Resource Guide To Writing Comics

Apr 29, 2019


Want to #Write #DRAW & #PUBLISH #Comics? For the #WritingCommunity, http// has a list of 15+ graphic novel publishers accepting OPEN submissions, their procedures, wants, and links. Been putting your dream off? Pick it up here

Please note that it is your responsibility to screen the publishers ahead of time. Make sure they are currently active and openly accepting submissions. Make sure your content presentation is as strong as possible and a good fit for what they are looking for. Submitting before you are ready or to pub not interested in your exact type of work is a waste of everyone’s time.

Above all, never stop trying, never stop creating. #Excelsior:

  • Image Comics:

    • A brief, typed cover letter that summarizes your project and your previous work, if relevant. Include contact information (name, e-mail address, address, phone and fax numbers) clearly printed on the top of the page. Submissions are responded to via e-mail only.
    • A typed, one page, synopsis of the overall story arc (not just of the first issue). Please keep this as succinct as possible and do include major plot points and spoilers. Tell us what sets your story apart from other comics and be clear as to who the target audience is (“Everyone” is not realistic—there is no single book on the market today that everybody buys). You can tell us whether you see it as a full color or a black-and-white book, a miniseries or an ongoing series, a prestige book or an original graphic novel. There are times, however, when we may suggest what format we think will be most successful for your story in the current market.
    • Photocopies of fully inked and lettered sequential story art pages (any size, but no character sketches or bios). DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL ART as your work will not be returned. Please include a minimum of five pages that are fully inked and lettered. We may make suggestions based off these, but we are primarily concerned with your understanding of the medium and how to tell a sequential story. Color is OPTIONAL. If you have a colorist and plan on this being a colored book, it would be advisable, we may suggest a different colorist if we decide to acquire the project.
    • 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. With creator approval, this may go through a redesign if we decide to acquire your project.
    • Email all submissions to [email protected]

Image Submission summary: Cover letter. 1 Page synopsis. Photocopies of fully inked, lettered, sequential story art pages, minimum 5. Cover mock up.

  • Action Lab Comics:

    • Action Lab requires that project submissions have a complete creative team (writer, artist, and colorist). We are not in the business of pairing creators, we are interested in publishing fully realized, creator owned projects. Please include the following:
    • A title page, including contact information
    • A simple, one page story synopsis- tell us how many issues you intend to make, and how many you have completed!
    • 5-6 pages of sample script
    • 5-6 pages of art
    • Please Note In Your Submission Whether Your Project Is Intended For The Action Lab Entertainment Label Or The Action Lab: DANGER ZONE Label. This Is Very Important.
    • Submissions sent to the Action Lab Entertainment label fall under the rating of “G” through “PG-13.”
  • Submissions sent to the Action Lab: Danger Zone label fall under the rating of “TV-MA” through “R.”

Action lab summary: Cover page, 1 page synopsis, 5-6 pages sample script, 5-6 pages of art.

