Find Out How to Submit to Comic Publishers as an Artist

Comics Vanguard has done the great service of assembling in one place links to submission guidelines from a ton of major comic publishers. This is a companion piece to their earlier writer submission guidelines, which are much more discouraging. There’s also some great general advice on submissions at the start of the post.

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The Career of Manga Editing by Those Who Do It

Organization Anti-Social Geniuses conducted a group interview with eight manga editors that’s worth reading. Participants include:

  • John Bae, Viz
  • Rachelle Donatos Lipp, the fan-volunteer Digital Manga Guild
  • Hope Donovan, Tokyopop, Viz
  • Ben Applegate, Digital Manga, Kodansha
  • Carl Horn, Viz, Dark Horse
  • Pancha Diaz, Viz
  • Lindley Warmington, Digital Manga Guild
  • Daniella Orihuela-Gruber, Tokyopop

There is a lot of really good, professional advice here. With such great talents working in such a small field, though, it makes it even more obvious how difficult a job it is to break into.

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KC’s Previews for June 2014

KC’s latest Westfield column is his monthly look at what’s in the current Previews catalog for purchase of upcoming items, due in June or later, through comic shops. He explains:

The books on the list this month are scheduled to ship beginning in June, but a great many will be hitting in August, just before comics’ biggest phenomenon — Comic Con International: San Diego — or just COMIC-CON! as most people hysterically refer to it. Traditionally, publishers save their best book projects to release right around Comic Con. That unfortunately causes an overall glut, and often fans miss something important.

Recommendations this month include a super-deluxe Marvel Masterworks set, one of which is a collection of the parody comic Not Brand Ecch, which KC explains the history of. KC also recommends some super-sized collections and even some books from this decade!

Update: And here’s part two of the column, covering paperbacks, books about comics, and collections of classic comic books and strips.

Similar Posts: KC’s Previews for May 2014 § KC’s Previews for June 2012 § KC’s Previews for June 2013 Collections § KC’s Previews for January 2014 § KC’s Previews for October 2012

Pearls Before Swine Creator Stephan Pastis Appearing in Madison Tonight

Stephan Pastis Falling Down tour

Stephan Pastis has launched a Falling Down Tour to promote his latest Pearls Before Swine collection, Pearls Falls Fast, out this month. It’s a treasury collection of two years’ worth of comic strips.

Pastis has never been to Madison before, but he considers it “one of those cool towns with a lot of smart people”. He’ll be at A Room of One’s Own at 6 PM tonight.

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Figment Comic Brings Back Memories

Figment #1 cover

When I first went to Walt Disney World and EPCOT (before there were two more parks included in that Orlando destination), one of my favorite memories was seeing Dreamfinder and Figment, his little purple dragon. (This MousePlanet article has some of the history of the attraction where they appeared, Journey Into Imagination.)

So I’m oddly excited to see the newest Disney Marvel comic announced, Figment, a five-issue miniseries starting in June at $3.99 an issue. It’s written by Jim Zub (Skullkickers) and drawn by Filipe Andrade (Captain Marvel); the cover shown here is by John Tyler Christopher. Like Seekers of the Weird, it’s a “Disney Kingdoms” series created in “collaboration between Marvel and Walt Disney Imagineering”.

It’s billed as a “steampunk fantasy adventure that reveals the never-before-told origin of the inventor known as Dreamfinder and his trusty dragon companion!” Steampunk is both trendy and a good match for the characters. The MousePlanet article wants to hope that, based on this, Disney will finally treat the Journey Into Imagination park area better, but that seems optimistic, since a comic book is a lot cheaper than redoing architecture.

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IDW Launches Cartoon Network Crossover While Boom! Announces CN First Look Deal

Cartoon Network now has two major comic publishers working with their properties.

Now available for ordering from IDW Publishing is Super Secret Crisis War!, the first issue in a six-issue miniseries that crosses over The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Ben 10, Dexter’s Laboratory, and Ed, Edd, & Eddy. (All except the last also have individual comic titles from IDW.) That title tickles me, since I’ve seen too many goofy superhero crossovers with similar monickers!

Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War! #1 coverCartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War! #1 variant cover

It’s written by the ever-talented Louise Simonson and drawn by Derek Charm, with a selection of variant covers. And of course, there will be tie-ins, with the following additional one-shots due later:

  • Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, written by Ivan Cohen
  • Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, written by Kate Leth
  • Johnny Bravo, written by Erik Burnham
  • Codename: Kids Next Door, written by Scott Peterson
  • Cow and Chicken, written by Jim Zub

Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War! can be ordered now from comic shops with the Diamond code APR14 0354. It’s due at the end of June for $3.99.

