For more in depth conversation and feedback check out The official SUBMISSIONS THREAD on the Image Comics forums!

   

 

Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:10 pm

 

If you've got questions--we've got answers.

 

[ But First, READ THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: http://www.imagecomics.com/submissions.php - B ]

 

Erik Larsen

Publisher

Image Comics

Oakland, CA

Erik@savagedragon.com

www.imagecomics.com

www.savagedragon.com

   

 

Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:27 pm

 

JesterPepper wrote:

Do you ever keep really bad submissions, just to laugh at them? If so, scans?



Now that would just be mean.

And to answer your first question--no--but I did take a few home to show my seven year old that we really have received submission that weren't drawn as well as he draws.
Shocked

 

 
 

 

Read Erik's answers chronologically to your right or select one of the headings below for specific topics.

(To Be Added Soon!)

 

General

Format

Genre

Style

Turnarounds

Conventions

Feedback

Payment

Fees

Interviews

PR and Ads

Pencilling

Inking

Coloring

Lettering

Covers

Location

Letters Page

 

 

 

 

   
   

 

Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:42 pm 

 

dragonfollower wrote:

I just had a question about turn-around time for hearing back on submissions. Is there any sort of estimate on how long it usually takes?



No.

We get to stuff when we have time to get to it. If you happen to get something in that day--it can take next to no time--otherwise it can be a bit of a wait. Our highest priority is getting books out not wading through the slush pile.

 

   

 

Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:58 am

 

Bulletproof wrote:

Maybe I should rephrase my question...

For example, I know of someone who has a great idea for a new comic series and would like to submit his idea, but he can't draw. Would he need someone to draw his minimum five pages of the comic and also include his story in the submission? Because from what I understand, you can't just submit a story or new idea, you need art to accompany that idea correct?

I know this may sound a bit elementary, but I'm just a little uncertain.



If he can't draw--there won't BE a book. We take on books--not individual creators. We don't "buy ideas" and we don't find artists for folks that need one (okay, if you're Alan Moore or Frank Miller--we'll find you an artist but we CAN'T do that for everybody that needs an artist--it's simply unworkable).

If a writer can't find a decent artist to collaborate with--he's screwed.

 

   

 

Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:02 am

 

original JAM wrote:

I have a hypothetical question! OK, a hypothetical question on steroids!
What if I submiit a book,.. and for some crazy reason Image accepts it!
And the book goes through the levels, and finally it's out there on the books stands, and peolpe like it.(I told you on steroids Very Happy )
So, it sells out again and again! OK,..and the plans are to put out at least five of them,... now what?
The Creators of the book obligated to promote the book, go to cons, talk to Newsrama, go to interviews or and answer interview questions are the Creators obligated to do all the that kind of interactions!
What does happen once(if) your book is accepted! Hypothetically speaking, of course!



It's entirely up to that person. Nobody is forced to be interviewed on Newsarama if they don't want to be. The only thing that's expected of a creator is that they get their work done. It's up to them if they want to go to conventions--not all creators do.

 

   

 

Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:16 pm

 

VictorC wrote:

I know that Image has the best deal out there for creator owned projects. This stems from the fact that (from what I’ve read and heard) you get signed, pay a set amount, and after that any proceeds are considered your profit to split between you and the people who worked on your book. Two questions:

Are there any other hidden type fees included or is it literally only a one time fee/payment and that’s it?



The money you receive is the profits--it's after expenses--things like printing and whatnot--but there are no hidden costs that we profit from.

 

VictorC wrote:

If you end up selling your idea as a movie (as most comics are now becoming) does Image have any say in where it goes and do they get any $$$ from the production? Also, are there restrictions on how long you have to wait before selling the book (i.e. – you publish a book and Image owns the option for “X” amount of years before you can outright sell it to a studio)?

I remembered questions like this being answered in the previous board, but I don’t remember the details.



We don't participate in any movie profits in any way. Our deal is strictly for comics. You can do toys, movies, underoos and Happy Meal® and we don't get a dime from it.

 

   

 

Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:30 pm

 

biggunn01 wrote:

hey eric i have a question for you. say i submit my book ( a 4 issue mini ) and image takes it on, how fast do i have to turn the books around? do we just hit the groud running when you say yes and start pumping them out (or can the art team say " we need this much time to make it hot!" and then promote after an agreed upon time line)? I'm asking because i'm a comic artist with a full time day job. if my book is chosen...i'd still be at my day job. so i'm just tring to see what kinda work load i'll be getting myself into. thanks for your time.
wes



You can do it however you'd like--it's your book, after all. Just remember--you don't get paid until AFTER the books come out. We don't pay page rates up front

 

   

 

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:22 am

 

rbr wrote:

VictorC wrote:

Are there any other hidden type fees included or is it literally only a one time fee/payment and that’s it?



Just to clarify -- and hopefully Erik can confirm -- creators don't pay Image a "fee" except in very special circumstances: Image takes printing and other costs out of money made from sales of the book (with the remainder going to the creators). Whatever "fees" there are are invisible -- you never have to pay Image directly.

 

Image DOES take a fee--but it's off the back end--it's not as though creators ever cut us a check. Our fee is collected and the rest goes to the creators. We couldn't stay in business if no money at all was coming in, y'know...

 

   

 

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:24 am

 

SGeabhart wrote:

does Image obtain full page ads in Previews for all of the books they publish?



For first issues--yes. But often we'll have books share pages with other titles.

 

SGeabhart wrote:

It's cool to know there is a company that is upfront about all of their policies...thanks for all of the info in this thread Mr. Larsen.



That what I'm here for...

 

   

 

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:26 am

 

nick filardi wrote:

Erik- are you sad theres no art/submissions in this thread yet? becuase i am.



Not at all.

Not everybody is up for public humiliation. The vast majority of the pitches we receive aren't given the green light. I can understand why creators wouldn't want to be turned down in a public forum.

 

   

 

Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:06 pm

 

Wolfman wrote:

I know this thread says submissions, but are you allowed to submitt 1 off drawings of your own creations? Full character sketches etc Does Image still look at this kinda stuff or is just purely finished comic material that they're interested in?



A single drawing simply isn't enough information to go by. Unless you can produce at least five pages of sequential artwork--you're really not ready to be doing comics.

 

   

 

Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:17 pm

 

DaveAlvarez wrote:

I once submitted my work as a 'collected edition of my strips' to Image three years ago. I got an e-mail from Jim Valentino telling me that it was not the right moment for that kind of project. After a while, a friend of mine told me that maybe it was because comics as a 'collection of strips', in this case, are not done unless they are requested by editors themselves just like PVP for example. Is that true or is it another 'urban legend of comics'?



Sounds like nonsense to me.

 

   

 

Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:39 pm

 

JesseMunoz wrote:

I know that there is no set answer for this question, but how long on average does it take to look at a submission after Image has recieved it. Meaning does it sit in a pile of submission for a while or is it gone through pretty quickly?



It can take any kind of time--it can take a few days--it can take a month or more. It really depends on how much other stuff we've got going on.

 

   

 

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:00 pm

 

VictorC wrote:

I’ve read in previous posts that you should NEVER submit a proposal for a book if that artist isn’t signed on to complete the initial run. However, the project I plan on submitting is an OGN designed to look like a four issue TPB (the reason is that, if I don’t get picked up, this format works best for me in self-publishing). The problem is that my artist was just picked up by Hasbro to work on some of their advertising projects. He’ll be able to complete the first issue, but won’t be around for the remaining three.

Would it be possible to submit his section and my script or should I wait until I have the second artist lined up (to show you how the rest of the book should look)?



You should wait until you have the second artist lined up (to show me how the rest of the book would look).

 

VictorC wrote:

Also, is this even a wise decision? He is a week away from finishing a previous project and then he is going to start on mine, should I just cut all strings and keep the book consistent or roll the dice on having a book with various styles (similar to “New X-men”) - just curious.



I'd wait until you can have an artist commit to doing the entire project.

 

   

 

Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:04 pm 

 

Hopeless Dent wrote:

Erik,

What role can convention appearances play in the submission process? I realize creators and publishers are busy at cons and their time is valuable, but is it at all feasible for aspiring Image creators to give you submission material at conventions?

Are there advantages/disadvantages to face to face pitches?



Don't hand me a submission at a convention and expect to get a response. We have to haul a LOT of books and comics and Homerun® Pies not to mention our own personal items around at these shows. Submissions are often lost or simply thrown away to make room for more important items.

If you want to make sure that we receive your pitch--mail it in.

 

   
   

 

Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:06 pm

 

nath devlin wrote:

i ve been following this thread for a bit and had to throw in my question, thats if you get to dealing with image does there have to be interviews and meetings to do?

No.

Nothing that can't be done through the mail.

 

   

 

Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:10 pm

 

nashya wrote:

This is a question only Erik can answer. Mr. Larsen, considering Flight has done well as a full color graphic novel/anthology, how well do you think an ongoing story in graphic novel format would work out? As in, it's never released in monthly issue format. It's something I'm interested in for my comic.

Next question, I hope this hasn't been asked a million times, but how many pages would be allowed in a monthly comic? Since it's creator owned, I could go over 22 pages worth of story right? I read once, you posted this yourself, that Savage Dragon was almost what... 30 something pages a month? You might have said more. What if I wanted to do 42 pages, or even 60? As long as it's more story does it matter? Most of my individual issues to my comic are 24 pages.

One more thing, can you order Image books through Amazon?



You can order Image trades through Amazon--not the individual comics, however.

And formats are always something that can be worked out. We're flexible.

 

   

 

Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:43 pm

 

JesseMunoz wrote:

gut-rot wrote:



hmm...i think what im thinkin up'll be green light then. thanks man.



Wow, Thats pretty confident.



Especially considering that there are nine punctuation, spelling or grammatical errors in that single post. Shocked

 

   

 

Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:14 am

 

gut-rot wrote:

haha! shit! didn't mean the green light from image. i ment that with the legal stuff, that i wouldnt get in trouble with it. and when it comes to spelling hell, thats what spell check's for.just dont pay so much attention to it when i post and things like that.

did you get what i was asking though, man?

 

Not at all.

 

   

 

Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:52 pm 

 

drazen wrote:

erik I have a question to ask,first to say that I ain't that good at english 'cause I'm still learning it Embarassed (another country another language you know)
now the question:
what if a guy from another country(from Europe) send you few pages(fully coloured) and the other stuffs and you like 'em,HOW ARE YOU GOING TO WORK WITH 'EM?



A lot of people work via their computers. Files can be uploaded and so forth. It's not that difficult.

 

   

 

Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:56 pm

 

gut-rot wrote:

Erik Larsen wrote:

gut-rot wrote:

haha! shit! didn't mean the green light from image. i ment that with the legal stuff, that i wouldnt get in trouble with it. and when it comes to spelling hell, thats what spell check's for.just dont pay so much attention to it when i post and things like that.

did you get what i was asking though, man?



Not at all.



allright, forget what i asked you then. just answer me this, if you get a submision and you reject it, when you write back to the person tellling them it got rejected, do you also tell them what they should do to try and fix it up?



No.

If I reject something--it's too far from publishable to fix with a few suggestions. If something is close--I'll offer a few suggestions to help it get closer--otherwise--I simply don't have that kind of time.

 

   

 

Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:44 pm

 

biggunn01 wrote:

This is a situtaion that is very on the line.
1) Anyone who is out there trying to push there own book is doing so for 1 or 2 reasons...in this order.
A) for the love of it, and
B) to get paid.
Now with that said..anyone who has ever tried to do there own book knows that it is not easy. Most will fail, some will do well and a few will do amazing!
Becuase of this...most people doing comics will tell you to do it for reason
A) the love.
The love is the easy part. If you love to draw comics that's not going to change. The making money part is hard...and harder in comics then other art fields. (usually doing your own book means either you or someone else spends alot up front, and hopes to make it back. ( unless you work for marvel and dc...in which case you get a page rate...say for conversations sake 100 -200 per page) and even then you have to build a following, continue to work and promote your book, all while not seeing much cash yet) And those page rates from marvel or dc, for the amout of work you have to do really suck...I MEAN REALLY SUCKS! as an illustrator i get the same amout of cash for simple figure drawings and line art. i can get up to 5 times that or more for magazine illos and things of that nature ( which are simple 4x4inch illos, not 11x17 beast). you can make GOOD MONEY as an artist. But in comics it's a different story. This is why people say "do it for the love" - because if it's JUST ABOUT PAY go elsewhere- it's easier - if it's for the love STAY HERE - if it's for both - WORK YOUR ASS OFF to make what YOU LOVE PAY OFF!

Thing is that if you DO do well, it can be very good...but to may people
think they can just jump in and get paid, and it doesn't work like that. (not any more)
just my 2 cents
wes

 

Well, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Sure--do the best work you can and with any luck it will pay off--but don't go broke in the process. Don't count on comics paying your rent right out of the gate--especially if you're doing something with a limited appeal.

I mean--some of the pitches we get are for projects which have an extremely limited potential audience.

 

   

 

Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:06 pm

 

VictorC wrote:

Good stuff - I have an artist that will do 8 pages to create a submission package.

Erik - Do you want to see two four page scenes or rather eight full pages in a row?

 

Either or. But in sequence is better.

 

   

 

Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:43 am

 

nonethewanderer wrote:

Raven wrote:

Erik: Your e-mail address no longer seems to work. PM me if you wish about specifics, but I seem to be getting an AOL error.



Hmm how covert, what's this about?



I no longer have an AOL e-mail address. Try Erik@savagedragon.com

 

   

 

Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:46 am

 

shockwave wrote:

Hey Erik, I'm interested in the process of digitally darkening pencils in photoshop to use instead of inking the page traditionally. How do I need to scan the pencils, (media type, dpi) and how then is the best way to go about darkening them, (levels, threshold, the burn tool), in order for them to be fit for print?



Unless your pencils are SUPER tight--it'll look like crap--but to answer your question--scan pages in grayscale, full size at a minimum of 300 DPI. Go into Photoshop and mess with the contrast in levels.

At least--that's how I'd do it. Other people might tell you otherwise.

 

   

 

Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:58 am

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

I know this is probably a stupid question, but I was just curious. I love reading comics and I love watching cartoons. Unfortunetly saturday morning is not what it used to be, so I realy on comics that imitate those types of stories in order to fill the void.

