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39797 No. 39797
I'm a comic book writer seeking an artist, or artists to illustrate a comic I've written.
Now I know that original projects, and writers looking for artists aren't regarded very highly here, but I think I've got my shit together a little better than most, and if not then at least I know you guys will tell me what I'm doing wrong.

Anyway, theres a lot of info to cover here, so to make this easier for you I'm spliting everyhting into three parts.
1) What is the comic about, and why should anyone care.
2) What kind of artist is required, and what will they be expected to do
3) Will the artist get money, how much, and when.
These 3 things seem to be what people care about the most when they consider a project like this, so just skip ahead to whatever interest you.

The plot, the point, and why you should care.
The premise of the story is pretty simple. A new mineral, Gattia, is discovered in the jungles of a destitute South American country. For reasons too complicated/scientific to explain here Gattia is incredibly valuable and incredibly rare, so much so that corporations, governments, and other important organizations from around the world flock to the area in a mad rush to gather as much of it as they can.
The actual plot follows 10 of the above mentioned organizations as they wage a miniature war against each other for control of Gattia. It would take far too long to go into detail about each team here, but know that they vary greatly, with each group having their own unique style, themes, and motivations.
The story is an action-adventure/drama that takes a tone similar to western superhero comics or shonen style manga, by which I mean it has a foundation based in reality, but with pseudo-science elements and a focus on over the top action. The story is serious, has a complex message, and can be pretty angsty and dramatic at times, but is not above having awesome, over the top, violent, fun. There are quite a few characters in the comic that have super human powers or special abilities, and they fight each other often.
This brings me to the most important part of this topic. What makes this comic great, original, and worth making. You may have noticed that through out this I never named a main character or protagonist, that's because there isn't one. Instead of trying to tell the story from the perspective of one character, or even one team, the narrative jumps around between fifty five different characters, with each of these main characters getting their own issue to show the conflict from their perspective.
This setup, though a bit complicated, allows for many awesome, original story elements. For instance, while each issue contributes to the overall story, the shifting perspective allows for most issues have their own self contained story, each with it's own distinct message, tone, and style. This allows it to showcase different storytelling and art styles for each issue, making the series as a whole artistically dynamic. Not only that, but this setup also makes the story unpredictable. In any normal story it's almost assured that the protagonist will win, and if the readers don't like the protagonist they won't stick around to see that happen. With this story there are 10 teams, a huge varied cast, and no set protagonist. There are no good guys or bad guys, and thus no preconceived notions about what direction the story will go; the reader gets to choose who they think is right/wrong and who they want to succeed/fail, without knowing for sure what will happen to them. These two elements combine to create a dynamic, mysterious, reader involving experience that makes the comic interesting, and brings the readers back each issue to see what will happen next.

What I'm looking for in an artist.
Let me start this section off by saying what I don't need, I don't need any help writing. The story is already completed. The comic is exactly 60 issues long, with detailed synopsizes already written for every single issue. Only the panel by panel scripts still need to be finished and I'm confident of my ability to complete them without any help.
I mention this because I want you to know that this is not some half baked idea, or basic concept without any real substance. I have spent more than 4 years working on this project, making sure everything was worked out in detail before I ever went to find an artist. I take my writing very seriously, I put a lot of time and effort into it, and I'm willing to put even more work into it, if that's what it takes to make this a success.
With that said, I'm looking for an artist, or artists, who can match the amount of dedication and work that I'm going to put into this project. I've tried to put an almost extreme amount of detail into my scripts, specifically to take as much of the creative work load off the artist as I can, with the hope that they can focus entirely on the illustrations, and in turn make them as awesome as possible.
As far as the actual art goes, there are only a few specific notes I'd like to make about my preferences.
- Color is optional, but preferred. The final product will most likely be color, so if you do go black and white it should be clean line art that can easily be colored by someone else.
- I need someone who can draw detailed backgrounds, as they play an important role in the story.
- Diversity in character design is also very important, as there are a lot of main characters and the readers will need to be able to tell them apart in a crowd.
- Most issues take place near the jungle and many feature big crowds, action packed fighting, and futuristic technology. You may want to take that into consideration if you have trouble drawing any of those things.
Other than that I'm open to pretty much anything. I'll accept any style for consideration, weather it be manga style, western comic, realistic, cartoony, or whatever, as long as the art is consistent and shows good, expressive, fundamentals.

