Create your own graphic story
An upcoming anthology of realistic graphic fiction is calling for submissions. Read this before you contribute
Panels from these anthologies are in black and white, and stories inspired by real life
The world's greatest archer, mankind's last defence, bald men, teddy bears, adopted strays, third world fantasies, women in power - think of a topic, and chances are you will find a graphic story about it printed in Comix India.
The self-published comic anthology series, started in 2010, is returning after a hiatus of five years and is seeking contributions for Volume 7 of the series, expected to be published in six months. "Initially, when Comix India started, it was a platform for amateurs to start drawing their own comics, and attempt to use the medium as freely as they could. We were being creative with the form," says Bharath Murthy, graphic novelist, founder and editor of Comix India (CI).
The new anthology will feature fresh content, better editing and hopefully, different styles. "We have Japanese manga editor, Mitsuhiro Asakawa, as our editorial advisor. He used to be the editor of the cult Japanese manga magazine Garo, which shut down, and is now editor of an underground manga magazine called Ax," informs Murthy.
Both Murthy and Asakawa will be selecting six stories for the new anthology, for which the call for submission went up on March 19. There's no theme. Earlier editions centred on third world fantasy or girl power. Murthy wants the fiction stories to be inspired by daily life. "I want everyday narratives, realistic fiction, which can also include erotica, but no epic adventures or fantasies," he adds.
What they are looking for, he elaborates, is gekiga - a Japanese term literally meaning 'dramatic pictures' but which broadly denotes serious realistic comics for adults, where personal expression is of importance. "Garo pioneered this new adult-focussed realistic manga, and we want to showcase the same."
Cover of Jan 2011 edition
Contributors have to send a story idea and some rough sketches of the main characters to the editors; if their work is chosen, they can go on to create the final story.
Murthy wants each story to be about 20 pages long. "We want to encourage long-form storytelling," he adds. The edition will have 250 pages; 100 of them will be translated Japanese manga.
"We want the stories to be aimed at an adult readership and popularise reading comics among people who read fiction," he adds. In the future, he hopes to be able to sell the comics at newspaper stands across India.
How to submit your story
- SEND IDEAS AND PREVIOUS WORK:âÂÂSend in a synopsis and a few rough sketches of the main characters and setting of your story. Don't write the whole story; just describe the characters and plot briefly.
- DRAW ROUGH DRAFT (A4 SIZE): Once the idea is approved, send in a rough draft, either in pencil on paper or drawn digitally using pen tablet. This should indicate the positions of important visual elements like characters, foreground and background elements, sound effects and dialogues.
- FINAL ARTWORK:âÂÂThis is based on the agreed upon rough draft. The final artwork submission should be 9 inches (height) by 6 inches (width), in PNG, grayscale format with 300 dpi resolution. Send in between 20 to 40 pages.
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