My reason for asking this question was to find out if many kid type comics or daily strip type comics are submitted. I thought Liberty Meadows was great (I loved it!!!) but a real rarity and still not quite saturday morning enough. Is there in fact a shortage of creaters in this area? Are creators afraid of cutesy comics because of being labeled "corny" or "childish"? I hope not.

If by some stray chance people are submitting this type of stuff, what is usualy wrong with it? Is it the art or the stories? I'd assume stories, because creating things that can be enjoyed by a younger audience can be very controversial. People read into children's entertainment looking for hidden messages all too often.

Anyway, this is more of an overall question if need be. What's the (avg)percentage of a few types of comics submitted. Is it 90% Superhero, 5% Action Adventure, 4% comedy, and 1% children comics? Obvoisly these are joke figures but I hope you understand what I'm curious about.

Oh, and I am not currently nor in the near future will I be submitting anything. I am just an avid comic book reader looking to add more variety to my collection.



Most kids comics that are submitted are unfunny superhero parodies. They're not good. The world really doesn't want any more superhero parodies, good or bad--but they especially aren't interested in bad ones.

In general, straight out cartoony comics don't sell all that well to a market which largely reaches older readers. It's kind of like trying to sell Calvin & Hobbes to Adult Book Stores. --You can try it--but don't expect it to be a huge success, regardless of how good it is.

 

   

 

Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:21 pm

 

alex wrote:

? question, Erik: would "Image" be interested in publishing a book of concepts (50, 100?) - if they're top notch and have an underlying theme - say, the characters of an epic upcomming series, oriental fantasy setting, whatever? Thanks.



In all likelihood--no.

 

   

 

Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:38 pm

 

alex wrote:

OK, my bad! I wasn't sure whether to use "concept art" or "character design" and I still am not! Embarassed Maybe just "art" book is fine.

What I meant was a collection of drawings and (mostly) paintings by one or many (6 or 7) of my comics artists. Something along the lines of "The world of Arabian nights" or "The characters of (insert a series' name)".

Is it still a "no-no", Erik? Wink If so, then fair enough. I suppose an artist (or artists) has to be famous already to have such project greenlighted.

I was offering something like this:



or more like this:



and even cover art like this:

 

The danger would be that it might read like a collection of ads--and where's the fun in that? We may be interested in doing a cool art book, if designed well, however.

At this point--you haven't sold me on this.

 

   

 

Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:38 pm

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

I have skimmed this thread a few times to get an idea what kinds of questions were asked. I think it is terrific that all these creators show so much enthusiasm. Here’s some more questions that might help them along.



Beauty.

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

1. Since, it is abundantly clear that Image only takes a one-time fee from the sale of the comics it publishes, could a creator come forward with a project and offer to pay the fee up front. I am not indicating ongoing series; I am referring to one shots or graphic novellas. To some people $XXXX (if that’s still the fee) is a small price to pay for a comic of their own creation to be printed. Understandably, the Image logo might not be on such a comic.



I'd rather not air the specifics of our "deal" in a public forum. Having a creator offer to pay any kind of fee up front does not increase their chance of being given the green light. Ulimately, the decision is based solely on the merit of their work.

We want to publish good comics--period.

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

2. How well are the black and white comics selling vs. the color comics (at Image)? I like both types equally well but ask on behalf of all those great inkers out there who can make a comic jump off the page without any color. Which types of comics work best for black and white?



Horror often works well in black and white. Superheroes, generally, don't.

It really comes down to the book itself. Some black and white books sell quite well--others don't.

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

3. Is there a best time of year to submit? I would guess there has to be a time when it is inconvenient like near the holiday season.



No, there is no "best time."

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

4. Also relating to time, what is the best time of year to release a new comic? This would deal more with actual comics than graphic novellas because those can sit in a bookstore for months on end and nobody seems to mind (at least around here). Monthly comics unfortunately take up precious space on shelves and they seem to be more selective.



Sales often dip in January and February--those aren't good launch months. Summer is often singled out but that's when a LOT of publishers launch new books and yours can get lost in the shuffle.

I'm not sure that there IS a right answer to that question.

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

5. How would a new comic deal with a letters page? How many months before the first inclusion of that page or pages? Where would the letters come from? Could they be answers to online questions instead of actual letters?



Creators often use first issues to introduce their book and its creative team. Often folks will include letters cobbled together from message boards but I'd suggest including an e-mail address where letters can be sent in your first issue's text piece.

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

6. Some people have stated on this site that they really would not want to go to conventions. For the sake of being fair about it, how do completely silent creators do? I am not just talking about skipping conventions, I mean not showing up on boards, interviews, or any pictures. This is probably an unlikely scenario but I was just curious at what point creators become too reclusive.



I have no idea.

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

7. Speaking of reclusive, what options are available for being contacted by Image? I know they can contact people in a number of ways, but what ways are required? If the creator really does not feel comfortable on a phone is that crossing the line or can all communication be on-line and through traditional mail. This may not seem like a problem for most, but some people work (and ultimately live) different shifts than their younger family members (their children) and some people are just plain nervous wrecks on a phone.



We've worked with people in the past through e-mail exclusively. It's not impossible.

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

8. What type of lettering is easier for small teams (writer and artist), computer lettering or traditional? This again is a stupid question but considering all the submissions you receive, what looks best on most occasions. The obvious choice would be computer lettering but if done wrong I am sure it would be far worse. Plus, what software is standard for this?



Most people do computer lettering with Illustrator®.

Both computer and hand lettering have their advantages--and both can suck! If sucking is going on--we'll suggest qualified people who can handle the job.

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

9. What is the panel count generally supposed to be? On Disney comics (Gemstone Publishing), and older comics the standard was usually 12. Nowadays it seems to lean more toward 6. I should rephrase the question to read: What is the maximum average page count? Not all pages would reach max limits but what is normal?



It doesn't matter.

Different people do different things.

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

10. What stands a better chance of being accepted, a one shot comic or a graphic novella? Personally, I would rather buy a novella over a one shot, because I like more to read. This may not be the case with other people.



What's the difference?

 

Johnny Jaybird wrote:

Sorry for rattling on! Like I said, I read this thread and looked for questions not yet asked. I hope this helps get answers for some new creators out there. If not, I wasted everybody’s time and I apologize.



Very Happy

 

   

 

Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:02 pm

 

nonethewanderer wrote:

Erik Larsen wrote:

...If sucking is going on--we'll suggest qualified people who can handle the job.

Very Happy



I'm sorry but that made me laugh. Very Happy

Good stuff with the rest of the questions though Erik. Now tell us, if you will, how many issues you want in the can before solicitations for an issue 1 go out?



At least ONE would be nice. Confused

 

   

 

Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:47 pm

 

nonethewanderer wrote:

Erik Larsen wrote:

nonethewanderer wrote:

Erik Larsen wrote:

...If sucking is going on--we'll suggest qualified people who can handle the job.

Very Happy



I'm sorry but that made me laugh. Very Happy

Good stuff with the rest of the questions though Erik. Now tell us, if you will, how many issues you want in the can before solicitations for an issue 1 go out?



At least ONE would be nice. Confused



Right. Laughing And I saw that one coming to.

So you really don’t have any requirement then to have like 2 or 3 issues done before you start soliciting issue 1?

Thanks in advance for answering my question...again. Confused



It really depends on the person--and their track record.

 

   

 

Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:32 pm

 

VictorC wrote:

VictorC wrote:

Hello Erik,

I published a comic a couple of years ago which was so rushed that I wouldn’t recommend it to line a bird cage. That being said, the story has been completely overhauled and I’m currently working with an artist to put together a submission package.

We are going to send over eight pages and all the other requirements listed. However, you mention a cover mock up and logo design. I’m curious as to what you thought of my previous attempt (logo and cover layout). I know that the actual word “Pencilneck” needs to be enlarged, but other than that, what are your thoughts (should we go in a different direction in terms of design)?

http://www.paperstreetcomics.com/Images/pn-cover.jpg



Any word on this one (sorry to double post but I thought you may have missed it). Very Happy



You're putting the cart before the horse, dude. Get the book accepted THEN worry about the covers.

That having been said--I'm not bowled over by what I'm seeing here.

 

   

 

Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:50 am

 

batmanbooyah wrote:

ok, say i had a pitch going. then the artist backed out. full 8 pages done and everything. but the artist left. (it was still kinda preliminary anyways, we were going to work on it more). would it be a waste of time to send in the pitch saying the artist isn't attached just to get an idea if the PREMISE of the book would fly at image?



Yes, it would be a waste of time.

 

   

 

Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:51 am 

 

jonnyponderosa wrote:

I am working on a submission that is shall we say mature. Should i feel okay about posting things here? i mean there is no nudity but the situations are somewhat graphic.

I just dont want any one to be offended by some colorful language that isnt any stronger than you would hear on t.v., just wasnt sure about the forums.



You're better off not posting your pitch here in any case. Mail it in!

 

   

 

Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:31 am

 

Deadpool_187 wrote:

I have read the guidelines for proposals and have noticed no claim for artistic preference. I would assume most people are of the opinion comics are pencils or paints, but does Image restrict itself to just those forms?



No.

 

Deadpool_187 wrote:

Would you be opposed to computer generated images or other forms of medium to tell the story?



Not as long as it looks good. A lot of computer generated images look like Barbie dolls posing. It all looks stiff and plastic--but if you can make it work--by all means--let us see it.

 

Deadpool_187 wrote:

I am under the impression this might help a book stand out, thoughts? Would you be opposed to sitting through several issues of a story, or do you prefer just the few pages required in the guidelines? Thank you for your time.



Whatever. Five pages is a minimum--not a maximum. If you want to show five pages or 500 pages, we'll flip through them. The reason we ask for five is to give us an idea of what stuff might look like--if we DON'T like a book, five pages won't kill anybody. You might not be too happy to produce 500 pages only to be told that you're NOT getting given the green light.

 

   

 

Tue May 10, 2005 11:46 am

 

IvanPetrus wrote:

Now there's a fine question.

Is the submission pile higher than Erik himself ? One time ? Three times ?

How does that translate into the number of weeks that we have to wait for a reply ?

Do you pick out the really eyecatching ones, or does every single one gets a number tag to go into the queue ?



It's a couple feet high at this point.

We go through it when we can find the time. It's been a while.

 

   

 

Tue May 10, 2005 11:56 am

 

queenofspades wrote:

So your book is excepted and is welcomed semi warmly.
What is the production schedule like in reality for a new series that has already one book out? Does Image set up a schedule with the creating team? Is there a preset roll out time? Can the Creator choose a deadline?



We talk it over. If the book is supposed to be monthly--an issue needs to get turned in once a month. We'll let you know how long it takes from the time a book is in our hands to when it's printed and in yours.

 

queenofspades wrote:

Also, is it bad to call/email to make sure your submission was recieved, like I would do to follow up with a resume/application for a job, to keep your face noticiable? Not to see if they got to it, just to see if it got there.



Yes--it IS bad to keep contacting us. We get enough stuff to do as it is. Don't add to it by calling and pestering. We'll get to it when we can.

 

queenofspades wrote:

Last part I swear Rolling Eyes Wink , Does Image at least reply to every submissoin excepted or not? Is this a no news is bad news deal (with considering judging time and shippment time, and understandable drowing in submissions time.)?



We DO reply to everything--if there's a valid e-mail address provided. If there's a problem with your e-mail and you can't receive mail--you're shit out of luck, however. We can't spend our days trying and trying to get a hold of you. If we REALLY love it--we may make that effort but if a "no, sorry" note is forthcoming and your e-mail is down--we're not going to keep trying throughout the week.

 

   

 

Tue May 10, 2005 11:59 am

 

queenofspades wrote:

I really would like to know how many submissions you guys get in an average day. I really cannot estimate like that.

Do you have a system by now of how you tell which need a second look and which is "been there/done that" or no look nessicerry?

I am curious to know what those on the inside do to cope with something like open submissions.



We get about five to ten submissions a day.

Our system is to open them up and look them over. 99.9% can be judged by simply flipping through them and seeing what the look like.

 

   

 

Tue May 10, 2005 7:23 pm

 

Grant_Alter wrote:

So at this point, a submission sent in this week would run a relatively long time?



That's a decent estimate.

 

   

 

Fri May 13, 2005 11:02 am

 

Scott Wilson wrote:

Would you consider publishing a story written by a 16-year-old?

I'm talking about legal issues.



What legal issues?

If the work is exceptional--we'll publish it.

Most 16-year olds aren't that good, however.

 

   

 

Fri May 20, 2005 4:13 pm

 

ninjai wrote:

Does the money generated by putting ads in your book get absorbed into the cost of the publication, or does that money get placed aside as part of the profits?



There is no generated revenue from ads. It's a reciprocal program. Ads for other Image books run in your book--ads for your book run in other Image comics.

 

ninjai wrote:

Ideally for me a comic book is successful when it has good artwork and even better writing. In the comic book industry and the number crunching, as well as with new submissions/books is it better to have sweet artwork, and average writing, or average artwork and sweet writing? I see a few books that get published that really have average (at best) artwork, but the story and writing is excellent...Image seems to have been more willing to publish excellent story and writing over artwork, is this still the case? OR has it gotten to the point where Image needs to be very selective and only accept excellent artwork and excellent writing?



It really needs to be all good.

 

   

 

Thu May 26, 2005 10:55 pm

 

Samy wrote:

Erik Larsen wrote:

There is no generated revenue from ads. It's a reciprocal program. Ads for other Image books run in your book--ads for your book run in other Image comics.



So there are no out-of-house ads in an Image comic?



That is correct.

 

Samy wrote:

If an Image comic features only in-house ads, how many pages would this typically eat up? Say, if I have 22 pages of story, would I pay for printing a 32 page book to get in 10 pages of ads?



Comics are, typically, 32 pages long. You can fill them however you like. We’d like you to run a few ads for other Image books and really, if you expect others to run ads for YOUR book it’s a good idea if YOU run an ad for their book but it’s not required--especially if you have legitimate content to fill your book with.

 

Samy wrote:

Also, does the number of ad pages depend on the amount of story pages? Would a 60 page comic feature more in-house ads than a 24 page comic?



