A lot of folks are enthusiastic about getting into the funnybook biz and we couldn't be happier about it, so here are our official submission guidelines!
HOW TO SUBMIT TO IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics only publishes creator-owned material! In other words, we want to publish YOUR comics -- we aren't looking to have you work on books that WE dream up. When you're submitting stuff to us at the home office, we expect it to be something original, not something utilizing existing Image characters. Image Comics accepts only PROPOSALS for new comic series or graphic novels, etc.
WE DO NOT ACCEPT writing (that is plots, scripts, whatever) samples! If you're an established pro, we might be able to find somebody willing to work with you but it would be nearly impossible for us to read through every script that might find its way our direction. DO NOT SEND your script or your plot unaccompanied by art -- it will be discarded, unread.
WE DO ACCEPT inking, pencilling, lettering, or coloring samples. We'll keep them on file and may hook you up with other creators if and when the occasion presents itself. If your art-only submission is not kept on file, you will not get a response.
The books Image publishes are creator owned/creator generated properties and WE DON'T PAY PAGE RATES. It will be up to you to strike a deal with whomever you end up working with, and we'll do our best to make it as painless as possible. Image takes a small, flat fee off the books we publish and the rest goes to that comic book's creative team. How that profit is split up is entirely up to the creators involved.
A PROPOSAL should contain the following:
A typewritten cover letter with all contact information (name, e-mail address, address, phone and fax numbers) clearly printed on the TOP of the page. You don't need to ramble on or be flowery or tell us how much you love Image Comics, introduce yourself and get on with it. If you've had published work you could let us know about it (or even include it) but we don't need your resumé.
A typed, ONE PAGE, synopsis of the overall STORY. We DO NOT want a single-issue synopsis -- we want a synopsis of the ENTIRE series or story arc. As concisely and as succinctly as you are able, TELL US THE STORY, make us interested. Please avoid hyperbole -- avoid questions as plot points ("What will Barney do when confronted with...?"), etc. We are the PUBLISHER, not the audience. TELL US WHAT HAPPENS! Explain why we (or anyone else) would be interested in this series. KEEP IT SHORT! We get thousands of submissions, cut to the chase -- if you can sell us your book with a single paragraph, do it!
Send photocopies of fully INKED and LETTERED pages (any size). DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL ART! We'd like to see AT LEAST five pages that are fully inked and lettered. If you have MORE than five finished pages, swell! Bring 'em on! Five is the MINIMUM we want to see - not a maximum. We want to READ it. If the lettering sucks we may suggest a different letterer for the final comic book. The important thing here is that we can SEE that you know what you're doing, that you understand where to place copy and how to tell a story.
Color is OPTIONAL. If you have a colorist and can provide color pages, great! This means you CAN send in colored pages you just don't HAVE to (although, if you want a color book, it would be advisable). We DO reserve the right to approve colorists as a poor one can ruin a decent book.
Include a cover mock-up -- this lets us know whether or not you understand the market and gives us a good barometer on your design sense. A good logo can be EASILY read from across the room. We DO make people change their logos OFTEN. Don't be fancy or artistic -- be CLEAR. You can send character sketches and or bios, but not in lieu of storytelling pages -- we still need to see five finished pages of sequential storytelling, lettered and inked. DO NOT send script pages -- DO NOT send unlettered pages accompanied by a script and expect us to follow along.
Presentation is not THAT important -- a pretty binder is not going to make or break a proposal. We don't green light bad projects because they're in a nice binder -- nor do we reject a good project because it's not in a nice binder. If printing colored material off of your computer at home looks poor, get it printed elsewhere -- we want to SEE how it might look on a printed page. Make sure it's printed nicely, sure, but don't worry about the packaging -- if the pages look unprofessional, it WON'T get a green light.
You can tell us whether you see it as a full color or a black and white book, a mini or on-going series, a Prestige book or an Original Graphic Novel. There are times, however, when we may have a better idea what might fly so don't get married to any one format but we'd like to know what you have in mind. Tell us what sets it apart from other comics and who the target audience is ("Everyone" is NOT realistic -- there's no single book on the market today that everybody buys).
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
Things often change from proposal to the printed page. If the intended title of your book is awkward or unwieldy, we may suggest changing it. If your logo is an unreadable mess, we may suggest changing it. There are cases where we've designed logos and helped redesign characters and done cover sketches. We WON'T do anything without YOUR approval, of course, but it's not uncommon for us to get pretty involved. Our ultimate goal is to sell your comic book. If you succeed, we succeed. We'll do what we can to help.
The creative team in your pitch is the one we expect to see actually working on your book. It is NOT okay to pitch a book and say it will be written by Alan Moore and drawn by Joe Madureira and then switch to another creative team. If the artist you pitched with leaves the team, go back to the end of the line and start over. This also means that on all ongoing titles, we need to be made aware of and approve ALL changes in the creative team. It's NOT okay to have six pages in issue #1 drawn by some hotshot while some guy off the street draws the rest of it.
DO NOT hand Image employees submissions at comic book conventions. We have enough stuff to haul around as it is. Your pitch is far MORE likely to get lost, misplaced or discarded if we get it at a show.
BECAUSE WE RECEIVE SUCH A HIGH VOLUME OF SUBMISSIONS, NO PROPOSALS/SUBMISSIONS WILL BE RETURNED. Again, DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL ART TO US -- EVER. Furthermore, we do our best to respond to all submissions. But due to our very high volume, IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A REPLY WITHIN A MONTH, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER YOUR PROPOSAL REJECTED. We make absolute certain that we get in touch with submitters that we are interested in within a month of receiving them.
Also, if you DO NOT include an e-mail address with your submission, you WILL NOT receive a reply.
DO NOT try to pull a fast one! Don't think that you can get away with saying that you had a book approved at a convention or that a previous publisher gave your book the go ahead. If your book is not up to snuff, you're just making yourself look unprofessional.
Please do not try to "impress" us with all the deals you've lined up or testimonials from your friends or family. We don't care that Stan Lee told you that your stuff looked "neat" when he was cornered in the Men's room -- we are only interested in the comic itself. Your work sells your work -- not praise from others. SHOW US why we should publish your stuff.
Send your submissions to:
c/o Image Comics
2001 Center Street, Sixth Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
Or email to: email@example.com
We are not looking for any specific genre or type of comic book. We are looking for comics that are well written and well drawn, by people who are dedicated and can meet deadlines.
Finally, since Image Comics, Inc. owns no intellectual properties, you can be assured, accepted or not, your property will remain yours.
We wish you the best luck and the greatest success,
Image Comics, Inc.