  • Dark Horse Comics–

    • Dark Horse Submissions Policy
    • Dark Horse accepts two types of unsolicited submissions — Art Samples or Story/Series Proposals from writer-artists or writer and artist teams.
    • Dark Horse has the highest regard for creators and for the ownership of original properties, and this agreement should in no way be misconstrued as license for Dark Horse to appropriate your creations. This agreement protects Dark Horse from any liabilities involving coincidental similarities to works-in-progress or other submissions.
    • Story proposals arriving without a signed agreement will be deleted without review. Download a copy of the agreement HERE.
    • A new agreement must be submitted with each new proposal, and must be signed by all involved creators and copyright holders.
    • Requirements:
    • LOGLINE: One or two sentences. This is the elevator pitch, the most distilled, condensed version of your story possible. From reading the logline, one should be able to determine an idea of who the main character is, what the main character wants or is trying to accomplish, who or what is trying to thwart the main character, and the consequences of failure for the main character. Something like this: “To save the future of mankind a soldier travels back in time to stop a cyborg from killing the mother of his best friend, the leader of the human resistance!”
  • SYNOPSIS: While the logline is designed to pique the interest of a reader, the synopsis serves to satisfy the readers curiosity by revealing a bit more about who the characters are, and some of the complexities of the plot. But the goal here is still to keep it short (probably not longer than 300 words for a four- or five-issue series).
    • COMPLETE OUTLINE: Succinctly tell the entire story: beginning, middle, and end. A short-story outline should be no longer than a page, an outline for a multi-issue series or graphic novel should be no longer than a page per issue. Indicate issue breaks where applicable. An outline should say exactly what happens in the story, noting plot and character specifics. Do not leave the resolution of the story in question.
    • SIX CONSECUTIVE PAGES OF ART FOR YOUR STORY: Consider this proof of concept for your proposed story. Proposals without samples of completed pages will not be reviewed. Dark Horse wants to see what your story will look like. They need not be the first six pages, but they must be consecutive. Send no more than six pages. If you have additional pages, let us know that they are available upon request.
    • DO NOT SEND:
    • Character profiles
    • Reviews of your past work
    • Screenplays, novels, or other long prose works
    • Send all components of your proposal email as attachments. Links to download sites or websites will no longer be accepted. Please send the signed Submission Agreement(s) as a separate attachment in your email.
    • Send Proposals to: [email protected]
    • Make sure that the word PROPOSAL appears in the subject line of your email, along with the title of your story.
  • Valiant Comics

    • Artists and writers may submit portfolios and previously published work to: [email protected]
  • 2000 AD–

    • Submissions open Sept 20th 2019
    • Not original creative work, but taking awesome Sci-Fi short stories.
  • Committed Comics:

    • Only taking completed series, not looking for monthly titles. May take individual positions
  • Black Mask:

    • Fill out online form:
      • Logline
      • Synopsis
      • Questions
      • Sequential pages of art (at least 2, more preferred, pin ups and cover art also accepted)
  • Iron Circus:

    • WANTS:
      • Graphic novels. Proposals for graphic novels previously unpublished in print, between 150 and 500 pages in length, aimed at readers 10 years of age and older. Both color and black and white proposals will be considered. All genres, with the exception of superheroes, zombies, and children’s books, will be considered.
      • Erotic graphic novels. Proposals for erotic graphic novels previously unpublished in print, between 150 and 500 pages in length. Both color and black and white proposals will be considered. Erotica submissions will be part of the Smut Peddler Presents line of comics, and Smut Peddler creator and content guidelines requiring sex positvity and consent will apply to these submissions.
    • A complete creative team, with creator contact information.
    • Short creator bio(s). Five or so sentences should be plenty.
    • A full story summary or outline, detailing the beginning, middle, and end of your comic, with a maximum length of one page.
    • A production timeline, with a rough estimate of how long you would expect creating this comic to take you. Be honest!
    • Five pages from the proposed comic. The preview pages should be complete, including inks, colors, and lettering, and be representative of the finished work. They don’t have to be the comic’s first five pages, but I strongly prefer they be sequential pages.
    • A signed and completed submission release form, one for each creator involved. Submission packages that do not include a signed submission release form will be deleted without being read.
    • Once complete, email your proposal to [email protected] Acceptable formats include .pdf, .zip, .rar, and .doc. Submit each proposal once and only once. Please allow up to two months for a response.
  • Drawn and Quarterly

    • Completed comics submitted only.
  • NoBrow:

    • email your submission to: gnsubs [at] nobrow [dot] net
    • A full synopsis and sample of writing with brief written character studies with principal character sketches.
    • If you are an illustrator/author or an illustrator and author duo, you should supply a minimum of ten finished pages in the pitch to give us a taste of the ‘look and feel’ of the proposed book.
  • One Peace Books:

    • Founded in 2006, One Peace Books is a platform that is solely dedicated to translating, publishing, and marketing Japanese titles. Unlike many leading platforms, One Peace curates and tailors the Japanese titles for the North American audience
  • Soaring Penguin:

