PDA

View Full Version : WildStorm talent search drama


scherzo
06-16-2006, 01:35 PM
Most of you probably already know about the Wizard sponsored Wildstorm art contest that was held at the recent big Philadelphia comiccon. I made a one day trip to the show with some buddies on Saturday, and dropped off my obligatory submission. I knew they would announce the winner on Sunday, but it wasn't until that MONDAY that I found out contest finalists from the LA art contest in March were eliminated, if they weren't around for the last convention show.

This rubbed me the wrong way for a couple of reasons. First of all, the Wizard contest entry rules didn't say Sunday attendance was a condition of winning.(if they did, I sure wasn't the only one who missed it) Second...what does being able to attend 2 out of 3 days of a weekend convention, have to do with your potential value as a would be comics pro? It gave me the impression the people behind the contest were more interested in putting on their version of "American Idol" than actually tracking down the best candidate. I felt particularly bad because Jim Lee is one of my faves, and his active participation in the selection process was my primary motivation for participating.

Anyway Wizard announced the name of the winner of the Philly submission contest, along with the names of the other 3 finalists. Sure enough, ONE of the finalists was a no show for the Sunday ceremony. Mark Rand of Baldwin apparently had better things to do that day.
http://www.wizarduniverse.com/magazine/wizard/000380387.cfm
Hey...I hadda work. :har: I suppose if I'd known Jim Lee would be calling out my name in a neighboring state, I'd have taken the day off. :huh:

Anyway while I couldn't be more pleased to find out Wildstorm sees some merit in my drawings, I can't help but find it a little disturbing that further participation hinged on something like convention attendance. To be honest, it's doubtful I would have actually accepted an invitation to a 3 month internship on the other side of the country, for a pay scale less than half of what I'm currently living on. But you can be damn sure I'd draw anything they asked me to, just to stay on their collective radar. Have I missed an opportunity here? :(

-scherzo

JasonM
06-16-2006, 01:42 PM
It's a little shitty thinking that our future entertainment is based not on talent so much as attendance! Then again, it likely just means you would have been late on every other issue :P

Congrats on the nomination and I'm sorry it didn't work out!

jrod
06-16-2006, 01:43 PM
If this recharges you, which it should, it was worth it.

DannoE
06-16-2006, 02:00 PM
Have I missed an opportunity here?
I don't think so. You got on their radar screen, and that seems to have been the point of the exercise, so then the next question is, "How do you capitalize on the relationship?"

THAT is where being around on Sunday would have helped, but it's still probably worth your time to send somebody an email and see what's what. At worst, you'll be where you are now.

Personally, I'd suggest you sit down, pound out a three or four issue mini series, pitch it to Image (or someone else) and then have your resume say:
- Wildstorm Contest Finalist
- Image mini series veteran

At that point, I'd think you'd be able to get your pick of paying work.

My $.02.

D.J. Coffman
06-16-2006, 02:06 PM
Either way, this is all experience and can go on your resume.

No one will really give a crap if you were in a contest or a winner of anything-- if your work is fuckinng amazing when they see it, and then you also have a few blurbs about you tucked away somewhere, that could help.

Consistancy! If you've opened up a bridge, don't burn it down. Take it from me, King of Bridge Burners! hahahah...

Scott Story
06-16-2006, 02:30 PM
No one gives a shit if you win some contest. They will look at your samples, and if you make it it will be based on your samples, not past contests.

I'm in a bad mood today, but I'd rather get whacked in the head than ever do another contest, sample page, work on contingency, etc. Great holy crap, who needs one more crap-fest cattle call. I did all that shit, and it just leads to hope followed by pain. Pfah! Life is too short!

The breaking point for me was when a certain big publisher ran a lottery at cons to see an editor. Well, if just seeing an editor was based on random chance, not my skill or professionalism, then forget it.

Like I said, I'm in a crummy mood, so please overlook my comments and continue with said contest discussion.

Fahnon
06-16-2006, 02:53 PM
No I agree with you. It seems like the pubs are not really interested in finding new talent. Wouldn't care if there was an alternative besides Image (not that I don't like Image but it would be nice to have more people who might like your art).

As for Mark he does need to capitalize on this. I think he's right on the cusp of breaking in...

