Submitting a Pitch

So I went and did it I submitted a pitch.  Well two actually!  I submitted my comic Digital Forever, that I kickstarted about 2 years ago.  And I took a big chance and went to top indie publisher, Image!

I updated my pitch document and cover letter and sent it off.  So according to Image’s website if you don’t hear anything back in 30 you can consider it rejected.  So I am currently, as I write this post in that waiting period.

I then submitted my second kickstarted comic “Multi-Larceny” to another publisher.  Now this publisher I have spoked to at cons, and have some networking with people in the company and writers for that company as well.  In addition, I have done two courses for online comics course that has an affiliation with this publisher.

I am mix of excitement as this could be big for me, and nerves as I wait for news.  But I will keep going; submitting other places and creating other projects to pitch.

Thanks checking out the blog.

Back next week with creating a Meet Up Group for indie Comics Creators.

Writing for other People Properties…

You down with writing other peoples properties?  Well you know me, and I will try just about any venue to get into comics, and I have tried this as well.

images

 

I had the chance to try to pitch to a fellow creators series.  And man did I go all out.  I had a 30 page fully developed series,  with character sketches, design sketches for the world.  I researched and read up on the property.  I was very excited for this chance.  I took it very serious.

Submitted….and I didn’t hear anything back, the creator was running a kickstarter at the time, so I waited till that kickstarter was, then a little longer.  Nothing back. So after sometime I reached out, hoping for good news. No good news.  They didn’t accepted the pitch.

So rejections is supposed to be part of this process.  But it’s never easy.  Trying to be positive about this…  I think this one of my more fully developed stories, and learned a lot by doing it.

Also, I still have this story sitting in reserve.  I can easily remove all reference to the other series and make this a stand alone story with my characters and my world.

So another thing I do is daily pitches.  At this point I have over 630.  This is two fold, it’s a brainstorming activity, and helps me get started on being creative for the day.  But the real dream is if I am every able to pitch a publisher I am ready and can impress them with my preparedness.

Thanks for checking out the blog.

Back next week with taking chances and submitting to major publishers (hint it starts with the letter “I”)

Keep Making comics.

Talent Searches

So another avenue I am exploring trying to break into comics is Talent Searches.

I have enter two so far. One for Top Cow and one for Mad Cave Studios. Did not get accepted to either, but I got feed back for Top Cow, they liked the direction I took. I used a supporting character in their title “Think Tank” and spun him off on his only solo adventure.

For this story I it was full comic (about 20 pages) and I pulled elements for story events happening around the world. I really like this story and I might make in on its on one day removing references to their characters and properties of course.

My Mad Cave studio was a four maybe 6 pager set in there “Mid Night Taskforce” series. I didn’t get feed back on this one, but that’s ok I have made a few contacts in Mad Cave, who knows maybe it helps next time.

Thanks for checking out the blog.

Back next week with pitching to other peoples titles.

Keep making comics.

Review Copies

Recently was able to book and interview with Anthony Cleveland creator of “Show’s End” coming out from Mad Cave Studios for my podcast “Constructing Comics”.  The interview was set up by Mad Caves’s publicists Chris Sanchez.

I had the interview and did some follow ups, and thank everyone for being on.  I got a email from Chris, asking if I wanted to be put on an email list for preview and review copies.  Of course I do! Free Comics, sign me up!

review copies blog post stock photo

I hope to review some of these comics as a thank you to Mad Cave and Chris. But to the point of trying to break it – I have a contact, and I can see what time of books they are producing, and maybe work on a pitch for one of their existing properties, or I can pitch something new.

Hopefully this is some good networking, that I can uses in my future attempts at making comics.

Not sure if I will get a blog post up next Friday, as I will be at Heroes Con!

But my next one in at least two weeks will be on looking for and submitting to Talent Searches

Thanks for checking on the blog, keep making comics!

 

 

Learning/Creating While Doing

I am always trying to learn things about writing, making comics, the comic industry and creativity.  One way to do this is listening to either a podcast or an audiobook.  A good podcast gets me through a lot of work days.  I found that I can be doing work, some part of my mind can still be engaged with the information being told on the podcast.

blog photo for Learning-Creating While Doing

Another thing I like to do is listen to a podcast/audiobook while running.  This allows me to do two things at once, get some exercise and learn at the same time.  Some times my head isn’t in the right mindset for a podcast, or I can’t find one I am excited for at that moment, so I like to listen to instrumental music (indie rock).  While running and listen to this instrumental work (lyrics distracted me) and I get ideas.

