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burchland2
10-18-2014, 07:37 PM
I am requesting reviews and critiques for my comic's pitch in order to verify if I can publish it for the attention to either Image Comics or Top Shelf Publications. I need at least fifty-one percent of approval, regardless of the amount of reviews. If you approve, advise me to suggest either Image or Top Shelf. If there's anything else you want to ask me about the story, then don't be afraid to ask me. So without further adieu, here is my (extremely) concise pitch:

In the United States, 3098, there is a war between the essence of art and the terror of grayness. Fortunately, with the assistance from a young, successful businessman, Art Smith, it’s up to a teen genius, Isaac Onuwitz, and his friends to protect the colors from the revengeful anti-team, the Graydom of Terror, led by businessman-turned-terrorist, Gregory Grayson.

If there's anything wrong with the concept, then feel free to tell me the problem. Thank you. :)

hellospaceboy
10-25-2014, 09:46 PM
Hi,

I don't know too much about how to pitch for either of those companies, but I suggest writing at least the first issue (or chapter) in script format. I know that they would need to see how you handle the practical side of writing, pacing, dialog, introducing the world, characters, etc.
Selling a comic is a long process and takes a lot of work, so I suggest finding a story that you're so passionate about that you would do it regardless of your odds to land with a popular indy publisher.

Other than that the story seems fine, it's a little bit too far into the future, so by 3098 the world (and politics, countries) won't resemble our world too much, even the terms like businessman, terrorist, United States, etc. will have little meaning. (Think about the people of 1098 writing about the world of 2000, and how much would we relate to that). I'd suggest 2198 or something like that.

I would leave character names out, they won't mean anything to the publishers and think of every word of your pitch as high end real estate. If you really want to, you can probably keep the name of the main character.

And I would describe what the whole "war between the essence of art and the terror of grayness" means in a more practical manner, how it would manifest in the story. I don't really know what it means, so I can assume that neither would the publisher.

I hope my short critique helps, although I'm not sure where you would put it on the percentage scale, but you could read it as encouragement. :)

Comics Commando
10-29-2014, 04:17 AM
That's less of a pitch and more along the lines of a logline. But, as the poster above stated, it's pretty vague in a number of spots. It is too far in the future--and I have no real understanding of the first sentence. The second sentence comes across pretty vague, too. You need to make it more understandable....make the conflict more apparent so we understand the jeopardy and what's at stake. A logline is an art in and of itself, so I get that it's hard. But starting with clarity goes a long way at the outset. Right now, it's just not coming across.

This is a link to an article I wrote about creating a series bible.....though it doesn't address pitches from the top, I do discuss them, and there may be some information that can prove helpful in your moving forward.

http://forum.webcomicscommunity.com/index.php?topic=868.0


Best,

Kurt Hathaway
Cartoon Balloons Studio

Lettering / Logos / Fonts / Pre-Press / Page Design / Motion Graphics
for Print or Web / Entertainment, Advertising or Education!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETGevjPkZso

burchland2
10-30-2014, 03:52 PM
Thank you both for your input. I extremely appreciate it. I was just wondering, how do I attach my story? I already wrote the first issue.

Steven Forbes
10-30-2014, 08:00 PM
You don't attach anything. You post it here. Copy and paste works best.

And you might want to read the rules before you do that, if you haven't already.

burchland2
10-31-2014, 12:43 AM
PAGE ONE (three panels)

Panel 1. The Narrator’s Room is a classic library.

Artist Note: The Chorus, a forty-two year old British Shakespearian narrator, enters, sits.

CHORUS:
Hello, my viewers! Right now, the year is 2718. I, the Chorus, have arrived to tell a story of an honored teen.

Panel 2. At the Freinberg High School Stadium in Austria, the valedictorian, Isaac Onuwitz, 18, stands on the pedestal at center stage, speaking through the microphone, with a random Caucasian male sitting on the right, Violetta (Violet) Dmitris, 17, sitting on the left.

