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American Idol type competition for comic book artist to be held

Unless a newspaper cartoonist is attending a comic book event, I don’t report on comic book stories – I leave that up to the able Comics Reporter, but I found this story interesting because it kind of proves a point I made not to long ago when I opined that an American Idol type competition for cartooning might generate some positive publicity and be a creative way to find new talent. Most established cartoonists booed the idea and even Wiley Miller questioned my understanding of how syndicates work.

It appears that during the San Diego Comic-Con a similarly fashioned talent contest will be held to try to find an unknown artist and comic book idea. According to the press release, here’s how it all goes down:

New and unpublished comic book creators can submit their ideas online at www.ComicBookChallenge.com through July 5, 2006.  The top 50 semi-finalists will pitch their concepts live at a secret location near NBC studios in San Diego on July 20, the first day of the San Diego Comicon, to a panel of industry professionals.  The panel will include Marc Silvestri, founder and chief executive officer of Top Cow Comics, Gale Anne Hurd, producer of over 25 movies including “The Terminator” series, “The Hulk”, and “The Punisher” and Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, chairman of Platinum Studios and founder of Malibu Comics, where he discovered and developed “Men In Black” into a billion dollar entertainment franchise.  “Men in Black” itself was written a previously unpublished comic book creator, highlighting Rosenberg’s belief in new talent.

The top three finalists will appear on NBC-TV 7/39’s “Streetside San Diego” on July 21 to pitch their comic vision to local audiences.  Comic book fans around the world will be invited, starting midnight on Thursday July 20th, to vote on their favorite of the three finalists at www.comicbookchallenge.com.  Voting will be open from Thursday night until midnight on Sunday July 24th.  The winner’s comic book concept will be published by Platinum Studios and premiere in print in March of 2007.  In addition, Platinum Studios will work with the creator to develop the property for film and television.

Would this work for a traditional syndicate? I maintain that it would. I don’t think it should become the main method of finding new talent, but an occasional contest ever couple of years might create some publicity that would help the sale of the feature once developed.  I’ll watch this Comic Book Challenge to see how it plays out.

Community Comments

#1 Rick Stromoski
June/23/2006
@ 12:36 pm

Whatever happened to editors reviewing portfolios and choosing the best candidate?

#2 Rick Stromoski
June/23/2006
@ 6:36 am

Whatever happened to editors reviewing portfolios and choosing the best candidate?

#3 Alan
June/23/2006
@ 12:50 pm

I don’t think anyone, certainly not me, is advocating moving away from the traditional selection model. A competition might be a way to generate publicity that could then be used in the sales pitch to newspapers.

#4 Alan
June/23/2006
@ 6:50 am

I don’t think anyone, certainly not me, is advocating moving away from the traditional selection model. A competition might be a way to generate publicity that could then be used in the sales pitch to newspapers.

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