Open Your Mouth

Thu, May 20th, 2004 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
J. Torres, Columnist

What is "Comic Book Idol"?

Comic Book Idol (CBI) is an amateur art competition sponsored by Comic Book Resources (CBR) and participating advertisers. It's a five-week, five-round contest in which contestants will be asked to complete an art assignment each week by a deadline. A panel of comic book professionals comment on the artists' work in each round. Fans determine which contestants move on to subsequent rounds by voting in a weekly poll. And all of this action takes place in a specially designated moderated forum.

Who are the judges?

Our regular panel of judges consists of Mike Carlin (Senior Group Editor, DC Comics), Jeff Mariotte (Editor-in-Chief, IDW Publishing), and Eric Stephenson (Managing Editor, Image Comics).

There will also be "surprise" comic creator guest judges to be announced, one per round, as the competition progresses.

Okay, but where's Ryan Seacrest?

The host for "Comic Book Idol" is J. Torres, writer of DC's "Teen Titans Go", Oni's "Jason & the Argobots", and Comic Book Resource's "Open Your Mouth", the column that originated the competition. He will be posting weekly introductions, instructions to the contestants (i.e. the art assignments), and official announcements including who's been eliminated in each round. Be nice to him.

Eliminated?

Ten contestants will be chosen to compete. Each week registered CBR readers vote in a poll that determines who moves on to the next round and who gets eliminated from the competition. The two contestants with the least amount of votes in each round will be taken out of the competition while the rest continue to the next art assignment. In the final round, there will be two contestants vying for the top spot.

So, how do I enter?

The preliminary, "open call" round begins May 27th. Those wishing to be considered for one of the ten spots in the five-round competition must post links to their work in the appropriately designated thread in the moderated CBI forum.

It is imperative that those who wish to participate in this competition read this entire FAQ and also carefully follow all the instructions for posting their link in the designated thread in the CBI moderated forum.

This links thread will only be open to the public on May 27th.

Posting prior to this date or posting in the wrong thread may lead to disqualification.

ction committee consisting of five of last year's CBI contestants, including winner Patrick Scherberger, will visit all the links posted and choose ten artists to face the judges and CBR readers.

The first round of competition starts June 3rd and continues through till July 8th when the winner is officially announced.

It's that easy?

No. Not really. Bear in mind that as a contestant you must be able to meet a deadline, have the ability to scan in your artwork, post it online for public viewing, and be prepared for feedback both positive and negative.

This year's art assignments have been inspired by The 3X3X3 Method to Building the Perfect Portfolio designed by one of last year's judges, Joe Quesada.

You should expect to have to draw a lot. A whole lot. In very little time.

For the top two finalists, this means a five-week commitment.

What are the art assignments?

Sequential pages. Covers. See Joe Q's link above. Exactly what contestants must draw in each round of competition will only be announced on the Thursday prior to that round's deadline.

Will artists be required to pencil, ink, and/or color these assignments?

It will be left up to the individual artists to decide whether they want to submit only pencils, ink their work, or go all the way with colored art, once they consider the subject matter, format of the assignment, and the time constraint.

And what do I get for all my trouble if I win?

This year, all ten of the contestants invited into the competition will receive a CBR t-shirt, comic boards courtesy of Bill Cole Enterprises, Inc., and free passes to Comic-Con International in San Diego 2004.

The winner of Comic Book Idol will be given four amazing opportunities within the industry:

1. A pin-up assignment for an IDW publication to be selected by Jeff Mariotte based on the artist's interests and abilities.

2. A short story assignment written by Eric Stephenson to be published in the forthcoming "Four Letter Worlds" anthology from Image Comics.

3. Mike Carlin personally handing your art samples to editors at DC Comics for their review and consideration.

4. Airfare, accommodation, and passes for Comic-Con International San Diego 2004 (courtesy of CBR, CCI, ScottsComics.com BCEMylar.com and NewKadia.com) where the winner will get to schmooze with some of the judges, organizers, and sponsors of Comic Book Idol.

(N.B.: The airfare offered in this prize package is for San Diego from anywhere in the continental United States; anyone outside the continental U.S. should be prepared to pay for a connecting flight or make their own travel arrangements.)

In addition to these prizes for the winner, Digital Webbing will be recruiting an artist from the top ten (not necessarily the winner) to illustrate a story for "Digital Webbing Presents"; and Platinum Studios will also be recruiting two artists from the competition for their graphic novel program.

(N.B.: While al of these are great opportunities for any fledgling artist, all prizes have a no cash value and contestants should not expect any additional compensation for services rendered beyond the competition; all participants have the right to refuse any or all of the assignments and prizes offered them following their participation in the competition.)

Can everybody play?

Comic Book Idol is an amateur comic book art competition open to the public with the exception of employees of Comic Book Resources, DC Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Comicon-International, Digital Webbing, BCEMylar.com, and NewKadia.com.

The contest is open to artists who have not produced comic book artwork for pay, or have not otherwise claimed professional status as a comic book artist.

Artists from other fields who have not been paid to produce artwork published in a comic book may still be eligible.

Individuals whose only comic book work is self-published may still be eligible.

Creators of online or amateur web comics may still be eligible.

You must be at least 18 years old to participate.

Please do not contact CBI, CBR, any of the judges or forum moderators regarding your eligibility.

You will be contacted if you are being considered for one of the ten spots in the competition, or if we have questions about you or your work. If in doubt about your eligibility, go ahead and post the link to your online portfolio anyway and take advantage of this little bit of exposure. You never know who's watching.

Comic Book Resources reserves the right to review an artist's body of work to determine if there are grounds for disqualification.

Good luck, everyone!

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