Monday, 10 October 2011

Top Cow Submissions.

Okay I was particularly curious concerning this, so I'll throw it out there in case anybody else is wondering, or can shed some light on it. Top Cow are a publishing company, who helpfully have put submission guidelines on their website concerning Scripters, Pencillers, Inkers and Colourers.

For Pencilers or Complete Artists:
Quick tips:
1.    Backgrounds are as important as dynamic figures! If you send us some great pinup work but either not enough or bland backgrounds you will most likely get filed in the trash. Give us a showcase of all your skills.
2.    Use a variety of camera angles, depths of shots, and shot selections on each page. The easiest way for an editor to spot a novice penciler is medium shot after medium shot. Your pages don’t just have to be competent, they have to be exciting!
3.    Your first job is to tell the story. Is your story-telling clear and easy to understand even without the dialogue?
4.    Hands and feet. Editors look at characters’ hands and feet.

For Inkers:
Quick tips:
1.    Be true to the artist’s intent. Your job is to strengthen and enhance the penciler’s work, not over-ride it with your own intent. Make sure you understand what the artist is trying to convey (shape, shadow, texture) with every line.
2.    Separate forms and create depth by using varying line thickness, breaking up lines, and different rendering techniques. This is one of the inker’s primary jobs.
3.    The tool you use to ink is not important, but use the right tool for the job. Classic tools like nibs and brushes rarely fail in a skilled hand. Typically, technical pens and markers will not give your line the life it needs to enhance the original pencils. Digital inking is an emerging discipline, but remember that computers are no substitute for technique.
4.    Vary your technique to convey texture. Metal should not be rendered with the same technique as fur or wood for example.

They're pretty handy things to keep in mind I think, especially considering those are the expectations they have for if they're going to pay you...

What was of particular interest however, was:
For sample pages of Top Cow characters to ink download the images from the following links. Right-click these links and choose “Save target as…” for high resolution 300dpi JPGs. For best results, it is recommended you print these samples in non-photo blue ink on comic book art stock board (ex. Blue Line Pro).
The paper is here: Comic Board from Blue Line Pro . This board's 11x17 with a 10x15 working area, which means they want the pencils printed onto this, which at the time left me wondering: does anyone know if printers can have different calibrations and be formatted to print to different sizes? On CS5, with my crappy desktop printer, there's no option for printing at 11x17, even though it does fit in my printer.

Even if noone knows, it's good to be aware that at sometime in the future we may be required to do this, (if you decide to go into 'mainstream' comics) and knowing how could well be of use!

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