Tag Archives: submission

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.

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

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Wishing you all a happy February,

-N

Holiday disappearance

Not much happening this week except work, work, work, work, workin’ on my shit.

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I am almost finished with my Top Cow Talent Hunt 22 pages script and having a blast. Research involved watching Spartacus and Gladiators on Netflix, playing God of War video games, learning about the different types of gladiators and  the Colosseum. It could be a lot worse.

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I have way too much fun finding excuses to mess around in Photoshop in the name of “research”.

I am also waiting to hear the results from the MillarWorld Talent Hunt. The winners should be announced next week, on the 23rd to be precise. Exciting stuff. Hopefully, it turns into a Happy Holiday surprise,

I am also waiting to hear back from 2000 AD about my FutureShock submission. I just want to get a rejection letter so that I can send in the next script, you know? Is that too much to ask?

I am also working on a new project involving Japanese Female Wrestling which I intent to  submit to Iron Circus. Go figure.

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Holiday disappearance but back in the New Year.

I will be out for the next couple weeks so no more posts from me until the New Year. I wish you a super 2016, may it be full of dream-fulfilling activities.

Happy Holiday!

-N

Iron Circus Submission

Alright folks,

My Arthur King submission to Image is in the mail and, earlier this week, I also turned in my submission to the Millarworld Annual Hunt. I am also still working on my 22 pages script for the Top Cow Talent Hunt. Who said there were no opportunities for aspiring professional Comic Book writers out there? Not me. I did not say that.

As if this wasn’t enough, a new opportunity arises:

The Iron Circus Submission.

The publisher of the infamous Smut Peddler just opened its doors to comic book creators. Iron Circus is accepting proposals for 150 to 500 pages graphic novels and Erotic Graphic novels. Just no Zombies, no superheroes, and nothing for kids unless it’s a GN for 12 years old and older.  But not Erotica. To be clear, they DO NOT accept Erotic GN for kids, you perv.

So, let’s see, what are they asking for?

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1. A complete creative team.

Oops. Did I say opportunities for Comic Book Writers earlier? Don’t let it discourage you. Come up with a story and then find an artist. I found the fantastic DKaotic on Elance.com (now Upwork.com) and so can you. Just remember, Artists don’t work for free. At least, buy them a beer or a sandwich.

2. Short Creators Bios.

Uh duh.

3. A one page outline or summary of the entire story.

Just like the Image outline. Only ONE PAGE. Raaagh… tough stuff. To be clear though, I am not going to pitch Arthur King to Iron Circus. It’s just not their thing. Just like always, you wanna make sure you’re pitching a story that fits the publisher’s publishing history. Arthur King just ain’t their jam but I’ve got a story up my sleeves that I always thought would be the perfect fit for their Art style and story content.

4. A production timeline.

Wow, I simply have no clue how long it would take me to actually write a 150 pages GN. And how long would it take the artist? That is something to definitely figure out. You know, because I also have a day job. Great, challenging question.

5. Five Complete Comic Book pages.

As of now, I am thinking of actually making an eight pages story so that I can use it for other submission and as part of my portfolio.

So yeah, that’s my plan.

I want a solid outline, an exciting 8 pages script, hire an artist, and make the damn Comic. Pretty much like I did with Arthur King and The Activist shorts so that, regardless of the outcome, I will have a pitch-ready story with Artwork that I can show to potential publishers.

I would just add one more thing. Make sure this is a story you want to tell. It just so happens that the story I have in mind is a good fit for the Iron Circus submission but I would have written it anyway, submission or not, because it’s a story I want to tell that I think also happens to be awesome.

-N

The Tragedy of Mrs Whitfield (or how I handle rejection).

I am very proud of myself for how good I am getting at rejection. I just got rejected by the First Line Literary Journal and I feel great. I usually don’t write prose so putting together words in some sort of competent and legible order is always a welcomed challenge. Bonus! I now get to share my rejected  story with you. For those of you unfamiliar with the First Line Literary Magazine, they take submissions every trimester but your story must start with the first line they provide. For this winter rejection, um… Submission; the line was George pressed the call button and said, “Mrs. Whitfield, you have a visitor.”

On a side note, I am still waiting for my rejection letter from 2000 AD. I hope it gets here soon so that I can get my next rejection going.

