“If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.”—John Steinbeck
It ain’t hard. You come up with some text & direction:
Meet Flash Gordon.
(cropped widescreen of FG #1 Page 3 Panel 1, where Flash is screaming. Include his balloon, not
Flash is great at everything on Earth (as long as it’s not important).
He just crash-landed his space-plane in some place called Arboria, where a blue archer guy named Prince Barin believes he and his friends are “royal historians” from the oppressive Ming regime of Mongo.
The historian thing was Dale Arden’s idea. (She’s smarter than Flash.)
Professor Zarkov’s here too. Mostly drinking.
You send that over to Jason Ullmeyer at Dynamite, along with a crummy thumbnail:
Hey! I’m hiring colorists for interior, ongoing, PAYING gigs. I need several, so I’m throwing it out to the internets.
I can’t tell you exactly what project you’d be working on, but to give you an idea of the possibilities, the announced books my production company is currently overseeing for Dynamite Entertainment are:
-TUROK: DINOSAUR HUNTER (dino fights!)
-MAGNUS: ROBOT FIGHTER (robo fights!)
-SOLAR: MAN OF THE ATOM (space fights!)
-DOCTOR SPEKTOR (magic fights!)
-KINGS WATCH (Phantom fights!)
I’m willing to hire pros or rookies, provided you’re up for producing high-quality work on a monthly basis. To test your speed and skill, I’m providing you with hi-res pages to download here from KINGS WATCH, by the amazing Marc Laming from Jeff Parker’s script. I encourage you to download, color in a timely fashion, and reply to me on Twitter (I’m natecosboom) with colored samples. I will answer every reply with samples attached, and if your tryout is outstanding, we’ll correspond off-line about the next steps.
I’m developing an all-ages property of indeterminate length. It is HUGELY ambitious and CRAZY wide in scope and subject matter. I’ve written lots of it, but I’ve reached a point where I’d like an artistic collaborator to become involved to help shape the characters and world. And before getting too deep into scripting, I’d like to know what my artistic partner’s style is, what their strengths are, what they enjoy drawing.
So I’m taking samples. You don’t have to be a veteran pro, but you must have sequential samples. I’d like to know your speed, but you won’t be expected to keep a super-fast monthly schedule. To show me samples, please respond to this tumblr post with your contact info, or reply to my twitter with a link. If you don’t have a link, I highly recommend you create a link to your work (it’s easy and pretty much mandatory for getting gigs via social media).
Money: You won’t be working for free. We’ll discuss pay, percentages, and co-ownership.
What you’d be drawing: Without getting too specific…trees, houses, cars, planets, the moon, volcanoes, every animal ever, robots, monsters, kids.
I can get more specific after checking out your samples. I’m not opposed to any artistic style at this point; really just depends on the collaboration and storytelling at this point.
So I have a lot of jobs. Currently, 11. Some writing, some editing, some producing.
And while I’m obsessive-compulsive when it comes to doing every lil’ nitty-gritty detail myself, I’m now at the point where I just can’t do all this stuff on my own. I need an intern.
I can’t give a full job description yet, because I don’t really know what all will be needed. I can say I need help with…
-Proofreading/editing: Could use another set of eyes on everything I’m doing
-Schedule management: Help keep me prioritized amongst the crazy deadline grind
-Creative feedback: Be a sounding board for when ideas are forming/changing.
I’m looking for someone new/young/eager to work in the comic field. The position would begin as unpaid, as I figure out how to incorporate an assistant into the workload. But as time passes and if the collaboration proves to be effective, we can (and should!) discuss pay.
Why should you be an intern, and what do you get out of it? Well…LOTS of people in the comic biz started as unpaid interns, including me. It’s one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. You hustle, do a good/fast/effective job, and then you’ll get more responsibility. With that responsibility comes invaluable work experience, referrals/recommendations for future jobs, and (most importantly) your foot in the door. It’s not always super-easy to break into comics. Yeah, you’re doing free labor, at least at the start…but my internship taught me just as much about how to make comics as the entirety of my college education. There’s nooks’n crannies you don’t know about til you’re in.