And some times the ideas are so good, that I have to stop (pausing my workout) and make note/start a document or email myself, so I don’t forget it.

blog photo 2 learning-creating while doing

Getting out and doing something, can also be a good way to break a story, or fix a plot point you are stuck on.  Again often while out running, I get and idea that pops into my head, I am pretty sure this wouldn’t be the case if I was sitting at my computer watching that blinking curser.

Here are some of my favor podcast about comics and writing:

  • The Comic Book Workshop
  • Comic Lab
  • Make Comics
  • ComixLaunch
  • Constructing Comics (cheap plug)
  • Lean into Art
  • Gutter Talk
  • Off Panel
  • The Story Studio

And are a lot more….

Audiobooks, that I really like are:

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury!!!!
  • Room to Dream by David Lynch!!!!!
  • Unnatural Talent by Jason Brubaker
  • and anything by Steven Pressfield.

Thanks for checking out the blog.  Back next week with a post about getting review copies from a publisher!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drawing/Creating an Image Every Day of the Year.

A while ago, I did a post about by daily habits, where I write every day. I just finished my comics writing for the day. I still have a goal for my novel (which again I am having a hard time hitting).

But I wanted to work on my artistic skills as well.  I know that writing everyday, has helped me, at least with the formation of ideas, and building stories, and drawing is supposed to be that way too.  I think about Jason Brubaker’s book “Unnatural Talent” where he talks about people coming up to him and saying “Oh you have talent for drawing” and he argues that is not a talent but a skill you hone with practice.  I really hope that is the case.

So on the first day of January 2019 I started drawing at least one picture a day and posting it to my Instagram page

My Instagram Page

While the goal was to draw something every day, that changed some time into the process.  I would often be unhappy with my drawing, so I would look for pencils to ink.  It was fun and informative to ink others work.  I would try to learn a new tool in Procreate my digital drawing app of choice right now.

So as of today (I still need to do todays but) I have down it for 139 days in a row.  And I think I am going to continue for a long time.  Who knows maybe I will develop my art enough to the point I can draw some of my own comics.

Here are some samples of my daily creations/drawings some better than others, but that is true of my daily writing, so days the ideas flow and are better than others.

 

Thanks for checking out the blog.

Back next week with learning doing other stuff exercising or working the old day job.

Check make comics, drawing.

 

 

Project Management

I enjoy making comics, it’s my passion, my side hustle, but some times it can feel like work. And that is when I have to bring my skills from the old day job in to making comics.  As the writer, I often feel like the project manager.  It starts with me.  I come up with the idea, draft a script, edit it, then put together a team to work on it.

I am very lucky I have a group of artist that I work well with, but it was learning experience from the start.

On my first comic “Digital Forever”

Digital Forever Cover

I was really starting from scratch.  It was an idea, that I wrote out.  I pitched it and it was not accepted so I turned to kickstarter.  I had to find an artist, so I posted in a facebook group to find and artist and I found Wilson Gandolpho.

So a challenge, Wilson is from Brazil, and English is not his first language, so I learn I had to explain myself very clearly (no slang, or shortcuts).  The art came in at each stage and I would review.  Most of the time we had it, but sometimes we had to redo it.  I hadn’t written it out well enough or it was misunderstood.

But we got there.  I learned a lot about communication on this project.

My next big project was Multi-Larceny.  I expanded on a single page idea about bank robbery, where you could travel time and space.  Again we went to kickstarter, I found Bora Orcal for this project.

Multi Larency Cover

So on this we colored the comic.  I also want to try to improve one step in the comics making process, so coloring it was the clear choice.  Bora brought Ertan Ceyhen to the project to color it.

When we got to the coloring stage I got a message from Ertan that he was having a problem, because Bora has a style of drawing where he hints at the shapes, and the might not be completely finished.  I love this style, but as a colorist, it made Ertan’s job a little harder, the fill tool, will not work if the shape isn’t closed in.