Money, money, money.
Unfortunately I can't pay anyone up front. I do intend to make money off of this project, and I have several strategies on how to do so, but at the moment the best compensation I can offer is a liberal share in any future profits that come out of this.
As for how I plan to make money I have several ideas in mind, from getting published, to selling merchandise, or even using advertising. The method that I'll pursue, however, depends greatly on how well the comic is received by the public, as well as the quality and art style of the final product.
Honestly this is the topic I have to least to say about. I know that money is important, I personally am relaying on this project making money so that I can support myself. However, I think it's better to focus on the comic itself, to be passionate about it, and try to make it awesome as humanly possible. Story comes first, once we have a quality product on our hands, then we can try to market it and make money.

Well that's about it. Let me know what you think

Also, if you’re interested in seeing the script for the first issue it's already completed and can be found here: http://gattia.deviantart.com/
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>> No. 39799
>can't pay anyone up front

Congratulations, you just demolished whatever chances you might have had.
>> No. 39803
I'd recommend practicing art.
>> No. 39809
Yeah. Artists, hell anyone, would be a little wary of not getting paid, in the event this is just an effort to get what you want and skimp out on payment.

Half now, half when job's done might be a better idea if this is a genuine request.
>> No. 39816
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Well, I'm living paycheck to paycheck at the moment, so I really can't afford to pay at all, at least until I save up.
I would be willing, however, to sign a contract or other agreement giving the artist a share of profits, rights, royalties, etc. if that's what their worried about. I have no intention on skimping out on payment if the comic does make money, I just don't have the means to pay until I get paid.

Payment aside, is there anything else about my proposal that seems off? Any other suggestions?
>> No. 39820
Oh sure, let's how well that works for you if your idea crashes and burns like the Hindenburg after substantial work was done.

Contracts ain't worth hairy balls unless you start thinking about reciprocation, especially since you don't have any backers, guarantors or other means of ensuring the artist doesn't get shafted besides a flimsy piece of paper.
>> No. 39821
There are artists who work for free and for the fun of it, they're rare but they are out there.

But you're never going to find a free artist to do 60 issues. It took ultimate spiderman half a decade to get to that point, and neither the writer nor the artists were amateurs. I 've found when writers have really long series like this they simply don't know how to properly edit their "babies" and realize just how long winded it is.

As for problems with your plot, one of the problem with large casts is that the author will have trouble making the audience care about them, relate to them, or even remember who is who. Battlestar galactica had an enormous cast but still handled it well, because it would focus on the 7 or so main characters...and then interact with the backstories of the ones around them. I'm not saying to have one protagonist but realize how dawn hard it is to have the audience care about 50 people.
>> No. 39822
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Yeah good point. I'm still going to try and see if I can find someone to collab for free, but I'll start saving up some money too, as a backup for if this doesn't work. Thanks for the advice

It's set up so that the reader doesn't have to care about every character. Plot wise, most issues are pretty self contained, you don't have to necessarily know the overall plot or all the characters to know what's going on. Each issue focuses on one character, explains their struggle, and tries to get you to care about them, using the other characters as a supporting cast. If it fails, then it just serves as an interesting short story, if succeeds then the reader will look forward to seeing that character appear as a support role in the other issues. I haven't seen the show "lost" but I've been told that it was kinda like that.

As for finding an artist to do so many issues I did have another idea about that. Since each issue is about a different character, I could have a different artist do each issue, to reflect how that character sees the world differently. Do you think that might be a better rout to try? Or would that just make things even more complicated?
>> No. 39824
You'd be lucky to find one decent free artist, let alone 60. Your best bet is to spend the next few years saving money with a job and then hire somebody. (and even then the chance of having them stay on for 60 issues is slim to none)

Honestly you'd have an easier time if this were a novel.
>> No. 39825
Also consider for a moment the role of a comic artist.

You're a writer, you describe the surroundings, ambience, feelings, props and all that. You also come up with the plot and dialogue. Oh, so you think all an artist needs to is directly port your words to visual form.

But it is the artist who has the heavier work. Not only does he have to draw, he has to take on a director's role. To bring out the best in your work he has to figure out who stands where, ideal camera angles, where to focus, how to do scene transitions, what effects and lighting are needed to convey a certain atmosphere.

There's also style tests to see what fits, costume designing / refinement. On top of that he has to do drawing, inking, lettering, and/or coloring.