Aaron Hübrich
06-16-2006, 03:21 PM
This may come off badly, but what really bugs ME is that when I read about someone involved in a submission process, they rarely post their work so some other editor can see it...No offense "scherzo" - a lot of folks don't do it here.

Marketing advise for artists: Every time you post here *as an artist wanting to break in*, make damn sure you have a link to your work in your signature. If not, it's like being kicked to the back of the submission line...

It blows me a way how many artists that post here don't have a link to their current work. That's a grave mistake these days as editors who *are* looking for talent can't see your work because you don't have a FREE Imagashack or MySpace account set up...SHOW YOUR WORK ONLINE and you have a much better chance of being hired.

In my opinion, going to a show and tossing your portfolio down in front of an editor is such a hassle for both parties. Yes, you get the experience and get to meet people, but because there's dozens of other people waiting to get their chance to show their stuff, it tends to lack the quality experience it really needs to be.

Yes, show your portfolio, but make sure you have a business card to hand them so "Editor X" can research you later...Hmm, I wonder how they're going to do that? Sifting through a stack of paper or finding your pages online and book marking you so they can contact you in the future? That simple little business card (with a phone and email listed) is well worth the money and won't get lost as easily as those dog-eared copies.

I suggest using these guys: http://www.overnightprints.com/main.php

Good luck at your favorite Wizard Con!

jrod
06-16-2006, 03:26 PM
This may come off badly, but what really bugs ME is that when I read about someone involved in a submission process, they rarely post their work so some other editor can see it...No offense "scherzo" - a lot of folks don't do it here.

Marketing advise for artists: Every time you post here *as an artist wanting to break in*, make damn sure you have a link to your work in your signature. If not, it's like being kicked to the back of the submission line...

It blows me a way how many artists that post here don't have a link to their current work. That's a grave mistake these days as editors who *are* looking for talent can't see your work because you don't have a FREE Imagashack or MySpace account set up...SHOW YOUR WORK ONLINE and you have a much better chance of being hired.

In my opinion, going to a show and tossing your portfolio down in front of an editor is such a hassle for both parties. Yes, you get the experience and get to meet people, but because there's dozens of other people waiting to get their chance to show their stuff, it tends to lack the quality experience it really needs to be.

Yes, show your portfolio, but make sure you have a business card to hand them so "Editor X" can research you later...Hmm, I wonder how they're going to do that? Sifting through a stack of paper or finding your pages online and book marking you so they can contact you in the future? That simple little business card (with a phone and email listed) is well worth the money and won't get lost as easily as those dog-eared copies.

I suggest using these guys: http://www.overnightprints.com/main.php

Good luck at your favorite Wizard Con!

Well, just coming back from scherzo's profile to click to see threads started by him to see which ones were in the Artist Showcase to see if he had a style I could use for Postcards (because I still need to fill two slots) I'd say "here, here" to all of this.

Scott Story
06-16-2006, 03:32 PM
I've had a website for almost ten years. That's where I get all my work. If others' don't want to advertise online, fine. I get the work.

Admittedly, while my portfolio is available off this site, I haven't had anything under my posts, like links or banners, on this site or others, for a while. Yeah, you can get to my site by my sig., but that's not good enough.

I'm in a crappy mood. Shortcomings suck.

Aaron Hübrich
06-16-2006, 04:39 PM
Having anything is a start. Posting as an artist with no way of seeing your work is too modest I think.

Raven
06-16-2006, 05:01 PM
Either way, this is all experience and can go on your resume.

No one will really give a crap if you were in a contest or a winner of anything-- if your work is fuckinng amazing when they see it, and then you also have a few blurbs about you tucked away somewhere, that could help.

Consistancy! If you've opened up a bridge, don't burn it down. Take it from me, King of Bridge Burners! hahahah...

Actually, no one really pays attention to a bridge until suddenly it is in danger. . .

scherzo
06-16-2006, 09:54 PM
I don't think so. You got on their radar screen, and that seems to have been the point of the exercise, so then the next question is, "How do you capitalize on the relationship?"

THAT is where being around on Sunday would have helped, but it's still probably worth your time to send somebody an email and see what's what. At worst, you'll be where you are now.

