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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Illustrating => Topic started by: marla-lesage on February 23, 2017, 12:46 PM

Title: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: marla-lesage on February 23, 2017, 12:46 PM
I've had graphic novels on my mind lately... Does anyone send postcards to publishers of graphic novels? How do you show in your portfolio what you can do?  Links to resources or sample portfolios appreciated!
(I have a picture book portfolio... have been dabbling in short comics in my sketchbook. Thinking I might try writing a graphic novel someday).

Thanks,
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: andy-jewett on March 02, 2017, 07:39 AM
Full Disclosure: I have never submitted a graphic novel to a book publisher personally but have had comics published (mostly short stories for anthologies other than some self-published work)

Just like a PB portfolio I would think you would just need some examples of your ability to produce sequential art that exhibits good story telling. You would want to make it a separate section on your site as a best practice. I recently removed my "COMIX" section because I have been focusing my portfolio elsewhere.

HOWEVER... I am also very curious to know whether or not submitting Graphic Novels with book publishers is like a PB in that you provide a book dummy with some finished pages or if the whole project should be completed before submission. A lot of dedicated comic book publishers seem to want completed projects... which was always the intimidating factor for me personally.

If anyone has answers to the submission process here, I would love to hear how it all works for book publishers.
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: christripp on March 03, 2017, 05:38 AM
Years back I was at a GN workshop by Matt Phelan. He showed us his submission/dummy that he sent around to the publisher/s. Bear with me as I attempt to describe it. Was a tiny (maybe 2" by 2") and folded up in accordion style, so maybe unfolded it was 10" long. A b/w pencil sketch of the barn, dust, opened up to reveal other b/w pencil sketches, with shading that "told" the query, so to speak. Like a non-motion book trailer. So it didn't include text from the manuscript but was along this line... during the depression/next square/on the prairie/next square/there was a boy/next square, a barn/next square, and a terrible secret. That's NOT his wording but hopefully you get the idea.
The one he showed was for Storm in the barn and when we saw the "Illustrated query" we all thought, hell yeah, I want to see/hear more! Obviously so did the publisher:)
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: marla-lesage on March 03, 2017, 06:15 AM
Christine, that sounds really neat! Are you working on anything?
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: christripp on March 03, 2017, 07:18 AM
 Sadly no. I had one idea a while back that I got very excited about but it kind of took a back seat to other work and now can't get that momentum going again. Maybe it's time to pull it out of the drawer again:)
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: andy-jewett on March 03, 2017, 07:35 AM
@christripp

Thanks! Great info (and a really cool idea)... did he have the whole book finished or was it a pitch to get an advance to make the book?
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: andy-jewett on March 03, 2017, 09:41 AM
Nevermind, I got an answer from Matt himself... thanks for the lead on that Chris!
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: christripp on March 04, 2017, 06:52 AM
Good question Andy and my memory is shaky but I don't think he had all the art work sketched out, did I believe have the "script" completed when he subbed the "query/dummy". He wrote it as a movie script rather then a manuscript as I recall. What was his answer, was I close?:)
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: andy-jewett on March 04, 2017, 07:24 AM
Good question Andy and my memory is shaky but I don't think he had all the art work sketched out, did I believe have the "script" completed when he subbed the "query/dummy". He wrote it as a movie script rather then a manuscript as I recall. What was his answer, was I close?:)

Basically he had a synopsis and a partial script (10 pages) and the comic you described used as a trailer to give the tone of the book. Apparently that was stressful (for him) to sign a contract and THEN write the full script after... so his process now is to write full script first.

I told him I could see doing a quick comic as a trailer being fun and I plan on using that at some point. I am not a stranger to ashcans/mini comics, so I love the idea.

Ultimately I was encouraged to hear that the book, as a whole, doesn't have to be completely finished before pitch/submission.

Thanks again for the lead... I got a good answer out of it, good info. Granted not all submission guidelines are created equal but this helps shape the direction I will proceed in.
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: christripp on March 05, 2017, 06:00 AM
OK, so thank you for delving into it more Andy, honestly couldn't remember if it was complete or not when he subbed. It was an amazing workshop, that I know but it was pretty much the full weekend, so much info, such an old full brain to take it all in:)
Going wasn't even my idea, it was my novel writing friend who called me up a week before the event to see if I was UP for a road trip. She wanted to go, but the drive from Canada to Honesdale would be a long and boring one if alone. I signed up more to see the Highlights retreat and keep her company. Turned out to be a very GREAT weekend for me too!:)
Title: Re: Submitting to publishers of Graphic novels?
Post by: andy-jewett on March 05, 2017, 06:25 AM
Thank God for those moments where we end up right where we need to be and hear and experience what we are meant to!