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Author Topic: New independent publisher accepting submissions!  (Read 5698 times)

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Offline Swinsea

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New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« on: July 16, 2010, 10:58:24 PM »
Update: Submissions are currently closed as the founder works out some kinks - keep an eye on the website for updates.



I hope I'm posting this in the right section!

So, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and connected with a new business owner... who just happened to be establishing a small-press comics publishing company! We are currently accepting submissions so that when we have our "grand debut" we will have some great titles lined up and ready to publicize. We will be opening bases in Bangor, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts, but are considering submissions from all over. I thought of this place right away, there are quite a few talented creators here.

We're not just going the traditional route and doing physical print runs. We also plan on getting right what Marvel and DC couldn't (animated comics) and utilizing new media to bring this form of story telling to the next level.

For more information, view our website at www.isakai.com (submissions guidelines are linked from the home page). Feel free to email us there, or ask any questions here.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 07:07:11 PM by Swinsea »

Offline JGray

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2010, 07:34:41 AM »
I'll take a look...

Offline Rob

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2010, 03:16:47 PM »
It's interesting but... no contract to review, some vague promises in the guidelines text and some miscues in the writing already have me skeptical. If you guys go forward like this and some of the bigger names in comics get ahold of what you are offering (Scott Kurtz, Fleen, Webcomics.com) my instinct tells me they are going to advise against doing business with you guys (I've seen it before) and all but call you thieves before their review of your offer is over.

I'm not suggesting you guys are out to take advantage of anyone. Frankly with the small details I've seen it will be extremely difficult for either side (creator or publisher) to make significant profits from this agreement. So you must be doing it out of love for the art.

That said, what few details you offer leave me with more questions than I'm comfortable with having.

If you want I can write up all the questions your "guidelines" leave me with here so you and your partners can try and answer them. Let me know.

Also, Flash animation is generally horrible unless you are talking about those "motion" comics like Marvel did with Spider Woman. I highly recommend you go with a more robust program or you will find yourself very disappointed in the results. If you'd like I can show you a sample of what I and two modelers did with my character Remedy in about 3 weeks for less than $500; but you would have to keep it to yourself as I'm not ready to release it yet. It's just a test video.

I hope to see you around here more often and if you guys want to answer all those questions I have for you and maybe put them into an article I'll be happy to front page it and alert all the comics news sources I have on the subject.
 ;)

Offline Swinsea

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2010, 03:55:41 PM »
Thanks for the tips, Rob. Please do write up your questions and email them to us (info@isakai.com).

Flash animation is only disappointing because people don't use it to its full potential. You'd be surprised at what can be done with it; just wait and see! I work in game development, and I've seen the atrocities people try to pull off. Quality control will be rigorous in that department. I am open to suggestions, though, so I would definitely like to see what you guys did. I just don't want you to think we chose Flash because it's what's popular.

It's definitely out of love for comics, but there are aspects to it which have not yet taken form. (Example: there will be physical locations set up as storefronts with small galleries, run like a local business.) Right now we are simply trying to find a few good titles to start with, so only that aspect of the operation is really visible right now. Consider this the "soft opening", finding a few creators and establishing the business model, before the "hard opening" when the store locations are set and we have a selection of work to share. Contracts are in the works, etc, just not ready to share yet.

But yeah, please do send us your concerns, I would love to hear what you have to think. I don't know if you use any instant messengers, but if you do, let me know those too - I definitely value your input.

Oh, and of course we're not trying to take advantage of anyone! But I think it means more to show it than to say it, so I look forward to hearing what you have to say about our current guidelines.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 04:08:22 PM by Swinsea »

Offline Rob

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2010, 04:14:19 PM »
All my instant messengers are listed right below my name.  ;D

And as I said, I don't believe you are looking to take advantage of people but you are swimming in a business that contains a great deal of that. So you are right, just saying it doesn't mean much because so many have been burned before.

I'll take a long look at the guidelines and send you my concerns. Probably tomorrow. Got a lot on my plate today.

Offline Gibson

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 12:19:28 AM »
Not to be a dick, but animated comics are known by another name...cartoons, and the full potential of that is...a cartoon. Unless you're making actual cartoons, how are you going to make them not be disappointing? I'm being glib, I know, but I've been looking at comic submission guidelines for 20 years and I'm not seeing anything I haven't seen before. Every new company claims they've got the key to success and leaves a lot of people disappointed when it collapses.

Where does your financing come from for advances, for publishing and for advertising? What kind of print runs will you be doing? How frequent will you publish? Will you be distributing with Diamond or others? What format will your books be in? Will you do pamphlets or paperbacks or both? You're asking people to take a big chance with an untested, unproven start-up company and you're offering less information than Dark Horse. There's neither an address nor a single person's real name on that website. I'm not saying you're a scam, but you sure do look like one...or at least the potential for one.

