If you intend on ever pitching your book to and editor or a publisher, don’t waste your time and go read it now.

zub_author_photo_choices_by_zubby-d4myyfp
Jim Zub has got quite the temper.

 

I spend all day yesterday trying to distill my story to its core essence and asking myself questions such as “Why should we care?” “What it is about?”

Though I have answers to those questions, the real challenge is to present your story in a concise and entertaining fashion. People are not interested in a simple run down of your plot scene by scene. Instead, you should spark their interest with a snappy logline. Show them your characters’ arc(s) and tell them the entire story in one paragraph or so. No more. You should also follow their guidelines, if any. For example, the editor I am sending my comic book pitch to wants no more than 3 pages.

I worked hard to cut the fat off of my pitch. Then, it downed on me. I already had successfully pitched a story. Loony the Moonian makes Friends to 8th Wonder Press.

8thwondersubmissionNicolasIzambard_Page_1

8thwondersubmissionNicolasIzambard_Page_2

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8thwondersubmissionNicolasIzambard_Page_4What that pitch does right is that it has ART.  Lots of it. You must include some kind of artwork; so yes, you must find an artist and work with them. It’s even better if you have sequential artwork, not just sketches.

What is wrong about this pitch is that I run through the entire story, basically providing a moment to moment outline. Loony is a 12 pages story and I ramble on for over a page and a half! Not good. Can you imagine if I did that for a 6 issue story arc? Yuk.

One more thing. Writer Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor) has been sharing some of his pitches on his Facebook page. They are prime examples of what a one page comic book pitch should look like. Intriguing and quite brilliant. They make you want to read his stuff! And that’s exactly what your comic book pitch should do.

-N

Scrolly scroll achievement.

I like lettering but I am not particularly fast at it. It’s a good thing then that I only have 2 pages to letter for our short story to be published in 8th Wonder Press 2015 Anthology.

The strange thing is that most of the lettering is done even though the Art is not finished. I actually lettered on top of Nick’s rough Artwork and we submitted the lettered Art that way along with the story pitch. Of course, there will be some tweaking. One of the thing I wanted to do was to make a caption box in the shape of a scroll. It actually makes perfect sense to do that when you read the story. I just did not know how to do it so I went to the best online lettering resource I know of:

Comicraft’s Balloon Tales.

BTalesEx

Though they did have some of the techniques pertaining to making boxes look tattered, they did not actually explain how to build the actual scroll. This was before my adorable wifey bought me their fantastic book “Comic Book Lettering the Comicraft Way” for my birthday. As mentioned in the picture above,  it actually explains some of the Scrolly Ends techniques.

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That did not stop me.

Using the example above as a guide, I started “drawing” the box in Illustrator. I then drew the other chunks (bottom and sides) and placed them over or under the main box. I then manipulated them using the anchor points, tattered the whole thing and Voila:

Kbeetlescroll

 

Okay, not perfect, but pretty damn good. Lettering is rewarding in those tiny glorious moments.

-N

Published 2.0

Yeah!

Time to celebrate.

8th Wonder Press accepted our proposal for their 2015 Comicbook Anthology. We are getting published for the second time!
This year, the challenge was to tell a story in only 2 pages. Nick and I whipped up a hell of a proposal that included a pitch, a script, and a rough layout with lettering. Needless to say, most of the hard work is already done (“at least on my side of things”, I said like a jerk).

Nick will produce the final Black and White Artwork and I will refine my lettering job and Voila! We just have to finish by March 15th which, incidentally, is also the deadline for the Top Cow Talent Hunt. Life sure will seem emptier after March 15th.

But for now, let’s rejoice in the fact that here comes our next published short Comic by 8th Wonder Press.
Though I am not yet able to share our story from last year with you guys quite yet, you can find last year’s Anthology on Amazon. It is filled to the brim with delightful short stories.

Yeaaaaah!

-N

Dead on deadlines… Again.

ARRRRGH!

