What Makes a Good Submission?

Do you want to write comics and graphic novels? Do you have a great story with exceptional art that stands out amongst a sea of tights, capes, panels and pages? If you think you are the next Brian Bendis or Geoff Johns, the truth is, you have to start somewhere. Breaking into comics is tough, but even The Walking Dead started as a blank page and a submission.

Timeless Journey Comics accepts submissions for graphic novels. We want to publish and promote projects that creators are passionate about and capture our attention as well. It’s a tricky business this day and age, some publishers accept submissions, some don’t. Sometimes creators self-publish, but get stymied by how to get their titles out into the wild both in print and/or digitally or don’t have enough support for their project beyond their mom and best friends.

TJ Comics has been around since 2009, but our creators bring years of prior experience in comics through retailing, journalism and creating. We’ve experienced many highs and lows in the industry, but TJ Comics and our creators care deeply about our projects and do our best to get them out to readers.

A project starts with an idea, then a script and of course artwork. Submitting your story to a publisher is daunting. What do they offer? Do retain 100% of your intellectual property? Does your title fit with a certain publishers line of books? Is your artist, inker, letterer consistent?

There are a lot of factors that go into making a great graphic novel. Our creators have submitted to various publishers, they have been rejected and accepted.

So WHAT, you ask, makes a good submission? First things first, make sure you look at each publisher’s submission guidelines. TJ Comics’ guidelines can be found HERE.

Two of the most important elements of a submission are your hook and artwork that stands out and matches the tone of your story. The hook is what makes your story unique and different. Why is it interesting? Why is it different? Is it funny, dark, action-packed or tragic? To complement that hook, the art has to fit the story.

Finding an artist is a daunting and often times, terribly difficult task. But once you have that artist, you want to make sure it fits the tone of your story, remains consistent throughout and is artwork you genuinely love. When it comes to art, one of the most important things is quality. Sometime you have to think to yourself “would Marvel or DC print this art.” That, of course, is a wide statement and does not apply to every piece of art you may submit, however it is something to consider when vetting artists. Does the art fit the story? Has the artist ever been published? Your project is also an investment and the artwork is a key component.

When it comes to submitting, it is all about presentation. Make sure everything looks good, the writing, lettering and the art. Make sure you use proper grammar and think of it like submitting a resume. Your initial pitch and artwork is the most important first impression you can make in comics.