Not necessarily. You don't have to run any ads (or at least--not many). If you have a 64-page story to tell--we're not going to insist that you stick in extra pages to give us room for ads. The more pages for the reader--the better. Our #1 priority is making sure the reader gets the best possible comic book for their money and it’s in your best interest for that to be the case.

 

Samy wrote:

What about the possibility of an ad-free book? Is that possible for an extra fee, or must all Image books carry the house ads if they are Image books?



It's possible to do an ad-free book. If, however, there is room--we'd like the ads to be for Image books not books from another publisher.

 

Samy wrote:

Or are these specific terms that can all be negotiated when the Image fee is discussed?



We'll talk about that, sure.

 

Samy wrote:

Another topic I'm curious on is at what point the schedule to an ongoing series is discussed with Image. An earlier reply implied that it'd be enough to have just one issue completed before #1 goes into solicitations. But if you're waiting for the sales on #1 before deciding on #2, then there would be a huge gap between the two issues, wouldn't there? You would have to pretty much have three or so issues in the can, at least, on your own money, before any possible revenue starts coming in from #1, no?



Yeah--that really doesn't work.

 

Samy wrote:

Or could there be, say, a half year pause between #1 and #2, during which the creator would tally up the sales from #1, see if the property is viable revenuewise, and then get cracking on #2 if #1 sold enough?



No--the creative team really can't do things that way and, frankly, your audience won't stand for it. You'd be better off putting out a self-contained original graphic novel--at least then your readers will be assured of getting a completed story. To expect to wait until you see how sales are and get paid is completely unworkable.

The gap would be eight months or more and readers would lose interest.

 

Samy wrote:

I'm just wondering on the logistics of scheduling, and any illumination on this issue would be nice.



See above.

Basically, it takes a leap of faith and a strong belief in the strength of your own property. You need to be committed to it and we need to be committed to it as well. If the book loses money, after all, we lose as well. we want strong books that will last for years to come and the books we give a green light to are books that we believe in.

 

Samy wrote:

Does Image or the creator choose the printer and handle contact with the printer? If all Image books are printed through the same printer, does Image get decent rates? Again, if Image handles the printer connection, at what point would a creator be informed of the printing rates? I would assume that any exact amounts (how much a full color book of 22 story pages would cost to print) are too secret to be printed here, but at some point, a creator would need to know this information in order to draw up his business plan, no?



That's a conversation that goes on after a book is approved. We've used several plants in the past and we get far better rates because we print a lot of books than you would be able to get on your own and we're always looking to get the best possible deal. We're in this together, after all and we want you to make as much money as possible. The more successful you are, the longer your book lasts and that's ultimately beneficial to us. We’d rather do books that last for years than a string of titles that die after an issue or two.

 

   

 

Fri May 27, 2005 12:32 am 

 

The McDermott wrote:

Ever consider bringing back a little inside Image column that would spotlight various books from the publisher?

Essentially 1 big ad that covered a half dozen or so books and a checklist.



We've been kicking it around. The problem is (and I admit to being a part of that problem of late) the tardy or MIA books. If we include a complete checklist for, say, June, there are bound to be a few that won't make it out during that time and it throws the whole thing off.

But it's on the "to do" list, to be sure, regardless. Not everybody buys Diamond Previews and knows what's coming up.

 

   

 

Mon May 30, 2005 1:11 am

 

Aaron Wilder wrote:

Erik Larsen wrote:

There is no generated revenue from ads. It's a reciprocal program. Ads for other Image books run in your book--ads for your book run in other Image comics.
 



Do the creators of the book have any say over which in-house ads are placed in the book? For example, could someone say "I want a Small Gods ad to run in the book". Or is that your discretion and would you group ads according to target audience?



If people have specific requests, we'll generally accommodate them (often it will come down to availability). If there aren't specific ads requested, we'll place ads for book with similar target audiences. In other words--all ages ads in all ages books--horror ads in horror books, etc. Also, if there are books a creator does NOT want advertised in their book, we'll make sure they don't run there as well.

 

   

 

Tue May 31, 2005 12:55 am

 

comixscetcher wrote:

first what do u think of this plot.
title: "clicks"

a nerd. a jock. a goth. an artist. a cheerleader. these unlikly team members join forces when a odd explosion at a middle school changes all of them forever.

want more?
email: comixscetcher@sbcglobal.net



It's not much of a "plot," your spelling, punctuation, grammar and capitalization are atrocious--plus it sounds like pretty typical fare for any movie, comic book or TV show. What's there to "want more" of? More cliches? More poor spelling? There's no "hook" here--nothing that sets it apart from everything else.

And it really has no place here. This thread is supposed to be questions related to submissions--not a place to post pitches.

 

   

 

Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:37 am

 

ClaudeBaptiste wrote:

Mr. Larsen, the way you look to the submissions that are shown to you, is it affected by writers wannabe like the one before, or can you separate it?

It’s fair that you get tired of this stuff…It’s too much, even for non published people, like me.



I can separate it but 99 times out of 100 the art is so wretched that it doesn't stand a chance.

And it's more heartbreaking than anything else. I know these guys have worked for years to get to where they are--and that their friends and acquaintances have told them that they're as good as any professional. Often these folks are delusional and have no perspective on their own relative skills--and it's my solemn duty to break the news to them that their dreams aren't going to come true.

But the honest truth is--if their books were approved--they'd fail. The stories are often idiotic--the dialogue is clumsy and stilted--the art is amateurish--and the buying public would simply not buy it. The books would lose money. Our reputation would be sullied. The stories would go unfinished--and nobody would end up a winner in this scenario.

Still--every so often--a real gem arrives and it makes it all worthwhile.

 

   

 

Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:54 pm

 

jonnyponderosa wrote:

They dont hire you, you hire them. I might be wrong but it would be no different if you got in a cab, took a bus or ordered a pizza. You pay a fee for a service and that service is them being your publisher.

Please let me know if I'm wrong.



You're wrong.

You don't pay a fee--a fee is taken from the monies collected from the distributer. It's a bit different--but creators don't end up cutting us a check--we pay them.

 

   

 

Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:29 pm

 

mrhogg wrote:

A quick question about simultaneous submissions: are they frowned upon? I know that in the traditional publishing world they tend to be, is the same true for Image?



That's fine--just don't send us multiple copies of the same pitch. if you wanted to send a pitch to us and Dark Horse or Oni--that's fine. If you meant sending in pitches for a few books in one package--that's okay too.

We're easy.

 

   

 

Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:52 pm

 

Mark Poulton wrote:

Hi Erik, I was thinking of submitting my book to Image. I know the guidelines say a minimum of 5 finished pages are required but sending more is also allowed. Is there such a thing as sending too many pages? I know I shouldn't send a phonebook of pages in, but I picture my book as a 3 issue mini-series and the first 2 issues are complete. Would you be interested in seeing all of those pages? Thanks for your time.



That's fine.

 

   

 

Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:35 am

 

Gonzogoose wrote:

When dealing with Studios I am told that you still consider each book separately. I was curious how that process worked. Would the studio typically submit each and every title and you consider each one individually or what?



Yes--and there have been studios that have left because we wouldn't take ALL of their books. Often these guys go it alone and find out WHY we weren't interested in those books when their numbers come in. Shocked

 

   

 

Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:21 am

 

AndrewB wrote:

In the submissions thread, it says make the synopsis one page, but concise. Should the synopsis be a full page of selling the story? Or should it just be a quick paragraph that gets straight to the point and the rest of the page is us explaining on why we think our book should be picked up as a one shot or mini or whatever?



Save the sales pitch and the sucking up--I've heard them all. Your work should sell itself. If I can't tell that you've got a winner from the book itself--something's definitely wrong.

I don't need to know that you started reading comics when I was drawing Spider-Man or that you enjoy Savage Dragon--that's beside the point and sucking up really gets you nowhere (telling me that you think I stink gets you nowhere as well, by the way) --I don't need or care to know what you think of me-- show me what YOU can do.

Tell me what the book is about. Tell me what happens.

And that's it.

Don't add anything that's superfluous. If you can tell me the basics in a paragraph--by all means--do that. If you have something nifty to add--that's fine too but don't ramble on for the sake of filling up more sheets of paper. I don't have time for that nonsense

 

   

 

Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:59 am

 

dragonfollower wrote:

Erik,

Hey, sorry to bug you about this... Embarassed

I'm just wondering how long is too long when waiting for a response to a submission? Or, at what point should we assume it wasn't recieved and send it in again? I sent a submission in around four months ago and haven't heard anything. Just wondering whether I should begin worrying or not



At this point--I'd asume it was lost.

We're pretty caught up on stuff at this point.

 

   

 

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:03 am

 

dmstudios2003 wrote:

Hi, Erik -

I have a graphic novel in production, the pencils and inks are almost done (and by “almost”, I mean there’s only eleven pages left, in an one-hundred and eleven page story), the first 24 pages are colored, with some minor changes needed, and the lettering proofs just came in.

I'd like to submit to Image now, but I'm concerned using proofs or pages needing minor changes may count against me.

In a situation like this, would you advise to wait until the finals are done? Or, would you agree that I could submit, adding a small comment that the pages aren't finalized or about where I am in production?



Eh. Send it in as is. We really only need to see five or more finished pages.

If it's good--it's good. There aren't things that really "count against you" if the work looks good--we're interested.

 

   

 

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:05 am

 

HvH wrote:

I have a question for Mr. Larsen. Hope it doesn’t sound too stupid…. Embarassed

Is it possible to submit an ongoing back-up project directly to Image and have Image select a suitable series for it from the titles that are being printed? Or does Image select projects as ‘packages’ that could include a back-up story or not?…

There are a lot of instances where the back-up stories gain as much relevance in terms of sales as the ‘main features’. Also, some comics authors don’t want to ‘slave off’ 22 pages or more per month and this sort deal is, usually, beneficial to both. But heck, everybody knows the advantages in these sorts of situations…

What I’m trying to know is if Image would accept ‘back-up projects’ (with original characters and plot) and negotiate them with artists publishing ‘ongoing titles’ or if this should be dealt privately by the ‘back-up project’ creators with the ‘ongoing title’ creators?



Generally, it's not done and in the few cases where there are books that run back ups--often, those people are doing it for free.

So--it's unlikely.

 

   

 

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:06 am

 

billthomason wrote:

Hey Erik, a quick question for you.

I've been working on a 5 issue mini series for quite a while. Right now, I have a ten page prelude story detailing the life of the antagonist almost fully done with art. Would this prelude story be acceptable for a submission for the mini series along with a full synopsis of said mini?

 

Sure.

 

   

 

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:07 am

 

Hopeless Dent wrote:

As long as you meet the SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS , you're probably fine.



Those guidelines should be getting updated any day now, by the way... [EDIT - They have been updated - B]

 

   

 

Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:44 pm

 

mysweetphantom wrote:

Hello! i have a question...which i guess is why im in this thread, but enough redundancy!!
In my comic, Beautiful Nightmare, one of the two main characters is based off of Gaston Leroux's character The Phantom. also the location is in the paris opera house. however other than that my comic is different from any phantom story, (or any story in general)
however, I hope to get it published someday, but would having a phantom as my main character stop me from getting it published?



If it's based on a character who is NOT in public domain--we can't touch it.

 

   

 

Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:03 pm

 

shazaman wrote:

Erik Larsen wrote:



If it's based on a character who is NOT in public domain--we can't touch it.



What's the status with using characters that are based on archetypes but are fully developed in their own right, eg, series like Authority, Squadron Supreme, etc that take archetypes based on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman etc and do something new with them so they're no longer identifiable with the original? There seems like a lot of creative development of similar type characters etc within the industry as a whole and at what level does this become a legal copyright issue?



When the characters are similar enough that people have trouble telling them apart.

But seriously--haven't we really had ENOUGH of that kind of stuff by now? Yeah, yeah--it was fun for the first ten or fifteen times but isn't that enough? Whatever happened to the idea of coming up with something NEW instead of coming up with some cheap knock off? What cheap imitation that hasn't stayed far from its roots has gone on to become anything noteworthy? Does the world at large really need ANOTHER Batman knock off or ANOTHER Superman clone?

You say you want to write--why not write instead of doing variations of someone else's efforts?

 

   

 

Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:40 am

 

mysweetphantom wrote:

Gah!! Im sorry i didnt mean to cause an issue! my story really is different even the character is unique, trust me



Oh, I do. I wasn't intending to pick on you in particular--it was more of a general comment.

 

   

 

Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:39 am

 

justed wrote:

Any idea when the new submission guidelines will be posted? I am hoping to have a submission pack ready in time for WW Chicago, but don't want to put it together under the current guidelines if they're going to change.



Christ--I dunno. I thought they'd be up by now.

And DO NOT submit things at shows! You're just asking to have them get lost! Image isn't setting up in Chicago! Yes, I'll be milling about somewhere but there's no way that I'm going to lug around a couple hundred proposals with me!

As far as the guidelines go--

Just think--what would it take to sell your book? Send at least five finished pages--any size--and a short synopsis of what your book is about. If you have more pages--swell. If you have less--don't bother. We need to tell that you know what you're doing.

Don't sweat it.

A bad cover less won't blow your chances. I don't even need a cover letter, really--I've had my fill of folks trying to act cool or suck up--just show me your stuff. Show me how good your book will be.

 

   

 

Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:40 am

 

iliaskrzs wrote:

well............. i am writing a proposal for image.... i have a question and i was hoping someone who knows could help me...

the story relies heavily on flashbacks... we learn vital things about the heroes through flashbacks up until the end of the comic...

Should the plot synopsis present the story as it would appear in the comic or in a a linear way? (for clarity)

(of course if i do the latter i'll have to write a second much shorter synopsis to show the story in the order it would appear in the comic)



Whatever you feel works best. It really doesn't matter.

 

   

 

Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:50 am

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

1) Is it true that Diamond wants 60% off the cover price in order for them to distribute your comic?

2) Is it true that a Savage Dragon movie is in the works?

3) If motion picture rights are sold, does Image get a piece of it?



1. No.

2. No.

3. No

 

   

 

Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:01 am

 

HvH wrote:

Are there any subjects that IMAGE would never touch?



Porno comics starring children would make that list. I would have said bestiality or necrophilia but then Zombie King was turned in...

Sigh.

Just kiddie porn then...

