Monthly Archives: March 2013

Online Resources-The Submission Guidelines for (almost) every Comic and Manga Publisher


Today on book mark worthy resources I’d like to call attention to a resource for those interested in submitting their work to comic or graphic novel publishers.

This continuously updated list has a very thorough list of most (if not all) comic and manga publishers in the U.S. and abroad. They include publishers guidelines as well as whether they are currently accepting submissions. Most of these companies listed are comic book specific publishers. Some of them may publish graphic novels as well. But please note that their are other publishers who do not produce comic books but do produce graphic novels.

So let this list be the beginning of your search and not the final stop. Good luck!

Follow link here.


Free book on Intro to E-books and how you sell them

Times are changing in publishing. E-books are a new, fascinating and confusing medium that has become a potential opportunity for writers and illustrators alike to showcase their work to the public for sale without as many middle men.

But many of you don’t know where to start. Where can you sell your e-book? How much will the selling outlet take? How much should I charge? Lots of questions and lucky for you I ran across a website that offers an introductory guide to answering them for free!


Vook, is a service that specializes in helping guide the creation and marketing of your e-book. But we aren’t here to pimp their services. We are here to point you in the direction of their free e-book:

Everything you need to know about ebook distribution

From royalty rates to price restrictions, our free guide covers it all.

Whether you’re distributing through us or going through the retailers’ self-publishing channels, there are key terms and conditions that every author should understand.

So, we’ve written a free guide on marketplaces, royalty rates, price restrictions, and all the nitty-gritty details—including taxes, delivery fees, and payment methods.

Download your free copy of “Ebook Marketplaces & Royalties: Everything authors need to know” now!

For more info on Vook and their services you can follow the link here to their homepage.

Be sure to download the guide and begin to learn the ins and outs of a new arena for up and coming writer/illustrators. Enjoy!

Guest Post-Travis Hanson-Understanding Kickstarter

Travis Hanson is a professional fantasy artist and creator of  the Eisner Award nominated Webcomic, “the Bean”.

He stops in today to tell us about Kickstarter.  How he has used it successfully in his career and how much of an integral part he sees it playing in the future of publishing. Travis has had three Kickstarter projects and one that is currently in progress.   Check at bottom of post for more info on his current campaign.) All of them were not only funded successfully but went over the allotted amounts by at least 50% (one even went as far as 229% over it’s goal!) He obviously knows what he’s talking about!

So take notes and enjoy! Then be sure to visit his current Kickstarter campaign to help support him in his efforts.


Understanding Kickstarter and why small press thrives off it (especially webcomics)

I want to talk about Kickstarter. Why I am for it and how people can make it work for them… I realize that a lot of you might not know me or my comic. You probably wondering where I get off talking about Kickstarter and why I think it is fantastic for the industry or how to make it work?

My name is Travis Hanson. I am a fantasy illustrator. I write and illustrate a webcomic called Bean, which was nominated for an Eisner in 2011, it is a black and white epic fantasy tale of a dishwasher. I also do fantasy illustrations that focus on the power of imagination. I have been for 15 years. Now, what does that have to do with Kickstarter? Well, in the last two years I have put together three successful Kickstarter campaigns for the bean and now I am working on 4th campaign, which reached it’s target goal in 4 days of 11k.

So how does small press, unknown, indy creator able to make Kickstarter work? Why do thrive off of it?

Well that is because I understand what Kickstarter really is. It is a funding platform for projects of creators who want control over their works. Anyone can use it and it doesn’t matter who it is, as long as you follow their guidelines. They encourage you to do as many projects as you want… yet you can only do one at a time…. which is cool. So with the understanding of what it really is, it’s hard for me to get upset at the movies, big games or big that want to fund their works. Kickstarter actually allows them to connect with their fans, produce work they want full control  and to me this important and crucial to making this platform work. It is important to note, its not a publishing house, distribution center or marketing firm. That is the sole responsibility of the creator.

A fan, or pledge, chooses for themselves if they will back a project or not. There is no force and if you don’t like a certain project, for whatever reason, than you don’t have to back it. That means if people want to support indy guys, like me, and small press, or maybe their favorite artist they can find us and back us. Honestly I can’t blame the million dollar campaigns because they have an established fan base… all I can do is find a way to make it work best for me.

