To all of those who submitted to the 1FIRST COMICS talent search, please know this:
When Orlando Harding suggested a talent search in hopes of expediting Sydney’s transition from his imagination (and what a wonderful imagination it is!) to actual published pages, the editorial department was gung ho! Supportive as could be! (We’re big on supporting talent, and especially keen on identifying new talent and giving them their shot… go find, for example, some of the early issues of WARP, the ones after the first nine issues of Frank Bruner’s incredible art adapting the trilogy of the Organic Theatre’s plays, and check the back up stories, the first professional comics work by a guy we think could make it big in comics some day. Name of Willingham. Or some of the covers and interiors from several of the Michael Moorcock adaptations – yes, that’s Mignola. Marty Pasko’s first comics writing was in our books, Peter Gillis and John Ostrander too. There’s more, but you get the point).
So, supportive of Orlando’s talent search idea? You bet. Enthusiastic? We were brimming with it. But optimistic? Hmmmm. Well, if we are being honest about things, ummm, optimistic? Not so much. And if we’re being completely honest about things, the over/under on number of entries was… 12. (We didn’t tell Orlando). The over/under on how many possible artist’s for 1FIRST COMICS the talent search would uncover was one-half. As in, 50-50 we’d find one, and the same odds we’d find zero.
Call it pessimism if you will, call it cynicism if you must, but that’s what we in editorial expected. (Again, don’t tell Orlando).
So may I say to all of you who entered – ALL 534 OF YOU (we blew through the 12-over on the first day) – you knocked our socks off big time. We were stunned, then astonished, and finally, overjoyed; each day more entries would come in, and each day the phone would ring and one of our folks would be saying Hey! Did you see this one? Not yet! But did you see so-and-so’s? Whoa! And get a load of… And on and on it went. It has been magical. And not just because DIGITAL WEBBING has shone a light on a depth of enthusiastic passion we didn’t know was there. It wasn’t that long ago that serious discussions were being had on sites and blogs and at Cons over whether the comic art story telling medium would actually survive. Whether it could survive. And, contrarians that we are and passionate as we will always be about our industry, that’s when we decided to re-launch 1FIRST COMICS.
You all have validated that decision in a way we would have never seen coming.
So, three things:
1FIRST, we are inviting an additional twenty – that’s right, TWENTY – to take the next step and illustrate two pages of script, pencils, inks, or pencils and inks, your choice. (It isn’t that the colorists weren’t good, it’s that we hardly had any entries. Seems like an area of opportunity for the future, if you ask me, but what do I know). You can’t win the contest, but you can make your way into our files. And we are constantly seeing pitches and scripts that need artists.
2SECOND, to all of you who didn’t get an invite, please know that, as Colonel Frank Slade might have said, we have been given a glimpse into the windows of a host of valuable futures. Believe me. Embrace it. It’s gonna make us all proud one day. I promise you.
And 3THIRD, you’ve given us something and we want to return the favor. In 2014 1FIRST COMICS will be publishing a lot of really incredible titles, and one is Orlando Harding’s NIGHTSTALKER. To introduce the title we will be coming out with a limited edition 14 page one-off. If you’d like a copy, please send us an address where snail mail can find you. It would be a small token of thanks for all the joy you’ve given us over the past days on the DIGITAL WEBBING site.
We at 1 First Comics would like to thank everyone that participated in the contest. We understand how important it was to everyone, that a fair and equitable judgment system be in place. It was a very hard contest to judge and in many cases those who made the finalist spots, barely beat out those that were not. We received over 500 submissions and admire all the time and effort that you all put into the contest and want to encourage you to keep drawing and inking. There are several contestants that did not make the finalist spots that we will reach out too (they were that close) to offer an opportunity to submit more pieces for future work. Those that fit this category will be contacted this week.
So, without further delay, these are the chosen six finalist for pencils and three finalist for inking. I would like to wish you all congratulations! Next, will be sequential work. Each of the 6 finalist will receive a two page script to be rendered within 72 hours. We will now be judging story telling capability and the ability to meet deadlines. If any of the six finalist do not want to move to the next step then they will have the option to opt out. They must notify us within 24 hours if they are choosing to opt out. Any candidate that opts out will be replaced by one of those that missed the cut of making it to the finals. The three inker finalist will be inking two random pages created by the six finalist. Good luck to everyone!
Here are your finalists: