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  1.  (6403.41)
    See, that's stuff that comes into play once you've won the contest.

    Not quite. As Brendan McGinley mentioned earlier, he didn't win the contest, but still won in the end. And now, HANNIBAL GOES TO ROME continues on at Shadowline. The editors, readers, community - it's all there for everyone - regardless of whether of not you've won.

    Whereas if I pitch something to an editor, and the editor doesn't like it, I can go retool it and come back with a better version.

    Pitching for print comics to Marvel or DC is seldom that easy. Also, the wait is a lot longer. Zuda has 90 days to turn around your submission. That's much better than you'll find just about anywhere.

    Would BLANKETS have gotten published by Zuda if Craig Thompson had tried publishing the first eight pages of it there?

    Well, more than likely --- yes. It goes back to that whole INSTANT WINNER part of the contract I mentioned before. The Zuda example would be the award-winning BAYOU - another Dean Haspiel's STREET CODE or the haunting, but beautiful IMAGINARY BOYS - or I RULE THE NIGHT. These are comics that immediately bypass the contest, get a contract - and go!
    They *all* started with just 8 pages.

    Do yourself a favor - read those Zuda strips I mentioned and get back to me.

    If you still have doubts and will be at SDCC, come find me, I'll introduce you around.

    [I'm leaving for SDCC in about 5 hours ... so I'm going to have to bow out. But, if any of you will be at SDCC and still have questions about Zuda, I'll be happen to answer them at the show.]
    •  
      CommentAuthorcaanan
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2009 edited
     (6403.42)
    Hi, folks!

    I'm new here, and it was Brandon's comment that made me sign up and chime in. The comment about posting extra pages. Which I did when I participated in May '08. Toward the end of that month my schedule cleared up, I had slipped back into second, and I had about 10 days to try and win. So, each day, I got up really early, went to my local coffee shop and didn't come home until I had drawn 2 new pages of backstory for my entry. I ended up with 11 extra pages that I posted on my blog.

    The contract clearly states that your 8 pages and any continuation of the story cannot be up anywhere else for the duration of the competition, and it says nothing about background material. So, I took to the pages.

    My reasoning was that if people hadn't gotten my story in 8 pages, then each extra 2 I posted might sway some. And also, even though I was doing random backstories of characters, some of it was vaguely hinting at what was to come. (sneaky).

    Zuda have never said anything about it to me. They didn't at the time, and haven't since.

    Apart from my extra pages, the only other marketing I did was on my native Aussie message boards, a few facebook messages, and project wonderful ads, which were the most effective use of my time. I made the ads, I posted them, I went about my day. Easy.

    The thing is, marketing your comic for Zuda whether you win or not, is not a waste of time. If you don't win, continue elsewhere, and you'll still have a lot of people follow you. Heck, if you're one week in, and look like you have no hope, start planning your own website and ride the zeitgeist as soon as it's over. "Hey, gang, while you wait for the winner to start in two months, follow my comic every day til then! Link..."

    The reason Zuda worked for me is because I'm not a great networker. I tried the folio review processes at San Diego, and couldn't even get my name on a sheet, let alone any face time. You getta get up and in line very damn early to sign up for those folio reviews! Yikes. Had I only known... And man! Some of those folios kicked mine out of the park! My strength is my writing, not my art. I felt completely overwhelmed and out of my depth.

    Time went by though, and I watched Zuda eagerly from day one, and once I had a product that I completely believed in, Zuda was the easiest way to get it out there. There's no connections, no shmoozing, no unrequited emails. It's out there, and it can go to DC, or you can go it alone, but if it's good, it will go. And it will gain momentum. You're actually doing it, instead of still sitting on it, chewing nails, pulling hair, etc.

    If the rights issues are a problem for you, don't give them your best idea. Give them something great, of course, but save that coveted unique idea if you must and use it after you get a name for yourself on Zuda, and have new contacts, and news on you. This didn't work for me, however. What started as a funny little story about a 10 year old ghost of a girl wanting her body back from the monster hunter who wakes up in it, turned into an entire world of ideas, and I find myself really loving what I'm doing, and a great big tree of ideas. But this doesn't worry me, because I could still be in obscure-land, instead of being paid to tell my very own stories! (Exciting!) ... I don't even have a side job any more. Zuda is my job. And that is so much better than soulless advertising storyboards that gave me a nervous breakdown.

    (Oh, and I wish they would give readers the option of flash or plain jpg. I love the zuda reader myself, but I do see the value in not alienating over half your potential audience.)

    Sorry that was so long. Phew.
  2.  (6403.43)
    Okay.

    I've changed my mind. Zuda, I take back all the nasty things I said about you.

