Independent comics publisher Sector 13 Comics has set out plans for a new comic anthology, 1900, to be published in 2022 – and put out a call for contributors.
Visuals teased so far – mainly cover ideas for now, and a sneak peek at the title’s host, visualised by Hunt Emerson – look fun, teasing a wide range of stories and themes.
Founded by comics writer and downthetubes contributor and reviewer Peter Duncan, Sector 13 Comics is a non-profit, community organisation formed in Northern Ireland, who co-ordinates the team responsible for the 2000AD fanzine, Sector 13, Splank! and the Cthulhu Kids. Also involved are other creators, including Robert Curran, the author of some fascinating books on folklore and legends, and editor of Weird Comix, an anthology of horror comics issued in 2021 and featuring some artists from Sector 13.
“1900 imagines that, in 1877, an innovative publisher hit upon the idea for a magazine telling stories mixing words and pictures in a brand new and exciting way,” Peter says of the new project, “stories we would recognise as modern comics.
“For this new magazine, he wanted a new type of story and drawing inspiration from the scientific romances of Jules Verne and Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, along with the gothic ghost stories of Sheridan Le Fanu and the Phantastes of George MacDonald and Christina Rossetti, he set about looking for a name for his new publication.
“He thought about something that spoke of the future,” Peter continues, “of the new and exciting century just over the horizon. Something to attract the youth, he thought ‘Year of Our Lord, 1900’, and his new magazine was named.”
After a lengthy development period, Sector 13 Comics are now look to recreate that magazine that never was – and Peter is putting his own money into the project to get it going.
“We want stories than emulate the style and feel of the science fiction of, Verne, HG Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,” Peter outlines. “Stories that approach terror tales in the idiom of Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe and M R James. And although both were, in reality, from a slightly later period in history, fantasy and horror stories in the style of HP Lovecraft, and Lord Dunsany.”
Submissions Now Open
Sector 13 Comics are now accepting pitches, full scripts and expressions of interest for self-contained stories in a variety of genres, detailed on the publisher’s Facebook page, which include tales of strange alien civilisations on Mars and Venus and beyond, tales of Exploration and Invention, and more.
“Stories should be no longer than ten pages,” says Peter, “but we’d prefer something around eight to start with.
“We have room for a very small number of short text features either in the form of fiction or spoof factual articles,” he adds, “and after Issue One, we’ll have a spot for short humour strips. (We already have something for issue one).
“Most importantly, all stories should view the world as it was seen from the 1870s,” Peter emphasises, “not as we look back on it now.”
The team are also clear on what they do not want, too.
“We do not want direct parodies of characters from any other publication,” Peter cautions. “Please try to avoid the cliches of modern ‘Steampunk cliches’ – and you should know that one member of the team has a particular issue with Stovepipe hats and Goggles, so please avoid those – or at least hide any characters wearing them in the background!
“Ghost stories and particularly tales of psychic detectives, my personal weakness, will have a place in 1900, he confesses.
Sector 13 Comics is also inviting submissions from artists.
“We will be looking for artists for both strip and illustration work, but there will be very limited opportunities for illustrations,” Peter cautions. “We will want to see how good you are at telling stories so sample pages of comics will be most useful.
“There’s no limitation on style, you do not need to draw in the style of Victorian story illustrations, but it might be good if someone did.”
Peter says that in terms of funding the project, the plan is to pay a non-refundable advance to creators, and then operate the publication as a profit-share.
“I’ll be subsidising publication with £1000 of start-up money that I’ll not be recovering and will be seeking sponsorship for individual strips,” he explains. “I already have a number of offers of sponsorship and the strips already on track are ‘paid for’.
“Terms will be that profits from the Kickstarter will be divided on a page-by-page basis among creators, with a proportion, not exceeding 33% held back as seed money for a second issue. Sponsorship money and advances will not be counted as expenses when calculating profits.”
If you’re a creator intrigued by the 1900 project, then all the contact details for this exciting-sounding new comics anthology are set out below!
• Submissions for possible inclusion in 1900 should be sent to email@example.com with initial contact made by the end of February 2022 | Check out Sector 13 Comics on Facebook | Web (in development): sector13comics.co.uk
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.