Artist Note: Isaac is an attractive, slightly medium built, black young male wearing a suit, black shoes, white socks, Violet is a stunning, normally thin, Caucasian teen girl, wearing a purple dress, heels, smiling. Each of the three students is also wearing a cap and gown over their outfits.

CHORUS (OP):
In his home country, Austria, he was a jock with a 4.0 in school and has a 204 IQ.

Panel 3. Isaac sings in a recording studio.

CHORUS (OP):
And on the side, he’s an up-and-coming singer and rapper.

CHORUS (OP):
Now, he must move to America to get a higher education and to defeat the “pharaoh” planning to turn the nation gray.

PAGE TWO (three panels)

Panel 1. In Vienna, Austria, the Rolfe Enterprises building is surrounded by elevators at the front corners.

Panel 2. In the boardroom, Helen Rolfe, 43, a Caucasian female. A hologram appears revealing Tyler Daniels, 35, a Caucasian male.

TYLER:
Excuse me, Mrs. Rolfe, Mr. Onuwitz is here to see you.

HELEN:
Good. Send him in.

Panel 3. Isaac enters, while Helen looks through his resume.

ISAAC:
Good morning. I’m glad to finally meet you in person.

HELEN:
Thanks. Before we begin, let me double check your education and job --

PAGE THREE (three panels)

Panel 1. Helen gasps. Lifts her head to Isaac.

HELEN (thought):
That’s impossible… otherwise he could…!

ISAAC (op):
Ma’am?

Panel 3.

HELEN:
Uh, I’m afraid you don’t meet the requirements for your desired position. I’m so sorry. Next!

PAGE FOUR (two panels)

Panel 1. The Witz-Borsch Blimp flies across the blue sky, overseas.

Artist Note: The blue blimp with the white-text logo.

Panel 2. Fancy design with musical performances inside. Butlers give water to Isaac and his parents, Adolf, 45, and Sophia, 44.

Artist Note: Isaac wears an original short-sleeved shirt, jeans. Adolf is an African-Austrian male, wearing a suit, black shoes, socks. Sophia is an African-Austrian female, wearing an Austrian dress, heels.

ADOLF:
You’re going to love America, my son. It has countless opportunities. I began my business there with my partner Ludwig Borsch.

ISAAC:
For real?

PAGE FIVE (three panels)

Panel 1. Outside a futuristic mansion, two hovercars park outside.

CAP:
Ten hours later… Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Panel 2. Inside, Isaac enters holding an open picture book.

Artist Note: The mansion contains furniture in the den, flat-screen television sets in each of the bedrooms.

ISAAC:
Man! You must have been a slammin’ businessman.

ADOLF:
Danke… I guess.

Panel 3. Fredrick Ackerman, 45, enters.

Artist Note: Fredrick is a Caucasian man in a suit.

FREDRICK:
Hey, Adolf. Glad to finally meet you in person. This is the most expensive mansion in the subdivision, worth nine million, thirty-seven thousand credits upfront.

ISAAC:
I’ll pay for you, papa.

Fredrick hands Isaac a white, miniature, wireless computer touchpad. Isaac places his index finger on the pad, which then produces a green bar of light, scrolling upward.

TOUCHPAD:
ID Payment Confirmed.

ISAAC:
Hey, I forgot to tell you I found an awesome room downstairs from the virtual map. Can I check it out?

ADOLF:
Of course.

PAGE SIX (six panels)

Panel 1. Isaac enters the C.B. Room, spots Arthur (Art) Smith, 21, sitting in a chair, facing the “Mega-Computer,” the largest computer there.

Artist Note: The C.B. Room is a lab full of futuristic gadgets on the center table. Computer monitors are over different-colored glowing keyboards. Art is a Caucasian male with short brown hair, colorful clothing, white shoes.

Panel 2. Art turns to Isaac in his chair.

ART:
How ya doin’ Isaac?

ISAAC (op):
Hey, Art. Haven’t seen you in a while. Eh, are you even supposed to be here?