Deadlines!

February 15th, our pitch for 8th Wonder Press 2015 Anthology is due. I wish I could show you what we’re cooking. It has been quite challenging to tell a story in only 2 pages but we’re doing it and Nick is turning some dynamic and beautiful artwork like only he knows how.

March 15th is the deadline for the Top Cow Talent Hunt. I have two scripts written and well, reading them the other day, they’re pretty good and exciting! Still, I am working on another one and, per usual, the story I am telling now is my favorite. I don’t know what to do. Do I send all the scripts I have OR try and pick the best one (or at least what I think is the best one)?

Like my wife said, “Just do what you think is right”…which means that I am going to bombard Top Cow with awesome stories.

So, as you might have guessed,I  don’t have much time for blogging this week.

C. U. nextweek

-N

Iron Circus Pitch: “The Popogees”

This week, I am sharing with you the third and last of the pitches I submitted to Iron Circus for their New World Anthology. I can honestly say that this is the best of the three pitches I wrote. It also was Nick’s favorite. It is very kid friendly.  For some reason, I kept thinking of Disney’s “The Lion King” when working on it.

Anyway, here it is:

The inhabitants of planet NATURA live in harmony with nature. They are called the POPOGEES and they look like humanoid giraffes. Today is a special day for the POPOGEES because a female POPOGEE is about to give birth. It is important to note that POPOGEES can only get pregnant once every millennium. This is a big deal. Did I mention the POPOGEES live for a very long time? The POPOGEES live for a very, VERY long time.The village elder watches as the strongest men of the village are pulling on the baby’s legs to get him out of there. (PAGE 1)

To their horror, the young POPOGEE is born with a big shiny horn on his head. According to the POPOGEES’ sacred tablets, such a freak of nature will only bring destruction to their village so they have to get rid of him. His mother kicks him into the nearby ocean, soccer-style, while the whole village cheers. The small POPOGEE, who is called PAPOGO, is soaring through the air. (PAGES 2 and 3).

Lucky for PAPOGO, BIZIRD is flying by (he is a mix between a bird and a lizard) and totally catches him. He decides to raise the young POPOGEE as his own and brings him to his nest to feed him gross worms. As PAPOGO grows up, they try to figure out what that horn on his head is all about. They eventually decide go see the Elder of the Forest because he knows about weird stuff like that. (PAGES 4 and 5).

The Elder of the Forest wears a hood which hides his face. He is kind of creepy. He inspects the horn on PAPOGO and asks him to concentrate on a tree. PAPOGO concentrates very hard, his horn starts to glow, and a small rainy cloud forms above the tree, creating a light drizzle. The Elder of the Forest laughs. He looks right at the tree and the tree is split in half by lightning. That’s when he takes his hood off. (PAGES 6 and 7).

The Elder of the Forest is a POPOGEE, and not simply a POPOGEE, he is a POPOGEE with a horn much like PAPOGO. His name is PAPAGA. He explains that he too was rejected from the village but his mom did not kick him in the ocean, instead she hid him in the forest along with one of the POPOGEES’ sacred tablet. The elder of the village punished his mom by kicking her in the ocean. The tablet describes how another POPOGEE with a horn would one day stop him from getting his revenge. That’s why he has been waiting patiently in the forest for all these millenniums. But clearly, it’s not PAGOGO with his puny little rainy cloud who is going to stop him. It is time for his revenge! PAPAGA put both PAPOGO and BIZIRD in a wood cage and makes his way to the village. BIZIRD starts singing, calling all his bird friends for help. Each gifted in their own ways, they work together and break down the cage. (PAGES 8 and 9).

The village is under attack. PAPAGA is burning the small huts with his lightning bolts. He is about to strike the elder of the village when PAPOGO and BIZIRD appear. PAPOGO concentrates hard and several small rainy clouds appear above PAPAGA’s head. It is raining profusely. PAPAGA cannot help but laugh at how pathetic PAPOGO is to think this could stop him. Then, a very large shadow appears on PAPAGA. He is flabbergasted as he realizes that PAPOGO is the one destined to stop him. (PAGES 10 and 11).