Unless you live in New York City, this will be a computer/phone job. If you live in the city, there’s the possibility of meeting once or twice a week in person. I’ll buy your coffee.
Please reply to me on Tumblr, with a description of your education, why you’d want to do this CRAZY unpaid thing, your top 7 favorite DC characters, and your favorite gum flavor (mine is strawberry Bubblicious).
My Pop…was the greatest man I knew. Hard and tough. Mean if needed, always fair, had advice for everything. I took it all, did what he said. He’d already dealt with every problem I’d ever have to handle.
I haven’t been in your situation. No one has. You’re scared and you oughta be. Scared’s not bad. Scared can fuel a fire to do good things. Or it can freeze you up. You could try to be normal, not use what you got to help people. But that doesn’t seem like you.
I won’t pick your path, Clark. It’s not my place. All I know is I’m lucky a great man raised me, and I’m lucky I raised a great man. You’ll figure this out.
So I’m not a full-time editor anymore. But Joe Caramagna asked me to edit his new book, THE FURTHER TRAVELS OF WYATT EARP, which he’s Kickstarting.
I said yes, because:
1) I love Joe (he’s REALLY cute).
2) I enjoy Joe’s writing. He’s got a fun, kinetic, bouncy quality going on in his words.
3) Scott Koblish is on art. I dig how that guy draws, and he’s putting his back into the Earp visuals.
4) It’s a WESTERN, and…
5) I really believe in the project, in the unique story Joe and Scott want to spin. It’s a romping, allllllmost true account of what the greatest lawman of his time did after the gunfights stopped. Wyatt Earp had great purpose and grand aspirations outside of what the world wanted him to be. It’s a fascinating tale of fame and identity and the struggle to become a man in full.
Joe’s just over 50% funded with only about a week to go. So please consider going here and donating a little something so we can see The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp!
In honor of Hallow’s Eve, here’s a few pages from COW BOY: HALLOW’S, an ALL-NEW story that you can pick up today from participating comic shops! Script’n story by me, art/color/letter/design by THE Chris Eliopoulos. Grab a copy’n let us know whatcha think!
For a limited time, we (Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos) are selling versions of COW BOY: A BOY & HIS HORSE that’re all drawn up and written on.
When you purchase The Authors Edition, you’ll receive a hardcover copy of COW BOY, featuring… -An original sketch by Chris Eliopoulos. He’ll draw your favorite Cow Boy character into the book. (Boyd? CeeCee? Dub? The Donkey? Whoever!) -An original short story by Nate Cosby. He’ll hand-write you a two-page yarn starring you and Boyd. (Boyd likely won’t punch you in the story, since you’re not related to him)
COW BOY: The Authors Edition is $35, plus shipping, and we’re only gonna do a VERY limited amount of these. Contact us at email@example.com to reserve your copy!
(This is mostly for new creators starting out. I figure vets already know this, or have their own differing opinions…)
Once you have created a work of art and sent it out into the world, regardless of the love, care & time you put into it, more than a couple people are going to hate and/or dismiss that art. No matter what. No matter what you do. And if/when you see this hate or dismissal, it will affect you, strongly or infinitesimally, depending on your abilities to deflect or absorb criticism.
But an important thing to remember when determining how much it’s going to affect you: EVERY work of art you love…a comic, a TV show, a movie, a book, a painting, a statue…any and all of the art you love? There are lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of people out there that hate and/or dismiss it. There is no such thing as a work of art that has “universal appeal.” Nor should there be.
I love Animaniacs. Elizabethtown. Brain Donors. The A-Team. Impulse. Singin’ In The Rain. The Zero Effect. Gilmore Girls. Good Night & Good Luck. The Rocketeer. Never Not Funny. Sesame Street. Peanuts. Dawson’s Creek. A Good Year. West Wing. MST3K. Gotham Central. Dirty Jobs. Boomtown. Untold Tales Of Spider-Man. Bobs Burgers. Michael Clayton. My Brother My Brother & Me. Barry Ween.
