SPACE WARP ARTIST BRIEFING

Starting from today, I’ll be putting up the seven Space Warp stories over the next few weeks. Here’s the first four (spoiler alert - you are basically reading the story scripts!):

**NEWS UPDATE!** SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR XECUTIONERS

As you’ll see, at this stage, my stories are mainly detailed outlines – rather than finalised scripts. Because I prefer to write a script with an artist in mind and I need to adapt to the story elements you’re best at drawing, wherever this is possible.

There should be enough information for an artist to choose a sequence – which must feature the hero – and break it down into a page of black and white sequential inked art. Not colour.

It might be pencilled at first, provided they are finished pencils. But if they are very rough ‘squiggles’, or just lightly pencilled, or simply a few sketches, it’s not going to tell me enough.

I also need to see some black and white inking.

A single image character study of the hero would be useful, but it’s not enough on its own.

Examples of your past strip work would be a bonus. That would help me to judge.

But it’s that sample sequence that I really need.

I’m looking for that USP, the unique selling point that makes your art stand out from everyone else’s. If it’s simply safe, good, professional storytelling, then it’s not for me. I need the Wow! factor that will get the readers really excited about your work.

I need the Wow! factor that will get the readers really excited about your work

As I’ve said previously, your art should be to original 2000AD standard.

I also need to emphasise that I am definitely NOT looking for a cartoony style or Manga style.

The sequence is the key and the most important thing.

When you’ve found a story that works for you and you’ve drawn a sequence, fill in the form and send it over to me (you’ll need a Gmail account to do this).

If it works for me, too, I’ll be in touch, pronto.

If it doesn’t, I’ll still respond – but forgive me if I’m brief. This is just a two-person operation.

So I won’t get into discussions with you on Messenger, or email, or any social media platform. I mention this because I recently had one person do just that – endlessly and vexatiously arguing over my decision. 

Also, just to be clear: If your art is turned down, there’s no rejection fee.  

If it’s successful, and provided you complete six pages, which I green light and sign off, that makes you the co-creator of the story. It will be monetised through royalties and the other ways I’ve described.

It was under these circumstances that artist Olivier Ledroit and I produced Requiem Vampire Knight, writing and illustrating an entire 48-page album against the promise of future royalties. It’s now at eleven volumes and counting. There is a spin-off series, a board game, and foreign editions selling all over the world.

Similar circumstances applied to Clint Langley and myself producing American Reaper, which worked out well for us financially.

And other writers and artists have had similar successes using this royalty model.

Please also factor in that your art will probably need modifications. See my comments on Jurassic Man for the kind of changes I’m likely to ask for, and why. That’s a normal part of the development process in mainstream comics in order to produce a hit story – the artist and I went through an identical process on Requiem, with different ideas going back and forth.

 

In popular culture comics the readers come first

It’s not intended to be painful or ego-bruising, even if it feels that way. Most professional artists appreciate this. I apply exactly the same rules to myself and my stories on Space Warp: endlessly revising them to suit the art, the theme and the aims of the comic, as they become ever clearer.  

It’s that important difference between a comic aimed at a general audience and one aimed at a specialist fan market, which generally puts the creators’ dreams first and the readership second. 

In popular culture comics, it’s the other way around. The readers come first. 

Because they’re used to working for the fan or adult market, I know some artists take offence at being asked to make changes to their work. But it’s unavoidable on this project. So if this is not for you, I understand.

But if you want the chance to co-own a popular culture comic book series like the best-selling Requiem series, go for it!

 

I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Good luck!

Pat

SPACE WARP April 2019 © Pat Mills

**NEWS UPDATE!** SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR XECUTIONERS

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