PAPOGO has produced a giant tidal wave that washes PAPAGA away into the ocean. PAPOGO breaks the sacred tablets as the village rallies behind their savior. BIZIRD sings a song. (PAGE 12).

 

Iron Circus Pitch: “Collide” and in other news

Everything is well this week and I am still hard at work on two submissions.

8th wonder press is taking submissions for their next anthology. Nick and I met up and have a pretty excited pitch we are working on. Of course, I cannot talk about it. You know, because we could actually get published for the second time….yyyyyyyyyYYYYYAAAYYYYY!

*Excited*

Then there is the 2015 Top Cow Talent Hunt. I have been working on this since,well, Octoberish? I think. I shared one of my scripts with friends and useful and clever feedback is coming in.

That’s it for the news on that side of Active Comics. We are working, writing, every day. We’re active haha.

I figured that this week I would share one of my failures… I mean, one of the pitches I sent to Iron Circus for their New World Anthology. Hint, hint… It was not selected.

Get your mind blown by craziness and, like my favorite Comic Book of the day would say,

“PRESS START WITH YOUR MIND BUTTON”

Two planets, OTETH and DRILL, orbit a small sun. OTETH is populated with a race of Renaissance Actors who worship Shakespeare like a God. DRILL is populated by Firefighters who are constantly putting out their small volcanic planet multiple fires. The planets rotate on the same orbit but in opposite directions, until one day, they eventually collide. (PAGE 1).

Not knowing what to do, each nation sends a delegate to the other nation’s leader. They are each carrying a gift as a sign of good will. OTETH offers a skull, one of their precious relics, to the leader of the Firefighters who is called the CAPTAIN. In turn, DRILL offers a big red fire hydrant to the Actors leader, King JULIUS LEAR the THIRD. (PAGES 2 and 3).

The CAPTAIN thinks the skull is a threat and rallies his people in retaliation. King JULIUS LEAR the THIRD inspects the fire hydrant and, upon turning it on, gets completely drenched in water. Clearly, this is a prank from the Firefighter nation and he will not stand for it. Each nation then works at separating their home planet from the other. The Actors perform monologues with such pulmonary force that it pushes their planet away from DRILL while the firefighters push OTETH away using their fire hoses. Finally, the planets are drifting away from each other. (PAGES 4 and 5).

But the planets are still on the same orbit. Upon going around the sun once more, they meet again and collide with even greater force. Such force, in fact, that inhabitants from both planets are being ejected and thrown all over both lands. Actors are stuck in the middle of fires on DRILL and Firefighters are stuck on stage on OTETH, facing a senior citizen matinee audience. Thankfully, the actors start blasting monologues, extinguishing fires with their breath while firefighters hose them down. On OTETH, firefighters are being given lines and put on quite a show using their fire hoses and funny hats. Even the CAPTAIN and King JULIUS LEAR the THIRD are having a good time, driving a fire truck while acting some epic scene, putting out fires and stunning audiences. (PAGE 6 and 7).

Once the chaos is over, the two nations fill the dividing reef with water so that they can all swim and relax. Going forward, they have plenty of pool parties where they learn about each other cultures, discovering the true meaning of skulls and fire hydrants. (PAGE 8).

About feedback.

I am at this stage in one of my projects where I have to open the door and ask other people what they think.

Today, I compiled one of the scripts I have been working on in Scrivener and asked a few friends if they would be willing to read it and tell me what they think. I was gladly surprised to see that most people said yes, which is already quite a win in my book. Reading somebody else’s work and providing helpful notes is no easy task and takes time.

So now I wait and of course, it is slightly nerve-wrecking because of…

… Things I hate about people giving me feedback:

-They are being too nice and  are afraid of hurting my feelings so they say it’s good when it is NOT.

