Sunday, March 22, 2015

Oni Press Welcoming New Creators with Submissions

Opening my e-mail several days ago revealed an intriguing subject line from Oni Press: "Open Submissions at Oni Press (March Madness #1).” The Portland based publisher of titles such as The Bunker (of which I’m a huge fan), The Auteur (another recommended read), Letter 44 and The Sixth Gun is looking to add new talent and stories to their library.

Here is the statement from Oni's press release:

PORTLAND, OR March 19th, 2015 - Oni Press, Portland’s premier independent comic book publisher, announced today they will begin accepting submissions and pitches in May. Under this policy all writers, artists, cartoonists, and colorists seeking to publish their work with Oni Press will be able to submit their portfolio to the Oni Press editorial team.

Oni Press will accept submissions electronically through email. Creators whose submissions are selected for follow up will be contacted within a designated length of time. Further specific details on the process and where to submit will be released this May.

"We are on the hunt for new stories from new creators, featuring characters that reflect the diversity of the world around us," added Editor-in-Chief James Lucas Jones. "Oni Press has always valued content and execution, and we are looking for creators and projects that can support our goal to publish excellent, varied, and original work."

The pieces that stick out to me are the inclusion of writers and diversity. Conventions have been known to be great places for artists (of all skill sets) to submit their portfolios for review. If a writer hasn't already had any work published, however, it's much harder to get this type of interaction. Currently, I only know of Top Cow as a publisher who encourages new talent in all roles with their annual Talent Hunt. Image Comics accepts submissions, but a full creative team must already be established and there are more requirements. The full details of Oni's plan are still unknown though.

The subject of diversity in comics—in creators, characters and stories—has become increasingly relevant. There’s also quite a bit of temporary faux-diversity (or fauxversity) out there making for enticing headlines thus ensuring page clicks, publicity and of course book sales. I’m hoping this opens the door for true diversity in all aspects of comics. I’m especially eyeing more diversity in creators and people behind the scenes with decision making power. Only time will tell.

I think this is a great idea and hope it leads to new people making new stories. So, creative types, if you have an idea you’d like to sit on the shelves alongside the likes of The Bunker, it’s time to tighten up those pitches and organize those portfolios. Look for more details in May.