Personally, I'd suggest you sit down, pound out a three or four issue mini series, pitch it to Image (or someone else) and then have your resume say:
- Wildstorm Contest Finalist
- Image mini series veteran

At that point, I'd think you'd be able to get your pick of paying work.
Hey DannoE. Your words make sense as always. After taking a look at DC's weirdly militaristic submission guidelines, I've actually begun more intense development of my own material. I'm almost ready to begin actively putting a working script together for the project. :bounce:
Either way, this is all experience and can go on your resume.
I agree Coffman. I'm definitely glad I took those few days and put my bid in for the contest, and it was fun trying my hand at the characters.
The breaking point for me was when a certain big publisher ran a lottery at cons to see an editor. Well, if just seeing an editor was based on random chance, not my skill or professionalism, then forget it.
You're right Scott. A major publisher ought to be embarrassed to have such a system in play at a con. Thinking about random nonsense like this can certainly make a bad mood worse.
No I agree with you. It seems like the pubs are not really interested in finding new talent.
Well Fahnon based on some of the discussions I've had with editors at shows recently, I think you could safely say it's not exactly at the top of their priority list.

-scherzo

Nick Pitarra
06-16-2006, 09:58 PM
I'm a finalist from the L.A. Con...and I thought it was pretty clear that you had to be there to accept. That really sucks that you didn't pick that up. Best of luck to you. I wish you had those pages posted for viewing.

~nick

scherzo
06-16-2006, 10:21 PM
It's a little shitty thinking that our future entertainment is based not on talent so much as attendance! Then again, it likely just means you would have been late on every other issue :P

Congrats on the nomination and I'm sorry it didn't work out!
Thanks Jason. I'm not really that depressed about it, but I do have big issues with the policy given how little sense it makes.
If this recharges you, which it should, it was worth it.
Definitely true jrod. I'd have been more than a little demoralized if the work were totally dismissed.
This may come off badly, but what really bugs ME is that when I read about someone involved in a submission process, they rarely post their work so some other editor can see it...No offense "scherzo" - a lot of folks don't do it here.

Marketing advise for artists: Every time you post here *as an artist wanting to break in*, make damn sure you have a link to your work in your signature. If not, it's like being kicked to the back of the submission line...

It blows me a way how many artists that post here don't have a link to their current work. That's a grave mistake these days as editors who *are* looking for talent can't see your work because you don't have a FREE Imagashack or MySpace account set up...SHOW YOUR WORK ONLINE and you have a much better chance of being hired.
Well the posting I've done here has been much more for critiques, than work solicitation Aaron. I've always had it in the back of my mind that anyone interested in seeing more of my stuff could PM me, or follow my profile, but your point is well taken. Btw, you a Dream Theater fan? I think I've known only one other person besides myself into their music, and he MAY have posted on this thread already. :p

-Mark(in full attendance mode)

monkeyboy
06-16-2006, 10:26 PM
Aaron makes some good points. I've had my website for 5+ years now and I get some work from people who've found my site, but it's also a great way to use my site as a virtual portfolio and direct people to go there when applying for jobs.
And overnightprints.com is great. I've gotten my business cards there and a few other clients. They make grat looking FULL COLOR cards. Not like it used to be where you had to limit yourself to one maybe two colors or else spend a small fortune. I think they might even do a tent fold type card too, but that might be overkill. Just get the front and backs done

scherzo
06-16-2006, 10:45 PM
I'm a finalist from the L.A. Con...and I thought it was pretty clear that you had to be there to accept.
Funny thing is...even the guy I handed off my samples to, didn't mention required attendance when I asked about the judging. Here are the official rules as I understood them:
http://www.wizarduniverse.com/_gfx_/conventions/la/WW20060119-rules.pdf
That really sucks that you didn't pick that up. Best of luck to you. I wish you had those pages posted for viewing.
Congrats on being a finalist nick. :) I took a look at your Wildcats submission, and it's easy to see how it made the finals. Nice (and original looking) work man. :bounce:

-scherzo

Poboy
06-16-2006, 10:46 PM
I skipped down w/o reading replies yet, so if it's been said already, sorry.