What Kickstarter has done as a funding platform is made it possible for creative people to get their works out there and get their dreams a start. Not all projects will fund and most of it deal with rushing the project out there without preparing on how you the creator will market it to your fan base. Some projects catch fire and shoot the moon and some, like mine and many others make our goals and allows us to follow our dreams. There are people uncomfortable with this work model. Established artist and designers that are afraid that the market will be flooded with subpar work, maybe the true fear is they are afraid their own fan base will diminish. I doubt it. In fact I have found that some incredible work is being produced and that I am finding a lot of hidden talent that needs to be noticed through the world of Kickstarter

So in reality I am writing this for the indy creator, the one that has a dream and wants to see that dream become a reality. I hope that you take to heart what I say. It could probably save you some time and money and a little heartache. I hope you realize that all Kickstarter is is a way to crowd fund your books and that you have to do the rest, which can be a lot of hard work, but in the end so worth it…  Now if your planning one, here are some guidelines that have worked for me.

Continue reading

Wacom to release a new Cintiq 13HD


Last week Wacom, the creators of drawing tablets and displays for professionals, announced a new offering to their Cintiq line up. Wacom unveiled its first compact, full HD colour sketch pad. The new Cintiq 13HD delivers a professional pen driven on screen drawing experience in a new slimmer, lightweight design. With a 13-inch display boasting 16.7 million colours, with a 1980 x 1080 resolution this tablet looks like a wonderful addition to any illustrators studio. With a 178 degree viewing angle and a stand that can be adjusted to lie flat or positioned at angles of 22, 35, and 50 degrees. Wacom has also announced a new pen to go with the new display, but details are scarce on this. We do know that the new offering supports 2,048 levels of sensitivity and has tilt recognition like Wacom’s other offerings in this category. If this sounds too good to be true you can pick one up in April for around $1000 which is a price reduction of around $200 from their old 13 inch model.


Drawing on Comics: Developing My Visual Communication Skills-Part 2

Last Friday Contributor Chris Jones stopped in to give us more insight into his journey into graphic storytelling as well as how it has positively effected his drawing and storytelling skills.

Today we showcase the second half of his discussion Enjoy!


Drawing Characters Consistently

Designing and developing characters, and drawing them over the course of an entire comic is wonderful practice at keeping on model. It can take a while to get comfortable drawing a character consistently, and what better way than to put them into a story and force yourself to draw them over and over! There will be many opportunities to draw characters from different angles, in many poses, and with a variety of facial expressions.


Working Within Constraints

Every illustration comes with certain constraints, it’s own unique set of rules: size, subject matter, medium, and so on. A comic also has some very specific constraints: the script, page size, setting, the characters involved, leaving room for word balloons, and making sure the dialogue flows logically within each panel, and from one panel to the next. Comic pages present some very unique challenges this way. Dealing with constraints in any creative work can be good— It can force you to try different things to come up with creative solutions. I’ve found that drawing comics has been great practice for learning how to be efficient and creative with my compositions.


Learning How to Create Visuals From a Script

Illustrating a comic is excellent practice in creating visuals from the written word. A lot like a movie director— you are responsible for bringing the story to life visually. There are a number of skills you can develop creating visuals for a script: knowing how best to emphasize certain parts in the story, what type of shots and angles to use, what to show and what to leave out, and pacing action and dialogue across panels. Developing these type of skills can only help you as an illustrator.

Having an Audience Can Help Motivate You

When you publish comics on the internet you are creating for an audience, and that can really help to keep you working through those times where you may not feel like drawing. You can build up a trust with your readers, and develop a sense of responsibility not to let them down by missing updates. Learning to keep yourself motivated and working even when you don’t feel like it is important if you want to be successful. I tricked myself for years by doing this! If you keep your head down and do it for a while, you can look up and say— “Wow, look at how much I’ve accomplished!”

Managing Workflow

Creating comics is labour intensive. It takes a lot of time to storyboard, illustrate, colour, and letter a comic. A good workflow is essential in order to stay on track. If you choose to make a comic that you update online, sticking to your schedule is important in building and keeping a growing audience for your work. Frequently missed or inconsistent updates could lose you those valuable readers you’ve worked so hard to gain. To keep yourself on schedule a good workflow is key, and learning how to effectively manage your workflow will help you be more productive in anything that you do.



In the end, it all comes down to practice. The more experience you have doing something, the better you’ll get. Each page you illustrate has a lot of visual problems that need to be solved— and the better you get at visual problem solving the better an illustrator you will be! I’m not saying that illustrating comics is the only way to learn the skills I’ve outlined— but it’s a path I took, and it’s been great experience in helping me become a better visual communicator.

