(Updated): US publisher Arcana has announced an open-call for submissions to Steampunk Originals VII, their comic anthology series distributed by Diamond.
Welcoming art of all styles/ media and stories of all tones/ genres, the resulting volumes are a kaleidoscopic exploration of the a Steampunk theme.
The first six volumes have already featured hundreds of creators from across six continents. Unlike most anthologies, writers, pencillers, inkers, colorists, and letterers may join independently and find others to work with through the group. (Solo creators, existing teams, and even comics for reprint are always welcome).
Terms are fully non-exclusive. All comics and properties remain creator-owned.
Despite the very clear set of details about the project on its Facebook page, I couldn’t find any indication to suggest that accepted strips would earn a page rate. Luckily, Mike Schneider from Neoflux Productions, who are an integral part of the project, was able to explain how it works.
“The anthology is non-exclusive (limited to the specific volume) for contributor copies (electronic per head; number of print copies based on the amount of work featured),” he explains.
“The publisher is scouting the volumes for talent/ properties they feel can carry their own book/ series as they are currently launching a steampunk line, also called Steampunk Originals. Anything beyond that non-exclusive for contributor copies is negotiated directly between the publisher and creators.
“It’s s riff off the classic launchpad/ pilot model,” he continues. “Rather then pitching sample pages to a publisher, you’re presenting a short sample story to the audience. Some introduce new potential properties while others are one-shot that show what the team can do together. All comics (no matter the length) must tell a complete story because there’s no audience for an anthology of prologue and incomplete story arcs.
“If it connects with an audience, then the conversation moves forward. Keeping the terms bare bones is typically best for everyone because if you don’t get an offer or can’t come to terms, there’s nothing holding you from pitching/ submitting that work elsewhere.
“The terms creators set amongst themselves are as varied as the creators, themselves,” he notes. “Generally, collaboration is buying into the intellectual property (not just the specific comic) with your art/ color/ etc. and commission is if you want to retain controlling interest in the work/ intellectual property. The specifics run the gamut, which is why everything in group is calls (with apt creators tagged in those calls) and introductions (so they can determine if they’re a good fit and on the same page as one another).”
• The deadline for Steampunk Originals Volume 7 (of 8) is Monday 1st September 2014. More info on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/SteampunkVol7/
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.