Tag Archives: Top Cow Productions

Take a step back.

Read your work with fresh eyes, take a step back!

Happy Love day everyone!

So I somehow totally threw my back out this week and it’s not getting any better. Besides that, I am fine. I am taking this opportunity to do some writing and try to be productive in spite of the constant pain. Do you feel bad for me yet?

The one thing I have been doing today is to read my Top Cow Talent Hunt entry for this year. Tomorrow, we (the contestants who have submitted their script before January 15th, the deadline for feedback) should be getting our one paragraph feedback. Yeah!

I figured that before I hear somebody else’s opinion on my script (and messes with my head and confidence?), I might as well form my own. It has been over  a month since I have looked at it so you can say that I took a huge step back and can now look at it with fresh eyes.

I sat on my couch with my feet up (which really diminishes the pain shooting down my back to my legs… Are you sure you don’t feel bad for me yet?) and, armed with a pen and a legal notepad, I was ready to write down everything wonky with that script. And I did. But I also enjoyed it because that script does not completely suck and once the action gets going, it does not relent.

I love doing that because, yes, you might find a lot to hate when you come back to an old script with fresh eyes, but you will also find a lot to love.  And the thing is, now that you  see it, you can fix it. I sometimes make myself laugh when I reread some of the older Arthur King scenes because it is genuinely funny. Yeah, I make myself laugh and I am so not ashamed. I am my biggest fan!

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I am so excited for the feedback tomorrow. If you have not entered the Top Cow Talent Hunt, it is NOT too late because the final deadline is May 15th. So, get comicing!

-N

Comic Book Scripts Reading

Of late, I have been reading Comic Book Scripts.

It is quite useful to see how professional writers put their Comic Book Scripts together.  Even though there is no official Comic Book Script format, you get to see how each writer format their script for one of the Big twos or for their own independent projects. More importantly, you can see how they effectively communicate with their respective artists.

Civil War Script Book
Civil War Script Book

The first script I ever read was Mark Millar’s Civil War. That’s a real treat and you can find the entire script on Amazon for super cheap.

Cover of Bitch Planet #3

The latest script I read was Bitch Planet issue 3 by Kelly Sue DeConnick. You can find it on that awesome website that is The Comic Book Script Archive along with the script for the latest issue (numero 6). Scripts are organized by authors here. It is often updated with new scripts and tips and tricks such as Jim Zub ‘s critic of a student script which is ripe with advice for comic book writers. Definitely worth adding to your bookmarks.

Another valuable resource is Brian Michael Bendis’s website, JinxWorld where, in the writing section, you can find plenty of his scripts for Marvel, from the Avengers to Ultimate Spiderman and even his creator-owned hit Powers.

Finally I have been reading short scripts on the MillarWorld thread. All the contestants who participated in the MillarWorld Talent Hunt this year are welcome to post their scripts and get peer feedback. It has been a fun one to follow and everybody is real nice and helpful which makes for good internet fun.

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Nothing else much to report on the writing front. I am still developing a couple projects I hope to transform into a fabulous pitch with the magnificent DKaotic.

I am also anxiously waiting for the one paragraph feedback from Top Cow Productions on my 22 pages script submission. That should hit my Inbox on February 15th.

Wising you all a great week. Stay beautiful.

-Nico out.

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.

IXthGeneration01-Review-1
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.

1526488-13th

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: “Daddy’s Girl”

“Daddy’s Girl” is the third script I wrote for the Top Cow Talent Hunt. I was intrigued by Alina Emstrom, a ruthless mercenary who is part of a religious cult. In the story “Pandora’s Box”, there is a one page flashback showing her father working as an armed dealer and how Alina witnessed the death of her mother when she was just a child.

I figured that Alina, years later, would want to know who was responsible for her mother’s death and get revenge! How did she become a trained soldier? What was her relationship with her father like? What was she like in her youth? I wanted answers.

So I wrote that story: “Daddy’s Girl”

For more Top Cow Talent Hunt participants scripts and art, check out the CBR thread.

-Nico

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

Top Cow Talent Hunt loser.

I did not win the Top Cow Talent Hunt this year. I submitted three 22 pagers using the assigned Top Cow characters and I had a blast writing all of them. I learned so much from the experience, it was great. Building a script from top to bottom in scrivener three times was quite amazing in and of itself. And of course, writing a Comic Book script is always good practice.

Then, there is the fact that I am so focused on my current project(s) that the ball just keeps on rolling no matter what.

Here is the very nice email all Hunts participants received from Top Cow President, Matt Hawkins:

Emails were sent out before this, so if you received this without a previous email from me I’m sorry to say you didn’t win this year. Total count was 587 entries so it was more than I originally thought (once I counted it all out).  So less than 1.5% of entrants won this year. 

The writing category was especially hard for me this year (and why it took so long) because there were about 40 of you that delivered professional quality writing and could easily be writing for a major publisher today.  I added one writer runner up simply because I could not make up my mind.

Thank you so much for participating. I hope that you have found the exercise educational at a minimum. As a reminder, there is no formal feedback offered via email. If you want to track down one of us at a comic convention and chat us up we’re happy to do that.

As I said in the previous email, I’m reserving at least a spot in each category for people who previously entered as winners for next year.  There are two people who won this year that had entered previously, one has entered every time. So entering again does have its merits!
 
The formal announcement of winners will be on comicbookresources.com sometime next week I don’t know the exact day but it will include some of the art from the “art” side that you can check out.  To read what the writers submitted you can read those as they come out next year.
 
One thing I’m going to do for next year as well is make some exclusive “product” that will only be available to participants. Any other feedback to us about the contest is always appreciated.
 
Isaac Goodhart, one of the first year art winners, is now the regular penciller on Postal so the contest does have some legs!  Tini Howard and Ashley Robinson are both writing one shot Top Cow books for Poseidon IX and Athena IX in August and September.
 
We don’t publish a LOT of books, but we are actively trying to get new blood into the industry and thanks again SO MUCH for participating.

Best,

Matt Hawkins
President/COO, Top Cow Productions, Inc.
MS Physicist, Self Loathing Narcissist, Inc.
That was nice of Mister Hawkins to take the time to do that.
See you next week,
-N

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.

-N

Spent and Empty.

Today is the deadline for the 2015 Top Cow Talent Hunt.

Today is also the due date for our Comic with 8th Wonder Press for their 2015 Anthology.

Everything is turned in. Everything has been looked at, double checked, triple checked… oh so many times.

I am empty. I am spent.

Goodnight.

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