You can also check out more of his work on his website and see more of his articles with us here.

Submit a Guest Post to Once Upon a Sketch


At Once Upon A Sketch we are all about sharing knowledge with the art community. That’s what we strive for with every post we put on our site. With that said we know we can’t cover everything and stories are bound to fall through the cracks. If you have a news story we have missed, a blog post with insight into the illustration process or just general information you think the Once Upon a Sketch Community would be interested in please share it with us.

We appreciate all posts that are passed on to us and all the hard work that goes into each of them. However, all submissions are judged and published based on their own merits, so please don’t take offense if your story doesn’t make it to the site. We already get lots of emails about sharing particular posts and we comb through them to find the very best to share with you.

Sadly, there’s no money involved with this. Just the knowledge that you shared your talents with the art community and it’s another way to get your name out there and maybe get a few more eyeballs on your work that may not have seen it otherwise.

Submission Guidelines 

At this point, we are interested in two types of pieces— 1.) articles that address some aspect of the children’s illustration market and 2.) tips and tutorials on the process of making artwork for the children’s market.

To submit your topic please follow these guidelines:
• Submit your article on our contact page. Be sure to include your name and email address so we can contact you if needed.
• In the subject line write: Submission—“The Name of Your Article” this way your email will stand out from all the rest of the mail we get.
• In the message form include a short description of what your article is about and a link to the post.

Please note:  If  for some reason you submit via our email address and not the contact page, do not attach any files or documents. Doing so will result in your email being disregarded.

That’s it. Please follow these three easy steps carefully. We would hate to miss a good submission.

Again, this is a no-pay market. Hopefully, the inclusion of your bio and a link to your site will provide enough of a payment and maybe some good publicity for you. At this point working on this site is a labor of love for the team here at OUaS. Its are way of trying to help pay back the art community that has helped our careers so much.


Wilson and Norm

Guest Post-Will Terry-Working With Children’s Book Editors


I’ve been working on one of the funnest books I’ve ever had the privilege to illustrate. “Skeleton For Dinner” by Margery Cuyler is due out this coming fall by Albert Whitman – and is a very cute story about miscommunication among friends. The image above is just a mock up – the real type treatments to come.

My advice when working with editors and art directors:

1) It’s a collaboration. The publisher is paying the bills. They are risking their money to make the dream happen. You and I are risking our time. We all have risk but I often hear about illustrators who feel that art decisions should be their call alone. Many of my books have been greatly enhanced by the discretion, suggestions, and requests of my employers and this cover is no exception. I had to completely re-do this cover because I broke some of my own design rules – I cut corners. I am so much happier with this current version and the input from my editors Nick Tiermersma and Wendy McClure.

2) Get to know your editors with good back and forth communication. Be clear in what your expectations, aspirations, intentions, plans, goals, etc are. Let them know how passionate you are – they want to know. Don’t make it a secret that you’re tickled to work on their project. Don’t hide the fact that you’re trying to do your best work ever. Let them understand that you value their opinion and input. After all you’re a team even though you may be many miles apart geographically. If you’re not a team player…good luck.

See original article here and Will Terry’s website here.

Designing Characters with Shape


The last few weeks I have been doing a lot of character design for a personal project. One of the best ways I’ve found to design interesting characters quickly is by playing with simple shapes. An example I’ve found of this is on Luigi Lucarelli‘s Youtube channel.

He has three screen casts where he starts with a simple shape outline and then adds detail until he ends up with a finished line drawing. The first is four male characters of varying ages. The next two follow the same format but this time they are of female characters. His approach is the same one I’ve been using to design my own characters, so I’ve taken to watching these videos while I’m working for inspiration.

I hope you find watching Luigi’s process as inspirational and interesting as I do.

You can find the other 2 videos after the break. Continue reading

Resources-Editor Profiles and Articles


Harold Underdown, the writer of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Children’s Publishing (available for purchase in our library), and the owner of  Purple Crayon website. Recently brought to my attention yet another great resource on his site.


In the aforementioned book Harold goes into editors and what they do by providing profiles on a few established professionals.

This section of his site is intended in addition to that resource as Harold either provides profiles of other professionals or provides links to other sites that catalogue interviews and insights into the personalities that are editors and art directors.

Bookmark it and check it out!!

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