Stay in touch. Send a note to Jim Lee, even if it's at whatever his fan boy address is. Don't go bitching, but say if you had known you needed to be there you would've tried to find someone to take over at work, that you were looking forward to his critique more than/as much as winning.

Nick Pitarra
06-16-2006, 11:16 PM
Scherzo...there where allot of people at the panel in L.A. who were no shows as well. I think the primary reason that they want the contestant's to be there is to ensure their attendance at the con($). Wizard has promised to run an article on the winner...its a contest hosted on the wizard convention circuit.....its stretched out over two cons....on both sides of the country (its what made me fly all the way from houston to L.A.). I think if wizard figures it can draw in 25 hopefuls a show....make them buy a 3 day pass(you have to drop it off on fri/sat...and be there on sunday). Thats what 50 peeps times $40 ...$2000 for wizard...not including the crap they'll buy at the con. It sucks that you were there and just missed the panel revealing the winners.

If its any interest to you....top cow is having a similiar competition...but there accepting samples snail mail(you can use portfolio stuff, so you can reuse the WS pages)...I saw the add in the july issue of wizard. I'm going to send them some stuff.

~nick

innocentboy
06-16-2006, 11:42 PM
to be honest, i'm only seeing this from a positive point of view, and i'm saying, "congrats!" to you! must feel nice :D

Scribe
06-16-2006, 11:44 PM
The breaking point for me was when a certain big publisher ran a lottery at cons to see an editor. Well, if just seeing an editor was based on random chance, not my skill or professionalism, then forget it.


I really wuish artists would quit bitching about how hard it is to break in. At least editors are willing to look at your work and actually have talent seraches/media events looking for new artists.

Writers are lucky if they get to say two words to an editor so stop telling us how bad it is.

Calloway
06-17-2006, 12:27 AM
This reeks illegal. Something about having to purchase something (another ticket) for a contest is kinda like, well gambling...I'm not 100 percent on this but I'm pretty sure somethings wrong with this picture.

raya
06-17-2006, 07:38 AM
It blows me a way how many artists that post here don't have a link to their current work. That's a grave mistake these days as editors who *are* looking for talent can't see your work because you don't have a FREE Imagashack or MySpace account set up...SHOW YOUR WORK ONLINE and you have a much better chance of being hired.

I agree, and I have gotten some work from having links to my portfolio in my signature, which I used to not show. So yes, I would suggest everyone post their link to samples or portfolio in your signature, you may be surprised.

And yes, I do need to update my samples (I've been really busy though). ;)

Calloway
06-17-2006, 12:56 PM
I really wuish artists would quit bitching about how hard it is to break in. At least editors are willing to look at your work and actually have talent seraches/media events looking for new artists.

Writers are lucky if they get to say two words to an editor so stop telling us how bad it is.


I dunno, if a writer is good he can get into a small indy comic and if he is good it'll sell good and he'll get noticed. If an artist is good and has a crap writer on a indy small press he may never get noticed because on the small press end of things story sells a book more so then art. Weird how that works.

Scribe
06-17-2006, 01:47 PM
I dunno, if a writer is good he can get into a small indy comic and if he is good it'll sell good and he'll get noticed. If an artist is good and has a crap writer on a indy small press he may never get noticed because on the small press end of things story sells a book more so then art. Weird how that works.

And how many contests are there out their for writers in comics?

Calloway
06-17-2006, 01:48 PM
There's been a few actually. Not as many as art but one writer can write 10 books and one artist can probably do no more then 2. It's a balance thing.

theflash
06-17-2006, 04:31 PM
There's been a few actually. Not as many as art but one writer can write 10 books and one artist can probably do no more then 2. It's a balance thing.

ok while i agree that there are simply different ways for writers and artists to break in, that statement is fiction. it totally depends on the person. you have some guys like Brian Hitch that can barely manage to get a monthly book out, and you have others that are doing 3 or more a month just ripping pages out right and left. if you look back at Kirby...and even Byrne in the 80s, those guys were by far more prolific.

the reason artists have it easier at cons is purely time. an editor can look at several pages very quickly and see composition, storytelling, anatomy, and emotion. right then and there he can evaluate the artist, at least on a skill level. speed wise...that's another animal.

with writers, the editor would have to sit and read a script. its not the same. it takes more attention, and time, neither of which are in heavy supply during conventions. so writers have to go other routes. they have to get noticed doing small press, or get a break some other way. i would say the oppotunities are at least slightly skewed in favor of artists simply because the art is what really makes it a comic book. without the artists...it's just a book.

