Tag Archives: Top Cow Talent Hunt

Wrestling with Comicbook dialogue.

I recently had he opportunity to rework the dialogue on the Arthur King 8 pages story that I wrote last year and which was drawn by artist DKaotic.

You can find it here.

I have been reworking the dialogue and lettering on the story in order to get a chance for it to be published in an Anthology this year. Once it is set in stone, I’ll tell you everything, I swear.  But for now, I would rather not.

This was a great opportunity to get feedback from an editor and give Arthur a stronger voice and more colorful language. I also fixed some of the lettering and actually cut some of the lines because some of the panels had way too much dialogue in them. It truly helped the flow of the story and created a superior version of the Comic that people really seem enthusiastic about. Good stuff.

Still, I feel bad. DKaotic’s artwork is so pretty that I would rather not put ANY balloons on top of it.

Check it out:

Artie01ArtOnly

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More good news came when I got my feedback from Top Cow. As you may already know, I am participating in the Top Cow Talent Hunt for the third consecutive year. I have to submit a 22 pages script based on the characters from the Aphrodite IX and IXth Generation books.

One of the big differences this year is that each participant who submitted his script and/or Artwork before the first deadline of January 15th received feedback in the second half of February.

I did receive mine. It was not only very positive but also very helpful. I am currently revising the script and doing my best to improve the dialogue in some specific scenes, literally agonizing over which word to choose in each sentence. I actually decided to step away from my latest draft for a week and take a step back because I know I am overthinking it.

The good news is that the final deadline is May 15th so there is still plenty of time to implement improvements.

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Lastly, here is a link to some very cool advice for Comicbook Artists:

10 Rules for Drawing Comics

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I wish you all a Merry March.

-N

 

 

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.

From rejection to the new year.

Happy New year, and to all a Good Health!

We (French people) always wish a good health as well as a good year because what is more important than health, right?

2015 ended on a small sour note after my short Chrononauts story did NOT win the Millarworld Talent Hunt. Here it is for your reading pleasure: The Dating Game. WARNING: it’s awesome.

Rejection is hard. It is demoralizing but I keep moving forward. I don’t know who said it but I read this very cool quote the other day: “Success is going from one failure to another without losing your enthusiasm.”  Damn I ‘m successful!

Today, I sent in my submission to Top Cow Productions for their yearly Talent Hunt. By submitting before January 15th, I should get a one paragraph feedback sometimes before February 15th and am I looking forward to that. Just to get some professional feedback will be awesome in and of itself.

I am still waiting to hear back from 2000 AD on my Futureshocks submission. I send them emails via their sites and even asked on their twitter feed but I am not getting any answer as to whether or not it has been rejected. I just want to know so that I can send the next one, you know. It has been over two months after all. I also hope it did not get lost in the mail. Makes me wonder, is no news TRULY good news?

Lastly, I just want to share a wonderful article about the importance of PREMISE by Michael Tabb. I really wish I would have read this earlier. It outlines some of the fundamental needed to write a good story and to writer’s block entirely. I just cannot stress how important this article is.

That is it for this week. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday time and wish you, once more, a Happy and Healthy New Year.

-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.

ARESarenaBox
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.

homer
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

Character Study

Character study for the 2016 Top Cow Talent Hunt

I am currently working on my submission for the 2016 Top Cow Talent Hunt. This year, I must write a 22 pages Comicbook script which takes place in the futuristic world from the Aphrodite IX and IX Generation series.

Though I have a pretty good idea of which character I would like to focus on and what type of story I’d like to tell, I decided to do some thorough studying first. I am currently re-reading the books in order to get a clear picture of  the world and the characters in it. I am building a timeline, gathering information about the settings, and doing related research. One thing I am forcing myself to focus on are the characters and, more specifically, the nine self-proclaimed gods from IX generation. If I am to write a story featuring one of them, I want to make sure I know them well and that I truly nail their individual voices. In order to do so, I use my background in Theater Arts (especially Acting) and gather information about the characters so that I can appropriately “play” them.

IXgeneration-character study

In order to achieve that, I do character study using an Acting script analysis method. I ask myself two very simple questions as I go through the script.

1)What does the character say about him/herself?

2)What do other characters say about him/her?

For example, in the case of Ares:

characterstudy4

From what this character says, Ares is “dumber” than intended…

characterstudy3

… and he is also, according to Hades,  gay.

I go through the entire books , gathering info for all the characters I study. It provides me with a clear picture of who they are and how they are perceived by others. Of course, you also have to take their actions in account ( actions speak louder than words, right?) and even their appearance.

characterstudy1
HADES is the one speaking through this Aphrodite XV .

You do not want to take everything for granted though. What a character says about somebody else is not always the truth. They might have motives as to why they are saying something about someone else or even about themselves. Simply put, all the information you gather should be taken with a grain of  salt and you should always look back on it with a critical eye. Ares might be dumb, but he is still a great strategist. He has the best army in the world after all. Characters are not one dimensional and it is their inner contradictions that make them interesting. Find those contradictions or create them in your new characters, using the Dig Deep questionnaire:

DigDeep

With all those character elements figured out, you should be able to more easily find the character’s voice. The character might even start having a life of their own in your head (freaky!).

One more helpful thing is to try and find someone in your real life on whom to base the character on. It is  not uncommon for writers to create characters based on their friends and/or family. For example, Comicbook Writer Brian Michael Bendis wrote his version of the character of Aunt May (from Ultimate Spiderman) after his own mother.

Alright, I have got to go back to studying now. Good luck to all.

-N

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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.

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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: “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