No self-respecting artist, bad or good, is gonna do even 1 page of that for free. Pictures make your words more attractive, never take that for granted.
>> No. 39826
>>39825figure out who stands where, ideal camera angles, where to focus, how to do scene transitions

Any comic writer who's not a complete amateur can tell them what to do in the script. Key word there, script, because comic writing is NOT like novels or fanfiction writing. But yeah regarding character design you should either have good descriptions or some work already-especially for 50 characters.

Look up steven forbes the proving grounds where he's critiqued about 25 or so scripts and pointed out every mistake in the book. He also gives the proper format to comic scripts o you can easily work with any editor/letterer/and artist.
>> No. 39828
Writers, bah, what do they know about scene setup.
If they did, they wouldn't need artists to realise their 'visions'.
>> No. 39838
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I've considered a novel, but the 50 character thing relies heavily on visuals to work.
For example, in the first issue, there is a huge riot in this city. The main character is running around the city, trying to avoid the police and violent looters. He doesn't know any of the other 49 characters yet, but many of them are in the same city during the riots, and appear in the backgrounds of panels doing specific things related to their stories. Even though the reader wont know it when they first read the issue, as the series progresses and they meet more characters, they can go back to this issue and piece together what those other characters were doing during the riots.
With a novel, it would be overwhelming and completely derailing to the plot to try and describe every inconsequential character in the background.

I go all out in my scripts. Position, camera angles, focus, atmosphere, even shape of the panels. I understand how difficult art is, and I try to paint as detailed a picture as possible.

Also, just to clarify, I'm not asking anyone to work for free, it's more of an investment, or a gamble. If the comic succeeds and makes money they will get paid, probably more than I will. I know that a risk like that is still asking a lot, but it's very different from asking them to work for free.

Thanks for the advice, I looked up Steve Forbes, great resource, I'm defiantly going to try to submit to the proving grounds, once I edit my script down to his 22 page limit.
>> No. 39855
Here's the thing, most would-be comic writers are shit (without realizing it, of course), and most comic ventures don't make money. That's why you'll need to pay in advance.

I would recommend you make some (very) short standalone comics before trying to jump into your sixty issue magnum opus.
>> No. 39856
That's probably a good idea for more reasons than I care to type down. One being making a bit of a name for yourself before jumping into something that big, which would in turn facilitate pretty much all parts of the projects (from recruitment to publishing).
>> No. 39857
by the way, when I emphasized "short" I didn't mean you shouldn't be taking them seriously, or should be trying to get them over with quickly, I'm emphasizing the "short" part. You seem like the kind of guy who would see ten issues as short. I was reading some comics by Moebius a while ago, and plenty are like 6 pages long. Think concise.
>> No. 39858
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Making shorter comics to practice seems like it could be a good idea if I was drawing the comics, but as a writer I don't think it would work.

My current project actually started out as several short standalone stories, but when I posted them no one would read them. I was told then that short stories have little potential, that artist only want to get involved in projects that have a chance to go somewhere, that they want to work on something big that can make some money.

I've completely rewritten this project already, just so that it would be something epic enough to be worth working on. It seems like a step backwards to go back to writing short stories again.
>> No. 39859
Could consider taking a part of it and making it somewhat standalone, kind of like a pilot. Then if it picks up, carry on with the rest and put on your "just as planned" face.
>> No. 39865
Look, the only artists that will work for the prospect of future profits will be either a) stupid, or b) bad.

You choices are to either a) establish yourself as a writer, by dealing with smaller projects (or non-comic writing), or b) earn the money to pay an artist up front

Also, you need to get over your current project. It's a classic mark of amateurs to have tunnel-vision for a single magnum opus they HAVE to create.
>> No. 39867
Or c) Drop pants, bend over and prepare your bum for rumpy pumpy at the artist's leisure.
>> No. 39870
There's no kind way to say it, man. It isn't going to happen unless you personally finance it with the knowledge that you'd be *lucky* to even make back a quarter of what you're investing into it. And it's going to be expensive. You really would be better off trying to make it with a novel, or trying to develop your own artistic muscles. Yes, the situation is /that/ grim. Yes, it really is easier to become self sufficient than pay somebody to do something for you.

Go to any artist that's worth a damn. Here's what the good ones capable of working for you will charge for:
Multiple characters
complex clothing
Doodads, objects, furniture and architecture.

