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Long-Term Projects

 Posting a reply to post #18869

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18869 No.18869
Eee, this seems the best place for this kind of thread.

Anyway, I'm starting up a very, very small comic/short story fusion magazine in my city, with the intent of gathering talent from across the UK, the north west in particular, and giving them a venue to show their wares.

The comic is going to be entirely in black and white (due to cost) and will be either 24 or 44 pages in length, either allowing it to be the same length as a normal comic but sold for much cheaper (the price for printing this would be around 1.10) or nearly double the amount for the same-ish price of a normal comic (2.20, or so).

There's also the choice over the quality of the paper to make, and I've yet to decide whether to go for it being A4 sized or A5 sized (the above prices are A5 at the high-quality paper / A4 at the normal quality).

There will be no advertisements, and very little profit I'm afraid, sacrificing that in order to aim for wider recognition, but there's no reason to not add 20p on after the selling price to generate a little more currency, and maybe earn everyone a few quid in the long run.

I've already got one comic shop willing to stock some issues, and feel confident about being able to sell them in the local SU and another local comic store; any I can't sell in-store I am willing to try and hawk on the street corner, although I will be asking people involved in the comic to ask their local comic-shops if they'd consider stocking it for...I dunno, a clean 10p profit?

Anyway, I've made a group on Facebook about it: and am now in the process of designing posters to recruit the actual artists and writers I need to get this show on the road.

So...any advice? And also, any Britfag artist/writers here interested? Sure you'd get pennies in profit, but at least your work will get acknowledgement beyond the 'netz (where, let's face it, even H.I.B.Y can somehow become popular).

Artists in particular, cuz' I can't draw. But naturally, I'll consider everyone and everything that gets sent to me. I'm also trying to use it as a forum to match-make writers to artists, not just showcasing standalone works. Infact, writer/artist pairing would be superdy-duper.

Britfag wanna-be writer here. Sounds pretty cool. I'll join the FB group.

What kind of genre works are you looking for? Also, what length submissions? The general 2000AD five-pager?

>What kind of genre works are you looking for? Also, what length submissions?

This. I'm interested in joining the group as well.

'...from across the UK, the north west in particular...'

Which is it? Across the UK or the NW? Seems like an absurdly specific area.

Drawfag interested here, only mainly cartoon based drawing as oposed to main stream muscular tight ass drawing if that fits in to what you're after.


That's a point, I'm from the South East, myself.

Though surely with the Internet, having contributors from around the country wouldn't be difficult.

I suspect it's more of the usual anti-Southerner shenanigans.


More likely it's to do with distribution. All his potential buyers are local. Though that's something that could be overcome.

Small press self-publishing NW-based Britchap here. Been involved with the UK small press comic scene for around 10 years or so.

- For an anthology, have a strong theme/identity/hook, eg all SciFi stories, all Westerns, all written by the same person, etc. Random mixed-bag anthologies don't seem to do very well.

- Keep all stories complete and self contained. No first parts of multi-part epics that will never get finished (or go beyond the first part).

- A5, 24pp is about standard for UK mini comics.
For an anthology, you could go up to 48pp, especially if it's a one-shot, or coming out infrequently.
You'll want a full colour cover on it (b&w and/or coloured paper covers just don't cut it anymore). Might as well go with standard paper quality.

- If printing cost is £1.10, sell it for £2.50 or so. Cover price should generally be 2-3 times print cost, but don't go too high or no one will buy it. £3.50 for 44pp would be about the limit. Don't mess around with £x.99 unless you have a big bag of pennies to get rid of.
Sale or Return to stores will usually be a 65/35% split to you/the store. Consignment, for stores too far away to easily SoR is 50% of cover, paid up front.
Primary aim is to cover your print costs, then the cost of the next print run. Also the cost of Postage and Packing for mail orders, tables at cons, etc etc. Profit to your pocket is a far distant dream.

- If this is a purely self-promotional portfolio type anthology, then you can probably ignore most of the above.

- The Thought Bubble Comic Festival in Leeds is on November 21. Go and take a look to see the current status of small press comics in the UK, to give you an idea of what to aim for.

- I'm currently involved with my own comic projects, but wish you every success in your new venture.


Don't be silly, you.

The only reason I highlighted the North West is because that's where I am, and it'd be easier to hold meetings with people in roughly the same district and not a long-ass train journey away. Of course I'll readily accept anything from across the country.

>What kind of genre works are you looking for?

I think that would depend on the writer. I'm aware that a magazine should carry particular themes in order to be truly successful, but I'm currently not being picky, and I'm not sure that's a good idea anyway for this kind of publication.

So anything from sci-fi to romance is good. I would like a damper on comedy though, as you can find that bloody everywhere.

>Also, what length submissions? The general 2000AD five-pager?

Originally starting this, I envisioned something like two or three ten-page comics, then one or two short stories to round off the end/break up the action. I do realise artists like to take their time over things though, so multiple short comics with even shorter stories is another alternative.

