2000 AD Online Forum

General Chat => Creative Common => : Dudley 02 January, 2004, 08:36:44 PM

: 2000AD creators & people trying to become 2000AD creators
: Dudley 02 January, 2004, 08:36:44 PM

I'm preparing a little something for the website (if it works & Wake'll have it etc) - what it is, let's leave as a surprise for now.

But for part of it I'm getting together a list of steps that people have followed in moving from trying to get published in the hallowed pages of 2000AD to actually getting published.  

From the very basic (eg realising that Tharg won't even read your complete 9-book epic & maybe a Future Shock is the way to go) to the highly complex final stages (um...I dunno examples, that's why I need help...durrrr....).

Contributions especially welcome from:

a) Current 2000AD creators
b) People who've submitted their works to Tharg
c) Embittered souls who've given up on the whole idea and settled to a life of accountancy
d) The usual sarcastic commentators (i.e. everyone else)

All reminiscences gratefully received.

: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Art 02 January, 2004, 08:53:56 PM
You might want to try fielding thsi question on the Scriptdroids and Artdroids Yahoo groups as well.
: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Dudley 02 January, 2004, 09:03:34 PM
Cheers Art - done it!  It would be great if you could get the ball rolling(...?)

: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Richmond Clements 02 January, 2004, 09:05:01 PM
Haha! You walked into that one, Art!
: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Art 02 January, 2004, 10:32:56 PM

Well, here's the story of one Pseudodroid.

I've noodled around with comics for ages, but I only really started taking the idea of actually getting published seriously when 2k printed its submission guidelines in, I think, the 2001 Winter special. Filled with enthusiasm I took an idea for a story that I had been knocking around with for a few months

Link: http://www.arthurwyatt.co.uk/futurequake/

: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Art 02 January, 2004, 10:46:38 PM
...damn, the board ate my long rambling post. I'll try again tommorow.
: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: stront692 03 January, 2004, 12:39:25 AM
im a bit bored and io want to create some polls for my own use, so i may have to write or something soon

does that class me as wanting to become a creator, i wanted to write scripts when i was younger but its not really pointed out and has always seemed a bit of a magic art so i never really bothered

apart from a bit of self publishing many years ago and work newsletters, does that count
: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: stront692 03 January, 2004, 12:40:22 AM
oh, i cant draw very well - thats why im gonna have to write something by the way
: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Woolly 03 January, 2004, 02:21:34 PM
Id really love to see this when its finished, Dudley. Anything that could get me off my idle arse and working on some FINISHED pics of Dredd would be invaluable.
Ive always wanted to submit something, but always been a bit worried of, well, doing it all wrong and not getting noticed.

Thanks in advance for putting in this effort!

: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Art 03 January, 2004, 05:53:15 PM
Okay, lets try that again:

I've noodled around with comics for ages, but I only really started taking the idea of actually getting published seriously when 2k printed its submission guidelines in, I think, the 2001 Winter special. Filled with enthusiasm I took an idea for a story that I had been knocking around with for a few months and tried to write a script for that over the course of a couple of months. I ended up creating several versions of it, gave it a horribly complicated back-to-front structure and then took it out again, and changed the ending because no one who read it really thought it was strong enough, and then eventually there was nothing left to do but to send it in and hope.

Then I suffered brief period of unemployment, and ended up writing a couple more stories based on ideas that I?d had whilst writing the first one. Remembering the early careers of writers like Isaac Asimov, Philip K Dick and Stephen King I thought the root to getting published would be to bombard the editors with stories until something sticks. I now suspect that this was almost completely wrong, but at the time sending in stories at a rate of one a month seemed like a reasonable target.

Eventually the exciting day came when I got my first letter from Tharg, or rather Matt Smith, who was reading the submissions at the time. It seemed to respond favourably to my first script, ?Emigration?, but the other two stories I?d sent in ?didn?t really grab him?. So I rewrote Emigration and sent it in again, but got no reply: Rereading that letter now I suspect it was a very polite and helpful rejection, but a flat out rejection none the less.