Scott Story
06-17-2006, 05:05 PM
I really wuish artists would quit bitching about how hard it is to break in. At least editors are willing to look at your work and actually have talent seraches/media events looking for new artists.

Scribe: Blah blah blah, blah blah blah. Do the smart thing and "break in" in another medium. Sheesh.

chris stevens
06-17-2006, 05:14 PM
scherzo and niptarra, push forward with the wildstorm thing. it's not a beginning or an end, but it should be a boost for sure.

greenie and scott, it's roughly 6 million times harder to make it as a writer in comics compared to making it as an artist. and greenie, that stupid assumption 'writers can write x amount more than artists can draw' is just that, stupid. writing isn't pulling rabbits out of hats.

jrod
06-17-2006, 05:29 PM
And how many contests are there out their for writers in comics?

No contests but submissions for those who know where to look for them.

I was looking for subs for postcards. That's turning out to be a pretty good book for exposure.

Just gotta hustle. More annoying than the artist who can't find work is the writer who bitches about how hard it is to get noticed.

Poboy
06-17-2006, 06:34 PM
If its any interest to you....top cow is having a similiar competition...but there accepting samples snail mail(you can use portfolio stuff, so you can reuse the WS pages)...I saw the add in the july issue of wizard. I'm going to send them some stuff.

~nick
Got any details (or know where I can get them online)?

Scott Story
06-17-2006, 07:23 PM
Chris: I know writing is not easy or magic. I've been a writer longer than I've been an artist. Yes, writing is two to three times quicker than penciling, but that doesn't mean it's easier.

My point is this: In the arts, you've got to make stuff happen for yourself. In this industry, there are few jobs for more pro's than ever. Your only real option is to self-publish of be a self-promotions wizard. The other option is to get a fan following in another deliver system/medium and translate that into comics.

Thus, I think it's useless to rail against the obvious difficulties writers have in a graphic medium. We've heard it all before, and I don't think that's changed even now, in the age or superstar writers.

the other mike
06-17-2006, 07:44 PM
may i ask wich con had the lotto?
the last time i showed work at a con was 2-3 years ago at san diego. it was the 1st year DC used the "drop box". they just picked out the best ones and posted the names on the board at their booth of who they wanted to see. i hadda sit thought that morning's "orientation" to find out about the whole drop box thing. not only did it eat into my con time, my submission didn't get picked... back to the drawing board for me.
wished i coulda gotten some face time with an editor.i wasn't looking to get hired or anything, just networking and stuff maybe see if my art was on the right track. oh well...

the other mike
06-17-2006, 07:49 PM
BTW, this thread rocks. all of the posters have been really cool and sensible, not the usual moan and groan crowd. plus i've gotten a few great ideas/advice (i.e. links to websites in your sig, business cards... etc).uh-DOY! it so obvious, i know. but then i'm not the sharpest knife in the tree.

Nick Pitarra
06-17-2006, 08:10 PM
the july issue of wizard has a half page add. Its got a big pic of marc sylvestry. It says its a paying gig...there are two spots open to 2 in house pencilers/interns.....don't have much more than that.

Gonzogoose
06-17-2006, 09:29 PM
It (the Wizard ad) has an address:

Talent Search
c/o Top Cow Productions
10350 Santa Monica Blvd. #100
Los Angeles, CA 90025

The only catch is you have to either live in or be willing to relocate to LA.

It says to send ONLY pencil work also.

Mecha
06-17-2006, 09:46 PM
The Topcow one is to find 2 new in-house pencillers.

I asked about things like inkers and such and they said anyone can apply under the normal submission guidelines on the site at the current time, they just want pencilling submissions to be separated for the in-house search.