Simply put, when an issue's page-limit is reached, we shit it out and start allocating for the next one. Perhaps when I get a clearer idea of how much it is y'all are willing to do and what style you do it in, I'll fix some page limits- More likely if you're wanting to write a story that takes place over multiple issues, instead of a single piece of work.

As a limit though; nothing over ten pages for comics, or six/seven for fiction.

>Drawfag interested here, only mainly cartoon based drawing as opposed to main stream muscular tight ass drawing if that fits in to what you're after.

Any and all is long as it's good.

I know this is sounding like a bit of a grab-bag right now but that's pretty much what it's designed to be. Show me what you can do, tell me what you're interested in getting out of this, and I can make more specific requests and talk out some plans/ideas with you.

I'll also be organising a meeting, either in person (A pub in Manchester, probably) or over Skype, where I can go into more detail, and everyone can get to know each other, and maybe buddy-up for some collaborative efforts. The pub would be ideal of course, as it's easier to buddy-up after a pint or two.


Sounds good. I've got a couple of people who are potentially interested from round my way dahn saaf.

I'll try to spread the word where I can.


Thanks for the head's up.

A colour front isn't viable I'm afraid; it would bump the cost up prohibitively. I realise it is a concern, but for now I'm willing to take a chance on something bold and pointillist for a front cover. If that don't work out, well, we'll try something different down the line.

Yorkshire nigger here. Used to do a fair bit of writing/storyboarding for indie/fan videogames a few years back. Got a few ideas that I've been meaning to write up for a while that might be of interest. I'll probably knock up 2 or 3 submissions and send them through to you.

Any chance of an Irish guy getting in on this?


I can't imagine that'd be a problem. These things tend to need as many people as possible.

Are you a writer or an artist?


Writer. Terrible, terrible artist.

Christ, we've got enough writers here to start a minor literary movement.

We could use a few more artists, methinks.


I always expected as much, to be honest.

Fear not! We'll just need to trawl through a few more art-specific boards to gather some artists. And if that doesn't work...we'll just shift focus onto making a short-story anthology for the first issue!

This was always going to be a 'publish what you got' effort. Still, I do wonder where all the artists disappear off to at times like these...

I'm from New York. It's kinda like York, but it's new, and it's an ocean away.


If I'm completely honest, it's probably down to the quality of the stuff that comes from writing threads that put them off.

An artist can probably only read so many 'brilliant ideas' without any actual writing to back them up before they just skip the threads.

How about both literature and comics?

Like, there's short text stories, just with images framing the words.


...Can you draw? And are you serious?


Hmm. True. That's why I would prefer it if the writers and artists hooked up and came up with a completely new, fresh idea together, rather than an artist being 'pitched' at and finding the idea retarded and thus walking away.


...You mean just a story with a drawing based on the story in it?

>Hmm. True. That's why I would prefer it if the writers and artists hooked up and came up with a completely new, fresh idea together, rather than an artist being 'pitched' at and finding the idea retarded and thus walking away.

Maybe you could use
as your base of operations?

>...You mean just a story with a drawing based on the story in it?


I remember a European comic anthology that would have about 2/3 of the page filled with text, but with a drawn image of the scene at the top, or bottom, or along the sides, or whatever. I had a few issues in my drawers somewhere, I'll see if I can find them to scan an example.

Feel free to drop the idea, I'm just tossing ways around that we can come up with something above just 2000AD on the cheap (no offence).

Now, I must get my beauty sleep so I may spend the day selling people shit fantastic products.


Were this a purely /co/ thing, I might.

But it isn't. So I won't.

Infact, I have no idea why you're suggesting that in the first plave. Isn't it for animation? We're making a comic/magazine!


No offence taken, it's a good idea. It's just we lack the artists right now.

In the spirit of that, I've taken the liberty of making the facebook group a 'closed' group for now. If I keep it open for much longer (particularly after I get these posters out) I don't doubt we'll have one artist for every hundred writers, all or none of which might be any good for jackery.

I know we're not doing this for profit, but I'm at least trying to do it for some quality. And I can't have 20+ writers working over the space of only 40/20 pages.

That was kind of the idea behind it. That the artists are going to be pulled rather tight as it is, and something like that would really lighten the load on a much more labour intensive half of the creation process.

Also, one thing that stands out for me is the name, and how it doesn't really stand out. It needs a bit more punch.


The name is up for change; I just called it 'Zone' as a stop-gap. But a punchy name isn't exactly my concern right now.

What IS my concern, is actually how good everyone is at this writing or arting lark, because any and every dyke with a pen thinks they're the next Angela Carter, and if we don't have good writing, then we pretty much have nothing at all.

So. I don't think a sample of previous work is so much to ask for in this instance. A story, or a single drawing, something like that; just so I know what I've got to work with. I'll be including my email with each post from now on to that end, I think.

