General Discussion

2007 Comic Book Challenge
MrGranger at 2:04PM, May 8, 2007
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Unless you're a one-trick-pony, if you win the coverage you'll receive is worth more than you can make with the project yourself. You've got little less than a month so my advice is spend that time creating the best package that you can. Then while you wait to hear if you've won, think of 2 other great ideas.

I know you can.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
Platinum Dan at 5:50PM, May 8, 2007
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carrollhach
Platinum Dan, Platinum Dan
He's a platinum man
He's got platinum hands
The man with the plan is a platinum man
and his name? His name is
PLATT-I-NNUMMMM DA-A-ANNNNNN!!!!


(second verse, same as the first!)

And I forgot to say thanks for the song. First time I've ever had a song written about me, I think.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
ReincarnatedParano at 6:35AM, May 9, 2007
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I've always wanted to be published… I dream of one day getting a job doing what I love (drawing, of course. I'd love to be a storyboard artist. x3), then coming home to continue doing just that: working on my comic. >w<

I would enter, but… My works are much more manga based. I'm not sure if they'd publish such a thing…? It's tempting, but I'm aiming for Tokyopop's Rising Stars of Manga Competition.

Best of luck to all those who plan to enter!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:04PM
keola at 10:04AM, May 9, 2007
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I will be entering the contest but I have a concern about how much one can actually make “realistically” as a comic book artist or a creator. I have a good job now, while I don't love it, I make a pretty good living. I could do both but I don't know if I would be able to meet the deadlines because I have to work a lot of hours. Is it even possible or realistic to think that the winner could approach six figures within a year if successful or am I totally dreaming? I'm sure that if the idea is popular enough and makes it into tv or movies then the money will come but it's a big gamble if I have to quit my job and live on peanuts for a while. I can do that too unless it's going to take years to develop.
I would have tried to break into the business years ago but I've always thought that artists didn't make much and I have a hard time with poverty:( I have always loved comics and art though and I have to follow my dream now but seriously, how much can artists make? DJ?…
God does not give us our dreams, without providing a way to accomplish them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:14PM
carrollhach at 10:52AM, May 9, 2007
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Platinum Dan
And I forgot to say thanks for the song. First time I've ever had a song written about me, I think.

With a name like Platinum Dan, I'm surprised that you don't have ten songs, two comics and a breakfast cereal!

I'm Platinum Dan and I'm here to tell you that Platinum Rangers eat Platin-Yums every day for breakfast! Platin-Yums: toasty bits of platinum crunchy oats dusted with Deep Space Sweetener and topped with Duckmallow Foam! Platin-Yums are part of every Ranger's nutritious breakfast!
(Zips off into deep space toting box of cereal)
Josh Carrollhach
For profile inormation, other comics and general blog stuff, please check out
http://www.drunkduck.com/Clench_and_Cheese/
The Clench and Cheese Blog
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
skoolmunkee at 11:02AM, May 9, 2007
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Platin-Yums is kinda clunky. Platinum Puffs?
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:40PM
silentkitty at 11:41AM, May 9, 2007
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skoolmunkee
Platin-Yums is kinda clunky. Platinum Puffs?

Platipuffs? ;D
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
marine at 11:45AM, May 9, 2007
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WHEN THE professor WAS WORKING IN HIS LAB TO CREATE THE PERFECT LITTLE GIRLS, SUGAR, SPICE, AND EVERYTHING NICE. HE Axe-e-DENTLY DROPPED HIS platinum GRILLS INTO THE CONCOCTION. THUSLY THE PLATINUM puff GIRLS WERE BORN!

I'd draw or google “gangsta” power puff girls, but I simply don't have the time. Someone else do it for the comedy.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
Platinum Dan at 12:40PM, May 9, 2007
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keola
I will be entering the contest but I have a concern about how much one can actually make “realistically” as a comic book artist or a creator. I have a good job now, while I don't love it, I make a pretty good living. I could do both but I don't know if I would be able to meet the deadlines because I have to work a lot of hours. Is it even possible or realistic to think that the winner could approach six figures within a year if successful or am I totally dreaming? I'm sure that if the idea is popular enough and makes it into tv or movies then the money will come but it's a big gamble if I have to quit my job and live on peanuts for a while. I can do that too unless it's going to take years to develop.
I would have tried to break into the business years ago but I've always thought that artists didn't make much and I have a hard time with poverty:( I have always loved comics and art though and I have to follow my dream now but seriously, how much can artists make? DJ?…