The things I like are important to me, regardless of outside opinions. Other people like the things I like. Many people do not. And that’s ok. Just like it’s ok for you to create something that innumerable people will forever hate and/or dismiss. If this were a world where things were created only on the basis of EVERYONE liking them? We’d have nothing to watch or read or see. People like different things. If you’re a creator, and you feel strongly about an idea? If there’s passion in your belly to create it? Then it has worth. And it’s worth developing until you’ve completed it, or you feel it’s time to stop and move to something else.
This is not to say that every half-baked idea deserves to be leather-bound. There are steps to the creative process…being edited (or self-edited), pressure-testing premises, producing draft after draft after draft of something to the point of forgetting why you began something in the first place. But being afraid to generate a work of art because you’re afraid that someone, ANYone on the planet might not like it? That’s pointless.
Create things you believe in and have faith that they will find an audience, even if that audience is just you and maybe three people out there whose weird tastes match yours.
Someone hating or dismissing your work is an inevitability. How much that matters to you…is entirely up to you.
BUDDY COPS! The thrilling tale of a drunk space cop demoted to the NYPD, and a 1970s police android recommissioned after being in a closet for 32 years (his inventor blew all the grant money at a Jersey horse-track)! They fight monsters! They quote Wu-Tang lyrics! They parallel park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BUDDY COPS is out THIS WEEK in DARK HORSE PRESENTS #14, alongside many other stories that are no doubt better than BUDDY COPS. The creators of this critically-panned-and/or-ignored opus, Nate Cosby and Doc “Evan” Shaner, sat down and answered each others dumb questions. These are the same questions that would have been asked by 60 Minutes, if 60 Minutes had asked them:
NATE: Why do we know each other, and why are we working together on this?
EVAN: We first started talking when you were suggesting things to draw to folks on twitter. You suggested drawing the Thing fighting a bad guy while holding an ice cream and because I can’t resist drawing Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew I went for it. I sent it to you and I think we were talking about Buddy Cops within a day or two.
NATE: Why do you like Popeye and Captain Marvel to such a mind-crippling degree?
EVAN: Because I have little else in my life to occupy my time and attention. Plus they’re two of the greatest characters in popular fiction.
NATE: You gotta go out bar-hopping for 5 hours with 3 fictional characters. You cannot pick Uranus, T.A.Z.E.R., Captain Marvel or Popeye. Who y’doing car bombs with.
EVAN: Easy: Thing. Volstagg. Gorilla Man. If I don’t die at the end that would be an awful lot of fun.
EVAN: Between the two of us, who is T.A.Z.E.R. and who is Uranus?
NATE: I am Uranus, purely because I thought to myself “I’ll just have this character wear a helmet and say stupid stuff I’d say.” I didn’t know you personally at the time, so you aren’t meant to be T.A.Z.E.R. But you asking this question is clearly you trying to say that you relate on a personal level to a 1970s android that constantly breaks apart. And if this is a cry for help…I’m here, Doc.
EVAN: What’s your favorite Buddy or Cop movie?
NATE: mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I got a lot of ‘em. Die Hard (of course), Die Hard With A Vengeance (ZEUS!!!!), 48 Hrs (which is kuh-raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy racist), Miami Vice (the show), Se7en, Hot Fuzz, Heat (well, most of Heat), Narc, The French Connection, The Untouchables, LA Confidential, Dirty Harry, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (original version, obviously), The Fugitive. And I’ll include The A-Team because I include A-Team on all my lists. Not just movie lists. ALL lists.
EVAN: Let’s say we’re able to cross the Buddy Cops over with any character or characters, regardless of publisher, doesn’t even have to be comics. Who do you pick and why?
NATE: I would interject the Buddy Cops into Downton Abbey. Uranus would attempt to woo Lady Mary away from Matthew while posing as an American spices baron (“I deal in…um, mostly the stuff they put on buffalo wings?”) and T.A.Z.E.R. would pose as his valet (“I have a condition that gives my skin the appearance of molded plastic. Please do not inquire.”) The entire ruse would go astray when Uranus gets drunk on plum wine and wakes up married to Maggie Smith.