And t'ain't no-one getting in now until I've fixed something for that person to do, and until I've got the base down and settled.

This might not be for profit...but it might be time to start treating it as a business.


Well I'm currently partway through the first draft of a Futureshock-esque five pager.

You can either read what I've got so far to get the idea or wait until I've got the whole thing done.


I can wait.

I'm currently in the middle of sketching up a plan. It's all well and good assembling the talent and then doing something, but I think it'll work better if I think of something, then assemble the talent for it. Even if it takes a while.

You know, I expected something else entirely after reading "Zone" in the subject field....

Okay, what I want.

Front Cover,
1 Page devoted to Editorial junk and brief intros to the content,
1 Page at the end for introducing the artists and adressing anything else necessary,
Back Cover.

Now the part y'all are interested in.

4 Comics, each 5 pages long,
4 Stories, each 5 pages long, with the layout going one comic, then one story.

-The stories will either have only 1 illustration to go along with them, and be 1,800 words in length, or 1 for each page, making the story length 1,200 words.

There also exists the possibility of erasing one story in favour of a page of pure art, making the final tally 4 Comics, 3 illustrated story and 4 pictures.

So, now you know what limits you're working within, at least. As for a theme, well, I'm still sticking to say we needn't have one for the time being.

So we'll need about, pssh, 4 artists for the comics, 1 to handle the single illustrations, and I think we'll always have enough writers to handle the rest, buddying up with artists and writing the stories.

There's no time limit on this, but if things are going too slowly, I could always cut the page-count in half and sell the issues for 75p or so, thus also halving the manpower needed for a single issue.


Well I'm approaching the end of the first draft of my 'all you know is wrong' style space story.

Another couple of draft-throughs and it'll be ready for the consideration of an artist, I think.

I'm currently planning a few stories, some of which will be going to 2000AD as Future Shocks, and some of the decidedly less Thrill-tastic ones (and without twist endings) I'll send to you to see what you think of them.

So yeah, expect something in the coming days.


Sorry if you've already said, but what size paper are you going for?



Just a short update; I'm in the process of getting a license for the comic and checking out venues where I can sell it.

So what I need from all of you who are still interested are reports on any progress you've made, and any progress you plan to make. Nothing worse than just looking around and it seeming like nothing is happening.

Check out the facebook group for more details on that.


Ah, so we're making progress then?

Well, the less fortunate news is that one colleague has gone sick, so I'm doing their shift - Peak being around the corner makes for long hours any way, and him being away isn't helping - As such I'm still stuck on planning. Granted, there's more than a few stories planned out at their most basic, it's just getting the time to write them properly.

Also, if you're getting the printing license, that means the name is set in stone. Correct?


Well I've yet to commit to the name. And yet I've become oddly fond of it, to say I just threw it up there as a placeholder.

I'll brainstorm a few different names tomorrow and try to settle on one afore the outing of the week.

Any plans to take this to conventions? The UK comic con scene is very small press/independant publisher-friendly.

Conventions are also a good way of getting used to setting and working to deadlines too.

What do you mean by 'get a license'? As far as I am aware, you just go ahead and print it.


Conventions are a distinct possiblity. But naturally, I need to have something before I do much planning for that.

As for the liscence, I don't really need one to print stuff, but to sell stuff on the street I do, and if I get a liscence then I can get the comic/magazine on an official publishers list which gets sent out to everyone in the country.

...I doubt anyone will order an issue, but it goes that much further towards us being a respectable publication.

I only have one question: When the pages get published, who do they belong to? Legally, I mean.


Well as I'm not requiring anyone to sign anything for this publication, the work would still belong to the artist, I do suppose.


I'd look into is, otherwise you could end up giving rights to the printers.


Considering the kind of printers I'm going to, I find that unlikely.

Still, there's no harm in checking.

this is revelant to my interest. I live in cardiff but i'll take you up on your need for an artist...


Thanks, I'll be glad to do so.

I would also take this opportunity to ask everyone else who's signed up from on this thread exactly what it is they are doing in regards to the project (aside from the gentleman who's doing the policeman comic).

If you're just waiting for me to come and hand you some creativity I'm afraid that's not my job; I'm merely the guy who's bringing this all together and giving you a medium to showcase your work on. I even have an artist willing to pair up with some of you, but I will need samples of your writing ability to send off to him, so he can judge the best fit for himself.

Come on now; don't just let this pass by like so many other 'internet ideas'. Or like pretty much everything else on this particular board, if you want a nearer comparison.

So can we get a progress report on this, or what?


A progress report? Oh sure.


We have an internet idea.


I'm working on a layout for a comic as we speak, though it'll probably have to be redone... and I might need 7 pages as opposed to 5. If you want, I'll send the script to your email so you can verify it, give feedback/critique on it, etc. I've got a whole bunch of pitches to turn into comics too, but obviously you have enough writers as it is.

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