It's a really good question, Keola, and one that DJ is probably more qualified than I to answer, as he's been in the trenches a lot longer than I've been in this business. I will say this, I'm constantly surprised when I'm dealing with medium sized names in this business (and by that I mean people who have books that I follow because of them and have names that draw me to a particular book but are not actually “above the title” writers and artists, i.e. people below an Alex Ross or an Alan Moore) and still have day jobs. That tells me that it's pretty tough business to “make” it in. I'm really hoping DJ chimes in here, because his advice will by much more useful than mine.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
sweetninja566 at 1:32PM, May 9, 2007
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So only people over 18 can enter? T.T curse me for not being born 4 years earlier.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:05PM
Platinum Dan at 2:01PM, May 9, 2007
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Yeah, sorry about that. It's a legal thing that our lawyers insisted on this year. Think of it this way: it gives you 4 years to work on your idea, right?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
ccs1989 at 2:01PM, May 9, 2007
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keola
I will be entering the contest but I have a concern about how much one can actually make “realistically” as a comic book artist or a creator. I have a good job now, while I don't love it, I make a pretty good living. I could do both but I don't know if I would be able to meet the deadlines because I have to work a lot of hours. Is it even possible or realistic to think that the winner could approach six figures within a year if successful or am I totally dreaming? I'm sure that if the idea is popular enough and makes it into tv or movies then the money will come but it's a big gamble if I have to quit my job and live on peanuts for a while. I can do that too unless it's going to take years to develop.
I would have tried to break into the business years ago but I've always thought that artists didn't make much and I have a hard time with poverty:( I have always loved comics and art though and I have to follow my dream now but seriously, how much can artists make? DJ?…

I'm not DJ, but I've collected a lot of info about the industry in the past few years. Bascially it's really hard to make anywhere near 6-figures drawing comics. Even “superstar” artists have to do more than just draw comics to make near 6 figures. And Platinum Studios isn't Marvel. They're more Indie, although they do have resources behind them.

A lot of artists have “escaped” the comic industry into video game art design or designing toys, etc. To be successful actually drawing comics you have to be super successful like Frank Miller.

But the best advice is to become a comic book artist because you want to tell a story and you want to tell it through art. Don't do it for money, because you'll be dissapointed.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM
MrGranger at 3:09PM, May 9, 2007
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ccs1989
I'm not DJ, but I've collected a lot of info about the industry in the past few years. Bascially it's really hard to make anywhere near 6-figures drawing comics.

Page rates are dropping, and it's hard to make a living unless you've been doing comics for a while. Even still you've got to have the “HOT” factor. Check out this thread for a discussion on this very issue.

http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109193&highlight=page+rate

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
Faithie at 8:01PM, May 9, 2007
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*Sigh* I do a comic all my myself, and I'm under eighteen, so I can't try for it. Oh, well, I guess there's always next year…. …My art isn't good enough, anyway. XD

Good luck to everyone entering. ^-^
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
hpkomic at 1:42AM, May 10, 2007
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I'm going to be pitching a series oriented for children, but I have some questions.

First of all, does this mean that once your comic becomes property of Platinum Studios, you have minimal imput into what's done with it in other media such as film or animation or do you still have a large amount of say into what happens with your creations though they're technically no longer in your hands?

Secondly, I am considering a couple art styles for the project, would I need to have examples for each when I make my pitch?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
marine at 1:58AM, May 10, 2007
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MrGranger
ccs1989
I'm not DJ, but I've collected a lot of info about the industry in the past few years. Bascially it's really hard to make anywhere near 6-figures drawing comics.

Page rates are dropping, and it's hard to make a living unless you've been doing comics for a while. Even still you've got to have the “HOT” factor. Check out this thread for a discussion on this very issue.

http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109193&highlight=page+rate