Seen a few writers posting scripts online. Growing up, I barely ever got to see what a comic book script looked like (think Wizard printed a few examples a few times?). But if I was just starting out as a writer, I’d want to read as many different comic scripts as possible.
So here’s the script for COW BOY: A BOY AND HIS HORSE Chapter One. It’s exactly what was given to Chris Eliopoulos to draw/color/letter, minus a few dirty jokes (though I left most curse words in the panel descriptions, so be careful if you wanna read it with your teenier kids).
Please note: The way I script is NOT “correct.” Because there is no “correct” way to format a comic script. The way I wrote this in 2010 is a bit different from how I write in 2012. You can evolve/change the way you write. Read a buncha scripts and figure it out for yourself.
(incidentally, this script’s format is a hybrid of the script formats of Roger Langridge, Jeff Parker, Paul Tobin and Fred Van Lente. I edited those guys a lot, and their scripts tended to be the easiest to read.)
If you want, go here to check out the fully-drawn first chapter for free, t’see how Chris brought everything to life.
“I loved Uncle Barry. He was my favorite human in the world.
(incidentally, J’onn’s my favorite alien, Arthur’s my favorite fish, Diana’s my favorite…clay…person?)
I could never keep up with Barry when he went full-speed. He always encouraged me, believed in me, taught me his tricks. But we both knew he’d always be faster.
When he died, it took me less than a nanosecond to realize that it was all on me. They were all gonna look to me and say “Ok. Your turn. Run fast, don’t screw up.”
I put on his suit, pulled on his boots…and proceeded to screw up in ways I never thought possible. I sucked royally. But I kept running. Got better. Then betterer. Guess I’m pretty good at being a hero now. But I’ll never be him.
I’m the fastest man alive. Barry’s been dead for years. And I STILL can’t keep up with him.”—Flash (If I Wrote Flash)
“I’m not human. Or Kryptonian.
I look fifteen but I’m like, I think seven months old? (Not sure, I didn’t really have a “birth” day.)
I’m here cuz a piece’a crap scientist tried to be God. Meaning that piece’a crap is technically my dad. Which sucks.
But luckily, I look a lot like Superman. And I’ve got some of his powers. So…y’know. There’s good and bad parts to me.
Guess that means I AM human. Sorta.”—Superboy (if I wrote Superboy)
Leaving the comfy confines of Colorado this week to hit up the CHICAGO COMIC CONVENTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here’s where I’ll be:
FRIDAY, APRIL 14 - Archaia Booth, 1pm til 2:30pm
FRIDAY, APRIL 14 - Room S401abc, 2:45pm til 3:45pm (ARCHAIA panel: COMING SOON FROM ARCHAIA ENTERTAINMENT…)
SATURDAY, APRIL 15 - Archaia Booth, 1:30pm til 3pm
WHY would you want to see me? Well…
A) I’m relatively nice.
(that’s me on the right smiling, as David Gallaher prepares to murder me from behind)
B) It’s not football season, so I need to talk to people. To pass the time.
C) C2E2 is the FIRST place you can get the COW BOY hardcover from Archaia Entertainment! It’s an All-Ages western adventure by me’n Chris Eliopoulos, with shorts by Roger Langridge, Colleen Coover, Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener, Mitch Gerads & Mike Maihack. There’s a LIMITED amount of C2E2-exclusive signed variants at the Archaia booth, so grab one while you can!
D) I’m gonna have a handful of PIGS trades and single issues with me, if you wanna buy ‘em. My co-writer Ben McCool’ll be around too, and we’re more than happy to sign copies for ya. (and write dirty words on the cover)
E) For ABSOLUTELY FREE, I’m willing to draw whatever you want me too. I will accept donations of bubble gum (mint gum can go straight to Hell), but it’s not required. Here’s an example of my work:
See y’all in Chi-Town!!!!
(P.S. - if you see me at the bar and want to make me happy…I like shitty beer)