Every page has a minimum of panels, every panel has a minimum of characters or background. Every single supplement is another individual expense per book. Your average artist from DeviantArt or what have you will charge a minimum of $30.00 per drawn, shaded and colored character, and that's not including a background. Usually 1.5 to double the cost for two characters, and backgrounds vary depending on complexity. So a minimum of $35 a panel is a lowballing, peanuts paying average. Average artist I know capable of doing comic work will charge between 40-50, backgrounds are extra, and can charge extra for poses. Backgrounds typically add an extra ten dollars, so probably closer to 50-60. Per panel. Per page. Per comic.

Say your comic had 24 pages. Okay, now lets pretend each page has 4 panels. We both know it's more like 8 and 12, but lets just lowball estimate here. It'd be easily $120 per page. About $2880 per book, cover to cover, and the covers usually cost extra. So for sake of argument, lets bump it up to $3,000 an issue. Minimum. You don't get a discount for buying in bulk, so to speak. You actually may pay more, because your average artist is as unmotivated as fuck. Now congratulations, your first issue is done. 24 pages of a story. Now do it again. Five times, ten times, fifty times. In essence, be ready to spend upwards of around $30,000 just for ten issues. Every script had best be as enjoyable as fuck and worth the investment unless you're already rich, or the best you can hope for is an apathetic torrent, a read and then a disregard. You may make between 5-10K back to the 30K you invested.

tl;dr: Write it or draw it, unless you already have an artist that you're joined to the hip with.
>> No. 39871
ITT clueless fapfiction keyboard-smasher thinks drawing is so damn cheap and easy, get his ass served to him on a silver reality-check platter.
>> No. 39874
On the subject of serving better in drawn format:
That's not necessarily true. A tool used in more than one short story is to graze over subjects and characters with some vague details. And then later on, you're thrust into a totally different character with a coincidental similarity to one of the background characters described in passing.

For instance, Character A's perspective: He sees a dude grabbing a TV out the large, broken window of an electronics store.

Character B: He starts off walking out of an electronics store and notices another character, a Chinese woman in a flowery skirt, fleeing the scene.

Character C: starts off a few minutes ahead, and then it works up to the event of the riot that leads to her fleeing the scene. Then she pulls further up into the story, and in her little run, a carbomb goes off.

Character D: analyzes a body on a table. A Chinese woman who suffered a bomb explosion.

Do you see what I've done here? That's a premise for four unique characters with only vague connections to eachother. Things that ordinarily would be discounted. Things that could potentially cause a reader to go back and get meticulous about every minute detail, in the event you pull a fast one and details they glossed over at the beginning come back to haunt them. Perhaps in a way to find hidden puzzle pieces that the author isn't explicitly presenting in front of them, so much as off to their sides. As a writer, you have the power to add devil into the details and make it as vibrant and literal or as understated and subtle as you please. You don't necessarily have to rely on art to do it for you. It just takes a lot of the pressure off of you, the writer.

I mean, I sympathize. This is something I've wanted to do too, but it's just not in the cards. Unless you're willing to pay, even if you found an artist, it's unlikely any progress would really be made on it. You really would be better off trying to publish it on kindle as a series of fifty short stories about an event, beefing up your undoubtedly underutilized artistic skills with a trip to rapidshare and a procuring of Loomis: How to Draw books (and they come highly recommended by anybody with half an ounce of talent) and doing it on your own. You have your scripts, it sounds like, so you have your objective material. Now what you need to do is write it in novel format and edit it for time, polish it to smoothness and get it from Point A to Point Z.
>> No. 39879
Comic artist here, and you have no idea what you are talking about. A comic artist who charged for 'multiple characters' and 'backgrounds' would be laughed back to the amateur corner they crawled out of. A comic artist charges on how much time is put into each page and what they think they're worth, they are not like idiotic deviantart pinup 'artists'. This charge can be anywhere from minimum wage to 25 an hour to 100 and so on.

Basically comic artists are like subway sandwiches; you pay 5$ and you can put anything on it, with some extra stuff on the side being the only charge that is added. There are artists who put up extra charges as a precaution for scam writers trying to pack 12 panels into a page for 60$ though.

What you're describing is cuntbags who charge 1.99 for the meat, 2.99 for lettuce, 1.99 for tomatoes, 4.99 for avocado, and 50c for mayo. Comics don't work that way and quite frankly cannot work that way.