There are, however, tough sells. Superhero parody/humor books have a tendency to die pretty quickly. I can't think of any which have had sustained runs (although a few of the better ones keep resurfacing only to fade away once more).

 

   

 

Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:03 am

 

Jettison wrote:

Erik,
Is it up to me as an artist to decide on wether or not I want to lay my comic pages out on the computer? I mean, If I dont want to draw an actual comic page, but draw the individual panels, and assemble them in photoshop...is that acceptable?



Who would know or even care?

I don't see why that would be an issue at all.

 

   

 

Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:09 am

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

1) If sales do not cover the printing and Image's flat fee, is the creator responsible to pay the difference?

2) If I am granted the comic book publishing license from an existing product, would Image be willing to give a page or two of advertising to the licensor to market those products in which the comic book is derived from?



1. In most cases, the book is simply not printed. If the creator is determined but there's no way it could possibly break even--they'd have to. We can't afford to piss away money like that.

2. In that comic, sure--I couldn't guarantee that ads would run in other Image titles, however--but often licensors ask for ads in the licensed comics and I can't think of an instance when we didn't let that happen.

 

   

 

Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:13 am

 

Jettison wrote:

ALSO....what is the standard TEXT size used in comics?


I don't know that there is one.

 

   

 

Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:20 pm

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

1) Is Image's "modest office fee" charged per issue?

2) Would hiring a professional kick-ass cover artist to do the cover of your submission help in any way, shape or form? I ask because my artist can do great sequentials ... but his covers suck.

3) Can I send 5 pages of sequentials without a cover?


1. Yes.

2. It can't hurt--but unless the interiors kick serious ass--you're wasting your money--and you really can't know that unless you send it in or ask a mess of brutally honest pros (actually--you won't get much feedback from us--but you'll find out if it's approved or not). A good cover will NOT guarantee that your book will get approved.

3. Yes--but we'd PREFER to see it with a cover.

 

   

 

Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:22 pm

 

foxmerquise8 wrote:

How would you feel about a one shot with a collection of short stories?


Fine--but I'd like to see samples from ALL of the artists included.

 

   

 

Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:54 am

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

Dear Mr. Larsen,

From reading a previous post, I understand that a 5-page prologue is okay in a submission. Is it okay if that prologue does not feature any of the main characters?


Look--you're trying to sell the series to me--if you really think that the best way to do that is WITHOUT the main characters--then fine--go right ahead. If it was me--I'd show the main characters in action--but the point is to determine if you can tell a story and make it interesting. If you wanna do that with other characters--that's fine too.

 

   

 

Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:49

 

Gonzogoose wrote:

Ok, per the new guidelines it states you accept samples from artists. It also states you can send links, but you need to send hard copies for a greenlight for projects. Does this apply to artist samples as well or can they just send links? Thanks.


Send hard copies.

 

   

 

Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:53 am

 

Glaze wrote:

Do you know if bi-monthly releases are ever granted?


Yeah.

 

   

 

Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:33 pm

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

Any chance of seeing a sample submission package posted online for us aspiring scum to see. It would be educational to see what you guys think what a good one-page synopsis should look like. Heck, I'd even like to see a sample cover letter. Any chance? Please! Double dawg please!


I can't really do that. The pitches that come in don't belong to us and it's not fine for us to post them. There are copyright issues. If YOU had a pitch, which contained plot elements that anybody might SEE and even USE, would YOU want it posted?

 

   

 

Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:36 pm

 

Beto_Machado wrote:

How much money can a person end up owing Image (per issue) if their comic is not successful?


Generally that's not an issue. If a book is doing so poorly that it can't make money--we just don't publish it and that's the end of that. If the creator absolutely insists on publishing despite it all--it can cost all kinds of money. Buy most often that doesn't happen and we can be fairly flexible and accommodating

 

   

 

Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:18 pm

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:


How about a sample submission package from a miniseries that has already been published ... with permission from the creator?

I really think a sample may help reduce the number of poorly constructed submission packages you receive -- giving us a better idea of what we should strive for.


It's really not THAT big a deal. If you can't write a decent one-pare synopsis--maybe you're not as good as you think you are.

There is no specific look or format, which will guarantee that your book will be given a green loght. Make the book cool. If the book is great--we'll take it on. It's that simple. And it's not as though a brilliant synopsis will get a shitty book approved or that a shitty synopsis will sink a great book.

Your main concern is, or should be, the book itself. If it's awesome--you're in.

 

   

 

Thu Aug 25, 2005 1:25 pm

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

Beto_Machado wrote:

Question about character names. I know one should avoid calling their characters obvious things like "Batman" or "Tom Cruise".

But what about this... I have a secondary character which has a pretty common nickname, one that thousands of people have. The thing is, there is a singer that uses that name. Should i avoid naming a secondary character that just because of the singer? Can the singer even register/copyright a common nickname?

Thanks.



Remember what happened to Todd McFarlane?


Well, let's not forget--Tony Twist has still never seen a dime.

It really depends on how you use it and all the rest. There's an actor/wrestler who goes by the name "The Rock" but that didn't stop me from having a character called Rock. Of course--My Rock may have predated the other Rock.

 

   

 

Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:46 am

 

McKlyde wrote:

hello Mr.Larsen

I was wondering what sort of organization the submission should be in, given the parameters, I wasnt sure how some of the pages should be organized. As of now, this is how I have mine:

-cover letter: requested information ; self introduction ; project information ( how I want it to be, target audience, etc ).
-one page synopsis: series background, story arc, other story information.
-cover mock up
-6 page example
-concept/character art

what exactly is your most prefered, if any?


That sounds fine. It's really not THAT important as long as the pages of the story itself are in sequential order.

 

   

 

Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:48 am

 

dragonfollower wrote:

I was just wondering whether there was any benefit to publishing a comic in black and white instead of color? Ideally, I would want the comic I'm submitting in color. But I'm hesitant to submit it that way, because I know print runs have to be higher and the initial risk is greater on color books. What would you suggest we do in regards to color?


Don't worry about it for the time being. If the book is submitted and we like it--we can iron that out.

 

   

 

Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:24 pm

 

spawn5061 wrote:

1what if i want to put out more comics under my company name, do i have to submit that.


Yes. Getting one book approved does not mean that other books will be approved.
 

spawn5061 wrote:

2. do any of the people who have submited and made it have a website. i'd like to see other things done by other people.


There's a website that we all use. It's called www.imagecomics.com there may be links to other sites there as well.
 

spawn5061 wrote:

3.will it become a comic book sold in stores.


Yes. That's pretty much the point of doing this.
 

spawn5061 wrote:

4. if i want it colored, do i have color it? or will they take care of that.


For a submission--don't worry about color. If the book is approved, we can talk about your options.
 

spawn5061 wrote:

5. is their any words i can not use, (such as the s word the f word and other things)


In the interior of your book--no. Although we will need to tell retailers about it beforehand when the book is solicited. You CAN'T title your book FUCK FACE, Agent of S.H.I.T.H.E.A.D. or use foul language in your solicitations or on your cover.
 

spawn5061 wrote:

6. does it have to be a one page summary over the book. if i nowared it down to one page, it would probaly suck.


Yes. One page. You can, of course, have a thick binder of text to accompany that one page which elaborates on yor brief summary but a one-page overview is a necessity.

 

   

 

Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:57 am

 

spawn5061 wrote:

i also have another question. i have a name for a comic company which i want to use on my book. i have a logo and everything. will that be used on my book, or will it have "image" on it?


If YOU publish it--it can say whatever you want it to--if Image published it--it would say Image on the cover.

Just Image--nothing more.

 

   

 

Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:54 am

 

spawn5061 wrote:

so i can put the name of company in the book, like malibu did with some of the older image books?



You could--on the inside--but not on the cover. And, by the way--Malibu actually published Image comics for our first year so they really WERE entitled to have their company name in the books.

But my point is that this should be about joining Image NOT starting your own imprint. If you want your own company--start up your own company!

 

   

 

Tue Sep 06, 2005 3:43 pm

 

spawn5061 wrote:

i want to publish my comics under image and have a name on them (like TMP and Shadowline) for my book.



When you become an Image partner so can do that--not before (and yeah--there are one or two exceptions but not many).

 

   

 

Tue Sep 06, 2005 4:12 pm

 

mocktales wrote:

Is spawn5061 talking about adding something to the actual i logo from image? Like Top Cow's utters under it's Image logo?



I'm not sure.

Top Cow is the only one that does that. Todd doesn't use anything else on his covers other than the Image "i" --he doesn't slap a TMP on his covers.

 

   

 

Wed Sep 07, 2005 1:41 pm

 

PatrickG wrote:

I think the question got lost earlier in the thread but...

Established artist: good or bad?

When I was eighteen or nineteen, I had Jason Armstrong onboard for a pitch to a major publisher. I didn't get anywhere and by the time I did, the response was unfortunately a "Jason Armstrong WHO?"

(I've lost touch with them but I hope Ferro City is reminding a few folks who he is. He has WONDERFUL design sensibilities and I was fortunate to even be a blip on his radar at that age.)

More to the point, the industry is overbrimming with artistic talent. If a new writer tracked down a strong but underappreciated veteran like a Herb Trimpe or a Kerry Gammill, would that add to the marketability of the pitch or detract from it?

I know this doesn't work for everyone or every project and that as soon as a writer finds an open window into the industry, it closes quickly.

I thought maybe there was an unspoken rule that new writers pair best with new artists. I'd guess the ultimate answer is that it depends. But a new writer with a strong story and a veteran artist stands a better chance than a new writer with an artist who is fun to look at but an otherwise unproven commodity, right?



Not necessarily. A number of established pros come saddled with a preconceived notion from retailers of how well their work is (and will be) received as well as how to order the books, which they work on. But it really does depend on who that individual is and what the pitch looks like.

 

   

 

Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:10 am

 

tank wrote:

When this thread started Erik seemed like he was eager to help us all, now I can practically hear him cursing us under his breath. I am honestly worried that by the time I finish my submission, Erik will have grown so pissed off at the amount of retarded and inappropriate questions here, that he will have convinced Todd to shut Image down.



Aw, that's not the case. I love you guys, really--and I do want to help. Obviously, I want the very best for everybody in comics--and Image in particular. If I can help make the next Image book that much better--I'm all about that.

I'm here to help.

I'd hate to think anybody would feel as though they shouldn't ask a question here. And sure, it's a fine idea to read the submissions guidelines and the rest of this thread but please--don't be shy. If you have a question--ask it and I'll do my best to answer it.

 

   

 

Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:36 pm

 

Jason A. Quest wrote:

tank wrote:

Does Image continue to publish so long as there is a profit? Does the bubble for profit equal the bubble for printing?
I would imagine that a book just barely making a profit over the printing and flat fees wouldn't be kept on the roster if the circulation wasn't going up. Is that true? Or do you keep it running as long as it breaks even? Is there a point at which a book will be cancelled if it isn't making a big enough profit?


Keep in mind that Image makes the same amount on a book whether the book sells 5,000 or 5,000,000; the profits (or lack thereof) go to the creator. So the decision to publish or cancel is one the creator would participate in.



Image does everything it can to keep its books going--period. We've gone out of our way to make things work. In some cases we've really taken it in the shorts. But that's worked out okay. Some books (like Invincible, for example) started off a bit soft--lost numbers--and then turned around and really took off. It does happen.

 

   

 

Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:33 pm

 

tank wrote:

That's awesome of you guys to put faith in a book like that. In a case like Invincible, those growing numbers later in the first year obviously told you there was an audience for a TPB.

Is the money/licensing/publishing deal on TPBs the same as regular issues? I assume there is some sort of circulation to be reached to justify taking a TPB to press as well...



With the Trade Paperbacks there's a percentage taken as well as the normal flat fee. We have to sink a ton of money into the trades--often they don't break even for months and since we don't take an additional fee when a book goes back to press--we need something in order to make things work financially. We couldn't afford to go back to press on any book (nor would we have any real incentive to) if we didn't take a percentage.

 

   

 

Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:26 pm

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

Erik, when you say "we don't take an additional fee when a book goes back to press" do you mean that you don't take an additional service fee when an issue goes to second printing or when a TPB goes to second printing or both?



I'm pretty sure that it's both.

 

   

 

Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:28 am

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

We all know that there is NOT a lot of money to be made in comics. Every one and their mother has told us so. You gotta do it for the love of it. But do I still want to know how I get paid? Yes, I do. Because you bet your ass that the artist, inker and colorist that I’m working wants to know. Or if I’m trying to get the licensing rights from an existing property … I need to include this type of information in my proposal to them. Am I putting the cart before the horse? Maybe ... but an informed mind is a prepared mind. I always like to be prepared before I do anything -- kind of like doing the research before writing the ol' college paper.



There CAN BE a lot of money made in comics--don't get me wrong--it's certainly possible. I've cut some pretty fat checks for people. But you can't be guaranteed that you'll make big bank. You need a good game plan and a strong property.

 

   

 

Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:07 am

 

Grant_Alter wrote:

Kirkman not taking profits is NOT cause he doesn't deserve them. It's because he's being generous.



Robert Kirkman has said to me that he makes more money from his Image books than from his Marvel books. Given the checks I've seen--I can believe that. Robert started out "just doing it for the love" but at this point he's making a decent living from his creator-owned stuff.

 

   

 

Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:35 pm 

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

Just to clarify, I was asking for a professional's opinion on a fair split between the creator and the creative team -- which is a different matter than the business that goes on between Image and the creator. I know that "every deal is different" but I'm just interested in what Erik felt was fair.



There's no one answer. There are writers that can bat out ten books a month and artists that can't manage one. Often inkers take a lot of time. Color can be flat and simple or rendered to beat the band--it can take a little or a lot of time. Is it fair to say that the "creator" gets 10%, the writer 20%, the penciller 30%, the inker 20%, the colorist 20% and the letterer gets a flat fee off the top? In some cases--yeah--in others, no.

On my book, I've always paid the colorist and letterer a flat rate--so if I bring in a guest star and sales go up--they're not rewarded when they're essentially doing the same job--and if my sales tank--they're not punished.

