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Author Topic: A Shared Universe Project  (Read 3265 times)

Pauul

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A Shared Universe Project
« on: 13 July, 2011, 10:48:53 AM »
In the past few months discussions have occurred on both the 2000AD board and the Millarworld board regarding creating comics aimed at kids.

I’m sure when most of us started reading comics, we were children and it is a shame that if you look at the mainstream comic book market today that most comics are now aimed at adults.

So, wouldn’t it be great if some of us came up with some comic books actually aimed at children?

Maybe even a shared universe?

Emperor started a thread on 2000AD titled ‘Zeta Comics looking for kids comics pitches’ and IanBuchanan82 created a similar discussion on Millarworld called ‘Want to make child friendly superhero comics?’

I’d like to thanks those guys for raising this point, as I hadn’t really thought about it before. But plenty of people on those threads (including myself) thought it’d be a good idea, so now I’m trying organise things into a single cohesive project.

Maybe if we can develop some scripts of professional quality with art to match, we can take this project to publishers and try to gain some interest.

There are no guarantees but sometimes you take a risk, invest your time in something and it pays off.

Zeta Comics have posted on their website that they are looking for submissions aimed at children and What the Flux?! Comics have shown a little interest – although they are currently changing their policy so that they require three completed issues before committing to a project (as they’ve had problems with creators).

But that certainly gives us somewhere to start.

If you think you might be interested in collaborating on this, post below.

Pauul

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #1 on: 13 July, 2011, 10:50:14 AM »

chaingunchimp

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #2 on: 13 July, 2011, 04:01:45 PM »
dunno how well i could write for kids. :-\
but if u want me to slap some lettering on anything give me a shout sure.

cheers

D
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Van Dom

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #3 on: 13 July, 2011, 04:34:24 PM »
Great idea Pauul.
Myself and my (8 year old) daughter have started "work" on a comic strip called Madd Higz, about a bunch of goofy aliens with the ability to bring anything to life who turn up on a deserted Earth in the wake of a global apocalypse and start trying to bring the world to life. Except they have no idea what anything they find is or how anything worked, so they start creating a pretty messed up environment (for a start, they confuse wheelie bins for some kind of deceased God-like beings because of their huge 'mouths' and 'stomachs' full of discarded rubbish, and promptly set about reanimating them, creating a whole new population of angry, chomping wheelie-Gods).
It's just something we started talking about in mass last Sunday (emm. that's what you do in mass isnt it?) and by the time we had walked home we had this whole first episode plotted out. :)

But yeah, I'd be up for throwing my oar in on something like this for sure.
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CrazyFoxMachine

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #4 on: 13 July, 2011, 06:37:09 PM »
Wouldn't mind drawing a kid's comic at all :D

Pauul

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #5 on: 13 July, 2011, 10:44:31 PM »
I did think you Kirby head was really cool, Owen.

I think we should be really looking back to the classics for this.

Madd Higz sounds cool Van Dom, I'm not sure it'd fit into a shared superhero universe but I'd welcome more ideas.

We might not need a letterer for a while Chaingun, but I'll remember your offer. And feel free to bounce ideas off other guys on the thread if you think of any characters you might like to contribute.

Pauul

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #6 on: 13 July, 2011, 10:46:12 PM »
The discussion as turned to format on the other thread, so I'll repeat what I said there.

If we are to develop this project with any success, then we need a standard format which we can work to.

I propose that we work to the standard which has been in place for decades in America; a twenty-four page colour comic book.

This is certainly ambitious but if you’re writing a strip aimed at children then you can’t really afford to think small.

Black and white short stories simply wont cut it.

That being said, I am not necessarily proposing twenty-four page stories. Something many comics aimed at children do is to break up the book into multiple stories.

So, even if you have twenty-four pages – you might have one strip which is fifteen pages long with a nine page backup or a comic book that has two nine page stories and a six page story.

And if we did have to alter our plans later on to create an anthology, this approach would also allow us to do that.

I would also argue that each story should be complete in itself. No ‘to be continued’ or ‘part one of three’. This is likely to frustrate a young reader and makes a comic book less accessible to new readers.

A child should be able to pick up any issue and immediately get into the story.