    At David's behest, I went back and reacquainted myself with the Zuda contract. Specifically, the amount of money they pay you if you win the contest.

    So, never mind. There's a difference between "giving up rights" and "someone buying the rights," and as far as I'm concerned, $13,000 for 52 screens, plus royalties on print editions, merch and translated editions... that's "someone buying the rights." So, forget I said anything. I vastly misremembered the amount of money they pay if you win.

    Zuda is clearly not a good option for *every* comics project. But, having looked at the contract again, I could definitely see myself doing something for it.
  3.  (6403.44)
    Just out of curiosity, how many comics from Zuda have made it into print? I know they reserve the right to print the work, but is this something that happens every couple of months or something they've only done a couple of times? I'd be interested to see some of these in printed form.
  4.  (6403.45)
    My piddly two cents...

    While I don't know much about the vast myriad of titles Zuda puts out, it's very nice to see the Timony brothers (of Night Owls) find a place where they can shine. I don't remember anything in that vein since... Stanley and His Monster? I can't imagine that most mainstream comic publishers that would find a place for that sort of humor and delivery, in this age of indie-auto-bio versus superhero-with-movie-tie-in.
  5.  (6403.46)
    I really like the idea of Zuda, but...

    The interface frustrates me. It's not that it's slow (It's not)...it's just..uh ...clunky? I think zooming in / back out really ruins the webcomics experience (at least for me).I mean, I've dug a couple Zuda comics, but it seemed like a laboring process for me to read them.

    I will say this though, compared to the Marvel comic viewer thing, Zuda eats it alive.
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2009
     (6403.47)
    @tcatsninfan- I think the first ones just got to print. High Moon and some other one I beleive
  6.  (6403.48)
    Bayou also made it to the print stage, and its very nice looking.
  7.  (6403.49)
    Great discussion going on here. I'm both a current and former Zuda contestant and recently wrote a full piece over at Comic Related on my trials and tribs with submitting to Zuda. Lessons learned, tips and suggestions, etc. You can read it here

    I think readers who are so put off by things like the viewer are doing themselves a disservice by missing out on some very cool comics. And while yes, the flash player can be clunky, is there really a better comic viewing experience than full-screen Zuda pages? No annoying banner ads, no scrolling, just pure comic goodness. Seriously, pop up the Zuda comic Azure, put it on full-screen, and tell me you aren't scared sh*tless when that shark shows up. (Maybe that's just me. Deathly afraid of sharks.)

    I think Zuda is a win win for everybody. For fans, each month it's like being a studio exec reviewing 10 pilots and having your input on which one gets greenlit.

    For creators, it's a chance to get a heavy dose of exposure and get a sense of what it's really like to have the limelight shine on your work. You can only get so far with comics with a readership of your friends and family. Taking your stuff to the next level means putting it out there and dealing with both praise and criticism (which will come) and really seeing just how marketable your property is. Regardless of what happens, I know my story Interrogation Control Element will be a better tale thanks to going through the Zuda crucible.

    Oh, and that check from DC Comics...pretty nice, too.
  8.  (6403.50)
    @tyler_james @DavidGallaher @AnyoneInTheKnow

    How does Zuda classify "mature" material? They mention in their FAQ that they'll accept mature content but they don't properly define it. Is their definition of mature based on the nonsensible MPAA definition of mature? For example, you can say "fuck" in a movie one time and still get a PG-13 rating, but if you say it twice you automatically get an R regardless of the context or what the rest of the movie deals with. Additionally, you can only show a certain number of thrusts (I think it's 8) to even keep an R rating.

    The comic I'm working on now mentions the word "ass" once and also the phrase "doing it in the pooper". I'd like to keep that stuff in there, because contextually I think it works really well, but I might reconsider if Zuda tells me that they would give it a mature rating if I left it in. I'd love to keep it in, but the truth is that I know some people won't read it if they have to bother with logging in first. Some people don't log in a lot of the time when they're browsing sites. So, yeah, it sucks but I wouldn't want someone to pass over my comic just because it has the word "ass" in it or something.

    For what it's worth, I used the contact form on the Zuda site to ask them this very question about a week ago and never got a response. Go figure. I suppose I should contact Perazza and co. on Twitter or something, but I thought I'd post it here first while I was thinking about it.
  9.  (6403.51)
    Additionally, you can only show a certain number of thrusts (I think it's 8) to even keep an R rating.


    i have never heard this, and find it totally hilariously great.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2009
     (6403.52)
    Alright, I'm sold. I posted on the forums saying that I'm looking for an artist. Hopefully something comes of it.
  10.  (6403.53)
    i have never heard this, and find it totally hilariously great.