The Tragedy of Mrs. Whitfield

by

Nico Izambard

George pressed the call button and said, “Mrs. Whitfield, you have a visitor.”

Victoria Whitfield refused to answer. She knew it was just another one of his tricks. He wanted her to come down to the kitchen so that he could feed her soup and take little Angelica away from her. For the past three days, he had been relentless. She was not going to give in. She was going to stay in her bedroom forever, just her and her daughter; or, at least, until Henry returns.

“Mrs. Whitfield?” he insisted, “Doctor Murray is here and would like to see you.”

“Ha!” Victoria exclaimed loudly. She was sitting on her bed, her legs coiled up under her behind like a small garden snake ready to bite. “Dr. Murray is on vacation,” she said, thinking out loud, “He went to California to see his daughter and get a tan. Does he really think I’m gonna fall for that one?” She had had enough of George’s lies and ran towards the intercom. She smacked her dry lips against the intercom and pushed hard on the call button. “Doctor Murray is getting a tan!” she said between tight teeth. “Leave us alone, George, we don’t want any of your soup. Just stop. You’re gonna wake the baby up!”

“Mrs. Whitfield…” George sighed. “Doctor Murray is here to help you. I’m sorry but… we are coming up”.

Victoria was not scared of his threats. She had been planning. If push came to shove, she and Angelica would jump down from the balcony and run for the nearby woods. She had it all worked out. She heard that the forests of the Pacific Northwest were full of animals and fruits, a true wild west, with more than enough natural resources for their sustenance. She would build a tree house for her and Angelica in one of the tall pine trees. They would pick cherries and peaches, hunt rabbits and squirrels, fish trout and Chinook salmon. They would live and sleep and eat in peace, away from George and his ungodly soup. Yesterday, he even had tried to force the door open to give her a peanut butter sandwich. Did he really think she was that stupid? Like she was going to fall for that one… No, no, she had to be strong. She was going to protect her baby from harm, no matter what.

She got up to check on Angelica who was quiet in her cradle. Victoria could see so much of her husband in the baby girl. The curvature of her upper lip, her frighteningly pale skin, even the way she looked up sometimes, straight up to the ceiling as if seeing ghosts invisible to the adult eye. She would often sigh faintly as disappointed by some upsetting news. Victoria suspected it was simply gas though. The poor little thing was very gassy, probably due to George’s mediocre cuisine which had infected Victoria’s breast milk. Everything Angelica did reminded Victoria of her dear Henry. She was missing him so much. Mr. Whitfield was a successful lawyer. He had to go back to England to finish some business. He would never talk to her about his work and she did not ask. It was all very boring. He had been gone for almost two weeks now and had missed little Angelica’s birth. He was going to be back soon though and throw George out the door for his insubordination.

She could hear George’s footsteps and ridiculous whispers as he neared her bedroom door with his accomplice. They were conspiring against her for sure. Why couldn’t they just leave her alone? And who was that man pretending to be Doctor Murray?

They knocked on the door.

“Mrs. Whitfield? This is Doctor Murray. Can I please talk to you?” said the unknown man.

Victoria put her lips around the keyhole and whispered, “Be quiet, ‘Doctor’. You’re going to wake up Angelica. Now leave me alone, we’re fine in here. Just go!”

“George told me you have not had food in three days. Is that true?”

“We’re not hungry!” she hissed sharply.

“Mrs. Whitfield… we are both very worried about you. If you don’t come out, we’re going to have to call the police and ask them to break down the door. Do you understand? We need to see you so that we know you’re alright.”

“That son of a gun,” she thought.

“And what if I call the police first? I can say there are nasty intruders in my house. A violent butler who won’t stop trying to feed me soup and his accomplice pretending to be a physician!”

Doctor Murray kneeled in front of the door and looked through the keyhole. Victoria could see his preying eye behind thick black eyelashes.

“Victoria please, it’s me, Colleen Murray. I have been your physician for over fifteen years. Don’t you remember? I helped you deliver little Angelica in this very room only two weeks ago. Please be reasonable and open the door.”

