Relatively few publishers have open submission policies for untested creators these days. Image Comics and Dark Horse are the most prominent publishers with open submission policies. Oni Press recently garnered attention and accolades for opening their submissions for a period of time and found five projects in the process.
Archaia, previously a stand alone publisher and now an imprint of Boom Studios, also has an open submissions policy. The policy has worked out quite well for them with success stories like Rust by Royden Lepp and Long Walk to Valhalla. Lepp’s original submission has spurred four hard cover volumes, a movie option from 20th Century Fox, and a new soft cover program. Meanwhile, Long Walk to Valhalla from unknowns Adam Smith and Matthew Fox debuted last year at San Diego Comic-Con, quickly sold through a first printing, and is now nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Novel.
This year at Comic-Con, Archaia will be debuting The Cloud a new original graphic novel from relatively unknown European creators. Will K.I. Zachopoulos and Vincenzo Balzano follow in Lepp, Smith, and Fox’s footsteps with their first long form release?
Based on my initial look at the beautiful, fully-painted dream-like fantasy book, I’m inclined to say it’s very probable. The Cloud follows a boy and magic flying wolf chasing a stolen wish in a story that reminds me of The Neverending Story in the best ways possible.
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