Open Your Mouth: Issue #14

Thu, August 7th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
J. Torres, Columnist

[Comic Book Idol - Hosted by J. Torres]

Hello, comic fans, and welcome to the preliminary round of "Comic Book Idol." I'm your host J. Torres. And I swear on my near-mint copy of "Uncanny X-Men" #167 signed by Christ Claremont and Paul Smith that you will not be subjected to anyone singing Edwin McCain's "I'll Be" in this talent show.

"Comic Book Idol" is an art contest. It's a five-week elimination competition beginning with ten contestants. These artists will be asked to complete various art assignments by a deadline in five increasing challenging rounds. Each week CBR readers get to vote on their favorites and the two competitors with the least amount of votes that week will be eliminated while the rest move on to the next round. And so it shall go for five weeks until we have our first-ever "Comic Book Idol."

Joe Quesada
To provide our aspiring artists with some constructive criticism, entertain the audience with their eloquence and insight, and perhaps sway voters one way or another, we have our regular panel of judges: Ron Marz (CrossGen Senior Writer and Code 6 Editor), Joe Quesada (artist and Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief), and Jamie S. Rich (writer and Oni Press Editor-in-Chief).

When I invited these comic book pros to participate in this event, two of them said yes but only if they could be "the mean and blunt one." I told both of them yes. Which two? You just may find out soon after we choose our ten contestants.

But, really, it's all supposed to be just fun and games! That's why we've also asked Alex Garner ("CVO"), Erik Larsen ("Savage Dragon"), Todd Nauck ("Wildguard"), Darick Robertson ("Wolverine"), and Scott Shaw! ("Oddball Comics") to each sit in on a round as a guest judge.

So, who wants to play "Comic Book Idol?"

Ooh, look at all those hands shoot up.

What? No. You cannot ask Ron a Hall Jordan question.

Huh? No. Joe does not know the status of your Epic submission.

Hm? Well… maybe. But Jamie really does like girls.

Um… anyone actually interested in entering "Comic Book Idol" please make sure you are able to do the following:

Login to the CBR Forums.

Scan and post artwork online.

Draw good. Really, really good.

Ron Marz
Unfortunately, however, this contest is not open to everybody. Employees of Comic Book Resources, CrossGen Entertainment, Oni Press, Marvel Comics, and anyone who has been paid to produce artwork for a comic book publication that has been distributed to the direct market (by Diamond Comics Distributors, Inc. or any other comic book distributor) is not eligible to play.

Artists from other fields who have not been paid to produce artwork published in a comic book, or individuals whose only comic book work was self-published and not professionally solicited and distributed to the direct market, as well as producers of online or web comics may still be eligible. However, Comic Book Resources does reserve the right to review an artist's body of work to determine if there are grounds for disqualification. It's our party and we'll pry if we want to.

You also have to be 18 years or older to participate and claim the following prizes should you win the competition:

1. A short story assignment written by Ron Marz and art directed by Bart Sears to be published as a back-up story in CrossGen's "The Path."

2. The opportunity to produce a comic strip for the Oni Press website "Sunday Comics" feature, which in the past has had contributions from Brian Michael Bendis, Judd Winick, Paul Dini and others.

3. Marvel EIC Joe Quesada personally handing your art samples to the Epic submissions editors for review.

4. The chance to draw a pin-up for an upcoming issue of "CVO: Artifact" from IDW Publishing, under the art direction of series creator Alex Garner and, if necessary, also inked by him.

To get those art assignments contestants must first successfully complete art assignments (a character design, pin-up, cover, and sequential samples) in the contest's rounds of the competition. And that might require some research. On a tight deadline. For five weeks straight. At the mercy of voters who might be bitter that they didn't make the cut themselves.

Now, before anyone asks… we're leaving it up to the contestants to decide whether they want to submit only pencils, inked work, or even colored art, for the different rounds of competition. After all, in many of those TV singing contests, it's up to the contestants whether they croon quiet love songs or belt out rock ballads. Some contestants even incorporate choreography while others play an instrument. Some people show up in a t-shirt and jeans while others go all-out glam. So, contestants, it's your call once you consider the subject matter, the art assignment, and the time constraint. Heck, you can even draw in nothing but your Hulk Underoos if you like.

But first, to be considered as one of our ten contestants, you need to post a link to your online portfolio in the appropriate thread in the official "Comic Book Idol" moderated forum.

Potential contestants must post their links to their art samples by noon on Monday, August 11th to be considered.

A screening committee consisting of yours truly, CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland, "Pipeline" columnist Augie De Blieck, and CBR staff writer Arune Singh, will visit all the links posted and choose the ten to compete in the elimination rounds. I don't know about the other guys, but to get an idea of what kinds of art samples will impress me, read this column. Or this one. Lastly, again, I don't know about the others, but I accept bribes. Only through PayPal, though.

Jamie S. Rich

Be back here next Thursday, August 14th to find out who our ten talented contestants are, what they have to draw for us in the first round of eliminations, and when the voting begins!

Related Links:


Comic Book Idol Forum
Comic Book Idol FAQ
Comic Book Idol Press Release

Thank you for your attention.

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