Doctor Murray grabbed the handle, turning it left and right and left and right again; and pushing on the door and knocking, knock-knock, knocking again and again. She could not believe it. They were driving her insane! They were going to try and break down the door. She had to hurry. She gently wrapped Angelica in a thin blanket, making sure not to wake her up, and opened the balcony window. It was a chilly autumn night. She could see the top of the Douglas Firs in the forest across the yard, sticking up through the fog. They were so pretty. In a way, it was always Christmas here. She was going to live in the trees and raise Angelica with the bears. They would teach her how to run in the fog and through the silver salmon-filled streams, her strong little savage girl.

With the full moon, she could see what she was doing. She stepped on the balcony and gave Angelica a kiss on the head. She whispered tenderly, “It’s going to be alright, baby girl.” George and his accomplice had stopped knocking on the door.

She lifted up her nightgown and put one leg over the brass railing, then the other. It was not as high as she though it was. She could just jump and run towards the woods. She hesitated. Should she go back in the bedroom now that they had stopped knocking? She could go back and just wait for Henry. But then, George would not stop harassing her, would he? He and his goddamn soup and sandwiches. She had to go. Henry would know where to find her. He would follow her steps in the wet grass and dirt. He enjoyed hunting so much.

“Oh my god, Mrs. Whitfield! Please, PLEASE do not jump!” George yelled. They had come out through the living room doors and were standing on the terrace, looking up at her like wide-eyed little boys. The pretender looked a lot like Doctor Murray. Victoria realized that they had killed Doctor Murray before his vacation, taken his face off, and that man was wearing it. You could tell because it was all saggy. Victoria was standing on the edge of the balcony, holding Angelica with one hand and holding tight onto the railing with the other.

“Please, Victoria, go back inside,” said George. He was getting awfully familiar now. She had never seen him like this. He looked possessed, all red in the face with big wet eyes. He must have been sick or perhaps possessed by the man wearing Doctor Murray’s face.

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you? You’ve been trying to take her away from me ever since she fell off the changing table. She needs her rest, don’t you understand?”

The man wearing Doctor Murray’s face fell to his knees. He was begging her with his hands tightly joined above his head. Victoria smiled. She was hoping he was going to remove his face but he didn’t and she was very disappointed. Instead, he just moaned like a wounded animal, “Please, Victoria, for you own sake… please! I know it’s been very hard for you since Henry’s accident and now… Angelica… you must be feeling awful but PLEASE do not despair! We are here to help you!”

“You are some crazy person with that mask, you know that? Not to worry, I know exactly what I’m doing!” and Victoria jumped.

She must have been wrong about the height. It took her a lot longer than she expected before she hit the ground. When she did though, her legs collapsed under her and she lost grip of Angelica. The little baby bounced off the terrace tiles and rolled away like a big potato. Then, everything went dark.

Mrs. Whitfield broke both her legs and was institutionalized under Doctor Murray’s care. After three days lying dead in her cradle, Angelica finally got a proper burial. George went back to England to work for a proper family.

The deadline for the next round of submissions is in February!

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2000 AD Future-Shocks submission

SUBMIT TO THE MIGHTY THARG!!!

The next 2000 AD opened submission period starts Monday September 14th 2015 (Crap… that’s tomorrow…)

Isn’t that exciting?

But what exactly IS 2000 AD?

2000 AD is a weekly British Sci-Fi comic book Anthology published by rebellion. Judge Dredd was born in the pages of this illustrious publication in the late seventies.  2000 AD publishes on-going serials along with one-off stories called Future-Shocks.

Starting on Monday, 2000 AD will be accepting writers and artists submissions. Writers must submit Future-Shocks stories which must be 4 pages long and with a crazy, unexpected, unforeseeable twist ending.

In preparation for the open submission and because I have never read 2000 AD in my life (I did read some Judge Dredd stories mind you) , I purchased “The Best of Thar’s Future Shocks“.  And I am obsessed with Future Shocks now. Some of those stories are really messed up but in a very cool way. It reminds me of Tales from the Crypt but in a Sci-Fi, futuristic setting.

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Tharg the Mighty is 2000 AD’s alien Editor. To him, we are merely ‘earthlets’.

I am still reading through that 160 pages digital behemoth and I already have enjoyed many of Peter Milligan‘s expertly crafted stories. From 6 pages long to only one (1!!!),  Mulligan has crafted little comic book gems. They’ll teach you about conserving space, pacing, and the use of the page turn; all necessary features of any good Future Shocks.