Meanwhile, Boom! Studios, publisher of Adventure Time and Regular Show comics, has announced that they entered a publishing “first look deal” with Cartoon Network Enterprises, the network’s licensing and merchandising arm. According to their press release,

“The partnership will give the award-winning comic book publisher the first option to license all-new Cartoon Network original comedies for adaptation into comics and graphic novels. [It] will allow Boom! to work with Cartoon Network Enterprises to introduce new animated comedy properties to the comic book and book markets closer to the debut of each show.”

First property under the deal is Steven Universe, which will be launched as a comic series in August. Since the Adventure Time comic won an Eisner for Best Publication for Kids, I’m sure expectations are high.

Looks like IDW is the publisher for old CN favorites, while Boom! is tackling the newer, younger-skewing shows.

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The Simon & Kirby Library: Horror

The latest entry in the Simon & Kirby Library reprint series — following Science Fiction, Crime, and Superheroes — is Horror.

This volume reprints comics I didn’t even know existed — stories by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon from Black Magic #1-33 (1950-1954) and The Strange World of Your Dreams #1-3 (1952). There’s not a lot of explanation of what these titles were or how they came to be, I assume because most people interested in reading these stories likely already know of their existence and how rare they are. There’s more information included on how the famous Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Deliquency showed Black Magic #29 at their hearing as an example of how inappropriate comics were.

The stories are Twilight Zone-ish, short pieces of supernatural poetic justice or suggestions of forces in the world beyond what we can see. There’s little blood or violence; instead they rely on creepiness and implication. We begin with a tale of a rich man, flush with power, driven mad by his desire to know what a dying person sees in the last moment, which sets the tone appropriately.

There are guilt-driven nightmares, possessed clothing, a girl werewolf, voodoo dolls, creepy coincidences, a murderous dummy, an ancient flying monster, aliens, a killer leprechaun, deadly horoscopes, hidden family freaks, and much more. Turning out a variety of spooky stories every month made the selection catholic, from folktales to science fiction. Often, the guilty are punished, but sometimes people just wander into situations far outside the norm. Those who greedily seek a shortcut to riches lose a loved one (to a demon) or themselves (to a ghost prospector) after a deal with the devil. Some are just weird, as when two crashed pilots find a giant’s campsite.

All the fear comes from suggestion. We rarely see the demon or giant or monster, when there is one — instead, the focus is on human foibles and reactions. Of course, they’re all beautifully drawn. There’s mention in the introduction of how some of the stories are included even when Kirby drew only the splash page, but without noting which specific stories they are. Again, the target audience can probably recognize them on their own.

The narration is full of thick, evocative description. In an early example, “the girl’s accusation draw a concerted howl of triumph from the grotesque assemblage!” And that’s only one of the two sentences in one panel. Yet somehow, it works, perhaps because this content is from such a different era, or because the baroque, adjective-laden text suits the detailed panels with their distinctive style.

The Strange World of Your Dreams stories make up a short set at the end, just before a cover gallery, and I’m glad there weren’t more of these tales, since they become repetitive. Someone provides a dream of dread, and Richard Temple, Dream Detective, explains why they shouldn’t be worried. (The publisher provided a review copy.)

Similar Posts: The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction § The Best of Simon and Kirby § The Simon & Kirby Library: Crime § The Simon & Kirby Superheroes § Joe Simon: My Life in Comics

The Muppets Character Encyclopedia

Whatever you thought about Muppets Most Wanted, it’s a great thing that the movie means more Muppet stuff. Like this attractive reference.

The Muppets Character Encyclopedia is chock-full of profiles of muppets both well-known and obscure. I thought I was a big fan, but I learned a bunch, while also having plenty of moments of “oh, yeah, I remember that!” with Angus McGonagle, the gargling gargolyle, or Bill the Bubble Guy.

Some entries are more general, such as pages on Chickens (although of course Camilla gets her own entry) or Frog Scouts, but I was surprised to find out how many of the monsters had actual names. Others are characters I’ve never heard of, which stunned me. (For an all-ages book, it’s really thorough.) The text information, while brief, is in keeping with the Muppet attitude and has plenty of humor. There are also cast photos from the film sprinkled throughout and the occasional picture of a special topic, like Miss Piggy’s fashions or Muppet Food.

I liked that the book is a smaller size than the usual hardcover encyclopedia type, which makes it easier to hold, particularly for little hands. My main criticism is that I wish that it had also included a list of all the Muppet projects and shows. Each character has their debut noted, and some of them are references I’m unfamiliar with, such as “Muppet Classic Theater” or “The Great Santa Claus Switch”. Also, they don’t include Skeeter, who isn’t even mentioned on Scooter’s page. Perhaps that’s because she was never a traditional puppet, but I always liked her. (The publisher provided a review copy.)

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