If you want to be rich and famous, comic books is definitely NOT the industry for you. If you want to work on something that people will hate and download for free from the internet (but strangely feel bad about), then comics are for you. I'm not looking to make six figures in comics. Hell I'd be happy with three figures. No, I'd be happy with ACTION figures. If you're going to be anything of an artist, you've gotta know how to starve and get by. I just want to make popular comic books, and thats that. I'd be willing to do ANYTHING comic book related. I'd write romance comics if I was asked to. If you're really into comics, you shouldn't mind giving up your rights to the creations. If you've been doing online comics for nothing for years, and suddenly a guy comes a long with an offer, you've gotta try it. I'm trying for it. I want it. I want it more then anybody else. I'd literally jump through hoops in San Diego in front of Todd Mcfarlane and Rob Liefield. I almost did something similar for Stan Lee. I just want to be in comic books, by any means necessary. If I got so much as a two sentence blurb in Wizard, I would have it framed and blown up on my wall like it was some kind of an amazing achievement award. I think I'd actually like that over getting paid. All I want is enough money to sleep and eat. The rest of my time, I'd like to dedicate to comic books.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
carrollhach at 6:06AM, May 10, 2007
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I've had a number of comics published over the years in comic books, magazines and newspapers and have yet to make a solid living from it. Comics are extremely expensive to produce and distribute and are getting moreso. There was a brief resurgence in the 90's (before the web came along) but nowadays many shops are closing. The industry is dominated by Marvel and DC and that whole genre of stuff. There have been breakouts (like Chris Ware and Chris Onstad) where the creators have come up with something unique that generates a following. Ware got a book deal for Jimmy Corrigan and Onstad has been making his money by selling associated Achewood merchandise (he credits his wife, caller her “a marketing genius”).

If you are hoping to make a decent living from this, chances are you won't. Alan Moore (against his wishes) made far more money from his rights sales for movies than he ever did for his comic writing. If you want to get rich and be the next Matt Groening, then put in the time and get a following so that when you negotiate your contract you'll have some pull. Bear in mind that for every giant success story (especially in alternative comics) there are thousands of equally good comics and cartoons that remain virtually unknown to the outside world.

This contest is a good first step for an unknown artist. I imagine that your compensation will be strongly tied to your sales, and Platinum is taking a risk by putting money into unknowns. There's always the chance that something like Hero by Night will be the next Spider Man, but it's a long shot. I imagine that the contract takes that into consideration so the artist will be compensated in due proportion (my whole gist in prior posts here was that without such a clause in the contract the artist stood to lose out). As far as creative input, that's a whole other kettle of fish… I ranted myself blue about that already so I'll leave it alone.

Comics can, perhaps, make a bajillion if and when they're turned into movies. Hollywood operates on a different scale altogether (my sister-in-law wrote the screenplay for the new Freaky Friday and her initial compensation was “only” 600,000.00. Disney got a bargain and she got her step up). That's how it seems to work nowadays. I do this because I love it. I am producing my own animated shorts in the hopes that they can attract some attention on Youtube and Itunes, but there is no guarantee.
Josh Carrollhach
For profile inormation, other comics and general blog stuff, please check out
http://www.drunkduck.com/Clench_and_Cheese/
The Clench and Cheese Blog
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
Platinum Dan at 7:22AM, May 10, 2007
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hpkomic
I'm going to be pitching a series oriented for children, but I have some questions.

First of all, does this mean that once your comic becomes property of Platinum Studios, you have minimal imput into what's done with it in other media such as film or animation or do you still have a large amount of say into what happens with your creations though they're technically no longer in your hands?

Secondly, I am considering a couple art styles for the project, would I need to have examples for each when I make my pitch?

When a property is sold for film or TV, we can't guarantee that you will have a say in what happens because we can't guarantee WE'LL have a say in what happens. We do our best to stay true to the creator's vision and to keep them in the mix as the source of that vision, but we can't always do that. We just hired a showrunner for a series we're doing and that showrunner wants the creator of the book flown out and on set every day, helping him make the original vision real. On the flipside, I've seen situations where the creator was banned from set because the director didn't want him clouding his vision. The point being that we do our best, but can never guarantee it because that would be lying to you.

As to the art style, you can only submit one page with your submission, but you are welcome to bring whatever you want with you to the pitch. Examples of multiple art styles would be fine by us. Don't forget, though, that, if you get chosen as a top 50 Entrant, you only have two minutes to pitch the judges. That's an awefully short time period and I don't know if you want to get bogged down with too much. Check out DJ's pitching tips on the CBC website for great advice on stuff like that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
marine at 8:56AM, May 10, 2007
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Garth Ennis's given comments on the versions of his comic book work thats in production. It seems to me like he doesn't mind people changing stuff, so long as he gets his cut from it. He's said that “the comics are still there” and that movies or tv shows coming out based on his works have no effect on the existing comic books.

I wonder what a guy like him makes? He does some very nice work, and seems to spread himself out across a lot of publishers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
MrGranger at 9:12AM, May 10, 2007
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carrollhach
Comics can, perhaps, make a bajillion if and when they're turned into movies. Hollywood operates on a different scale altogether (my sister-in-law wrote the screenplay for the new Freaky Friday and her initial compensation was “only” 600,000.00. Disney got a bargain and she got her step up). That's how it seems to work nowadays. I do this because I love it. I am producing my own animated shorts in the hopes that they can attract some attention on Youtube and Itunes, but there is no guarantee.

