Regardless of what people say, it is an exciting time to be into comics. There are so many publishers out there – and some amazing Kickstarter programs for the many amazing independent creators out there. But although we as comic fans have an amazing time reading and consuming the stories, it is doubtless that many of us (myself included) have also wanted to break into this amazing industry in one capacity or another, which is easier said than done. But now there are two – count ’em, TWO – opportunities with some established publishers to get your work in front of them. (NOTE: You do have to be 18 years of age or older to participate!)
Top Cow Talent Search 2013
Perhaps the most broad-reaching one is the annual Top Cow Talent Search which is currently on and runs until the end of January 2014. Last year, the submissions were – from what I can gather – quite involved and many, and they promised to get back to each person who submitted. Because of the number of submissions, Top Cow is STILL getting back to everyone, 7 months later. Whether you read their books or not (and I do), they are sticking to their commitment and it’s great to see that.
For those interested, Top Cow’s Talent Search is looking for both writers and artists. They have some very clear rules and documentation posted, but essentially it boils down to this:
If you’ve published a comic with one of the main publishers – some are listed in the rules, and the list varies from country to country – you are not eligible. This contest is intended to give NEW and UNPUBLISHED creators the opportunity for showcase their talents.
If you’re a writer, you need to submit a standalone story, 22 pages long, full script. There cannot be a “To Be Continued Next Issue” ending. This must be a fully encapsulated story. It must invovlve a prior or future host of one of the Artifacts that make up the Top Cow Universe, so if you’re not familiar with them now’s the time to get familiar. It must be narrated by either Sara Pezzini (aka the wielder of the Witchblade) or Jackie Estacado (host of the Darkness… well, until recently). 4 stories will be selected to be published as work for hire. Additionally, 10 writers will get runner-up awards and be asked to present a story for an upcoming anthology. This won’t be the same story you submit here but you will get that recognition.
If you’re an artist, similar opportunities exist but you MUST be a penciler. You can add inks, colors, or other embellishments but if you don’t pencil your own work you won’t be eligible here. Top Cow will be looking for 4 artists, similar to writers, and also 10 runners-up to also contribute to the anthology. Instead of penciling your own script, Top Cow has provided 3 sample scripts for artists to choose from. The only submission pieces for artists must be based on one of these 3 scripts – nothing else. They want to see sequential art with characters they work with, not your own characters or someone else’s. This is a sticking point.
You can find all of Top Cow’s information on their Talent Search 2013 forum, including the rules, sample scripts, and a forum to post questions. This is where they will answer any questions that are posted regarding the search, so make sure to read them and understand what they want. They are very explicit as to what types of submissions they want and will review, so be sure you take a good hard look and if you are unsure, ask!
DC Talent Search
Wait, what? One of the big two is opening their doors for unsolicited submissions? Yes, but it’s with specific criteria. As posted on their blog today, DC Entertainment is looked for art submissions (no submissions for writers – sorry!) to break into comics with the upcoming title of Harley Quinn, which is being brought to you from the minds of married comic duo Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor!
Harley Quinn submissions are unique in that they only want one page. Yes, one page. That is how the issue #0 of Harley is gonna work – a number of artists get a single page to participate and one of those artists will be the regular, ongoing artist on the book! The details and rules are available on the submission page so make sure you read the sample script and submit soon! This baby ends on October 1, 2013, with all submissions required by 10:00 AM PDT. If you’re late, you’re out. What’s more amazing: Jim Lee will be reviewing all the submissions!
Even though the only way I could win the DC one would be if Harley wanted a stick figure focus, it’s still exciting. Both opportunities are! It’s not common that there are open calls with specific criteria to find that next great hidden talent, so if you’re interested in thi sin any way, give it a look and submit! And maybe we’ll be taking a look at one of your creations here on Comic Booked in the future!