Weird Phrasing: Submissions as Contest for a Chance to Work?

Ape Entertainment sent out a press release promoting their appearance at this weekend’s Wizard Chicago show that included the following text:

Ape Entertainment is bringing some of the most groundbreaking creators to Wizard World Chicago while also hunting for new talent. … Ape Entertaiment COO Brent E. Erwin will be reviewing portfolios at the Ape Entertainment booth (#117) as the company launches a special contest for artists and colorists. From the beginning of Wizard World Chicago through the end of September, submission of a portfolio automatically enters you to win the chance to do a paid back up story in one of the licensed KiZoic line titles releasing in 2011. …

Ape Entertainment is specifically looking for pencilers as well as colorists. All submissions after the event can be sent to … Erwin will be on hand to review portfolios throughout the entirety of the show.

Isn’t that what submissions always are, a bid to get work? Any review of art by a publisher should get you “a chance to do a … story”. Billing it as a contest seems a bit odd to me. I know it’s just semantics, but I fear the idea of “winning” becoming a distraction from the fact that this is a business deal. Although I applaud Ape saying “paid” in their announcement and making that clear from the start.

3 Responses to “Weird Phrasing: Submissions as Contest for a Chance to Work?”

  1. Diana Green Says:

    This “contest” shill has been happening in low-level design and illustration circles for some time. Bottom feeders! When someone wants a pool of talent and has no capital, they stage a “contest”, usually with an ownership of work disclaimer in the fine print. This first hit comics in the 90s with the “Solson’s Talent Search” comic.
    Sad to see it gaining momentum in the comic world. Any artist who has integrity should stay away from such things.

  2. AS Says:

    Doing a contest might make sense if they would, say, specify a theme. “500-word pitch about gorillas”, “homebase of the villain”, something like that.
    Simple “submit your portfolio” does not a contest make.

  3. doctor mario Says:

    diana green has it pretty much straight. The only thing she missed was the fact that major league weenies, in all disciplines of business, have been running the same tired crap. Let me explain:

    • Cool person throws contest.
    • Creatives submit content.
    • Thrower of contest has 4 friends that he/she went to college with, and they don’t submit there stuff with everyone else.
    • These 4 people are the finalists for the contest.
    • One of them wins.
    • All the shit people made for the contest is their property, not yours.
    • Does this seem idiotic to anyone yet?






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