Tag Archives: Top Cow Talent Hunt

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.


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,

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.


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.


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.


Published 2.0


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.



When is it finished?

As I keep writing and working towards my Top Cow Talent Hunt submission, I also go back and tweak the first script I wrote. I change a line here, remove a panel there, etc….
The thing is that I feel I could keep on tweaking (and maybe twerking) forever. I won’t though, simply because the deadline will stop me. It makes me wonder… when is a script truly finished?

When do you stop typing, stop thinking about it, and are like “Alright, this is finished! This is how the story is supposed to be. It’s PERFECT that way.”

Do you ever? Or is the deadline the only thing that will ever stop you from tweaking (and perhaps twerking)? There has to be a stopping point otherwise I feel that, after a while, I am just damaging my script by being, perhaps, too tweaky about it.




This has to stop at some point.

Dead on deadlines… Again.



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


Some people are nice.

A couple weeks ago, I had an interaction that made my day and restored my faith in humanity.

I was working on my Top Cow Talent Hunt proposal and I had a specific question regarding Alina Enstrom, the bearer of Pandora’s Box. In the story, ‘Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box’, Alina “hears” voices at some point and it was unclear to me who or what was talking to her since it happened BEFORE she opened the box. I was a bit confused.


I figured, who better than the writers of the story, Bryan Edward Hill and Rob Levin, to answer my question. So I started internet stalking them…um… I mean, I looked for them online. Though I could not find any type of contact information, i.e. an email address, for Bryan Edward Hill, I did find one for Rob Levin.

As I composed my email, I was very careful not to be an ass.

Writers and editors like Mister Levin are busy people and they don’t have time for bullshit and I certainly did not want to be a source of bull for him. So I tried to be concise and very nice. Then I hit SEND.

I was not expecting an answer right away and yet, a couple hours later, Mister Levin had not only answered my questions but offered words of encouragement and support, something oh so valuable. I was thrilled. It made my day, hell, my WEEK ! I went back to work with a sense of renewed enthusiasm.

Thank you Mister Levin,

You are a nice people.


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!


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,


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.


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