First art pages and an impending meeting

Just a quick update on progress.

Andrea Potts, my artist, sent the first four pages she has drawn of the graphic novel, and they’re great.  These are just layout pages, more detailed than storyboards but less completed than finished art.  She wanted me to see how she’s visualizing what I’ve written.  She did an amazing job of representing exactly what is in the first pages of the script.

In a couple of weeks, we’re meeting up in New Orleans, so that she can see the town for the first time, to get a feel for it, and I can show her some of the principal locations.  We’re also hoping to hash out some of the storyboarding.

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WonderCon 2011: the first day, there’s more!

I found some more notes from my first day at WonderCon.

In the small press area of the exhibit hall, I talked with a couple of very helpful folks at one of the tables.  Unfortunately, this was before I started writing down the companies of everyone I talked with and asking their permission to mention them in the blog, so alas, I cannot identify them.  But anyway, I told them of my quest, and they gave me some interesting information.  They mentioned an article in SF Gate about Amanda Hocking, who self-published online and marketed through ebooksellers.  Her work got to be so popular that she was courted by three publishers and made a deal with St. Martin’s Press.

These helpful folks also mentioned an artist website: Deviantart.com, where artists display and sell their art.  They thought that if I needed to find an artist partner for my graphic novel, that might be a good place to look.

When I had been upstairs for the first session I attended,  by Douglas Neff, I had noticed a very long line for Portfolio review.  I asked about it, and someone waiting told me that various companies had a rep inside the room, who would look over artist portfolios and give suggestions.  I thought that was very friendly and helpful.  I also thought, if I needed to find an artist to partner with, that long line might be a great place to start.  I checked the schedule, and the review was continuing on the next day, so I knew I could come back if necessary.

When I started out at WonderCon searching for information, I didn’t even know how the business worked at all.  I didn’t know if publishers accept stories and then pair up the writer with an artist in their stable, as it were, or if artists and writers paired up before bringing a project to a publisher.  I also didn’t know there was so much self-publishing going on.  Even as the first day wore on, I sort of gathered that mostly artists and writers pair up independently, either to self-publish or to submit proposals to publishers.

That night when I got home, I called a dear friend of mine, Andrea Potts, who is also an amazing artist.  She didn’t have much time, so I asked if she was interested in the project, and she said yes.  And then she asked me to tell her about the story a little, just to be sure she would be into it.  I pitched it to her briefly (Hollywood teaches you nothing if not to be brief with pitching).

Side note – for some great advice about pitching, see Ken Rotcop‘s Perfect Pitch, and his DVD, Let’s Sell Your ScriptKen Rotcop is wonderful, fiercely supportive of writers, and truly interested in helping us get careers going.  He worked in the industry for decades; he’s been the creative head of four studios; and he is an award-winning writer himself.  He founded the original pitching event, Pitchmart, which is celebrating its 50th session on April 30th, 2011.  I have attended many times and gotten very positive responses from producers.  That is where I met my manager.

Andrea liked my story, so I didn’t need to return to the portfolio review on Saturday, and I planned on spending all my time in the exhibit hall, gleaning information and resources.