I have started writing my own Future Shocks to submit later this week and I hope you too will consider taking advantage of this opportunity. Whether you are a writer or artist, it should not be missed.

Here are a couple VERY useful posts (one and two) by writer Alec Worley who shares his experience submitting Future Shocks and how it helped him break into Comics.  He also shares his knowledge about the Art of Twist endings. You must read this.

-N

 

Top Cow Talent Hunt 2016!

Yep, it’s baAAAaack!

This will be my third year participating in the Top Cow Talent Hunt and I am real, REAL excited. Plus, this year, my chances are actually increased since one of the winners will be someone who participated in the previous years a.k.a. THAT guy (pointing at myself with both thumbs up and smiling idiotically like I mean it).

This time around, the stories must take place in the future (as established in Aphrodite IX, Cyber Force and IXth Generation) and you can basically use any of the characters in those books and submit a 22 pages script.

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IX Generation #1 by Matt Hawkins and Stjepan Sejic.

But wait, there’s more!

The Hunt officially stars September 15th and ends May 15th BUT if you submit by the phase 1 deadline of January 15th, you will receive a one paragraph of feedback from the Top Cow team.

Isn’t that awesome? You actually get to receive professional feedback from a publisher on your comicbook writing. HAAAAARG! I cannot wait!

Then, of course, you have until May 15th to refine/ edit your script. This is an incredible opportunity Top Cow is offering aspiring Comicbook writers (and artists). One not to be missed.

Here is the Link to CBR where you can download the guidelines for both writers and artists and all that good stuff.

Peace,

-Nico

Top Cow Talent Hunt 2015: “Fearless”

“Fearless” was the first script I wrote for the 2015 Top Cow Talent Hunt.

It featured my now favorite character, the tortured and powerful Ji Xi.

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Somebody buys him some new clothes already.

I asked myself, if I had to carry a very dangerous weapon such as the Thirteenth Artifact, where would I hide so that I don’t put people’s in harm’s way? Right away, I pictured the white Arctic desert and the story started.

We actually open with a nightmare scene. I thought it would be a cool way of showing Ji Xi’s fears about unintentionally harming people and explain why he stays so isolated until, well, he doesn’t.

Here is “Fearless”.

-N

Top Cow Talent Hunt 2015: “Unburdened”

I submitted three scripts to the 2015 Top Cow Talent Hunt and I am going to share them with you in the coming weeks.

First up is “Unburdened”. I chose the bearer of the thirteenth Artifact, JI XI. The Asian monk burdened with carrying a deadly weapon, becoming the victim of its uncontrollable fury really struck a chord with me. I really wanted to explore him as a character.

And I did.

Twice.

This script is actually the second script I wrote. It all started with him running away from some sort of militia who wanted to put their hands on the artifact and ended up being about trust, responsibility, and Kung Fu. Research for this script was a great excuse to watch Martial Arts films. I have to thank Bruce Lee for inspiring JI XI’s nemesis, the deadly and cunning Marcus.

It was a lot of fun and learning.

Here it is: “Unburdened”

-N

Steam rollin’

Just a quick update this week as I steam roll my way towards upcoming deadlines.

Next sunday, March 15th, I have two projects due.

Calendar with Deadline Circled

Wait, this picture is all wrong. The deadline is March 15th!!!  (AhahA,.. get it?)

First off, our final file for 8th Wonder Press 2015 Anthology is due. Nick is putting the finishing touches on his magnificent artwork. As soon as he is done, I will slap some super duper lettering on top and voila!  Our second published story will be on its merry way.

Second, the Top Cow Talent Hunt is ending next Sunday as well. It will be time for me to turn in my scripts. I wrote three and I am oh so proud of having made it so far. Regardless of the outcome, it has been a fantastic learning experience. I have to thank the friends who took the time to read and provide me feedback. I especially have to thank my wife for reading all the scripts and providing me with a necessary alternative point of view. I especially love that she suggested the best insult ever for a character to say in one of the scripts: ” Bring it, dickbags!”

As you can imagine, I still have plenty to do as the dreaded day approaches so Ciao and C U LATER.

-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.

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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:

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

-N