I needed this project to move along I was behind schedule.  So project management time, I told Ertan to his best, and if he had to fill in the shapes (and thankfully Ertan is a talented artist in his own right.)

IMG_4123

Another problem I had to manage was file sizes.  I thought we had it all set. We looked at the guidelines from the printer and set our files to that size.  All set right? Nope, I got proofs and we had text that would have been cut off in the printing.  We reset our file size. I think I looked at maybe six proofs but we finally got it.  I traded a lot of messages with Wilson and showed in often with pictures (again to be clear with images and arrows pointing to our problems) we would have to resize to not lose text, and thus make the story unreadable, confusing and unprofessional looking.

We got it done and I am proud of this comics, it looks amazing.

I often make schedules for the project.  One schedule was for my first ever accepted story in and anthology “Why Faith?”.  I was very excited and didn’t want to miss this chance.  So I built our schedule.  Again I was working with Wilson, and lesson learned Wilson is juggling many art projects, and often some of those that pay better than mine, so often I have go lower in his project list. So want did I do – I built a buffer in.  We got it down, I think we might have been one of the first stories done.

 

Make comics is fun, but it can also feel like work.  You have to deal with the hurdles and problems that may arise.  Having a plan, and being flexible, with the goal in mind is a great way to go about this.

Thanks for checking out the blog, I will be back next week with my challenges in creating/or drawing a piece of art every day of the this year.

 

 

 

Review of Free Comic Book Day

So recently had another key/cool moment in my comics make career.  I was able to table at Free Comic Book Day.  Which is the first Saturday of May every year.  I had a table with a few others from the Bmore into Comics crew, which I have been lucky enough to join up with the last year or so, it fun to hang out with other that want to make stuff, and great for networking (last post).

When I got there about 15 minutes before the shopped opened, there was a line!  I got in quickly set up, and got ready.  The doors open! People rushed in….

Right past us and to the tables full of free comic books

I mean who can blame them.  But it was a bit disheartening.

We all smiled and said hi as they walked by.  Some even gave our books a glance.  The rush was over, things settled down, and people came over, I made a few sales, gave some pins out.

Things slowed down again, we waited, it seem like it was over, so we packed up and all went home.

It was fun, a little disappointing, but hey I have tabled at Free Comic Book Day, and hope to do it again.

Thanks for checking out the blog

Back news week with “Project Management” when make comics!

Conventions and Networking

So another way I am looking to networking and break into comics is attending cons.  I have been going to cons for a while since getting back into comics.  Baltimore Comic Con being the con I went to first.

I am pretty lucky to have a bunch of cons near me; Baltimore, Awesome and Heroes (my favorite) Con.  When I first went to cons, I would spend some much time digging through long boxes, my ideas of possible writing comics where not as fully formed as they are now.  I didn’t really know what was going on so I defaulted to the singular act of looking for back issues.

A few cons under my belt, I started exploring artist alley.  Then talking and getting commissions from artist.  Another thing I then began exploring was panels, and I could learn more about the industry, writing, and the craft of making comics.

The next thing for me at cons was to approach publishers, sometimes just to talk and other times to hand them my comics.  Nothing has come from that yet, but I have to keep going.

Hopefully one day, one of my comics will fall into the write hands and they will pick it up.

Thanks for checking out the blog.

Back next week, with a review of Free Comic Book Day, which I will have a table at for the first time!

Keep making comics.

 

The Swipe File

There is a saying there is only 7 different type of stories.

The 7 story archetypes are:
  • Overcoming the Monster.
  • Rags to Riches.
  • The Quest.
  • Voyage and Return.
  • Comedy.
  • Tragedy.
  • Rebirth.

So how can we create something new, well if you believe this you can’t.  But you can put your on spin on it.  I like to think about every time I read a comic/book, watch a show/movie see a drawing/piece of art.  What can I take from that?

 

I try to keep a Swipe file, where I have things that I enjoyed that inspired me.   A lot of that came from the book “Steal like an Artist” by Austin Kleon.

steal like an artist book cover

This reinforced that idea with me.  Why not take from my inspirations? But put my twist on it.

I hope you like this and maybe you start your on swipe file, to make your on art for the work.  So go out there “Steal like an artist” so you can make YOUR art!

Thanks for checking out the blog.

Back next week with a post about going to cons.

Thanks again

Matt