PAGE SEVEN (one panel)

Panel 1. Splash page.

ART:
Don’t worry! I made a deal with your folks about living with you after graduation.

ISAAC:
Oh, my bad! Cool! So how’s it been?

ART:
Well…

Panel 2. Outside the Lipscomb-Grayson Corporation Building…

Artist Note: The building is enormous, surrounded by regular and flying vehicles, people wearing suits and carrying briefcases or purses.

CAP:
Three years ago…

ART (OP):
About three years ago, when you were a senior…

ART (OP):
I was working for a conglomerate not too far from here…

ART (OP):
…And made some friends who helped me become the CEO.

Panel 3. Inside the main boardroom, Gregory (Greg) Grayson, a Caucasian male, lectures a meeting to his members.

ART (OP)
Greg Grayson was the co-president of the corporation and everything had went his way…

Panel 4. A demonic shadow covers the double doors, sticks out a red finger, curls it.

ART (OP):
…Until he dealt with a demonic being.

(That's the end of the sample because that's 11 pages right there. So tell me what you think.)

Steven Forbes
10-31-2014, 01:43 AM
Who wants to take a whack at this?

Come on. I know you want to.

Don't worry. There's enough here for everyone.

Schuyler
11-01-2014, 01:11 PM
I would not submit to a company right now if I were you. Also, Image does not accept scripts. You have to have a team and completed five pages to submit there. I do not want to sound discouraging but I think you should do some more work before submitting anything.

There is a wealth of information on comic book writing on the internet. I would suggest starting on week 1 of Steven Forbes Bolts and Nuts articles. These articles have some great info.
http://www.comixtribe.com/category/bolts-nuts/

At first glance your format looks standard. That's a good thing. It means that most people can look at your script and understand the elements.

I will talk about just the first page.

Right away on panel one there is a problem with the panel description. It is hundreds of years in the future yet the library is a 'classic library'. I imagine an office library with a big window and rows of books on both sides of the room. This is not very futuristic.

Then there is an artist's note, which should really be part of the main description still. And it says that this guy enters and sits. It would take three panels for a guy to enter, sit, and be naturally seated. Chorus is either sitting there already or you will need more panels. I would not add more panels for a guy to enter and sit.

Panel 2 is better. You do not describe any movement. It still lacks any future scene setting elements. The description of your characters would go in a separate document. The clothes would get described in the panels only if the characters are constantly changing. However, it is important to note that clothes are important to us recognizing a character in a comic book.

When Chorus speaks in panel 2, he becomes a voice over and it should look like this.

CAP (Chorus):
In his home country, Austria, he was a jock with a 4.0 in school and has a 204 IQ.

CAP=Caption. When characters speak from off panel they are still in the vicinity of the panel. Captions are voice overs from somewhere else.

Panel 3 is where the future stuff is really important to me. Studios are strange places where technology from all times cross. From the instruments themselves to the gear that the engineers use. I know engineers that have 60 year old tape machines that go into the most modern pro-tools rig you can buy. Some studios are just a guy's garage. Some studios are multi-roomed with separation designed for a six piece band. You have to describe your scenes.

If Isaac is singing, that should also be represented in dialogue.

This entire page is only three panels. Three panels is saved for pages that have impact, where the space is needed. You could potentially combine page one and two and still have the room you need. The reason not to have three panels is that it goes by too fast. If people are just burning through your book then they will not keep buying it.

I am not messing with your story. Everything that I am pointing out is about comic book format and vocabulary. Once you clarify those things your story may become clearer.

-Schuyler V.G.

Steven Forbes
11-01-2014, 01:18 PM
(Voice-over captions need quotation marks. Remember that a voice-over means someone is talking to someone else. Otherwise, it's an internal monologue.)

Schuyler
11-01-2014, 02:03 PM
(Voice-over captions need quotation marks. Remember that a voice-over means someone is talking to someone else. Otherwise, it's an internal monologue.)

Oops. Thanks, Steven.