    There's a documentary--I think only available through Netflix--called This Film Is Not Yet Rated that mentions all these different rules the MPAA has for its ratings. A truly awesome documentary. The most fucked up part of the whole situation isn't the rules themselves, it's the huge grey area where they don't have rules set up and everything is so subjective.

    In recent years there's been a bigger and bigger push to give movies an R rating if there's any smoking involved. I'd say this is fucked up but it's just the pendulum swinging back in the other direction...decades ago, tobacco companies paid actors thousands upon thousands of dollars to smoke in movies. We're talking $10,000 for a movie that was made back in the 1950's.

    What really irks me about American cinema is that violence is so acceptable whereas any sexual stuff is considered taboo. It's more natural to have sex than it is to stuff a grenade down someone's pants and show the gore on film. Goddamn bloodthirsty puritans.

    I apologize for hijacking the thread, we can continue talking about Zuda of course :)
  11.  (6403.54)
    Good luck Robin!
    • CommentAuthortcatsninfan
    • CommentTimeJul 25th 2009 edited
     (6403.55)
    OK, so I've been looking for an artist for my Zuda submission on various forums (Zuda, Digital Webbing, Shadowline Comics), and I've noticed a trend. This is a generalization and is certainly not true in every case, but more often than not it seems like writers don't expect to get paid whereas artists do. Does this sound accurate to anyone else?

    I assumed that I'd be able to find an artist, someone who would work for free for the submission (which is what I'm doing) in exchange for adding work to their portfolio and the distinct possibility of gaining exposure. Assuming we got one of the ten spots for a month we'd split the money 50/50, and if we actually won we would split that money too.

    As it is, though, I haven't gotten any emails or replies to my forum postings--I assume because I'm not offering money, just the chance of money--and the artists I've contacted have wanted money up front to work on the submission. To make matters worse, the amount of money they want is more than the $500 you get for getting in the top ten for the month, so not only would I not get any money off the deal, I would actually go in the hole, whereas the artist would walk away with hundreds of dollars.

    So, is this true more often than not or am I imagining it?

    Note: I don't have an issue with not getting paid; I'd gladly work for free in exchange for some exposure. My issue is that I'd have to go in debt on a collaborative assignment where the other party gets paid.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcaanan
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2009
     (6403.56)
    I think for an artist to work on something for free, they have to really love your concept, script, etc. but it's probably the better way to go, waiting to find someone like that.

    I'd say it's better to hold out for a partner in crime, rather than an untested, contracted hitman that may or may not have the steely resolve to deliver when it counts.

    It is strange that writing and drawing are so stilted like that, because without the writing, comics is just pictures. As someone who handles both sides of the equation, putting aside research hours, and the gestation period of my ideas, when it comes to sitting down and writing my full 60 page Zuda script, it takes two weeks. A lot of other writers could probably do it in one, I'm sure. Then to draw it, takes three months. It's not hard to see the crazy time imbalance going on there, and why an artist might expect money for their longer engagement.

    I'm not saying writing is easier, or less important, just looking at the numbers. To put it this way, a writer might send out a new 8 page script for a Zuda idea every day of the week, but an artist can only draw one script, or half a one in that same week, and that's at the sacrifice of a whole week of other, paying work, so they've got to be way more careful about their time management.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFerburton
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2009
     (6403.57)
    @Tcatsninfan - It's a lot of time to spend on something as an artist without a guarantee of getting anything from it. Right now, I can only do 3 pages a week myself, so to do a Zuda entry would take me 3 weeks, and that's if the writer likes everything I've done. I've found Zuda to intimidating to try myself, heh.

    That being said, I might be interested in trying it out with you tcats.
  12.  (6403.58)
    @Ferburton

    Email me at tcatsninfan@gmail.com with links to your work and we can go from there. Thanks!
  13.  (6403.59)
    How does Zuda classify "mature" material? They mention in their FAQ that they'll accept mature content but they don't properly define it. Is their definition of mature based on the nonsensible MPAA definition of mature? For example, you can say "fuck" in a movie one time and still get a PG-13 rating.

    That's more of a question for Zuda editorial.

    For what it's worth, I used the contact form on the Zuda site to ask them this very question about a week ago and never got a response.

    The week before and after ComicCon keeps the Zuda-torial staff occupied. Twitter, of course, also works.
  14.  (6403.60)

    While I don't know much about the vast myriad of titles Zuda puts out, it's very nice to see the Timony brothers (of Night Owls) find a place where they can shine. I don't remember anything in that vein since... Stanley and His Monster? I can't imagine that most mainstream comic publishers that would find a place for that sort of humor and delivery, in this age of indie-auto-bio versus superhero-with-movie-tie-in.


    I absolutely agree 1000%!