One thing that stood out is that you retain merchandising rights...the way the passage is written is vague on whether those rights are exclusive, though either way it creates an issue. Either you retain full rights and we have no rights to merchandise our own projects or you share rights and have a conflict of interest when producing different products or maybe you decide what the merchandise is and you let us buy it wholesale.

I'm a skeptic by nature, but there's a lot of holes here and a lot of potential for hinky activities. I'd give the benefit of the doubt and say the website just isn't complete, but until there's a lot more transparency, I for one wouldn't sign anything.

Offline Rob

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 02:08:32 AM »
Yes and I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you yet but there are only so many hours in the day. I'm hoping to have something to you soon but I have a list and there are a few more things ahead of you.

Sorry.  :-[

Offline Swinsea

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2010, 02:24:11 PM »
It's no problem, Rob. We actually got a longtime pro helping us out now, so we're making sure our contracts are in line with industry standards. I'm definitely interested in hearing what you have to say still, though. Our website is continually changing, we actually have some titles up now, so make sure you take a look before you send in your advice. Thank you again for volunteering!

Gibson:

RE: Animated comics: What we are doing is different. It will combine interactivity with the comic form of storytelling. I don't want to reveal too many details on how it would work until we get a pilot out (we'll be testing usability and user reactions before going full force, of course), but a very vague example is http://www.hoteloscartangoecholima.com/splash.html. I am not a comics professional, my day job is actually as a game developer, so out of all the things we're doing, my system for this is the one I can personally say I have the knowledge to pull off. I am not saying it will be a huge success, either; I have planned it so we can test the market without hurting the business.

Answers to all those questions: We have discussed every single thing on that list at length with the creators we're negotiating with and have solid plans for all of them. It is not a speculation, we have the funds and a solid business plan. (I'm not saying there aren't businesses who've failed with a solid plan, but it's been scoured by business experts and industry pros alike.) I don't know if you've noticed, but the website has changed quite a bit since I first put it up and it continues to evolve with better written copy. We're currently working with a copyright lawyer on contracts and will have an example to share by request soon. Our goal is to be completely transparent in our inner workings when we have our first contracts, etc in line. Note: I have never seen submissions guidelines that share information to that extent. We are happy to talk privately with anyone who wishes to work with us, but I don't think any business shares specific numbers and plans online like that.

As for merchandising, that will be laid out in the contract on an individual basis. We do not currently plan on making products outside the actual comic books, and anything we ask for along those rights would be worked out individually. Generally speaking, as it stands now, creators will still own the copyright to their work and will therefore hold the rights to their own merchandising.

It's new, so I don't blame you. All I can say is to check back on August 18th. That is our self-imposed deadline to have everything set up exactly how we want it, and at that point we'll be able to give a more solid impression of our company. That will be our official opening, you could say.

PS: I'm glad to hear the side of cynics, actually. The more (constructive) criticism we get, the more we can better our website and make sure we're fair to creators. So please, don't hold back!

Offline Gar

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2010, 01:03:06 PM »
Here's an animated comic I did back in 2004, which isn't a cartoon.

Not sure if that's what you meant or if you meant something like the Sam & Max webcomic, which had animated elements that weren't just simple loops.

Here's a better animation loop during a storyline where I broke the fourth wall quite a lot, and here's another one, because I found it.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 05:42:16 PM by Gar »

Offline Swinsea

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2010, 04:28:15 PM »
Yeah, Gar, that's a good example. What I'm working on will be fancied up a bit with navigation and stuff, but ultimately will be scenes pulled from a comic and displayed a bit differently.

I just don't think enough people have tapped the potential of web comics as much as they could. I love regular comics, but let's see what we can accomplish by bringing it to the next level and using neat features like navigation, animation and interactive objects!

Offline Rob

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2010, 04:39:28 AM »
E-mail/Concerns sent. Animation posted. Consciousness fading.  :P

Offline Swinsea

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2010, 10:22:21 AM »
Thanks. : )

Offline Swinsea

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2010, 08:23:54 PM »
Just a note: we have begun publicizing our first titles, and the submissions information has evolved as more people express their concerns. Much more presentable now.

www.isakai.com

Offline Rob

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2010, 10:57:32 PM »
I'm thinking about submitting a project for this. It's been milling around in my head for a few years now and if you know anything about writers you know that if an unwritten story hangs around that long there's usually something to it.

If anything I'd like to go through the process just so I can have the experience of going through the process.

Corey is incredibly busy so I've put out an ad at Digital Webbing and we'll see if anyone responds. If I get a decent artist who's interested I may try and make a go of this.

At the very least it would be an interesting experience.

Offline Swinsea

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Re: New independent publisher accepting submissions!
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2010, 08:22:38 PM »
I'm really glad you're interested! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

A note to everyone: We've also decided to put together a horror/dark humor/etc anthology, so submissions of short comics are also welcome. Details are on the site under submission guidelines.