And although we are proposing a shared universe, characters really shouldn’t interact in the origin issue. This didn’t happen with classic characters like Superman or Batman and if this project does not get picked up I would like individual creators to be able to take their projects to publishers on their own.

Of course, I am open to suggestions but we really need a standard format if we are to move forward.

locustsofdeath!

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #7 on: 14 July, 2011, 02:08:51 AM »
Why do a children's comic? Personally, I think a new super-hero comic would be cool for adults or "older kids", but I don't think it cracks the kids' market. Youngsters coming in to anything tend to play it "safe", go with established brands or "entry drugs"...like Batman, Superman, Spiderman and all of the Big Names. I like your idea, I just think it would be more successful for a slightly older - and more daring - audience. That's just my two pennies rubbed together, though. You all may prove me dead wrong.

clavell

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #8 on: 14 July, 2011, 02:34:50 AM »
Does it have to be superheroes ?

- C
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Hoagy

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #9 on: 14 July, 2011, 03:54:18 AM »
Something like Electric soup style art for me, to have a go at. Frank Quitely's early children's stuff enthuses me. And I've definitely got a simplistic streak in my artwork, that I'd like to define.
« Last Edit: 14 July, 2011, 03:56:46 AM by Krombasher »
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Van Dom

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #10 on: 14 July, 2011, 10:24:16 AM »
Does it have to be superheroes ?

- C

Yes, what he said. As locusts said, if kids are going to go for a superhero comic aren't they more likely to go for Spiderman or Batman or Superman - something they are exposed to on a daily basis and are already familiar with?  I dunno.
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Pauul

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #11 on: 14 July, 2011, 11:08:56 AM »
Quote
Does it have to be superheroes ?

Well, frankly, no.

I guess it all depends how you define superheroes.

With the character I've been developing - Kid Prospero, he's a magic user who will wear a colourful costume but it wont include a mask and I envision it being more like a bright jacket and a t-shirt with 'K.P.' on it.

But that being said, it should be a concept that fits within a superhero-style present day shared universe.

Quote
Why do a children's comic? Personally, I think a new super-hero comic would be cool for adults or "older kids", but I don't think it cracks the kids' market. Youngsters coming in to anything tend to play it "safe", go with established brands or "entry drugs"...like Batman, Superman, Spiderman and all of the Big Names. I like your idea, I just think it would be more successful for a slightly older - and more daring - audience. That's just my two pennies rubbed together, though. You all may prove me dead wrong.

Why do a children's comic? Essentially, because there is a lot of stuff aimed exclusively at an adult readership now. But perhaps 'kids comics' is the wrong description. What'd be great is a comic book that is all-ages. Which adults can pick up and enjoy but is still suitable to be read by children as well.

And yeah, a comic book for older kids would be great too. I see no reason not to aim at different age ranges. For instance, we could have a group of books aimed at kids 6-12 years old and another group for 12 years and older.

What makes something all-ages is less about it being unsophisticated and more about it including bright colours, a lack of real guns with an absence of swearing and other harsh language.

TordelBack

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #12 on: 14 July, 2011, 11:19:01 AM »
Kid Prospero

Brilliant.

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« Last Edit: 14 July, 2011, 11:21:56 AM by TordelBack »

locustsofdeath!

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #13 on: 14 July, 2011, 11:22:23 AM »
Either which way you go, get a real editor attached to the project.

Pauul

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Re: A Shared Universe Project
« Reply #14 on: 14 July, 2011, 11:36:18 AM »
Quote
Either which way you go, get a real editor attached to the project.

I take it you mean an editor who has worked professionally within the comic book industry? Rather than someone with the ability and training to edit scripts?

At this stage, I don't think a professional editor would be interested in the project. And I know this having spoken with John Paul Fitch at What the Flux?! Comics, an indie publisher. He doesn't have the time to edit scripts and put together material but would be interested in getting involved when said material has been assembled.

On the latter score, I've trained as a screenwriter as an undergraduate and postgraduate which gives me training in how to write scripts and how to edit them. I've helped peers bring their scripts up to a professional quality before and I beleive I can do the same here.
« Last Edit: 14 July, 2011, 11:38:38 AM by Pauul »