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Submission Tales, Whether ones you sent, or reviewed, share your best submission tales
C. Edward Sellne...
post May 8 2009, 11:56 AM
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I thought it would be fun and hopefully helpful, to start a discussion thread here focusing on submissions. Share your stories about them. They might be ones you yourself submitted. They might be portfolios someone asked you to look at at a convention, or if you've ever served as a submissions editor, they might be highlights from the adventure.

I'm going to be adding in a number of my favorites from the last few years.

Let's keep it lighthearted, funny, and educational. Fair enough?

This post has been edited by C. Edward Sellner: May 8 2009, 01:15 PM


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C. Edward Sellne...
post May 18 2009, 10:37 PM
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One of the biggest pitfalls of submissions is that, of course we all want to think our own work is professional grade. I've mentioned quite often how I've seen submissions so far below professional grade that one has to wonder how the person thought they could really submit and even in their wildest hopes think they would make it.

When I moved, I came across one of my first art submissions to Marvel and guess what my reaction was? AAAAAAHHHGGGHHH! I sent this?!?!?! I was in high school at the time and my art was horrible on every level and every front. But yep, I sent it in and I know at the time I thought I had a shot.

So, if you don't think you might be bias to your own work, think again. This is why it is always good to get some critical, independent reviews of anything you do BEFORE you make it official and send it off.

One day in an online workshop, I will probably run those old pages so people can laugh at me. smile.gif

But, we'll do it after my first published full-art job. Ahem.


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Cary
post May 19 2009, 08:55 AM
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lol submissions. i used to have a WALL papered with rejection letters, mostly from Image. i wanted to work for them BAD in the early 90s. i even sent in a story for Supreme if you can imagine, and i kinda hated that character. but i was gonna fix him! lol makes me laugh now when i think back to all that. but it did steer me in the right direction i guess. when the letters poured in i got the sense they didn't really have much time for just a writer, so i needed some art to go with it. that's what got me started looking for an artist, and writing my own characters and stories again. somewhere along the way that became the focus.

as far as getting submissions, i do. a lot. and sadly most of them are...not ready. i find a lot of pin up only people want work, but they don't have sequential samples ready to rock, which hurts them unless they're going to do covers only. my favorite submission was a guy who sent me a serious volume of samples and had great work. but he could only work three days a week, and produced about half a page during those days. so lets do that math right quick, that's 2 pages a month, 24 whole pages a YEAR. i told him i loved his work, but i have nothing on that particular time schedule.


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Liam Bradley
post May 19 2009, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE (Cary @ May 19 2009, 03:55 PM) *
lol submissions. i used to have a WALL papered with rejection letters, mostly from Image. i wanted to work for them BAD in the early 90s. i even sent in a story for Supreme if you can imagine, and i kinda hated that character. but i was gonna fix him! lol makes me laugh now when i think back to all that. but it did steer me in the right direction i guess. when the letters poured in i got the sense they didn't really have much time for just a writer, so i needed some art to go with it. that's what got me started looking for an artist, and writing my own characters and stories again. somewhere along the way that became the focus.

as far as getting submissions, i do. a lot. and sadly most of them are...not ready. i find a lot of pin up only people want work, but they don't have sequential samples ready to rock, which hurts them unless they're going to do covers only. my favorite submission was a guy who sent me a serious volume of samples and had great work. but he could only work three days a week, and produced about half a page during those days. so lets do that math right quick, that's 2 pages a month, 24 whole pages a YEAR. i told him i loved his work, but i have nothing on that particular time schedule.



You're turning into a nazi, man! mad.gif


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Cary
post May 19 2009, 09:19 AM
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QUOTE (Liam Bradley @ May 19 2009, 09:09 AM) *
You're turning into a nazi, man! mad.gif


i know right! i'm so mean and hateful. lol but like i said his work was wonderful, he just needed to work on his speed. i hope he does tho, because he's got serious skills.


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Liam Bradley
post May 19 2009, 09:31 AM
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I would have just flat out said "quit your day job"


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Cary
post May 19 2009, 10:37 AM
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QUOTE (Liam Bradley @ May 19 2009, 10:31 AM) *
I would have just flat out said "quit your day job"



well i dunno. i mean look at some of the amazing artists we have right now in comics. Brian Hitch does amazing work, but he's a lot slower than many other artists, even though he's drawing full time. so...it might help with having more time, but then again the detail alone might warrant the extra time. hard to say till he makes that jump.

oh and you want a sort of submission horror story? when i decided to quit sending cold subs and team up with an artist, i found a guy at a con that had AWESOME work and wanted to do a project with me. he was digging some of my pretty horrible character sketches and was all about it. so we mailed back and forth, (since at the time email was in its infancy) and all was well. till i didn't hear back for like...two months. called, no answer. what do i see in PREVIEWS the next month? this guy's name on a Marvel book! argh! good on him and all, i was happy he'd made it...but it just felt pretty horrible. like i'd missed a chance or something. but the silver lining there was he abandoned comics shortly thereafter to work on movie storyboards instead. so as it happened it was for the best that we went our separate ways.


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Liam Bradley
post May 19 2009, 11:41 AM
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Man he could have atleast told you :|



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Cary
post May 19 2009, 11:59 AM
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QUOTE (Liam Bradley @ May 19 2009, 12:41 PM) *
Man he could have atleast told you :|


lol yeah it would have been nice. but i also look at it like would i have continued doing my own thing if Marvel dialed up and said "hey man you wanna write Spiderman?"

i'd like to THINK i would have...but you never know. it might have well been a month before i came down out of the clouds! smile.gif


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C. Edward Sellne...
post May 20 2009, 01:20 AM
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Cary, glad to see you are still pursuing your own stuff.
Hope you like the next few columns dealing with self-publishing.

As for the 'got snagged away out from under you', we've been there too.
We've had a couple artists attached with VCS who then went onto full time comic gigs with publishers, including Top Cow and Dynamite. It happens.

What about the rest of you out there? What's your funniest submission story?

I've got to say my wildest experience with portfolio reviews (not formal submissions, granted, but still) was when I offered to do reviews at the San Diego Comic-Con in their official portfolio review section. One guy showed me abstract string art. I just sat there utterly stunned. I told him I could say it looked cool as abstract art, but, you know, it had NOTHING to do with comics.

Wildest question about submissions? One of our first panels we had an elderly lady sitting in the audience who then asked "What's your policy on publishing erotic, sexual-violent material?" I thought sure she was some right-winger wanting to condemn comics for messing up kids, but before I could answer she went on to point out her husband and her were creating such a book and wanted to know if she could submit it to us. Seriously.

But again, the biggest thing is we still get a ton of submissions from folks who have obviously not only not read our guidelines, but have no clue what Visionary is about. The one advantage here is that we get to weed out about 80% of the submissions we get without investing a lot of time. We used to respond to submissions like that, but stopped. Now we just delete them, which on one hand I hate doing, but then I remind myself, and my staff, if they could not invest the time to learn about us, we don't need to invest the time to teach them.

Of course, every one of the properties we are managing also started as a submission to us. The highlight of my submission review career is when I found an email in my inbox for a submission from Pat Broderick. I looked at that a couple times and kept pinching myself. Pat Broderick was submitting to me?! What was wrong with this picture? It started a great friendship between us. (Yes, of course we accepted the submission BTW!) But here was a virtual legend in the industry sending me a submission. Also, by the way...he followed our guidelines...I kid you not.


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