(A 6 page version of ?Emmigration?, complete with Matt Smiths suggestions, ended up in Issue one of FutureQuake, along with a revised version of ?The Ripper?, another one of those early scripts)

Around about this time I discovered the Scriptdroids Yahoo Group, which was a great place to post up scripts and story ideas and get feedback on them. At the time there was al ot of involvement from various droids (In particular Simon Spurrier and Gordon Rennie) and small press luminaries. Posting an idea up there was a great way of telling if an idea that you optimistically hoped other people would find interesting was actually just one that you found interesting, and I think I learned a lot about what works and what doesn?t from that feedback. Also seeing all the ideas flying around I first started making loose plans for a  ?futureshock fanzine?.

When the time came for Dreddcon II  I made a last minute decision to enter the pitchfest, which was absolutely terrifying. I had a story that involved a psychologist investigating a cargo cult on a colony planet which I?d come up with the week before (I?d sent everything else in to Tharg already!) which I  presented badly, and it wasn?t really suitable for a public pitch like that anyway: It was vague, particularly dramatic and relied too much on background detail  in a situation where a clear punchy story was required. I did get to meet a few druids and have a few chats with people I?d met online afterwards though.

Over the next year Scriptdroids died off a little ? it was basically trolled to death, causing most people with anything interesting to say left and is only really beginning to recover now. Also Tharg closed to the door to unsolicited submissions, so I ended up concentrating my energies on small press projects for a while. I also heard through the grapevine about Past Imperfects ? a new kind of 5-page thrill based on alternate histories, something that I found incredibly interesting, so I started working ona few ideas for those with the idea that I would somehow find a way of getting them in front of Tharg.

In the end the opportunity to do that was the Dreddcon III pitchfest, which I ended up winning. It didn?t mean guaranteed publication in 2000ad but it did mean that Tharg would look at my script, which he ended up buying after requesting a few minor modifications. Hopefully you?ll see the result sometime this February.

Having sold one script to Tharg I was hoping it would open the door to more, but it hasn?t really been the case as yet. There?s definitely no secret writers club where you?re on easy street once you get in: Every sale is as hard as the first. Still, I?ll keep trying: I?m sure I?ll hit on a killer idea that Tharg can?t resist sooner or later.

And of course FutureQuake is going pretty well, I?m hoping that issue #2 will be as good as #1, and its become a celebration of short comics storytelling in general and not just Thargs left-overs , which is good (I would definitely advise anyone interested in becoming a comics writer to get involved in small press comics, there?s nothing quite like seeing something you?ve written actually drawn up and on the page).

Anyway, hope that?s been helpful and not too boring.
: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: longmanshort 03 January, 2004, 06:51:22 PM
I?m hoping that issue #2 will be as good as #1

: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Quirkafleeg 03 January, 2004, 07:13:03 PM
"I did get to meet a few druids"

... so that's what all those people in robes were!
: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Dudley 03 January, 2004, 10:21:43 PM
Cheers Art, that is bleedin' excellent!

Simon Fraser's bit on artdroids is quite fun as well, BTW, if you haven't seen it already.

More stories from others would still be very nice (including you, Gary, hint hint!)

If anyone has stories of total and utter humiliation at the comics game they would also be welcome!

: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Bolt-01 06 January, 2004, 03:15:19 AM



If you are a scribbler, then make sure that if you are going to present work to be looked at by an editor, you have done your best work, and not stuff that has been produced at 11.30-1.00am before going to work.

By the way, the first page is of Big Freeze is beginning to look quite good, hope to have something for you to look at soon.

: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Generally Contrary 06 January, 2004, 05:27:40 AM
Do you ever stop producing pages?  Your latest Whistler appears and you've already moved onto the next project, barely sparing the time to catch your breath.
: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Floyd-the-k 06 January, 2004, 10:04:02 AM
on a different note - if you want to be an art droid, why not just draw a lot? Michael Leunig is a great artist and he started doing cartoons long before he could draw
 sorry for the slight irrelevance

yours with too much time on his hands

Link: not very 2000 ad ish really

: Re: 2000AD creators & people tryin...
: Tiplodocus 06 January, 2004, 07:42:12 PM
Hi Dud.

I'm still in the "trying" camp but my story so far has been as follows...

