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Patrick Sweeney
07-11-2012, 12:21 PM
I'm interested in finding out more about turning a feature spec into a graphic novel or comic book. Anyone have any tips, leads, experiences to relate, or other suggestions? Thank you.

Anagram
07-11-2012, 05:44 PM
I know celtx has a graphic novel format. Could be a good place to start practicing since those screenplays look different formatting wise.

ChadStrohl
07-11-2012, 06:11 PM
The Celtx reformat doesn't work, and the final layout when starting from scratch (while pretty neat) won't work as a submission to some publishers - namely Dark Horse, who has a specific format sample on their website.

What are you specifically looking for Patrick? The whole kit and kaboodle or the basics or...?

Some generalities. Most publishers want creative teams already in place when it's a cold pitch. Writer, artist, colors (if desired) letters, etc. They want at least five sample pages and a synopsis.

Marvel and DC are nearly impossible to crack without some kind of history to back you up. They take on novelists, playwrites, screenwriters, etc. Usually to disastrous effect, because writing a comic is an entirely different animal than any of the aforementioned mediums.

A good place to look for an artists is at a convention or on Deviant Art, but be warned. I've done some artwork on some real small time indie comics and have had my fair share of dialogues with many of these guys. They want Marvel and DC money without ever having cracked the glass cieling to warrant it. I charged nothing, but I was only doing 4 to 6 page stories, and I'm not pro quality, so there is that, lol. But when I say pro quality... most of them aren't either.

Bottom end page rate. You might be able to get some youg wannabe at $20 a page for pencils. Then you need inks, colors, a letters. Inks will run about the same, colors too if you're at low end, and letters at about $15 a page.

A sample total page rate would be say $30 on pencils, $20 on inks, $20 on colors (optional), and $15 on letters for a combined $85 a page. So a five page pitch package equals $400 to $500. Or you can learn to ink, color, and letter. Which is what I did to save a buck or two. But it's not exactly pro quality. Some samples of it can be seen at www.callforahero.wordpress.com. Shameless plug :)

One more knock is that artists are a fickle lot. If you sell your pitch and the artist drops out you have to resubmit with a new artist. It's a total mindf*ck if you go at it from a purely nobody angle. But if you have an in, you might be able to get the publisher to attach talent. Then all you have to do is write.

If you have any specific questions that I didn't cover, I'll do my best to answer. I attend about 6 or more cons a year and have been doing it for the last 4 years so I've seen (or heard) a lot of information.