The Top Cow Talent Hunt – Why it’s Good News for Everyone

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Top Cow Talent Hunt

Since 2012, comic book publisher Top Cow has been holding an annual Talent Hunt.  The publisher is searching for two writers and two artists to join the likes of Matt Hawkins, Marc Silvestri, Stjepan Sejic and Ron Marz.  This year’s contest opened last month but you’ve still got plenty of time to get your entry in.

This is the publisher’s third year of the competition and last year was a tough one.  There were over 1,500 entries and this year there are sure to be more as entries have grown with each year.  The contest has produced a wide range of stories and books based on the Top Cow universe.  The winners and runners-up of both previous hunts have been working hard at Top Cow and Comic Book Resources have pulled together a handy list of their now-published works:

  • Artifacts #33 – Written by Kenny Porter, Art by -ROM- Darkness et Folly
  • Artifacts #34 – Written by Eugene Ward, Art by Martin Gimenez
  • Artifacts #35 – Written by Hannibal Tabu
  • Witchblade #175 – Backup Story written by Ashley Victoria Robinson
  • Aphrodite IX/Cyberforce #1 – Backup Story written by Joey Cruz
  • Artifacts #38 – Written by Devon Wong, Art by Isaac Goodhart
  • Artifacts #39 – Written by Raven Heisenberg, Art by Gustavo Brocanello
  • Witchblade Case Files #1 – Backup story written by Jed McPherson, Backup Story art by Mike Crawford
  • Artifacts #40 – Written by Steven Foxe (backup story by Jim Mitchell), Art by Adalor Alvarez (backup art by Fabian Quintero)
  • Magdalena: Seventh Sacrament #1 – Written by Tini Howard, Art by Aileen Oracion, Backup Story art by Phillip Sevy

This has been an amazing opportunity for all of the writers and artists involved and has ensured an interesting year for readers, too.  Some stories have included previous incarnations of fan favourites such as The Darkness, Witchblade and the Magdalena.  As a fan, it has been interesting to see new takes on classic characters, both story-wise and in the art, too.

In fact, it’s not just the fans and all the new talent that benefit from the Talent Hunt but also the publisher, too.  Not only do Matt Hawkins and Marc Silvestri get the pick of some wonderfully fresh new talent but the publisher also benefits from the recommended reading material.  In this year’s rules (as in all previous rules, too), Top Cow have given a list of suggested reading.  Anyone really serious about entering will no doubt have tapped into this list and read some (if not, in some cases, all) of the books on offer.  If you’re not normally a Top Cow reader but want into the comic book industry, this is a perfect way to try out the books on offer.  No doubt, over the three years of the Talent Hunt, this will have created some new fans or perhaps brought some old ones back into the fold.

See, everybody wins!

But now that we’ve had the history lesson, let’s get onto the nitty gritty.  The Rules.  Here is a list of the rules of this year’s Top Cow Talent Hunt.  All in one place so that you don’t have to go looking for them.

Top Cow Talent Hunt

The Rules:

Top Cow are looking for two unpublished writers and artists to join the Top Cow team for the 2015/16 session.  Unpublished is the key word here and if you have had work published at any comic book publisher then you simply will not be considered.  Lettering and colouring doesn’t count and they don’t seem to mind about independent publishing.

The characters included in your entry may be any bearer of the thirteen Artifacts and any character from the recent runs of Cyber Force and Aphrodite IX.  These include the bearers of:

  • Top Cow Talent Hunt Thirteen ArtifactsWitchblade
  • The Darkness
  • The Angelous
  • Heart Stone
  • Wheel of Shadows
  • Coin of Solomon
  • Ember Stone
  • Pandora’s Box
  • The Glacier Stone
  • Spear of Destiny
  • The Thirteenth Artifact
  • The Rapture
  • The Blood Sword

That’s a pretty big list.  In the very first Talent Hunt, entrants could only choose from a smaller selection of characters from the Artifacts series and this certainly did not include The Darkness or Witchblade.  Exciting stuff for fans who always wanted to write their own Darkness story.  Characters not in this list will not be considered at all and will be heading right for the trash folder.  Creating your own characters (apart from random extras like a waitress or a bus driver, etc) are also not recommended.  Keep the number of characters low, too.  This is not Game of Thrones you’re writing.

How to Enter:

Writers must submit a 22 page script in formal comic book script format.  This must be a one-shot or self-contained story.  You are not being commissioned for a full series here!  The unusual thing about this year’s competition is that writers do not need to send an accompanying synopsis, just the script.

Artists (including pencil work, ink work, digital or colour) are required to send a sample of their work.  Team-ups of pencil artists and inkers will be considered but are recommended to visit the Top Cow website for some advice on this.  Again, artists must use the characters on the list and not send in anything that does not come from the Top Cow Universe.

Once you are totally done, you must download a submission agreement and send that along with your script or art to submissions@topcow.com.  The submission agreement is a must and any entries sent without will not be considered.  If you have entered before you cannot just send in last year’s entry.  That would be lazy and if it was rejected before then it isn’t going to win this time around.

The Top Cow Talent Hunt closes March 15th 2015 and is definitely worth a shot for all of those who are interested in working in comics.  This might be the big break you’ve been waiting for.

Good luck to all who enter!

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