But it's really up to the creative team to decide what's fair FOR THEM. I know of some people that split the take 50/50 (writer/artist) which, to me, isn't fair based simply on the length of time it takes to do the job--but there are those who would argue that the book wouldn't be crap without the writer--that they're the only one that start with a blank page. On the other hand--there are artists that clearly drive sales as well. If a newcomer writer was working with Jim Lee should the split be the same as if Jim was working with Alan Moore or Frank Miller? If Frank Miller was writing a book that he wasn't drawing--should the split be the same with some untalented newcomer as it would if Todd McFarlane was the artist? I wouldn't think so. In these examples--different creators are bringing different things to the table. I think it makes a certain sense to negotiate every time a new title is thrown together.

 

   

 

Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:30 pm

 

mocktales wrote:

Erik, would you say there are a lot of people out there submitting who are either an extreme of one, or the less-extreme of the other. Like for example; Someone puts way too much effort into writing or drawing a story that doesn't have much of an interesting grab to it. And then others who have a good idea, but don't put any effort into developing it.



Most are crappy ideas coupled with awful art. Generally--the better the art is--the more professional the entire package is. Better writers are better able to hook up with better artists.

 

   

 

Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:34 pm

 

LugosiCoffee wrote:

It would be nice if there was a specific thread for critiques. Not for people to just post and think they've got the next golden ticket. I'm talking about something designed specifically with the intent of helping creators develop their ideas.



There's nothing stopping anybody from starting one--but the problem would be guys simply reading it to raid it for ideas. Or people posting their stuff and assuming that somebody stole their idea when something similar sees print.

That--and who has the time to write all those critiques?

 

   

 

Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:47 am

 

Gonzogoose wrote:

What genres is Image chiefly interested in at this time? Or in other words, because I know you're going to say if it's a great story Image will take it, what, in your opinion, is the market missing, what will sell, and what will entertain more than other genres/stories?



I think that trying to do something to fill a void is a mistake. Ideally, you should be trying to tell a story that you want to tell.

You can like Savage Dragon or loathe it but it was a character that I felt passionate about and I had a story that I wanted to tell. Had I done a cowboy/romance comic because cowboy/romance comics were all the rage--I'm guessing it wouldn't have been as good because it wouldn't have been something that I felt strongly about.

That having been said--we're not really looking for cowboy/romance comics. Very Happy

Logic pretty much tells you what sells and doesn't. Superhero parody books or "funny" comics about girls with big jugs die pretty quickly in this market. There are other kinds of books, which are a hard sell. Science fiction or "cosmic" books are traditionally hard to sell.

I know that many readers would like to see Image do more of the kind of kick ass superhero books that it did in the early '90s. Ant launched very well and I think part of that is due to readers seeing it as a throwback to the kind of books we did early on. The most frequent request I hear is from readers bemoaning the lack of a coherent Image universe. But those kinds of books aren’t easy to do. Image is a creator-owned company and creators can’t be forced to share their creations. Making a universe “work” isn’t easy—especially when creators want to be able to do whatever they want to in the confines of their own books.

I’d advise anybody to simply follow their muse. What book would YOU like to read? What book ISN’T being published that you’d like to read? Don’t just think, “I should do zombies—the Walking Dead is selling really well.” Think about what books AREN’T being published. Where is the void? What’s missing? And if you have a great story to tell—readers will show up to read it.

 

   

 

Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:56 am

 

jai_nitai wrote:

Does one have to pay any fees or put any money down when publishing with Image? If so, how much? And what is the minimum run for a comic book? Who pays for the printing? And does everything have to be completely set up, like even the pre-press/production work, etc.? Or does someone there do that?



The money generated from the books themselves pay off everything. From that money the printing bill is paid. From that money our fee is taken out.

The minimum depends on costs and a number of things affect that. Paper costs, page count, cover price and a number of other factors come into play.

And you send in files--we handle the rest.

 

   

 

Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:14 pm

 

PatrickG wrote:

]I've been crunching numbers.



Which is always difficult given that you don't actually HAVE any.

 

PatrickG wrote:

If I had a mini-series published at Image, how would it WORK?



You, personally? That’s hard to say given the information I have at my fingertips in regard to you and your book—absolutely no information whatsoever.

 

PatrickG wrote:

I'm seeing 5,000 copies an issue for a lot of books and around 1,500 for trades.

Say I have advanced financing for talent, is it workable with those kind of numbers?



Those aren’t guaranteed numbers by any means. Books do better AND worse and it really depends on the book. Decent books make gobs of cash. Poor-selling books don’t.

 

PatrickG wrote:

Without getting too specific or too personal... Is this realistic? Is this what I need to be prepared for in a BEST CASE scenario?

I'm not asking if this is the case on Savage Dragon or even Invincible but is this common?



In a best case scenario there are no worries at all. The best selling books make money right out of the gate.

 

PatrickG wrote:

I would imagine that a lot of guys submit without necessarily having the numbers mapped out and a clear idea of where the money comes from for the guys working a flat fee.

I know the Image "i" isn't for sale and that a person has to pass the submissions process but what I'm saying, I guess, is... Should the creator expect to take a substantial loss upfront and make it up later?



It’s always good to hope for the best but plan for the worst. If you go in expecting nothing—you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you go in expecting to become a millionaire overnight, chances are that you’ll be disappointed. There are no guarantees but we don’t take on books, which we don’t feel have a fighting chance of kicking ass.

 

PatrickG wrote:

But getting accepted, a person could still wind up with an artist who doesn't make a lot on percentage until the trade hits, am I right?



It’s possible but the exceptions on both sides are so prevalent that it’s really tough to nail down. You just need to bring your best game to the table. Don’t bring us a B’wanna Beast or Brother Voodoo and get bent out of shape when it doesn’t sell like Spider-Man.

 

   

 

Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:25 pm

 

PatrickG wrote:

I imagine it gets easier the more experience (and success) you get.

I can't claim to speak for Image but I've known a few pros at other companies who have basically pitched stuff at a bar with their editor or in a room full of creators.

I imagine Kirkman wouldn't necessarily have to put his next pitch in the stack. He'd still have to fight for it but the process might change some.

And... I'm almost certain that Image partners, while they might discuss plans, wouldn't necessarily submit at all. I imagine that the partners have a lot more freedom.

Worry about the first book first. If it doesn't get accepted, you're worrying about nothing.



I really have nothing to add. You pretty much nailed it on all counts.

 

   

 

Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:08 pm

 

spawn5061 wrote:

i have another question. on the five page perview for the comic, can you make the pages go front and back, or one page on each sheet?



It doesn't matter.

 

   

 

Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:44 pm

 

hobbes wrote:

I'm curious to know how does one submit a anthology? Since there will be various stories by different teams invloved, does Image want samples from each story in the anthology?



Pretty much, yeah.

 

   

 

Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:29 pm

 

Mr. Psycho wrote:

What is the Image fee and what does it cover? Printing included or no?



The Image fee pays for our rent and people who work in the office that help make your book possible. The Image fee gets you an ad in Previews. The Image fee does not cover printing. Printing prices fluctuate. The more copies you print--the higher the printing bill. We couldn't possibly cover ALL possible printing bills with one flat fee unless it was gigantic and that would be impossible for little books to cover.

 

   

 

Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:31 pm

 

Hardcore14 wrote:

1. What would make a new superhero pitch standout from the pack?
2. What type of superhero pitches get rejected in a flash?



1. Originality in concept and appearance.

2. Cable clones.

 

   

 

Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:49 am

 

jai_nitai wrote:

So wait...what happens if the sales on the book tank and there's no money to pay the printing bill? Does that have to come out of the pocket of the creators?

And you're saying that the cost of printing depends on the amount of copies that are printed. But is there a minimum amount of books that have to be printed? Or could someone only print like 500 or 1000 books?

Oh, and it's still kind of vague: is it okay to submit a one-shot? (I assume it is from Jason's post, but I just wanted to be sure).



Yes--you can submit a one shot.

As for printing--we know what those numbers mean before we go to press. If a book won't break even (at least) or get close enough that we feel it will break even shortly--we don't go to press. We don't put creators into debt unless they WANT to do something like that (and some HAVE had that happen. We've had guys that wanted their poorly-ordered books printed because they want to shop the property around Hollywood).

 

   

 

Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:51 am

 

jai_nitai wrote:

Thanks Erik. Oh, so I see...you can tell before hand by pre-orders if you should even bother printing it. I get it now.

What about a minimum print run, though? Is there one? Or like I was saying, could you really print as little as 500 to a 1000 books? Or print just a little over what was actually ordered, thereby reducing the chances for an over-print?



You really can't print that few books without losing money. If we get into a real situation we can outline the options. There are a lot of variables depending on the printer we use, paper stock, page count, cover price and all the rest. I can't throw out a number here that fits for every situation.

 

   

 

Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:13 pm

 

McKlyde wrote:

1-- is it necessary to get my stuff officialy copyrighted before i submit it, or is that something that can be postponed to later, if i were lucky enough to get my idea green lit.

2-- not really a procedure question, but out of curiosity... do you often get submissions where the artwork of the sequential pages is great, but may be overhyped (that meaning, too much time and focus and effort, unrealistic on what can be produced on an actual schedule), that if green lit, the quality of the final product falls short of what the submission promised. What do you do with ones that may be like that. (note: mine is not one of those... but the art is still good)



1: No. And we wouldn't know if anybody had copyrighted their story.

2: Not often, no. Most just suck--period. The ones that are well-drawn generally stay that way.

 

   

 

Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:02 am

 

sacredsin wrote:

Erik, why should one submit their creations to Image rather than, say, Alias, AP, Avatar or Darkhorse.

Are there benefits that Image can offer over those comic publishers, and if so, what?



I don't know what their deals are--but I do know that most take some kind of merchandising and entertainment rights. We don't. I also know that the farther back you are in that Diamond catalogue the harder it is get decent orders. Many stores buy from the "big four" and stop there. Considering how many submissions we get from creators at the above companies (many of whom would like to move their books to Image) I think it's pretty safe to say that we're giving people a fair shake.

 

   

 

Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:29 pm

 

jai_nitai wrote:

I'm in the process of lettering a book, but I was wondering: do the creators have to worry about pre-production/pre-press stuff or does someone at Image handle all of that?

I know that different printers have different specifications, so is there some standard page sizes, etc., that Image requires? Or at this point should I not worry about that and just send you something that you can read? Or should I be sizing the pages to the correct production size and have them ready-to-print?

If you have a standard page size, please let me know. I was asking around in some other threads and Kep! gave some numbers:

6.875 x 10.437 for a full bleed page and that the letters should fit within 6.125 x 9.687.

Anyway, I just want to know if this is important at the beginning stages or not. I'd hate to find out later that I have to redo all of the lettering because of some technical detail.



Most comics from most companies are the same in terms of their size. We do have folks that handle things and they're more than happy to talk people through stuff.

And keep the lettering in a different layer if you're really concerned about it. It is an area where many creators fall short.

 

   

 

Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:56 pm

 

mocktales wrote:

Erik: (Or anyone else) Wondering if I could get an industry opinion;

Does size matter.... when it comes to number of story pages in a book. (Minus the ads) Basically do you think that a double-sized first issue is a gamble for an unknown book and team? Or even continuing the series between 32-48 pages a book? I definately understand the work load too, so I'm not going to be one of those guys who get caught off guard wanting to draw that many pages. Also, I am curious if there is an ideal page amount you as a professional are comfortable working with?

On an additional note, I hear constantly from some editors; "If it sells, we usually don't care how many pages the book is." But then others are telling me, "Never go above 28 pages, or you're asking for print costs to bite you in the ass." So either opinion seems to catch me off guard. One seems too hesitant and the other not really caring about my book at all.



I think--as long as readers feel that the comic they read was worthwhile--size doesn't matter. FELL reads like a book twice its length. I've read 48-page comics with less happening and less characterization. If you're padding your story to have it fit 48-pages--what good is that? If you're leaving a lot of cool stuff on the cutting room floor in order to make it fit in 22-pages--what good is that?

It's YOUR STORY. How many pages do you need to tell YOUR STORY?

If it's good--chances are--readers will buy it. Sometimes they don't--but if it's REALLY GOOD--they generally will.

No single format is a guaranteed winner.

 

   

 

Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:05 pm

 

fyifoff wrote:

Well Redjack, I can see you wish NEVER want to break into comics. Because from a business end: you need to know why before know how!

Embarassed

Because Diamond isn't the 'god' of selling comics...

There are less locations but the comic world is still making billions!

think, 48 states with DC is 49. Break NYC off NY(+1), TX in 2 and cali into 3 that's 55 (states) or areas. Say you want to make 30,000 a year. That's 12 months/issues a year or $2500.00 a month. Say you can only get .50 cents an issue each month you need to sell 5000 issues. That's 90 issues or [divide by 48 is 105]

Diamond will work direct with you but you need 2500 issues a month in sales. Hmmm, half way there...

other then having a good comic, it seems just having it with Diamond, REDJACK, means it could be rather easy...

and bankable...



You guys keep trying to do the math and you CAN'T DO THE MATH. You have no information. You don't know how much it costs in order for the printer to start their presses. You don't know anything.

You can't start with a list of page rates. Everybody in this process has got to come to grip with the reality that this is a back end deal. Agree on a split before the process begins. The writer will get X%, the artist XX%, the letterer Y%, the colorist Z%. It's a calculated risk, to be sure, but if the work is outstanding--it really ISN'T. It CAN and DOES work ALL THE TIME.

Don't drive yourself crazy. Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.

 

   

 

Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:21 am

 

two arm bandit wrote:

A.Huerta wrote:

two arm bandit wrote:

If we are just cutting you a check each month for the flat rate do we still need to put together a submission package?.



Shocked ... yes you have to like everyone else.



I have spoken to several other publishers that dont quite have the coverage in terms on brand recognition that image does that wouldnt require the normal means of getting a project approved if we were the ones paying for it. There would be little to no financial risk to Image and a guarenteed packcheck every month from us.

The submission thread did not cover this specific situation and was just wanting to find out from an employee from Image that could clarify this.

You may be correct and thank you for trying to be helpful but it we would like to hear from an Image rep. just to make sure.



Whoever told you that was incorrect. EVERY book we publish must be approved by me. There are no back doors into the company. There are no special cases. It doesn't matter if you offer to pay the bills. Image is a company owned by its founders and we don't want any books that will hurt our company or damage our brand. We're NOT going to green light a book that we don't feel is worthy.