LukePierce
11-03-2014, 06:45 AM
Seriously? 11 pages is not right there, it goes to Page 7!

Anyway, second things second:

PAGE ONE (three panels)

Panel 1. The Narrator’s Room is a classic library.

What kind of library? Are you talking the British Library in London? The Congress Library? The Libraries of numerous US Presidents? A High School Library? This is too vague and you need to provide some sort of visual reference for the artist to illustrate this.

Artist Note: The Chorus, a forty-two year old British Shakespearian narrator, enters, sits.

Moving Panel. Also, why are you showing the character now? It would be better to say:

The Chorus (see character reference sheet) is sitting in a lounge chair in a private library, he has a friendly expression. Visually, the library looks like the British Library (reference).

CHORUS:
Hello, my viewers! Right now, the year is 2718. I, the Chorus, have arrived to tell a story of an honored teen.

Not really how a Shakespearean actor talks. You should listen or read transcripts of interviews with classic Shakespearean actors like Laurence Olivier, Boris Karloff (this is actually true) and anyone from the pre-1980's. You seem to aiming for that, though this is a dying way of speaking and this is seen as prententious by current actors.

Panel 2. At the Freinberg High School Stadium in Austria, the valedictorian, Isaac Onuwitz, 18, stands on the pedestal at center stage, speaking through the microphone, with a random Caucasian male sitting on the right, Violetta (Violet) Dmitris, 17, sitting on the left.

No. You need an establishing shot that works properly and this is a moving panel. You should show the school (allowing a colourful introduction by The Chorus ("Come with me as I tell this tale...") or some use of editorial captions.) But this panel does not work.

Artist Note: Isaac is an attractive, slightly medium built, black young male wearing a suit, black shoes, white socks, Violet is a stunning, normally thin, Caucasian teen girl, wearing a purple dress, heels, smiling. Each of the three students is also wearing a cap and gown over their outfits.

No. Character reference sheets. How can you also see all of the characters in this panel? Also, that random caucasian male may as well have no face.

CHORUS (OP):
In his home country, Austria, he was a jock with a 4.0 in school and has a 204 IQ.

No Shakespearean actor would talk like this, given your opening lines. He would describe this as a Sporting Gentlemen of renowned intelligence.

Panel 3. Isaac sings in a recording studio.

What kind of recording studio? This is lazy.

CHORUS (OP):
And on the side, he’s an up-and-coming singer and rapper.

He also aspires to sing and, uh, "rap".

CHORUS (OP):
Now, he must move to America to get a higher education and to defeat the “pharaoh” planning to turn the nation gray.

What has this to do with the previous caption? Not a lot and does nothing as a hook for the next page. The Chorus, I imagine, is some brilliant actor and he would choke on a line like that. He wants some dramatic flair or something that entices his listener into wanting more. As a suggestion, go and watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but specifically, just focus on the parts that involve Charles Gray. The writing is deliberately 50's, but look and feel at what he does with those words. He wants you to come on his journey and you should want to follow him.

This needs a re-write because, as Steven would say, there is nothing here that would hook a reader. The characters, as we see them, are flat. The next few pages aren't much better and the motivation is a little bit questionable.
Personally, you should redo the script and then submit it to the proving grounds to see what else needs working on, as it stands, this will be ripped to shreds in a manner far worse than I can ever achieve (and I'm a nice guy) and I wouldn't honestly encourage you to submit in this form. Also, are you aware that there is a paint advert running (Dulux), running along the same kind of theme? It's not exactly riveting and it switches me off. You will have the problem that people will compare your story to that, so you need to make it something really, really special.
Also, go back and have a look at Page Seven again. You call it a Splash page with a single panel, but you end up writing two.

SamRoads
11-03-2014, 07:33 PM
You're on the first steps towards getting great, but you have some more to climb.

CAP:
Three years ago…

ART (OP):
About three years ago, when you were a senior…

This repetition of 'three years' jumps out as an example of the kinds of errors you're making. Best of luck!