The average price of a good comic artist is 70$ per page, 120 could buy you an /excellent/ artist and 40-50 can get you 'decent'. And 3000 an issue is what Image comics paid axel meddelin to do '50 girl 50', again you have /no/ idea what you're talking about and are in no place to be giving OP any advice.
>> No. 39880
I was going to mention this too. You can easily do your interrelated-story thing in writing. You can't hide characters in the background, but you can have viewpoint characters notice or interact with people who match the description of characters who get the spotlight later.

In fact, it would probably be even easier to do in writing. Instead of a police officer character being hidden in the background, you could have the viewpoint character be stopped by the police officer, and interact with him before going on their way. That kind of scene would be a total waste of space in a comic, but wouldn't be such a big deal in a novel. And yeah, you can get a lot of mileage by describing a character, and having a character of that same description appear later on. It wont be as obvious to the reader as it might sound.
>> No. 39881
That's still 1,200 to 2800 more an issue than he's willing to pay, so whether or not the artist charges per hour or per nuance is moot. I concede you might have more experience than I do, since I'm a writer, and don't have the cash to commission that kind of talent either.
>> No. 39882
Of course, there's another route an hopeless-drawless writer can take.

2.)stick men
4.) Order of the Stick / XKCD

Would fit OP's criteria since it's just as pretentious and pseudointellectual.
>> No. 39886
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Good idea, although then I'd still be stuck finding 60 artists to draw each issue. The more I look at it though, that might be a good route to try for now, find artists on an individual issue basis, and see if I can build up any sort of reputation. Thanks.

Thanks for the advice I am saving up money now.
Just to be clear though, this isn't my Magnum Opus, nor is this the only project I have worth working on. This is just the project that I thought would be the easiest to market.
I'm only pursuing this project so intensely because, well, it seems stupid to give up unless I've tried everything first.

I see your point. That could actually be a possibility, although it would require significant re-writes to make it work. I think I'd try drawing it myself before I wrote it as a novel, but it's good to have a backup

Thanks for the info, good to have some clarification, now I know how much I need to save up.
As an actual comic artist maybe you can answer this question for me. Do comic book artists ever make royalties of any kind? Like if you illustrate a comic and it sells really well do you get more money, in addition to the up front charge? or is it just a static amount regardless of how well the book sells?

I'm not sure I could design 55 stick figures and make them all distinct and recognizable in a group, although that is an interesting idea for an experiment.
>> No. 39887
The artist only get royalties if they created something that's not part of your core design / personal work, but you want to use anyway because you thought it'd be good. A character, most of the time.

But seeing how you're loaded with characters like a coyote with a bus-full of illegals, I don't see how the artist has any say in this.

You have no money, have too many characters, have too grand an ambition... I hope you enjoy failure. You're swimming in it.
>> No. 39888
It depends, something like what i'm talking about (70 per page) would fall under work for hire type of contract. If it's something like the other anon was talking about, where they're designing characters for you, then they'd probably want a % of the merchandising. They can possibly sue you too if you try to weasel them out of it, but that's what contracts are for. (contracts, contracts, make a fucking contract)

Great example of this: Invincible. Ryan ottley is the current artist and has pretty much propelled this book to fame with his amazing art, but he does not own it. The writer and his original artist bill crabtree(who did like 14 measly issues) own it. Ryan will get very little if anything at all if this gets merchandise despite doing almost all the artowrk for 60+ issues.

This is one of those cases where the writer actually wanted to share his work with the artist though.

I do think you're in over your head though, props to you if this comes to fruition though.
>> No. 40253
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Fuck it. I'm not an awesome artist, and I'm not silly enough to agree to work on 60 issues of something over the internet, but I'd be fine doing a couple of pages for free. If you like the work, and you like working with me, then we can figure stuff out to do a whole issue. If -that- works out well, then we can keep going.

By a "couple" of pages, I mean 4 or 5 rough pages. Beyond those pages, I would want to be payed but, being an amateur artist, I don't expect to be payed much.

Let me know if you're interested, OP.
>> No. 40255
I like the outlining, what brushes do you use if its photoshop?
is it photoshop or illustrator/painter x?
>> No. 40276
Thanks, and I don't use either. I use a program called MangaStudioEX4.

Generally I'd be put off by the title but the program is phenomenal and is built from the ground up specifically for comic books.

The site has a video of Dave Gibbons using it if you want to check it out: http://manga.smithmicro.com/
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