With only 30 days left to submit your 22-page script or five drawn pages for the Top Cow Talent Hunt, the publisher has sent us some tips from previous winners, runner-ups, and a writer/editor who also serves as one of the judges. This has been one of the best ways to get your foot into the comic industry, and aspiring artists and writers should definitely pay attention.
1. You want your submission to do something new with the existing world of the story, while still respecting the thematic elements.
2. I created a new Magdalena with my submission, but it wasn’t to improve on the old story or disrespect it — it just answered a question I’d always had, in my case: how does a spear from the time of Christ get to Europe, where we see it first?
3. Read the source material and write down questions that you have about the characters and the space that seem to be unanswered. Chances are, if you’re curious, someone else will be too, and the creators will be thrilled you’re so curious about their story!
Tini Howard won the top Talent Hunt in 2013. She has gone on to write a Magdalena mini-series with Ryan Cady, Christian Dibari, Mike Spicer and Troy Peteri. She is currently writing Rick and Morty and Assassinistas with Jamie Hernandez. (Magdalena art by Christian DiBari and Mike Spicer.)
1. At least one establishing shot with full figures per page.
2. Postal is character-driven, so make sure your characters are good “actors.”
3. Carry the camera angles (Be careful of repeating too many medium shots).
Goodhart won the Talent Hunt in 2013 and has been the regular Postal artist since first issue. He recently was accepted into this year’s DC Artist Workshop.
1. Submit your BEST work. Remember this is the company Marc Silvestri started that produced powerhouse artists like Michael Turner, Dave Finch, Francis Manupal, and more recently Isaac Goodhart and Rahsan Ekedal.
2. Read the instructions! They’re not that complicated. Read and follow. If you can’t do that, how do you think you’ll fair in the much more complicated machine that is monthly comics?
3. Try and try again. Rarely does anyone “make it” their first try. Take feedback, critique, and discussion seriously and work/study/learn/practice until you make it.
Phillip Sevy was a Top Talent Hunt runner-up in 2013. He jumped on The Tithe, Vol. 2, worked on Tomb Raider and recently launched a successful Kickstarter for his new creator-owned series The House.
1. Read the source material at least twice, and make sure you can actually write dialogue for those characters. (I once read a submission where Aphrodite IX called somebody a “stank-ass.”)
2. If you finish your first draft early enough, sit on it for a couple weeks and then reread it before submitting. You gain literally no advantage by submitting early.
3. Be chill. Observe the rule of cool. Have fun.
Cady is currently editing the New York Times best-selling Sunstone series, freelancing for major comic book publishers and writing Warframe for Top Cow.