-They don’t really read with a critical eye and point out technical mistakes only (like spelling mistakes) and nothing else.

-They say they will read it and then they don’t and make up some lame excuse that I don’t buy.

-They only highlight negatives and no positives.

-They only highlight positives and no negatives.

-They’re telling you the story they would have written instead of truly reading your work.

And so on, I’m sure you have some examples of your own so feel free to share your feedback experiences below.

-N

PS: You still have plenty of time to submit scripts and artwork to the 2015 Top Cow Talent Hunt so check it out!

 

Submit to 8th Wonder Press

Earlier this year, 8th Wonder Press published their Comic Book Anthology “Science VS Mad Science”. Nick and I ‘s story “Loony the Moonian makes friends” was published in it and we were thrilled to be given a chance to be published for the first time.

A few days ago, I received an email from 8th Wonder Press announcing that they are now accepting submissions for their third volume and gosh, isn’t it a doozie!

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This time, they are looking for 2 pages stories to be published in a saddle-stitched regular size Comic Book. I am so excited. It is such a great challenge to tell a story in such limited space and Nick and I are up for it.

The team at 8th Wonder Press is quite wonderful (haha) so go check out the submission guidelines and submit!

-N

Iron Circus Pitch: “Down the Hole”

This week, I am sharing one of the three pitches I sent to Iron Circus for their New World Anthology. As you might already know, I got rejected (one single tear is going down my white cheek right now). I decided to share the “Down the Hole” story because it is a strange story. It was the second story I came up with for their theme of having to deal with the alien. Here it is:

On planet SERRA, a team is sent to investigate a mysterious crash. ROGER, a square-chinned and misogynistic adventurer leads the way. He is followed by scientist CAROLYN, and their pack-mule alien servant MILLARD. MILLARD is made to set up the gear so that they can rappel down the hole where the crash happened. (PAGE 1).

Ways down the hole, they spot a side tunnel and start going through it. MILLARD is exhausted because he is made to carry all the gear and he accidentally drops some on the ground, including ROGER’s expensive bottles of scotch. ROGER goes to whip him as punishment but CAROLYN stops him. ROGER punches CAROLYN in the face for intervening. MILLARD helps her up and apologizes when menacing shadows appear on the walls down the tunnel. ROGER points his laser gun in the shadows direction. (PAGES 2 and 3).

The shadows are revealed to be aliens who look just like MILLARD. They speak a language only he can understand. They reveal that he is one of them. Years ago, they sent a reconnaissance ship looking for a new habitable planet and found planet SERRA. Unfortunately, it seems like the inhabitants of SERRA chose to enslave his race. MILLARD and his people are descendants from that reconnaissance ship. The aliens lead the crew down the tunnel and to the bottom of the hole where their spaceship crashed. While repairing their ship, they created a beautiful makeshift village and are cultivating plants. CAROLYN is fascinated by their culture and science. ROGER is suspicious. He orders everyone to go back up the tunnel and wait right by the edge of the hole. He is going to make an important announcement in the name of planet SERRA. (PAGES 4 and 5).

With all the aliens gathered by the edge of the hole, ROGER announces that they are in violation of his proud galaxy’s immigration laws. He then produces a huge laser gun and starts zapping the aliens. They back up into the hole to avoid being zapped and some fall to certain death. CAROLYN goes to stop him and he zaps her too. MILLARD attacks him from behind, lifts ROGER above his head, and throws him into the hole. (PAGES 6 and 7).

ROGER is still hanging to a small ledge inside the hole, begging MILLARD for help. MILLARD uses the huge laser gun on ROGER. ROGER’s remains falls down the hole. As the aliens go back to repairing their ship, MILLARD advises them to hurry and leave this wretched planet. Holding the laser gun, MILLARD vows to keep guard at the entrance of the tunnel until his people are safely gone. (PAGE 8).

Feedback welcome,

-N