That was a great script too…now I know a bit more about you too. :)
Films aren't the cash cow that they pretend to be either. Majority of writers who are in the Guild make less than 10k a year. You can't even rent a box on the streets of LA for that these days. But still there is the off-chance that maybe by some weird fluke you do make some $$ in Hollywood.

Comics usually don't make money. Look at the March top 300, if you're Marvel and you've got Captain America then you've got 290k + units. After shipping/discounts etc, you'll clear about $1 from Diamond and printing that many will bring the cost down extremely. So that's a good $300k.

The sales though drop drastically if you aren't Capt. What about those unlucky folks (70% of the Top 300 comics from March) who don't sell even 5k? Well their price for printing rises and soon is more than the $1 Diamond will even pay you for the $3.99 comic. They are losing $$ on each and every comic! The break even point for a b&w book is about 3000, for color it's 5k+. If a book isn't in the Top 300 then they are PAYING to publish.

This is just an estimate since you can sometimes swing deals with printers, hand deliver books, etc. so many factors can play into the success or failure of books. But it's my experience working with King Tractor Press business and speaking with many other publishers through the years.

So if you want to make $$, go into finance. Comics are fun & created by people who just want to create books that they love. The best thing you can do if you want to work in comics is spread the word, get more readers. Get a friend to start ready the indy books that lose money every month. There are a lot of great books but without enough readers they will eventually stop.

One cool thing about webcomics is that many of the books that might have failed as singles can go up for thousands to read daily with a lot less overhead. My DD comic INNOCENT is able to continue just because of that…fantasy doesn't sell a whole lot in comic shops. And we've done enough now that we'll be published as a graphic novel. Without the DD webcomic I'm not sure we'd have gotten past an issue or two. Now we're not only going out through Diamond but Ingrams & Baker and Taylor.

Rambling a bit…and that's still not helping you figure out a way to make a career out of comics. But I think that the Platinum Comic Challenge could get you enough exposure that you'd reach a larger audience. Continue with the DD webcomics, contests, and with hard work and some luck you will find your own way to make a career out of it all.

BTW…if a script sells for 600k, then you get about 20% of that until the film is made. If the film gets put into turnaround, where I seem to be a lot, then you don't get the rest. But you still have to pay taxes, your lawyer, agent, and spouse their cut. You never end up with as much as you think.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
carrollhach at 9:46AM, May 10, 2007
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True words from a talented dude.

MrGranger
But you still have to pay taxes, your lawyer, agent, and spouse their cut. You never end up with as much as you think.

Man, that is funny! Now, who wants a piece of my Ritz cracker? C'mon! There's enough for us all… and our spouses!


Josh Carrollhach
For profile inormation, other comics and general blog stuff, please check out
http://www.drunkduck.com/Clench_and_Cheese/
The Clench and Cheese Blog
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
djcoffman at 8:14AM, May 11, 2007
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sorry it took me so long to get back and comment on the finance side. While I'm not comfortable discussing my own earnings as a cartoonist I can tell you it's totally possible to make a living doing it, but like any profession, you have to be good and reliable. Keep these things in mind if you're looking for a career in cartooning. Before I give my little list, it would be unrealistic to say cartoonists or comic book makers can just go out and make 6 figures. Even if we're talking 100k a year, that would be highly successful as a regular creator. Thats rare, but not impossible. I know a few creators who have gone from the indy scene making peanuts to being the top dogs at Marvel (Brian Bendis) But he put in years of hard work and building his readership and putting out quality products and doing things differently writing in his own signature style. You can definitely make five figures and live happily as a cartoonist.

As for my own finances? I was doing pretty okay on my own, I considered myself (and still) a freelance cartoonist. With my own Yirmumah webcomic I was able to slowly build up my income, with a mix of selling advertising, actual merchandise, and after expenses I was bringing in around 2k a month, and on great months, more. Not much for a webcomic or a “living”, but i was happy with that. Working with Platinum has definitly brought me to another league of income and security here though. Also, you might benefit if you can do your cartooning work from anywhere, why live in the big cities or pricey real estate markets? I live south of Pittsburgh and the economy is very cheap here (luckily!)


Here's my list to help your mindsets for a career in cartooning of any kind…and it's based on other people I know who've made a decent living from their art work.

1. Remember that you're not just a comic book or webcomic artist. You are a cartoonist, plain and simple. Be open to working on several things, not just your own projects.