    • Always open for submissions, particularly from alternative voices.
    • If you’re pitching a graphic novel or a longer narrative, ideally we’d like to see a one-page synopsis and a plot outline. If you have an artist attached, we’d like to see a few pages from the story. (Yes, we’ll consider projects without artwork.)
    • If you’d like us to consider a shorter story for our anthology title, Meanwhile…, just send the story.
    • If you’re an artist who just wants to make their presence known, drop us a line with a link to your portfolio.
    • We’d prefer digital submissions: PDF, collected JPGs or similar. If you’re sending a story for Meanwhile…, include the word Meanwhile in the Subject line, please.
    • Email your submission to [email protected] We’ll try to get back to you within three months. If you haven’t heard from us by then, give us a poke.
  • Alterna Comics:

    • While horror, sci-fi, and fantasy related submissions are appreciated and preferred, ALL submissions will be looked at and considered for inclusion.
    • ​Please ONLY submit self-contained short stories (finished art, writing, lettering).
    • ​Creators will retain 100% ownership of their work.
    • ​Pre-published stories are acceptable if you have proof of written consent from the publisher. The one caveat is that the story can’t be pre-published or published afterward in another publication within a 90 day period.
    • ​Please do not submit just a pitch; it will be deleted.
    • Requirements:
    • Main Themes: Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
    • Maximum Page Count: 10 pages (there is no minimum and exceptions for longer stories will be made on an individual basis)
    • Age Rating: TEEN/YOUNG ADULT (no strong language, graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations)
    • Format: Color or Black and White/Grayscale is acceptable; JPEG or PDF (for submission purposes); TIFF 300 dpi, CMYK will be the final format to be sent UPON notification of acceptance.  Due to our anti-virus policy, please do not send zip folders. Submissions sent in any other format than those requested, will be deleted.
    • Page Size Dimensions: 6.625 x 10.2 inches (trim size) – please add bleed and set to 7.125 x 10.7 inches (this additional bleed space is required for newsprint). Live area of important imagery and text should be no larger than 6.25 x 9.5 inches.
    • Compensation: Creative teams will receive copies of the issue that features their story. 5 copies of an issue, per page, per story, per creative team. The main contact of the creative team is responsible for disbursing issue copies (if copies are to be distributed among creators).
    • Example: 1 page = 5 comp copies; 2 pages = 10 comp copies; 3 pages = 15 comp copies; 4 pages = 20 copies; and so on.
    • Short Story Comic Contest: A short story contest will also be held each month where readers will vote on their favorite short story in the comic. The winning story’s creative team members will each win a $20 gift card to their local comic shop OR to or  Gift cards will be bought and paid for by Peter Simeti; they will not be donated by the comic shop.
  • Avatar Press:

    • Creator Owned:
    • The ideal submission will include an overview of the story,
    • a detailed plot synopsis,
    • sample script pages,
    • character designs, and several sample art pages (panel to panel continuity).
    • Don’t forget to include your name, address, e-mail address and/or a phone number at which you can be contacted. We may make exceptions for established professionals, but it is generally more difficult to consider projects without an artist firmly attached as a co-creator.
    • Submissions should be sent to the attention of William A. Christensen, Editor in Chief, [email protected],
  • Top Shelf:

    • Just send us a xerox copy of what you’d like us to look at (or email a link), and enough postage if you want the materials returned to you. Just please do not attach and send image files to our email addresses.
    • Also, we cannot accept scripts or plot synopses, unless they are accompanied by a minimum of 10-20 completed pages (i.e., fully inked and lettered comic book pages).
    • Please note that while we do read through everything, it’s not always possible for us to respond to each and every person (as the quantity of submissions has been rather surprising of late). But don’t let that discourage you. We want to know what you’re up to. And we prefer to respond via email, so be sure to include your email address with your submission.
    • You can send submissions to Chris Staros at:
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Chris Staros

Top Shelf Productions, Inc.

PO Box 1282

Marietta GA 30061-1282


[email protected]

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