This is an article that originally appeared on my personal blog (jasonloveslife.com) on April 15, 2013.
Image’s submission page looks different since then, but the process has remained the same.
You can either watch the video version of this blog post. Or you can read the article below the video.
In case you live under a rock, Image Comics is the publishers of the now very famous “Walking Dead”. They are an American Comic Book Publisher that is well-known within the comic industry for allowing creators to keep the copyrights of their creations.
The company was founded by a group of illustrators who worked for the big comic book companies, but were sick of not seeing any profits from their creation.
I posted on twitter that I was going to submit my comic and the reaction was incredible. Here is a screen shot of the post and the number of retweets:
This reaction was way more than I ever expected. With this kind of support, it is hard for me not to at least send in a submission.
The Introduction to the process
Image Comics could change their submission process at any time. You can go to imagecomics.com/about/submissions to see what the current process entails.
Why publish with Image?
My original plan was to self-publish the Madman of Magic series. I wanted to have complete control while learning the business side of publishing comics. This plan has changed for three principal reasons
I knew it was going to be expensive to publish my own comic. There were several cost factors I didn’t take into consideration. The big ones being shipping and marketing.
If Image Comics is willing to front the expense of printing and shipping, I can put all my financial resources and time into marketing.
Image has a strong and loyal fan base. I also have built up a loyal following (I prefer to call them friends), but Images has 100 times more. If Image connects with me, I then have the opportunity to introduce their fans to my work.
Image Comics gets a lot of submissions per month. Customers know any comic Image publishes is going to be the best of those submitted. For customers, an Image logo on a comic means quality.
The Steps to Submitting to Image Comics
Step 1 – Have an original project
The great thing about Image Comics is that they only publish creator-owned material. In other words, if you are looking for a job as a writer or artist you should go somewhere else. This also means their business model isn’t based on screwing artists and creators out of their creations.
This is the big reason I am going with them.
I have been working on this comic for several years with my wife. Losing the right to the comic would be devastating.
Step 2 – Create and print some pages
I assume if you are going to submit something to Image you have something to pitch. This includes having a story in mind, and an artist picked out (even if it is you), and an art style chosen.
To see how you plan to execute the comic, Image asks you to send a minimum of 5 inked and lettered pages. Do not send originals because they will not be sending anything back.
Lucky for my wife and me, we have the first comic printed, which is thanks to our Kickstarter Backers and a lot of hard work. Our plan is to send a physical copy of the comic book with some merchandise we have left over from the Kickstarter Campaign.
We’re hoping it will help us get an edge.
Step 3 – Design some cover art
Image Comics attaches a lot of importance in the Cover Art you submit.
“This lets us know whether or not you understand the market and gives us a good barometer on your design sense.”
-from their website.
So take your time and make sure the cover you submit is well designed, catches the reader’s eye, and peaks interest in what the comic is about.
Step 4 – Type up a 1-page synopsis of your story
Another important part of your submission is a 1-page synopsis of your story. Don’t be too dramatic or descriptive in your writing. Focus on your story arc and characters to show you have something worth printing.
For me, this was the most difficult part. We have a first draft for the entire series finished. Distilling it down into one page was a lot harder than expected. At the same time, it was a good exercise in explaining what the comic is about in only a few paragraphs.
Step 5 – Write-up a cover letter
Image makes it clear that this is the least important part of the process. The focus should be on the project itself and not a fancy cover letter explaining how other people love the comic.
Make it simple, give your contact information, and focus on everything else for submissions.
Step 6 – Send it all in
Now take it all together and send it in an envelope to Image at:
c/o Image Comics
2001 Center Street, Sixth Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
Or you can email them digital versions to:
Here is a final checklist to make sure that you included everything:
- A cover letter with contact information
- A one-page synopsis of the story
- A cover mock-up
You should not try to hand Image Comic employees submissions at events. With all the things going on at conventions, it would be a pain to have to keep track of your comic and paperwork.
Keeping you updated
If they have an interest in your comic, they will contact you within a month. I will keep you all updated on my progress and let you know as soon as I get any response.