2. Don't just think like a cartoonist. Learn to think like a businessman. Become a great cartoonist first by honing your skills for years, but also learn that there is much money to be made by utilizing advertising and building yourself as your own brand. Learn how to pitch ideas to big companies or even local ones. You probably have several opportunities in your local market within 5 miles of where you sit. Pizza box comics! Delivery menus! Even restaurant activity pages! Think outside of the box with your skills and you can make a pretty penny that way while building up you as your own brand.

3. Hustle. Don't be shy or quiet. No one is just going to see your art and come pay you to do it, or drop 6 figures in your lap.

4. Be good. Be honest with yourself. You might suck right now, and it could be a reason you're not making money with your work. But honestly, Ive seen some REALLY terrible artists get big gigs with screenprinting companies, etc. 80% of what I see on Drunk Duck is better than 100% of one particular screenprint shop I know of. The only way to get good and great is to…

5. Draw every day. If you're like me, you might spend a decade obsessively drawing day in and day out until you're finally ready to make a real living at it.

6. Take a chance! Opportunities are all around you…. Comic Book Challenge could be one of them. Give it a shot at http://comicbookchallenge.com

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
djcoffman at 8:18AM, May 11, 2007
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Oh– by the way. Mr. Granger nailed something that is a total fact. Since my book with Platinum has come out, I've actually had a lot of buzz and great reviews, and at the recent Pittsburgh Comicon a publisher approached me about writing for a new Thunder Agents comic series, and many other people were asking if I'd consider writing for other comic book companies. I'm sure if I applied myself right now, I could find other work pretty easily, but I sort of consider myself “Platinum Exclusive!” for now. They've done right by me, and I'd love to help build their own series of comic book icons, and they've given me this great opportunity to do it.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
keola at 8:20PM, May 11, 2007
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Thanks for your input DJ. When I asked if it were possible to make six figures as an artist I just meant close to it. If I could eventually replace my current income or get close to it(about 80k a yr) as a cartoonist that would fulfill a lifelong dream for me. I know it obviously won't come right away as you need to work hard and “pay your dues” to establish an audience or fanbase to make it happen. I appreciate everyone's comments on the financial side of the comic book business and though I understand that you probably shouldn't become a creator to make money, but to do it because you want to express yourself through story and art, It is still a business. I don't have a background in cartooning (even though I've been drawing all my life) but I have been a successful web developer and if you want readership you have to create a product that is marketable and something that people will find entertaining enough to spend their money on. We as creators want to express our ideas through story and art, but (correct me if I'm wrong) we also have to give the people what they want if we want to get paid. After all that's who we work for. Otherwise all you have is a hobby, (something YOU spend money on). I've always wanted to draw comics but never applied myself because I knew it was hard to make money doing it. But I've also heard that if you do what you love the money will come if you work hard enough.
God does not give us our dreams, without providing a way to accomplish them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:14PM
MrGranger at 7:34AM, May 16, 2007
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Just got my first entry in. I had a bit of trouble getting it to upload at first, so don't wait until the last second to upload yours. I'd hate to think one of you had an entry but crashed and time ran out.

Now the contest has really started! ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
hpkomic at 12:14PM, May 16, 2007
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I already submitted my pitch, however I've made some important changes since then, and I'd like to see those substituted in. Is there any way to go about that?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
MrGranger at 1:30PM, May 16, 2007
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hpkomic
I already submitted my pitch, however I've made some important changes since then, and I'd like to see those substituted in. Is there any way to go about that?

Re-submit might work? I'd send Dan an email personally.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
Platinum Dan at 11:49AM, May 17, 2007
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If anybody has problems with uploading or anything, feel free to send me a PQ.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
marine at 12:13PM, May 17, 2007
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I got my artwork all ready and done up, but I'm having an anxiety attack writing just a page about my work. Trying to condense my work down to just a page is proving more difficult then I thought! *KER GASP!!*
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
slimredninja at 1:02PM, May 17, 2007
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If i could just manage to scrape by but got to see my comics in print I would be pleased as punch. This is an incredible chance for anyone who has the love. Were sending in a first rate slim red ninja submission and while I will miss him if he goes away I would just keep my fingers crossed that platinum would give me occassional visitation as in future work but if not, then on to the next project. When me and darkchamber were at a local comicshop on free comic day with darkelf designs we were blown away by how prominently platinum comics were displayed it reminded me of the dream we all have of seeing our stuff in print and knowing your a part of comic history however small or large.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:48PM

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