--And that's not to say that we've been 100% happy with everything that we've published in the past--but rather--we've learned from our mistakes.

 

   

 

Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:45 am

 

Gonzogoose wrote:

With the mock cover do you just need to see the art or you need to see a fully lettered mock cover with logo and box placements? Thanks.

EDIT - Well I answered my own question I think. The new guidelines talk about the logo, so I assume it should at least be on the cover. What about box placement and any additional lettering on the cover? Any need for that at this point?



Whatever you feel is necessary. Sell me on your book as best you can.

 

   

 

Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:41 pm

 

spawn5061 wrote:

hey erik, we'll we get to have a letter column in our book.



I think you meant to say, "Hey Erik, will we get to have a letter column in our book?" and the answer is--of course--provided you DO in fact have a book and you actually receive mail.

But that's nothing which should concern you at this point. Worry about letters columns AFTER your book is approved.

 

   

 

Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:16 pm

 

Mega Man wrote:

What type of inking style would be considered acceptable for a black and white book?



It doesn't matter. It just has to look good.

 

   

 

Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:17 am

 

Mega Man wrote:

Inking has been quite difficult for me, and it's also equally difficult to find a style that works for me. But until then, I hope to develop it so I can finally have the confidence to send a submission to Image.



There are a lot of artists that have been in the business for years and are STILL "searching for their style" --myself among them. It's not unusual to struggle with this stuff. A typical page from Savage Dragon could look any number of ways inked--all depends on how I helt like inking it when the time came to ink it. It might look completely different if I inked it the following day. The important thing is that YOU'RE happy with it.

 

   

 

Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:45 am

 

dumb angry drunk wrote:

Hi, I'm new here. I too had an inking question. I'm not much of an inker, so I've been experimenting with laying colors directly over the pencils. My pencils are very tight and clean, with a lot of extra fine detail and shading to add variance in the shades of color. Occasionlly I will ink a few lines to really bring a certain aspect out, but for the most part, I let my pencils shine through the colors. I know this has been done on several comics before in the past and has actually looked good, if not better than some of the inked comics out there.



I have not found that to be the case--but really--the end result is all that matters. If it looks awesome--who CARES how it got to look that way?

 

   

 

Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:45 pm

 

CosmicPencil wrote:

1. My book that I am working on has cover by guest artists. Now on the submission rules it says that this will show that you know how to design a cover or something like that...so what is your, I guess 'opinion' on guest cover artists? Good thing/bad thing/neutral?



If they're good--and they represent the quality of the book--awesome. If, however, you think you can get a sub-par book green lit because of a tasty Adam Hughes cover--forget it! We still want the insides to kick ass.

 

CosmicPencil wrote:

2. I am planning on submitting my own stuff, but let's say further down the road that I want to do a mini about one of YOUR characters, for instance Star...or better yet, submitting to do back up stories like the stuff Anoma Lee is doing. Are the submissions anything different?



You'd have to contact me about it. I don't let folks do whatever they want with my characters. Generally, how things work is that somebody shows me their stuff and if I like it--we talk through a story and I'll send off some sort of outline. The back up stories in Savage Dragon are NOT PAYING GIGS. The only thing you get out of it is exposure and practice.

 

   

 

Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:31 am

 

Andrew West wrote:

sometimes no response is the response.



Generally--it means we've got a million OTHER things to do. Unless a person includes no contact info (or have no e-mail address and DON'T include an S.A.S.E. ) they should--eventually--hear SOMETHING.

 

   

 

Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:47 pm

 

Elton Robb wrote:

I'm also new here, although I went through a Super-Hero phase ten years ago (even sent something to Eric, here! It was, wisely, rejected). Right now, I'm into d20 Design but I recognize the cross over potential of having my own comic. Yeah, I have a question to ask of you, Eric. I've been going over your submission guidelines, and is it true that I need somebody to be a partner in crime -- uh -- collaborator to do drawings and stuff?



Yes. Without pictures--these wouldn't be very good comics.

 

   

 

Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:27 am

 

tank wrote:

I have a question...

Obviously Image is a COMIC book publisher, but is it interested in publishing materials that are more hybrid work? I know the guidelines ask for specifics on whether it is possible a graphic novel or prestige format book...

I'm trying to think of a good example. IDW did a mostly prose book by Steve Niles, with only a bit of art. Or maybe something like Signal To Noise, or McKean's Pictures That Tick.

Am I making any sense?



We've done a few other things--posters, portfolios, prose books and other things. That having been said--a prose book would be a hard sell to ME as Publisher unless it was written by a writer with serious chops and a terrific track record. Alan Moore wants to write a book--? Sure, I'd be all over that--but the LAST thing I want is to start getting manuscripts from fans. Those go straight into the trash.

 

   

 

Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:08 pm

 

Creon wrote:

1- Is it necessary to trademark a project or the title of the project before to submit it to Image Comics? And if not, How that work when a project is green lighted, Is it Image itself that trademark the title or is this the owners/creators who have to do it?

2-The trademark seems to be an american specificity, so, if it's the owners job, what are their possibilities to trademark from France for exemple?



1. You don't have to register a trademark. If you want to later on--that's up to you. we don't do that. It's not our property--it's yours.

2. I'm not entirely sure. You'd have to talk to somebody that has more information than I do. I do know that a LOT of people don't register their trademarks at all. It isn't necessary.

 

   

 

Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:13 am

 

Sean C wrote:

I just have a quick question. When Image accepts a project and green-lights it, how long are you willing to wait for the project to be completed? I know that Image will hold off on a project until several issues are completed in order to release a book on a regular basis, but how just how long are you willing to wait? Is there a limit to Image's patience, or do they give the creator as much time as they need?



There's no limit.

It's your book, after all and we aren't paying you up front to do it. So, it's really up to the creators involved. We have nothing to lose by waiting.

 

   

 

Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:18 am

 

Creon wrote:

Your informations are really helpful in my case.
Now i'm sure that the registering of the project is not something absolutly necessary. That's something i could manage later if that become really important... but not now. Here the goal is to do a good book... my main concern.



As it should be.

There are cases where I've registered names and cases where I haven't. Savage Dragon has that lovely ® next to it--Freak Force doesn't (and it wasn't from lack of trying--at the time I tried to register the trademark for Freak Force, Malibu comics had registered a trademark on their book Freex and the folks at the trademark office felt that the titles were too similar).

 

   

 

Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:54 am

 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

Dear Mr. Larsen,

Forgive me if this has been asked before. If an Imprint accepts my submission (for example, SilentDevil or Across the Pond) and pitches it to you guys -- will it usually get looked at for consideration before (or typically sooner) than the regular, unpublished creator submitted, slush pile?

I understand that being an Imprint does not guarantee that Image will greenlight everything they pitch and that titles they picth still have to uphold to the highest creative standards -- but I was just wondering if going through an imprint will get your submission looked at a bit sooner -- as it has already gone through the Imprints filter.

Thanks!



Please don't submit to both. And it depends--I'm trying to get caught up. Really, I am. I responded to about 20 just today--uh, yesterday...

 

   

 

Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:32 pm

 

Brewers wrote:

You have said that creative teams decide whether to run a backup story in their book and if so get to choose what one if they want. Does this mean that if I (and my creative team) have a story we feel would be a good backup story, should we contact the creators of a particular book directly or submit it to you through the regular submissions process and if you think it's worthy you will show it to different creative teams (who then decide for themselves if they want to include it) yourself? Thanks.



Contact the creators of a particular book directly.

 

   

 

Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:35 pm

 

Jason A. Quest wrote:

You don't need to ask permission to carry a submission package of your work around with you at a con. It's your arm. The point is that you shouldn't expect any publisher to take it from you and carry it around for the rest of the con and then home.



It's FINE to bring stuff to cons--it's a great place to get feedback and you can always show it to US to get feedback--just don't expect US to carry it around for you. If we like it--we'll generally ask you to mail it in to us.

 

   

 

Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:23 am

 

Jason A. Quest wrote:

shushubag wrote: 

MisterGreenThumb wrote:

shushubag wrote:

Thanks again.

I don't want to get into an argument about why I didn't see the clear answer to my question each time. I honestly think that's why the thread is 56 pages long. I have read the 56 pages but in small incriments as they came in. I can't remember what was said that's all. I read the submission guidelines over and over again. I guess I just wasn't clear on what the story that happens within your submission. I know what the one page synopsis is.

I guess my concern is, will the 5 page submission be a part of the story you want? Or is it the story that will be told compiled into 5 pages?

Try not to get irritated with me, still wet behind the ears.



The five pages of penciled and inked sequentials are only a small part of your overall story. For example, I submitted a proposal for a 5-issue miniseries (that's 22 pages of art per issue or 110 pages total when finished). My 1-page synopsis outlines the whole story from the first page (page 1, issue #1) through the last page on the last issue (page 22, issue #5). My 5 pages of art are the first five pages from issue #1. You don't have to send in the first 5 pages of the story -- just five sequential/consecutive pages. Think of the 1-page synopsis and the 5 pages of art as two separate items. Your art is a tiny slice of the story brought to life for all to see visually. Your 1-page synopsis is the whole pie. Make sense? Any other questions?



Thank you MisterGreenThumb you hit the nail on the head. That's exactly what I wanted to know. I didn't know it was 5 pages per issue. I thought once you submit your 5 pages that if it got greenlit then you can send in everything you have.

But thanks that really helps.

 

No, that's not what he said. He just said "5 pages".

I don't know if you're overthinking this or underthinking this or what, but either way you're confusing yourself. So forget the generalizations; here's what I think you should in your case: Send them a copy of the whole first issue. You say you have five issues done, which is more than they need to see at first, but they don't mind seeing more than 5 pages (a fact that the submissions guidelines spell out very plainly), so give them an entire issue.

 

It sounds as though "shushubag" just read this thread and not the actual submission guidelines. If that is the case--he should click HERE: http://www.imagecomics.com/submissions.php

If that's NOT the case--I don't know why he's so confused.

 

   

 

Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:23 pm

 

tank wrote:

so you're saying we have to submit 5 pages from each of the first 5 issues, which shouldd be 25 pages each because 5 x 5 is 25?



We need to see FIVE TOTAL PAGES.

FIVE.

NOT five per issue--FIVE.

FIVE total pages--PERIOD.

If you want to send more--that's fine. But what we require is FIVE TOTAL PAGES.

 

   

 

Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:57 pm

 

Munch wrote:

Should the synopsis be double spaced?



It doesn't matter.

Seriously--people are waaaaaay over-thinking this. We're not going to reject an awesome book because it was or wasn't double spaced. The most important part here are those five pages. If they suck there's nothing you can say or do to get your book approved. Polite intro letters, impolite intro letters, double spacing, no double spacing--it really doesn't matter.

 

   

 

Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:08 am

 

PatrickG wrote:

Do you always give an up or down yes or no?



No.

Sometimes the answer is "maybe."

It may be that I like parts of it but not other parts--the writing may be a bit stilted, the lettering lousy and the colors drab but if there are other parts that shine--it may mean that I'll say, "if you can fix THESE problems--we may have a book."

 

PatrickG wrote:

For instance, I went with flat colors. I could have gone with some of the top guys in the industry but they wanted several hundred in cash to work on the book.



That is fine. Encouraged, even. Often folks will send in stuff, which is black and white. That's fine as well. As long as you don't have AWFUL colors that destroy your art--it's fine.

 

PatrickG wrote:

I'm not gonna deny that their work might make for a much snazzier looking project but it's not something I would want to commit to on a book that hasn't been greenlit whose projected sales/profits I don't know.

Would you ever suggest a writer resubmitting with a different artist or provisional approval based on, say, different coloring?



Yes. Although often if the art is incredibly amateurish--that alone kills it. If it looks like it was tossed together by ten-year olds, it gets rejected without every line of dialogue being read.

 

PatrickG wrote:

There are people out there recruiting talent by claiming that their books are provisionally approved pending a new artist or whatever and I'm wondering if it really happens.



Seldom.

 

PatrickG wrote:

I'd imagine you could, say, look at a book and suggest that it needs better inking.

I'm going in intent on giving you the best product I can to review.

But I'm curious as to whether approval is strictly up or down or if you can look at something that's 99.999% GREAT, that REALLY stands out from the crappier submissions, and say, "This is great. Fix these two things and we'll talk."



See above. In most cases--if it's a yes--it's a conditional yes. Often there will be at least one item that needs fixing. I just got a pitch for, what could be, a decent series written and drawn by established professionals--but their title was nearly impossible to pronounce and that sort of thing can seriously effect sales. So the answer was, "Yes--IF you change the title."

It happens.

 

   

 

Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:17 am

 

Jettison wrote:

This is a pretty "out there" question....

I know I'm not the only person around here that is really inspired by what Mario Gully has been up to with his comic. Bringing in major players from the original Image U, and really making it seem like "home" again....So my question is, how much attention must be paid to continuity details if I wanted, say, my submission to leave the door open for crossovers with major Image characters? I realize how precise and timeline sensitive Dragon has been these past 10 years....so I'm wondering...if my comic takes place on Earth in the present, and god willing, people enjoyed it enough, are there certain guidelines I would have to adhere to if I wanted to entertain that possibility?



Not really--just say you'd like it set in the Image Universe--and then read my rant about how the Image Universe works over at www.comicbookresources.com (or click here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/index.cgi?column=ofo&article=2304 ) to get an idea of how the Image Universe works (or doesn't work).

As long as your characters CAN exist in a shared universe--they CAN fit in here. If you're doing a book and it's iimportant that everybody on Earth is made out of bees or that your characters are the first superheroes to ever appear anywhere or something that's simply too restrictive to work than forget it. But if you're coming in with the idea of WANTING to be part of a shared universe--you may be in luck.

 

   

 

Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:18 pm

 

Mega Man wrote:

Just a question I'd like to ask to get your honest opinion:

What do you think about a comic series about sports, say a series about a baseball drama? I have not seen a baseball comic done by American creators, but I know that they have been done. My inspiration comes from some of my favorite mangas such as "Touch," and "H2," which are classical icons in Japan.

My question is, how do you feel about this type of subject? And also, from your experience, will a comic about baseball have potential to be successful with Image comics?



It would have to above and beyond insanely good to succeed in the United States. That's a damned tough sell.

 

   

 

Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:48 pm

 

innocentboy wrote:

Quote:

No.

