Queenie Chan: A Tale of Comics and Prose


Queenie Chan | A Tale of Comics and Prose


187 notes

About Sparkler Monthly | Sparkler Monthly

scotty6000:

nattosoup:

Right now, Sparkler Monthly, an American manga-inspired comics anthology magazine put out by Chromatic Press is having it’s two-year membership drive.  If you follow my Twitter, you’ll know I was blowing it up last night talking about how important it is for American artists with an anime-aesthetic to support publishers that actually publish OEL manga and American anime inspired comics.

Some of my favorite American artists got their start in TokyoPop’s Rising Stars of Manga contest, and these were the artists I looked up to when I decided to go into comics myself.  Unfortunately for me, TokyoPop had sorta fouled the water with abusive contracts and poor marketing, so when it went under, nobody wanted to publish OEL or anime-inspired comics.  This meant that many artists with an anime influenced style who weren’t already published had difficulty attracting paying comic work, especially since manga-inspired styles developed a stigma as being a ‘copycat’ of Japanese manga, rather than taking influence from.  Many artists still find it difficult to find professional work, and many have difficulty finding receptive publishers for their pitches. In my opinion, this is why it’s so important to support a publication like Sparkler and a publisher like Chromatic Press.

This is a publisher that actively publishes OEL manga and manga inspired comics.  This is a publisher that publishes comics aimed at women and girls specifically.  At Chromatic Press, we aren’t a happy bycatch.  We’re the intended audience.

Maybe you’re an American artist with an anime influenced style who’s never had difficulty finding work, finding an audience, paying the bills utilizing the style you’ve cultivated over the years.  You’ve never doubted that your audience will find your work, since your reach was extended with the aid of influential friends or a publisher to promote your work.  Maybe you don’t personally need a publication like Sparkler to exist for you to make ends meet, you don’t need it as a professional goal.  Perhaps you’ve never had difficulty gaining the respect of your peers, and people have always taken you seriously as a comic artist.

You should still consider supporting Sparkler in order to check out talent, new and old.  You should consider signal boosting their Membership Drive Tweets and posts, to introduce your own fans to this publication and to the artists within.  

If Sparkler doesn’t gain enough new members, if Chromatic Press doesn’t see enough sales, they’ll fold just like many of the other publishers who’ve focused on OEL manga.  They wont fold because of a lack of talent, skill, or drive, but because they didn’t get enough support.  Not enough people know about Sparkler Magazine, not enough aspiring creators realize what it’s taken artists like myself years to realize- the market you enjoy as a professional stems from the market you supported while still learning.  If you enjoy manga inspired comics, like OEL manga, or want to see more American shoujo comics, you should support Sparkler in any way you can.

Reblog the hell out of this! Go support them! I recently got a one year subscription! Even just a one month trial means a lot.

Please take the time to spread the word about Sparkler Monthly!

(via tactozone)

7 notes

Comics-Prose: The Man with the Axe in his Back

unity-knight:

queeniechan:

unity-knight:

queeniechan:

unity-knight:

queeniechan:

This is all the comic panels stripped from my comics-prose story, "Short Ghost Stories: The Man with the Axe in his Back". You can read/buy it here:

I…

Thanks for the kind words! *feels very honoured* Since you’re also on DeviantArt, I’m thinking of starting a group there for “comics-prose”, with a series of tutorials and articles on how to create it. I want to be inclusive rather than exclusive, so I’d like the groups to include all types of mixes of prose and comics (including straight up illustrated prose). Hope I’ll see you there when it’s up! :)

That’s great, and you are very welcome! <3

It is an honor and a privilege for me just to be able to hear from you online. I’ll check out the group on dA when you’re done setting it up, and I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from it.

Thanks to you! :D I hope you’ll find that group useful, because you’re doing a thesis on this! It’s great to see academia interested in the possibilities of comics - it would be wonderful if “comics” became more inclusive, and starts to accept different permutations of words and pictures. :)

I’m really sorry that it’s not official yet. I’m busy with work for other undergraduate classes right now, and I already said I have two more years before I take my thesis class and get approval from the professor to use this concept for my work. No one else in my college is aware of comic-prose, so finding a good application for it and presenting it there sounded like a good idea for me and opportunity for both of us.

Hopefully, some other student, writer or artist might approach you and want to use this topic for research and development before I do, and in two years, I’ll see if I’ll be able to go through with this plan I’m holding on to. 

Haha, no big deal! :) You’re a student so you’re probably super-busy, and you have a lot of options, so just take it easy. I’m not sussed about it - I’m flattered that people are even interested in comics-prose. As for academic interest, there’s a professor in Japan who’s fascinated by it, and I’ve already written an essay explaining my take on manga (ie. comics-prose) for her anyway. I don’t know where it will lead, but we shall see. It doesn’t affect how I go about my business anyway, so don’t worry about it! XD

7 notes

Comics-Prose: The Man with the Axe in his Back

unity-knight:

queeniechan:

unity-knight:

queeniechan:

This is all the comic panels stripped from my comics-prose story, "Short Ghost Stories: The Man with the Axe in his Back". You can read/buy it here:

I…

Thanks for the kind words! *feels very honoured* Since you’re also on DeviantArt, I’m thinking of starting a group there for “comics-prose”, with a series of tutorials and articles on how to create it. I want to be inclusive rather than exclusive, so I’d like the groups to include all types of mixes of prose and comics (including straight up illustrated prose). Hope I’ll see you there when it’s up! :)

That’s great, and you are very welcome! <3

It is an honor and a privilege for me just to be able to hear from you online. I’ll check out the group on dA when you’re done setting it up, and I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from it.

