Dark Horse Submission

With the ambitious, abiding, aspiring artist inside me still clawing its way to the surface, demanding relentlessly that I pursue a career in sequential story-art…  I’ve decided to aim ridiculously high – and knock on the heavy, impenetrable doors of some of the industries ‘big boys’ – and before I’m boo’d off stage without a second glance  –  I intend to make my presence felt and raise a few eyebrows, before swiftly landing the job of my dreams and living happily ever after.

Looking at the daunting task ahead, it seems an increased volume of graphic submissions has ‘plagued’ the publishers/editors in the industry, since the internet made the whole world smaller – and as a result, maybe their patience has been tested (somewhat) in recent years?!  Maybe there’s less time to actually look at new submissions at all – and pick out potential prospects for pending projects.   Reading the guidelines further, it does appear they openly admit to not having the resources necessary to look at everything (understandably I guess).  “Creators should only expect to hear from a Dark Horse editor regarding their submission if an editor wishes to hire them for work.  Submissions will no longer be returned to the sender.”   Cheers. “Only those creators for whom Dark Horse has immediate work will be contacted.” – So, I might never hear back at all?!  Slightly frustrating but, again, understandable.



Consider carefully what you are sending. An editor wants to see that you can draw sequential art, not pinups. Five or six consecutive story pages are usually adequate. Include quiet scenes as well as action, utilize a wide variety of faces, figures (male, female, normal people as well as “super” characters, etc.), and well-realized settings. Ask yourself the following questions: Does the angle you’ve chosen, take full advantage of the dramatic potential in a scene? Do the backgrounds establish where the characters are in relationship to their surroundings and to each other? Is there a well-defined foreground, middle-ground, and background? Is there a clear, readable story? even without word balloons or captions? Have you left adequate room for the dialogue and captions?

Please submit only up to five covers/pin-ups. Be forewarned that it is extremely rare that we would hire someone solely for cover work or pin-ups. Also, you must include a signed copy of the Submissions Agreement if you are submitting any artwork featuring a character of your own creation. Never send original art. Send photocopies only. Make sure the photocopies you send are clean and sharp and easy to “read.” Be sure that each page has your name, address, and phone number clearly written somewhere on it. We do not publish page rates. If an editor is interested in working with you, you will work out a financial deal at that time.  Do not send samples/proposals via facsimile (fax) or email. All such submissions will be destroyed without review.”So, the internet isn’t to blame for the increased number of submissions in this case since…  any email submissions are “destroyed without review.”  Nice, thanks for the heads-up.
It sounds as though it’s best to submit internal pages rather than cover ‘pin-ups’ (clearly) – there is a sample script available to download from the site directly – PDF –  but it’s quite long (at 8 pages) and would take some time to complete – and since there’s no guarantee of any feedback at all, It’s probably better to create something fresh (the sample script probably hasn’t been updated in a while anyway) – A “character of my own creation” is acceptable, though, quite risky – It’s probably best to use existing Dark Horse property over about 5 pages.
I’ll consider the options and would welcome any suggestions…?  My initial idea was a short piece about a newly appointed Storm Trooper, induction day, locker room, weapons training, the first trip to the Death Star canteen etc – or something fun with Hellboy.

The Dark Horse Site leaves me overflowing with optimism:-
Becoming a professional comics artist doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Until you’ve studied the craft and learned the essentials, you have nothing to gain by showing your work to an editor.For many aspiring artists, showing ones work to an editor seems to have become an end in and of itself. Unfortunately, those artists are usually disappointed by the experience because they have not thought through what their goals should be when showing their work.

I get it… am I just a nerdy fanboy? Or am I a genius waiting to be discovered? To be continued…
Danny Champion
Danny Champion

Danny Champion is a freelance writer and artist. Follow CandyAppleFox on Twitter.

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Walter Durajlija
12 years ago

I like your submission idea Danny, show ’em whatcha got kid!

Danny Champion
Danny Champion
12 years ago

Will do, Walt.  Cross everything!