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Breaking Into Comics: Women of Darby Pop

Written by Kristine Chester | 6 Comments | Published on April 8, 2016
The content that follows was originally published on the Darby Pop Publishing website at http://www.darbypop.com/indestructible/breaking-into-comics-women-of-darby-pop/

We here at Darby Pop Publishing know how hard it can be to get a foot in the door of the comic book industry. Which is why, 18 months ago, we launched our first “Breaking Into Comics” campaign – a script-writing contest centered around Indestructible’s amoral aquatic, Stingray.

That contest was so successful, and the quality of the work we received so uniformly excellent, that this time around we’re giving both aspiring WRITERS and ARTISTS an opportunity to bash down that aforementioned door.

Your Assignment: This time we’re putting together an anthology book so more of you can/will get published. Need we remind you that the winner of our previous contest – Jeff Marsick – not only had his script turned into Indestructible: Stingray #1, but we then published Jeff’s next trade paperback, Dead Man’s Party, too.  (We’re kinda pushovers.)

Women of Darby Pop #1 will be a double-sized issue featuring many of the female characters – major and/or minor – from nearly all the books we’ve published to-date.  Writers will need to submit a 1 to 4-page complete comic book script (nothing longer, please!) featuring the character/characters of your choosing.  In other words, you can write a 1-pg. gag piece.  Or a taut 4-pg. adventure story.  An origin.  Or a “fifty years in the future” forecast.  The choice is wholly yours.  And, no, we do NOT have a preference.  So stop asking.

Ayala Tal

Artists will need to send us a sample pin-up or sequential page featuring (at least) one female character from our lineup.  In addition, Artists must also include 1 or 2 pages of sample sequential comic book art.  But, these samples need NOT be based upon our characters; feel free to pull from your existing portfolio.  We just want to see that you know how to tell a story.  And, you know, draw.

Of course, we highly recommend that both Artists and Writers read at least some of the original source material for the character(s) selected.  We’re not looking to reinvent anyone, but if you have an idea for a story that takes our characters into a new, but justifiable direction – go for it!

It’s worth adding that this is not a one entry per person kind of contest. If you have multiple great ideas, write or draw them up and send them along (separately please).

Once we have selected the winning Writers and Artists, we’re gonna pair you up.  Like at summer camp when you go swimming.  With the winning Artists bringing the winning Writers’ scripts to life for the ultimate anthology. (Yeah, we may suggest some edits/tweaks before everything is final.  ‘Cuz we’re anal-retentive like that.  But, we promise not to make this little contest a lifelong experience for you.  And, who knows, maybe you’ll even learn something.)

image1The Characters: To remind, your script or sample art must feature (at least) one female character from Darby Pop’s Indestructible, City: The Mind in the Machine, The 7th Sword, Doberman, Dead Squad, Side-Kicked, Dead Man’s Party, and/or Fake Empire.

Examples include: Stingray, Princess Power, and Gaia from Indestructible; Vargas, Ayala Tal, and Dr. Nash from Dead Squad; Superfecta 5 and Kathleen from The 7th Sword; Chloe from City: The Mind in the Machine; Angela Garcia from Doberman; Atalanta from Side-Kicked; Charli, Lucy, and Jill from Fake Empire; and/or Cynara Veil from Dead Man’s Party.  But, you are absolutely NOT limited to those examples.  If you want to write a script about June (Greg Pincus’s mom), go for it.  God knows Jeff Kline’s actual mother will lap up the attention…

And if you wanna include some dudes in your work… that’s a-O.K., too.  We just want to make sure that the ladies are front and center.  ‘Cuz… well… the book is called “Women of Darby Pop.”

What We Want to See: Again, from our Writers we’re looking for a 1 to 4-page finished script. A complete script.  Not a pitch.  Not a premise.  Not an outline.  Formatting isn’t a concern as long as you include dialogue and panel descriptions.  Oh, and run the thing through spellcheck before hitting “send,” ‘kay?

image2From our Artists we want to see a sample pin-up (specific to an existing Darby Pop character). Plus 1 or 2 complete sequential pages (that do NOT have to be specific to Darby Pop).  Being able to pencil, ink, and color your own work is a plus.  But, lettering is not required.  (Although, if you want to show us that you’re a jack-of-all-trades, go for it. We’ll read every word balloon!)

From both Writers and Artists, we will also need a signed release form (SEE BELOW). This is of the utmost importance; if your submission does not include signed release it will NOT be read or looked at.

Submit your finished script(s) and art to DarbyPopSubmissions@gmail.com. Subject line: Women of Darby Pop

Your Reward: The main one is being published in our “Women of Darby Pop” anthology, which is scheduled to hit stores this very September. In addition, U.S. based winning Writers will receive 2 copies of the finished book per page of script used (maximum of 5).  Artists will receive 4 copies per page drawn (maximum of 10). International winners will receive a digital copy of the final anthology.

Keep in mind, even one of the “runners up” from our previous “Breaking Into Comics” campaign – Eric Palicki – had his original series – Fake Empire – published by Darby Pop this year.  In other words, we have a very small circle of trust…

image3Your Deadline: Friday, May 13th.  Pay careful attention to that deadline ’cause any submissions received after midnight on that date will be pumpkin pie.

Our Legal: By submitting your work to this contest, you consent to Darby Pop Publishing using your name and likeness for promotion in relation to this contest and its results (which I’m sure is what you want, so…) Obviously, Darby Pop Publishing owns the “winning” material outright. The rest we’ll leave to our fancy lawyers and their release form, so remember to sign the thing.

Important: No, we’re not going to publish anything even remotely pornographic.  Or offensive.  Keep in mind that our target audience for “Women of Darby Pop” is teens and older of any/all stripes.  Keep it clean.  Make it good.  And join our dysfunctional little family, won’t you?

Women of Darby Pop Submission Form