A couple of years ago, I decided I'd have a go at writing in my spare time.  

I needed an outlet for my creative juices and I used to draw comic strips for my own amusement when younger so I thought; why not try 2000AD.

Like Art, the guidelines in Prog 2001 provided some inspiration.  

I was also inspired by the fact that I'd come up with an idea for a Future Shock back in 1995 which I'd never sent in but was amused to see the same idea turn up completely independantly in BANZAI BATTALLION.

I was also getting pretty hacked off with what I percieved to be the waste of FUTURE SHOCKS as a format; greedy man does something - "twist" is he dooms himself and earth.   Yawn.

So I started writing Future Shocks and submitting them.  Like Art, I thought 1 a month would be a good start and banged in my first three very quickly.  They were, without exception, appalling.  And I got pretty stock responses of "not our bag" within a couple of months.

I then joined the scriptdroids forum which is an invaluable tool for getting quick feedback on your ideas. Often the best feedback you get is "No, that story has been done before and you are adding nothing new to it".

I also did a bit more reading about writing; not just comics but screenplays and novels - storytelling in general. (Incidentally there is a great article along the lines of your idea in ZARJAZ Issue 2).

My next three submissions then disappeared into a void somewhere in the Command Module.  Understandably busy, it was sixteen months and several polite prods before Jamie Boardman came back with some very specific feedback in December 2003 which encouraged me by showing taht he'd read the scripts in detail and not just tossed them away after the synopsis.  (Actually, Jamie, I'm still waiting on feedback from one...)

I didn't just twiddle my thumbs while waiting for Feedback on these three stories. I also:

- went to Moniave Comic Festival and interviewed John Wagner, Alan Grant and Cam Kennedy so that I could get a profile page on this site.

- the profile page allowed me to bang up scripts into the scripttest section of this site - Go visit it (everyone who hasn't fallen to sleep by this point in my post) and read scripts by Art and PVS and Others.  So far, these have been fairly well received and again it's more valuable feedback.

- went to Dreddcon and did Pitchfest.  My first pitch, SPERM COUNT was a knob gag infested crowd pleaser but was well beaten by Art.

- The favourable respoonse to my SPERM convinced me to commission under-rated and under-used artdroid  Adrian Bamforth to draw it up for me. (I'm selling a load of my old comics and graphic novels shortly to pay for it). We submitted this to HEAVY METAL magazine but got a knockback. Art as kindly agreed to give it a home in a future issue of FutureQuake.  If you can afford this (or if you are silver tongued enough to get an artist to draw for free) then I would recommend this - seeing your script on the page gives you a whole new perspective on it. Adrian made my filth look really classy and also added some great touches that helped the story along.

- this years Pitchfest entry PLAYMATE CHAINSAW ATTACK BATTALLION (from an original throwaway line by Wils or Gary Wilkinson or DXB - I forget, sorry) was also well received.  It even got Tharg's vote so I'm writing that up and sending it in even though it wasn't announced as winner.

- I've done the odd (crap) spot illustration for Solar Wind and I've submitted a few ideas for stories for consideration for the next issue.

- I've also knocked up a couple of synopsis for COMMANDO stories which I'll be sending in shortly.

I think that keeping WRITING is the key - constantly revising and rethinking ideas.  

Also 2000AD shouldn't be the be all and end all of your writing dreams.  If all you want to get published is a Future Shock then by all means try but the more you practice at writing (Anything - didn't Alan Grant used to write hororscopes for Women's magazines?) the better you'll get.

Listening to the feedback you get is also key - amazing how many people DO NOT do this!

Only send the ideas in when you are completely happy with them - Tharg and co. have to wade through a lot of rubbish and sending half-baked ideas in almost certainly doesn't help.  

I get more writing done in winter when I get the train into work.  Sitting on my organiser at the moment I've got a couple of Past Imperfect ideas, a couple of Futureshocks and part five of Judge Dredd: Moon in the Undercity - the time to write these has all been courtesy of Scotrail and it's vague timetable.

Anybody still awake? Learning how to express myself clearly and concisely is something I will aslo have to learn....

Link: Here's a link to the script test section