Duckdoodle
06-18-2006, 12:14 PM
Some people mentioned something about Wizard trying to make money off the aspiring artists at the cons. They prolly are. But I went to Philly and I didn't look at it as just fun time. It was an opportunity to network and learn.
I entered the Wildstorm contest (made honorable mention:))and it was my goal to win it. But I went about the con as if I wasn't going to win and I took it as an opportunity to meet people and to learn. I got some great critiques and I attended all the the art seminars I could. I took my notebook along and have some great notes. I can honestly look back and say that even though I didn't win, I learned a lot and I'm a more capable sequential artist then before the convention. So don't be bitter about Wizard trying to make a buck, look at it as a chance to better yourself and your opportunities as an artist.

Calloway
06-18-2006, 12:54 PM
Yeah but the fact you have to return on a sunday is a loss for anyone. Barely anything's left on a sunday and when you've gone on the hot day (saturday) you usually get your networking done.

Nick Pitarra
06-18-2006, 02:25 PM
I love cons...I've been to 6 wizard worlds....3 dallas's...2 or 3 philly's...1 L.A...its a great way to meet editors and get professional critiques...i would highly recommend it to anyone. Its a win win for wildstorm and wizard...you get free press from the contest for wildstorm...and the contest will atract customers for wizard. Thats just business and I'm not bitter at all. Thats awesome that you got so much out of the con. My one problem with wizard world would be that they are pretty much cookie cutter. You see ethan van sciver (whereing a green lantern shirt) in artist alley...you see that guy that paints with his elbows...you see jim lee (who is guest of honor for the 5th time) he's getting hustled from booth to booth. You'll walk by joe quesada and not realize it ...then do...then feel special for some weird reason. Wizard is pretty much the same in every city (although I hear chicago rocks...haven't been)...there are so many a year now that publishers don't feel the urge to even show up....I remember one year at wizard world Dallas there was no DC no Marvel and no dark horse...and quesada was the guest of honor. I see the reasons behind it but if i was a casual fan and went to a comic convention i would atleast expect to see the guys who make spiderman and batman. All that said...I still love cons and love wizard world and love comics....theres nothing like walking through those convention doors and seeing comic crap as far as the eye can see.
~nick

theflash
06-18-2006, 02:49 PM
hey Nick, you going to Dallas this year for the Wizard World?

Nick Pitarra
06-18-2006, 03:53 PM
Of course! For sure as a fan and to get critiques and stuff. I also got a project that I might promote there. My editors going to ww chicago to show off pages from a book i've been working on on and off for a year and a half. If he wants me to do the same in dallas then i will. That would be the first time i've been behind the table. I think the con experience is best taken in as a fan though...we'll see.

theflash
06-18-2006, 04:05 PM
well it's gonna be hard for me to stay behind the table i will tell you that, but i will do it cause it's worth it. i take a couple of friends with me every year and they can run around and get comics signed and such, so it won't be too bad. drop by the Paper Dragonz table at WW Dallas and introduce yourself.

Nick Pitarra
06-18-2006, 04:19 PM
Definitely will do. See ya there.

~nick

Fahnon
06-22-2006, 12:30 PM
If anyone is interested SCHERZO agreed to let me link to his pages that are on my site.

Check them out here (just hit "next" to get to pages 2 and 3):

http://www.fahnon.com/gallery/index.php?file=./Mark%20Rand%20Art/gen13-1.jpg

studio_hades
06-22-2006, 11:48 PM
I grew tired of the convention scene and the talent search stuff about 12 years ago, personally. And I had a funny experience where Ron Liefield told be my anatomy was wrong. It was ridiculous. There's a lot of jerking around at those things by editors under the guise of "you need to learn how to take criticism". I got some great tips from Buscema and Colan, which was worth way more than any editors opinion in the long run.

Evan
Studio-Hades
http://www.studio-hades.com

Nick Pitarra
06-23-2006, 12:07 AM
I agree to that. I read an article featuring Jim Lee and he said that Editors/as an Editor you often look for reasons not to hire people. It was an instructional how to article helping inspiring artist with submissions...he basicly said to make your pages as perfect as possible...b/c an editor will often just look for reasons why he shouldn't hire you...it might have been on the audio critique that he used to have on the wildstorm website~where he basicly broke down submission pages for like 20-30 minutes. It was a real great thing to have up on there website.