This past weekend the first iFanboy comic creation contest came to a close. You buried me in submissions. I had the ridiculously heartbreaking task of choosing a single winner in either category from a heap of deserving words and images. I read every single entry at least twice. I agonized, because the vast majority of you are annoyingly talented. It was not unlike being named Minister of Kitten Drownings for three days. Couldn’t even delete any of them. They’re on an external hard drive. I wish I could showcase all of the entries here, but we got so many of them, it’s just not possible. That said, we’ve set up a thread on the forums where you can share your work and workshop a bit. If you have your project hosted elsewhere, you can also link in the comments. We’ll be doing this again, so I hope everyone who participated joins in for future challenges. Prizes are cool, but as anyone who finished and submitted a project knows, it’s a damn good feeling in itself.
You can view all the winning art entries on Flickr as well.
Now, some prizes…
Grand Prize Winner: Writing
Inspired by – The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Writer – Paul Allor
A deceptively simple adaptation, artfully told. I really liked the blank word balloon idea, as it’s an element specific to comics. Many submissions told amazing stories, but some were either written as films or felt like films shoehorned into a comic template.
If I had any concern with this one, it has to do with the pacing of dialogue. Some panels include multiple speakers and background action. I actually took a few minutes to sketch out a page to see if it was feasible. If the artist knows how to prioritize the scale of those panels, there’s no reason it can’t be done. In any case, Paul seems to have found the right balance here. This has always been a creepy story, but this particular perspective was really haunting. It’s all in the voice.
Paul wins a copy of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond!
Grand Prize Winner: Art
Easter: Humpty’s Revenge
Inspired by – Humpty Dumpty
Writer – Eric Wilder
Artist – Tim Hall
It really came down to the wire. In his last minute submission e-mail, Tim Hall admitted that the ink was probably still drying on the drafting table. It had been a late night. Judging by the meticulous detail and inking, a long one too. I was really impressed with the entire presentation of this mini comic. There’s a lot of sophisticated visual storytelling on display here. Look at where he breaks the panels. Even the shape of the comic itself changes with the tone of the action. It’s a sinister story made even scarier by the top notch design. That final page blew me away. Eric Wilder wrote a really clever script (not the grand prize winner, but a major contender) and I think Tim went above and beyond on this one, delivering a really smart interpretation. These guys make a great team. I hate to single just one of them out, but this was a really tight race.
Tim wins a copy of Fables Covers: The Art of James Jean!
Inspired by – Little Red Riding Hood
Writer and Artist – Paul Kercal (peekay)
Paul submitted an outline and some sample art. I really like his visual style, especially the tones and textures he achieved through digital coloring. The paneled page he included has multiple dimensions so it’s not simply a flat plane. I really liked that level of detail. I’m including the original line work as well. He’s a wonderful illustrator.
Inspired by – Los Pollitos Dicen (Spanish nursery rhyme)
Writer – Sigrid Ellis
Artist – KC Solano
Sigrid wrote an awesome script inspired by a Spanish nursery rhyme. This was in tight competition for the writing prize. It’s detailed with very thoughtful panel progression. Though it’s decompressed, it tells a complete story. KC Solano did some dynamic pencils for the first page and integrated an ornate border that hints at the mythological element in the story ahead.
Inspired by – Humpty Dumpty
Writer and Artist – Kevin Kearney (sequentialstyle)
Okay, so the joke will probably make you groan, but it’s executed perfectly. This isn’t so much about the gag though. I just really like the way he structured and presented this story. On the first page we have a countdown in a rigid, if unusual, grid format. Then on the second page–the punchline–we get a nice splash.
Inspired by – The Donkeyskin
Writer – Jennifer Smith
Whoa. This was too inventive and beautifully written not to share. Some real poetry here. I loved this story a lot in terms of prose and dialogue and I think it has major potential as a comic, but I don’t know if it employed as many visual elements as the above scripts. It’s a minor quibble though.
Inspired by – The Monk and the Strawberries
Writer – Hudson Phillips
Artist – Brandon Earnhart
This is a great collaborative effort. Hudson uses an old moral tale in parallel to a contemporary one and Brandon delivers some beautiful art. It’s a really sweet story. Excellent framing. Isn’t that an awesome tiger?
Inspired by – The Sword in the Stone
Writer – Josh Flanagan
Artist – Doug Hills
Colorist – Jordan Boyd
Since his name is on the masthead and I’ve slept on his air mattress, Josh wasn’t eligible to win any prizes in this challenge. Even still, it gave him an excuse to produce King Pete with two very talented artists. If you’ve read Josh’s Captain America spec “Logue’s Patrol” you ought to recognize the spectacular work of colorist Jordan Boyd. The guy really knows how to light a scene. Josh’s latest collaborator Doug Hills offered the pencils. I absolutely love the background action, and Doug really nailed those facial reactions. I hope you get as big a kick out of King Pete as I do. Aside from writing a great script, Josh once again displays a knack for assembling the perfect team for the project.
Alright. Hope you enjoyed Sequentially Ever After! Remember to check out the other contest entries in the thread on our forums. Thanks to everyone who submitted a project. You told some exceedingly cool stories and I hope to see even more in the future. Really, really proud of you guys!
See you soon for another comics creation contest!