Sometimes the answer is "maybe."

It may be that I like parts of it but not other parts--the writing may be a bit stilted, the lettering lousy and the colors drab but if there are other parts that shine--it may mean that I'll say, "if you can fix THESE problems--we may have a book."
 



but in the submissions info ... it says Image maybe able to find a colourist for you to negotiate with ... can we just include in the cover letter something like, "if i'm accepted, would be nice for Image to find me a colourist to re-colour the book? or to start the colouring chores on the issues that aren't already in the can?"



You can always submit it in black and white--and that's preferable to bad colors.

 

   

 

Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:13 pm

 

Raff wrote:

I'd like to know what this means for someone like myself that has been waiting 4 months now. Does this mean my submission got lost or that it's passed the first gate and is in the "to be determined pile" or what?
I would hope submissions are looked at in the order that Image received them in the mail and are not just piled so that the last one received gets looked at first because it's on top. Very Happy



Often it means--we're considering it or trying to determine a way to make it work. Other times--it's simply been misplaced.

 

   

 

Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:58 pm

 

jai_nitai wrote:

Hey...what happened to my post?? Was it somehow breaking the new rules? I didn't post anything about my submission, like pages or links to a website or anything. Weird. It was just a post about the rejection e-mail I received and what I would possibly do to improve the book. So why was it deleted so swiftly?



You know that legal mumbo jumbo at the bottom of the e-mail that says "This communication (including any information herein and any attachments hereto) is intended only for the person or entity to whom it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential, and/or otherwise protected from disclosure. Blah, blah, blah"?

That means it's NOT cool to copy and post it.

 

   

 

Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:30 am

 

jai_nitai wrote:

...and now my reply to Erik's last post has been deleted! What the heck's going on here?! You's people is really clamping down around here, almost to the point of being ridiculous...

And if you're reading this post now, check back later and it will magically be gone! POOF! Smile



This topic is, in general, the one most pruned because:

1. it's long--

2. it's important to a lot of people

3. posts like this add absolutely nothing worthwhile. They waste space and waste time.

We get thousands of submissions. When they're responded to it's not uncommon to use some of the same words or phrases. That's life. We do our best to respond to each individually but there are bound to be similar letters sent from time to time. We can't help that. There are only so many ways to tell folks that they need to work on it without getting downright obnoxious about it.

Okay...?

Now--if there are any more actual QUESTIONS...

 

   

 

Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:05 pm

 

tank wrote:

I have an idea I am thinking of submitting, but it plays with page format and construction a bit. Similar to what the Clockmaker (i think it was called that) did. There would be some fold-outs, and possible die-cut shapes.

I know how to set this sort of thing up for production, but what is the best way to present it? Should I make full size mock-ups with tape and what not, or provide an exploded view, or both?

I know the story, concept and art are the basis of how the project would be judged, but I just want to sort of illustrate the physicality of the project.



Just tell me what it would be--but in all honesty--most of that kind of stuff is fairly cost prohibitive. It's really expensive to do that kind of stuff and to the reader--it's not worthwhile. They just want to read a comic book--they don't want to have to spend an extra $1.50 to read it because the creator thought it would be cool to have a hole punched through it.

 

   

 

Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:24 pm

 

DanicaBlade wrote:

If a submission is accepted, what happens if the original artist drops out, or a colorist is added?



It's back to square one if the artist drops out. It would be a different story if the book was underway--if there were a few issues out then we'd all scramble to help find a suitable replacement but if you pitch a book saying Jim Lee is drawing it--it's not cool to swap in your high school chum and think it's okay.

The colorist is not as big a deal.

 

   

 

Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:57 am

 

demon-love wrote:

Gonzogoose wrote:

Hey guys, just wanted you to know I heard from Erik today on my submission.
...Erik is actually pretty nice with his reviews, at least in my case.



I also heard back fast; within 5 days of sending my submission. Also rejected, but yeah, only took 5 days (sent from Canada too). Although I didnt get any 'reviews' or feedback or anything for mine, sounded more like an automated response or something, which sucked more than getting rejected... Confused

Oh well, back to the drawing board.



Nothing's "automated" but when you're dealing with a mess of submissions there are bound to be familiar phrases that get used again and again.

 

   

 

Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:07 pm

 

PatrickG wrote:

Once submitted, is a concept damaged good or do people ever rework something from the ground up and successfully resubmit?



The latter. And sometimes several people will try the same idea--it happens. Just because a book isn't approved it doesn't mean the idea behind it is bad.

 

PatrickG wrote:

The process of putting together my submission was a learning experience in many ways. The quick rejection suggests there's a lot broken...



Well, yeah...

 

PatrickG wrote:

But if I took the basic premise and characters from my rejected pitch and really tinkered with making it something different... and I went for a new team from the ground up...

Would that make a difference?

On one hand, what's done is done. If you didn't like it, I don't want to offer another helping of something that left a sour taste in your mouth.



Most often things are rejected quickly because the work isn't polished enough. It looks crude or unprofessional. If that part can be brought up to snuff--and the idea itself is sound--by all means try it again.

 

PatrickG wrote:

On the other hand, your Savage Dragon concept evolved considerably over the years culminating in massive changes before it appeared at Image.



It did indeed. And had I received a submission from myself at ages 15 or 25 years old I might very well have rejected it. That doesn't mean the idea was bad--but that the execution was bad.

 

PatrickG wrote:

I realize Image isn't in the business of taking in extreme fixer uppers. But I'd like to think a pitch that had a dozen things wrong with it had a dozen things right too... And that while the things that were wrong might lead to rejection, a fresh start building off the basics of the rejected pitch MIGHT have a go..



It might indeed.

On the other hand--do keep in mind that serious work must be done in order for it to make the grade. There's one guy who has submitted the same awful pitch over and over again and every time his solution is to change the name or add spots to a character's costume as if THAT was what was holding his book back. It's not as simple as that. If your book gets turned down you need to make some serious effort to change that around.

 

   

 

Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:08 pm

 

sacredsin wrote:

Erik, do bi-monthly comics sell as well as monthly?
 



No.

 

   

 

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:40 am

 

labyrinth wrote:

Erik, what would happen, if say, you received a proposal where the art wasn't good enough for it to be accepted but the pitch and story was extremely impressive and one of the best ideas you'd ever come accross.

?



It would be rejected.

 

   

 

Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:31 am

 

Chris Piers wrote:

Erik, what about if the story was equally bad? Then what would happen?



I'd forward it to Alias. Wink

 

   

 

Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:22 am

 

sacredsin wrote:

Erik, is it okay to post images on this thread, you know, that will be included in propasal?



No.

if you want to send in a proposal--please do so--but this thread is here to answer questions only. It's not to post proposals or images from them.

 

   

 

Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:23 am

 

tank  wrote:

I got one for you Erik...

Would Image shy away from a book that may have controversial politics? I'm sure your base answer is "depends how good it is," but let's just assume for a moment that you are pleased as punch by both story and art. is there a politic or dogmatic line that you wouldn't be comfortable with crossing? I mean short of the obvious things like THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN KLANSMAN...

Obviously, most of us on this board, and most of Image's creators, are liberal-- does that mean you'd be more prone to publishing works that aren't afriad to criticize our government? Or opposed to publishing a book that embraces it in a scary way? What about religion?



You answered it already. It depends how good it is.

 

   

 

Tue Jan 03, 2006 9:54 am

 

Monk wrote:

I honestly couldn't bring myself to read every single post in this thread, so if the question I'm about to ask has been asked and answered already, then just ignore this post and I'll try to find the answer.

I read in the faq on the Image website that the creators of the comics published by image maintain all the rights themselves. All the copyright information and trademarks belong to the writers/artists. But do the creators of the comic have to make the copyright themselves, i.e. buy the patent for their property, or does Image handle this for them?
What if I submit a comic proposal that I didn't put any copyright on, and it's given the green light - can some random person then just walk up and buy the trademark for the characters/title/etc. and then I'm basically screwed?



It's your property--so you need to take care of registering the trademark. If you put a "Copyright ©2006 your-name-here" in the indicia and a little ™ next to the logo you're in pretty good shape--and nobody is going to outright steal your character--it's too risky. But to REALLY protect the name of your character--you would need to register the title so that you can slap a little ® next to the logo and let everybody know that you're protected.

Still--it's NOT as big a deal as you might think--and many creators don't bother to register anything. A good many books have a little ™ instead of an ® next to their logo. It is, however, against the law to use an ® unless you go through the process and pay to register your title--so don't use it if you don't have it! Still, the vast majority of books will start off with just a ™ even at the biggest company.

The bottom line is--worry about that crap when it comes up. It shouldn't keep you from creating NOW and you certainly don't need to have registered your trademark before you submit your proposal.

 

   

 

Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:56 am 

 

the_poet wrote:

Erik,
Not sure if you're allowed to answer this, but out of all the brand-new projects published through Image in 2005, what percentage actually made even a little profit for the creators involved?



Almost all of them.

 

   

 

Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:49 pm

 

nick filardi wrote:

Erik Larsen wrote:


The colorist is not as big a deal.



Sad



Oh--I didn't mean it like THAT. My point is that it's possible to get a book approved without having a colorist lined up where it's NOT possible to get one approved without a penciller lined up. A great colorist can make good art even BETTER--but a great colorist can't make lousy art into great art. You can't polish a turd.

 

   

 

Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:10 am

 

Aris Argh! wrote:

Will you look at multiple titles in a submission package? or is it better to send one at a time?



Multiple pitches is fine--but most often people don't get two pitches ready at the same time. There's no sense waiting to submit them both at once. There's no advantage to submitting two projects at once.

 

   

 

Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:04 am

 

rob allan wrote:

It used to be that if your book was published through another company first, it was advantageous toward getting a book published through a larger company like Image. However, a company that's interested in my book ultimately retains the rights to reprinting any issues I do through them, to include TPBs. This sounds standard, but does this type of thing actually HURT the chance of moving to a larger publisher like Image? I'm thinking perhaps the old way of thinking may not apply to the industry today. Image does business differently than when it started, but I know others (example Mario Gully) have had titles through other publishers and moved.



It could hurt you if you didn't do a pretty major overhaul. I don't know if you read the old Ant series but it was about a young girl and Ant was a character in her diary--she was a character in her mind. In the Image series, Mario reinvented Ant so that she's an adult and the stuff with her as a kid is her past--she IS Ant. And it's really not necessary to have read the old series.

Where things might get screwy is if the series you did IS important and if we're picking up the book mid-stream. That would hurt your book. We've picked up books that had been started elsewhere and we simply continued and in some cases, not having available back issues has hampered sales. Old publishers can get shitty. If you've left them in the lurch and they have rights to print your stuff--they could essentially make it impossible for a reader to get the full story if they chose to. Sometimes things are clean--other times they're dirty.

Rocketo was clean. We'll do a trade that collects the previous series and then pick things up after that. That seems to be working out well.

Another book we're publishing, on the other hand, was picked up with #2 and the first issue is out of print. That certainly couldn't have helped its sales. A reader wants the full story. A retailer wants them to have the full story. I would have preferred to have had it start with a first issue--perhaps the same one that had sold out only expanded on. But it's a tough call--and it wasn't MY call. Starting off a new book with a reprint isn't an optimal situation either. Sometimes it's not easy.

PvP, Liberty Meadows and Jack Staff all started off at different publishers and there have been a number of others.

It really comes down to the book.

 

   

 

Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:06 am

 

fyifoff wrote:


Are these four things true or false?

1-you can not copyright a name

2-you can copyright a comicbook character, including appreaence, orgin, personality, etc..

3-character names are covered by trademarks

4-trademarks means you can't use it in a title.

(like cola, Pepsi fought Coke to use cola)

Does this mean I couln't name my comic book say "Wolverine and Aurora"? Or some other simple named characters?



1-3 are true--and kind of. It's easiest to trademark combinations of words (Spider + Man = Spider-Man) but part of a trademark is the tradedress. The way Superman's logo is written makes it a trademark but you could title a story "Man or Superman?" and as long as it was clear that you WEREN'T talking about THE Superman--you'd be okay.

THIS wouldn't be okay...



But the actual cover to FF #249 (it had Gladiator in Superman's place and the actual Superman logo wasn't used) was fine.

It gets messy when you try to fool people into thinking that you're publishing comics about established characters. Marvel would object to you using Wolverine and might make your life difficult but if your character was called Wolverine Jones and it was obvious he was NOT their Wolverine you MIGHT be able to get away with it. They would have to make the case that the name Wolverine is so clearly identified with Marvel that nobody should be able to use it. I know that they were successful in getting Marvel Man changed to Miracle Man when Eclipse Comics started reprinting and continuing the adventures of that character--they might be able to make a strong case for Wolverine as well.

It's best NOT to push it. If you're NOT trying to fool people--why use the name? Pick something else.

And Wolverine Jones™ is © 2006 Erik Larsen--don't even think about using it or I'll have my lawyers on you in a heartbeat.

 

   

 

Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:09 am

 

trialsze wrote:

I was just curious, Erik, what do you feel is appealing to comics audiences today. What do you consider a good book to reach the most targeted audience; males 13 to 24?

I know these might seem like weird questions but it could help me understand what you believe moves the market and is good for comics. I am trying to see the industry as a business as well as an artistic avenue, so I would like to focus on a pitch that has the ability to survive in the industry. Your knowledge would help me in creating a pitch or product that will see the light of day.



I would suggest telling a story that you want to tell rather than trying to target a certain demographic. What do YOU have to SAY?

 

   

 

Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:23 am

 

Aris Argh! wrote:

I have a question regarding marketing and advertsing.

Say you have said Aris we want to publish your book, and we had three issues in the can and it was time to solicit.

Does Image automatically take space in Previews. Do you discuss with the creators possible adverts in trade mags(wizard as an example), and place full pagers in other image books for a few months leading to the date the books actually come out.

If you do, is this an added expense? That the creators pay after and if the books printed sell? Or is this part and parcle of Image publishing your books?

Also, is there any policy regarding ad space in the title itself. Can I advertise what I want, more pages of image titles? Other publishers? My friends band? Or is Image in total control of this, and after receiving the finished pages decides how many pages of ads are placed in the book, where they are placed, including inside cover and back of the book?



Ads in Previews are part of our deal with you. Generally, ads are traded in Image Comics. If you're running an ad for Small Gods in your book--Small Gods will run an ad for you. Sometimes it's more of an ad pool--an ad for Gødland runs in your book, an ad for your book runs in Invincible, an ad for Invincible runs in Gødland or so on. There's no charge for Image "house ads."

Ads in other publications are a different story. If you want to drop $5,000 for an ad in Wizard it's going to come out of your pocket. We take a flat fee off of the comics we publish and we'd be in the hole in no time flat if we had to foot the bill for ads in Wizard magazine and not get reimbursed.

We have the right to decide what ads are run in our books. Generally we don't allow creators to run ads for comics from some other comic book company. But this is all talked about when the books are being put together. If you can't stand Savage Dragon--we won't force you to run an ad for Savage Dragon.

 

   

 

Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:52 pm

 

trialsze wrote:

Erik Larsan wrote:
 

Quote:

I would suggest telling a story that you want to tell rather than trying to target a certain demographic. What do YOU have to SAY?



I am not sure what you are telling me here. I am getting confused. In some posts on this thread it was said to look at this as a business and not as my own personal playground. And that is why I asked you those questions. I believe you have to know your audience to have a successful product. You have to supply them with something they want and/or need. The first person you have to sell the product to is you. You are the one that will decide wether or not the book/product will even see the light of day. You are the boss. That is why I believe your opinion about what is selling and what is not selling is more valuable then mine. Even if I like the pitch and loved the book doesn't mean it is something that can survive in this cut throat market. You have better insight into the market or you would not be where you are today. I am just looking for a little guidance into your world. What type of products appeal to you and give you the sense that they will succeed? So myself and my team do not spend six months on a pitch that isn't even close to what you feel will make it into this market. I just don't want to make any uninformed decision. I also understand that this is my creator owned product and I should do the stories I want to tell, but for me to tell those stories I have to get them to your standard first. Your insight will help me put together a pitch that will appeal to you and Image. If this is something that you are uncomfortable giving your opinion on, I understand, and thank you for your time and quick response.



If that's the case--I'd recommend you pitch Spider-Man--because people seem to want Spider-Man comics.

The honest answer is--ANYTHING can succeed IF it's well done. Stories with some action and tension seem to do better than superhero parody books but there's no one subject matter that will insure success.

 

   

 

Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:02 pm

 

trialsze wrote:

And that is not an honest answer. Not anything will make it in this market. Even if it is well done. There are hundreds of books a year that are produced well and never make it. Never get a fan base or never get a publisher to push them. If you don't believe that go to a show and walk artist alley for twenty minutes. You will see some hot stuff that will never see print.



I've walked around artists' alley more time than I can count and I've NOT seen a lot of "hot stuff" that will "never see print." I've seen a lot of mediocre stuff that has potential. The best of the best WILL find an audience AND a publisher willing to take a chance on them. Most artists' alley stuff isn't as good as you paint it.

In regard to your initial query--you're asking for rules when there aren't any rules. If we were to go by what sells well NOW--superhero books that make sweeping changes in existing universes seem to be the way to go--or superheroes--particularly ones with cool costumes that have been around for 30 years or more. But that doesn't mean YOUR superhero written and drawn by YOU will be a huge success.

The Walking Dead is going great guns but that doesn't mean MORE zombie books would succeed. Liberty Meadows does great (when it comes out)--but that doesn't mean YOUR humor book would do well.

Typically--superhero parody books have short lives and science fiction is a hard sell and sports comics don't do well and I would think fishing comics or golfing comics or romance or westerns would have a tough time making it but if Frank Miller or Todd McFarlane decided to try their hands at that--I'm guessing it might do pretty well. I can't tell you a kind of book that YOU personally could make successful--I just can't.

 

   

 

Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:28 am

 

casey wrote:

In the above messages you mentioned about "taking a chance" with artists so I'm wondering if you guys would ever be willing to take a chance on a really weird abstract - art type of comic. Visual poetry, if you will.
Just curious.



If a person was determined to do the least commercial book ever in terms of its theme--it had better be incredibly well executed.

 

   

 

Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:40 am

 

Aris Argh! wrote:

1. Can a book submitted to you have a studio logo on the inside cover, or ads for the studio in the book(I believe Artxilla did something like this(?).

What I mean by inside cover is as part of the credits, like "Produced by" or something like that, side by side with Penciled by and Written by?

2. When Images publishes a book, does it own any part of the Trademark? As an example, does a creative team have to consult and get your apporval to sell a script to Nickolodean(I mangled that spelling!!!) or to a toy company? Or is Image strickly involved with getting the books to print and to the distributer?



1. Yes. Often that is the case. You can't put it on the cover, however.

2. We do not own part of any creator's trademark. Never have. If you sell your property as a toy, cartoon, movie or Happy Meal--we don't see a dime.

 

   

 

Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:02 am

 

rbr wrote:

BECAUSE WE RECEIVE SUCH A HIGH VOLUME OF SUBMISSIONS, NO UNSOLICITED PROPOSALS/SUBMISSIONS WILL BE RETURNED WITHOUT A SELF-ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE (and even then--it's unlikely).

Just to be clear -- if we don't need our submission returned, we don't need to include a SASE? Personally, I'd much prefer to hear back by email, if that's an option.



If you don't want it returned--don't include a SASE. Be warned, however, that all submissions which aren't approved get thrown out. If you decide after the fact that you want it back--you're shit out of luck. Unless you include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, your rejected proposal WILL BE THROWN OUT.

 

   

 

Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:25 pm

 

Yeah, guys--it really ISN'T cool to spill specific terms from Image contracts here.

 

   

 

Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:17 pm

 

Derek Ruiz wrote:

A.Huerta wrote:

williamroe wrote:

Hello.

I've been over your submissions page several times, and a portion of this thread. It seems that you're very clear and forthcoming on the way Image works.

A publisher recently told me that he spoke with an Image rep, and that person told him that when a submission is accepted, Image charges $3000 up-front, publishes the book, and then takes the balance of it's fee off the profit. This is very different from everything else I've heard and read, so is he just blowing smoke up my ass?

How much is the back-end fee? A general range for a full color 22 page comic will do if it's subject to change due to paper, etc.

Thank you.

William A. Roe




When you get accepted , Image takes a XXXX fee per issue. That comes out of the profits, along with printing, and you get whatevers left over. The cool thing is if your book has a nice story/concept and keeps gaining readers you'll get alot more profit every month, and the Image FEE STAYS THE SAME. So if you sold 4,000 copies they take the XXXX out of those sales or if you sell 100,000 copies they still only take out XXXX and u get the rest.




Well I think you are right with what you are saying but i don't think its the same amount for 4000 as it is for 100,000...it probaly the same percentage.



Image takes a flat fee from comic books and it's the SAME FEE regardless of your sales. We do the same work on a book that sells 4000 as we do on one that sells 100,000. We don't penalize one creator because his comic book is more successful than another creator's comic book.

 

   

 

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:03 am

 

shushubag wrote:

If a submission is accepted and the book is completed, how long does it take for the book to see print? In other words how long till the book gets onto the store shelves.



At least four months. It would need to get solicited and ordered and all the rest.

 

   

 

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:08 am

 

gut-rot wrote:

allright, i hope im not just being dense here, but i've been hearing people say "i got my story proposal accepted by image, so now i just need an artist!" and stuff like that. does that mean i can send in my story and see if it gets accepted, then go to doing the art work and then see if THAT gets accepted?



No.

WE DON'T GREEN LIGHT PROPOSALS WITHOUT ARTISTS ATTACHED--EVER.

There have been times when a book has been pitched and it HAD an artist attached who dropped out--and sometimes the writers of those books assume that it's okay to sign up any old artist and it's all the same to us but those people are dead wrong. We NEED to approve a book WITH an artist attached. If your artist splits--you're back to square one.

 

   

 

Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:14 am

 

St. George wrote:

I would assume then, the book must be resubmitted as well if any other member of the creative team (writer, colorist, inker, letterer) were to bow out after the book had been accepted?
Sure, a creative team might not want the hassle of resubmitting, but these guys/girls are also not interchangeable with the average joe.
So if any member of the team is replaced it should be resubmitted? If it should only be resubmitted after an artist change that would be a double-standard I couldn't imagine Mr. Larsen encouraging. I wouldn't want to imagine Mr. Larsen stating that the rest of the team is trivial, he's too nice of a guy. Wink



In most cases--the writer originated the project--so it's unlikely THAT person is being replaced. If the writer pulls out--there IS NO project--so there's hardly a double standard there.

The artist (penciller) is pretty key--an inker, less so--unless it's one that can make or break a book--a Kevin Nowlan, Bill Sienkiewicz or Klaus Janson. Decent colorists and letterers can generally be tracked down if they're needed.

 

   

 

Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:54 pm

 

grail wrote:

is image only confine to the traditonal size comic book size?i was just wondering if you'll approve a book( being excellent of course in writing and art Smile) in large format size (8.5 X 11) ?



We're up for anything, really--as long as it's really great.

 

   

 

Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:39 am

 

Wayne Nichols wrote:

What kinda time frame can I expect to hear something after sending my pages in?



If they suck you'll hear back right away. If they're awesome--you'll hear back right away. If they're in the middle--it may take longer. Middle stuff needs more thinking--more tossing stuff back and forth...

"Well, what if they got a decent letterer--and a better colorist?"

"I dunno--the script is a little rough. The art looks okay but that script's going to need some tweaks."

"You want to wade through all that and make notes?"

"I'm up to my ears today--put it in the stack and I'll get to it when I can get to it."

And so it goes...

 

   

 

Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:34 am

 

Aris Argh! wrote:

Is it ok to post art(from submissions) in this thread?



Please, no. This thread is long enough as it is. THIS FORUM isn't the place to submit your work.

 

Aris Argh! wrote:

Do you want to see the full scripts in the submission packages? Or just the Beat sheets, synopsis, Bios, and pages(including cover)?



You could certainbly include them--but not in place of beat sheets--in addition to them.

 

   

 

Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:10 am

 

Gank wrote:

I'd sent in a submission a little more than 5 months ago but haven't yet heard back. Should I assume it wasn't received and submit it again?



Yes.

And even if it WAS received--it doesn't hurt to remind us that you haven't gotten a reply.

 

   

 

Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:26 pm

 

3'LL wrote:

Two questions.
1. I'm not exactly sure of what you mean by beat sheets. Could you please clarify.

2.I sent a submission that was recieved right before the first of the year (I only know this from the postal tracking) that included a fully colored and lettered nine page story, but no cover. Is the fact that there is no cover image going to be seriously frowned upon.



1. A "beat sheet" is a synopsis.

2. Not if everything else is awesome.

The guidelines are just that--guidelines. If you can make your pitch in some other way--that's fine too.

 

   

 

Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:30 pm

 

fyifoff wrote:

So if someone like me, who likes to be a jerkass from time to time...(hey it's a lot of fun) submits a comic book would you shot it down simple because you know it came from a pain in the rear?



I wouldn't advise anybody to be a "jerkass" even if it's "fun" but the bottom line, in regard to submissions, is the work itself. If the book being pitched is a terrific book we'd be fools to pass on it.

 

   

 

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:11 am

 

Hardcore14 wrote:

Would it be a problem (legally) if I had several characters from the "Arabian Nights" like Alladin or Sinbad in my pitch? I mean, the original characters and not the Disney version. Thanks.



You'd need to be VERY careful to make sure it looked NOTHING like the Disney versions--but as long as characters are in public domain--there's nothing stopping you from using them.

 

   

 

Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:58 am

 

Aris Argh! wrote:

Is there a submission email? Or Aris shut up already and send out the packages to the address on the "submission guide lines"?



It's best to mail it in. You can send an e-mail or a PM (see two of the buttons on the bottom of this post)--but in order to green light a book we need to see a hard copy.

 

   

 

Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:51 pm

 

Matty wrote:

I have a project that I am getting ready to submit to Image. I have six pages of completed/letterd art, colored character designs, pitch/cover letter, a completed colored cover, and other various promotional bits.

The question is do I put this together into a promo comic - stapled, printed the whole deal, or is it better just to put the stuff into a folder.



It makes no difference at all. Either way is fine.

 

   

 

Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:58 pm

 

milweskee wrote:

Exactly what kind of feedback would I get if I sent a submission proposal by e-mail first? I mean, do you give somewhat of a 'yes' or 'no' after reviewing online?



You could get a--"That looks interesting--send it in" or a "that sucks ass--don't waste my time."

 

   

 

Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:01 pm

 

Ellipsis wrote:

Is past comics experience a factor in getting a book greenlit?



It doesn't hurt, certainly, to have had experience but it won't guarantee that you'll get an automatic green light in most cases. If you're Frank Miller--okay, fine--but having done a back up story in an issue of Detective Chimp doesn't carry as much weight.

 

   

 

Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:17 am

 

9chambers wrote:

Sorry if this has been asked before. I read that Image charges a flat fee for monthly comics of about XXXX an issue. Is it the same for 50, 100 or 500 page graphic novels?



No.

For a graphic novel we charge a flat fee plus a percentage of the profits. The reason is that books cost a lot more to print and that in order to print them we're often out of pocket a LOT of money to begin with and it can take a long time to break even. Even on successful books. And, it can be expensive to keep books in print. A second or third printing still requires Image spending a healthy chunk of change to begin with and if we didn't get a percentage there would be no incentive for us to do a second or third printing. We'd have taken our initial fee and let it go at that.

 

   

 

Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:19 pm

 

3'LL wrote:

This is just for personal interest and I don't know if you'd know the answer.

It seems like comic costs are skyrocketing with glossy stock and special stock papers being used. Has a creator ever reccomended that their comic be printed on flat paper with a flat thicker stock cover to save money (example: Jim Mahfood's Generation-X Underground) and lower the cover price for the buyer? Would Image be interested in publishing a book in this format to keep costs down for the reader, or would a change in paper not make a huge difference?



It would not. Most printers can't even use newsprint and the price difference, given the price breaks from buying paper in bulk, is negligible. It's NOT the huge factor fans make it out to be.

 

   

 

Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:19 pm

 

Snafu wrote:

What if your legal name is Frank Miller, but you're not THE Frank Miller. Can you slip in on a technicality?



No.

 

   

 

     

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