Thanks to you! :D I hope you’ll find that group useful, because you’re doing a thesis on this! It’s great to see academia interested in the possibilities of comics - it would be wonderful if “comics” became more inclusive, and starts to accept different permutations of words and pictures. :)

7 notes

Comics-Prose: The Man with the Axe in his Back

unity-knight:

queeniechan:

This is all the comic panels stripped from my comics-prose story, "Short Ghost Stories: The Man with the Axe in his Back". You can read/buy it here:

I…

Thanks for the kind words! *feels very honoured* Since you’re also on DeviantArt, I’m thinking of starting a group there for “comics-prose”, with a series of tutorials and articles on how to create it. I want to be inclusive rather than exclusive, so I’d like the groups to include all types of mixes of prose and comics (including straight up illustrated prose). Hope I’ll see you there when it’s up! :)

6 notes

The Dreaming - Chapter 14 - Part 2

Hi all! This is the last update for “The Dreaming” - if you want to know how the story finishes in volume 3, please buy that volume (or buy the Collected Edition). Thanks to everyone who read this, and thanks to everyone who bought a copy of the books!

In other news, I’m currently working on a comics-prose story called “Fabled Kingdom” which will be officially out in November. I will only be posting snippets of art from the stories on Tumblr, because I’ve finally figured out that Tumblr is really a terrible format for comic pages. I’ll post links to the story, which will be hosted elsewhere. Tumblr is much better suited to art anyway!


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Anyway, after 10 years of working in the comics industry, it’s time to do a retrospective. I’ll be posting 2 volumes (out of 3) of “The Dreaming” up online, my first published work. I’ll be posting half a chapter every Friday until the end of Book 2.

Buy the print book on Rightstuf.com: here
Buy the e-book on Comixology: here

You can also read this on DeviantArt, SmackJeeves, MangaFox and on my own website.

'The Dreaming' is a 3-volume mystery-horror series, published by TOKYOPOP from 2004-2007. It's written and drawn by me, and the story is about Amber and Jeanie, a pair of twin sisters who arrive at a mysterious boarding school deep in the Australian bush. Soon after, they start having strange dreams, and discover that there is a long history of students disappearing from the school.


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Previous: Chapter 14, Part 1

First: Chapter 1, Part 1
TOC: Table of Contents

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Read more …

Filed under the dreaming ghost story gothic oel manga tokyopop

3 notes

The Dreaming - Chapter 14 - Part 1

Hey all! Next week will be the last update for “The Dreaming” - the story is over, so if you want to read the last volume (vol3), you can purchase the books from the links I’ve provided. I’ll be posting some short ghost stories up (half of them, all in comics-prose form) next week, and I’ll be starting my next story "Fabled Kingdom" in November!


———————————-

Anyway, after 10 years of working in the comics industry, it’s time to do a retrospective. I’ll be posting 2 volumes (out of 3) of “The Dreaming” up online, my first published work. I’ll be posting half a chapter every Friday until the end of Book 2.

Buy the print book on Rightstuf.com: here
Buy the e-book on Comixology: here

You can also read this on DeviantArt, SmackJeeves, MangaFox and on my own website.

'The Dreaming' is a 3-volume mystery-horror series, published by TOKYOPOP from 2004-2007. It's written and drawn by me, and the story is about Amber and Jeanie, a pair of twin sisters who arrive at a mysterious boarding school deep in the Australian bush. Soon after, they start having strange dreams, and discover that there is a long history of students disappearing from the school.


———————————-

Next: Chapter 14, Part 2
Previous: Chapter 13, Part 2

First: Chapter 1, Part 1
TOC: Table of Contents

———————————-



———————————-



———————————-

Read more …

Filed under thedreaming horror manga art oel

7 notes

Section 2: Getting Paid - Publishing Advances

The NBN has come and gone the Internet seems to be working so far… hopefully it stays working so there won’t be any problems. On the other hand, this post will be the second-last one. The next one after this will address royalties and returns - and then Section 2 (about manga publishing) will end, and I’ll be getting back to drawing my next story!

 
  • This is part of an on-going blog series called “Being a Professional Manga Artist in the West”. The Table of Contents is here.
  • My comics-prose stories “Short Ghost Stories: The Man with the Axe in his Back" is available on Smashwords and Amazon. Read more at this link.
 
 

Part 5: Getting Paid - Advances

When people talk about publishing contracts, the first thing that comes to mind is probably money. How much will I get paid, and how will I get paid?

Money’s obviously very important, but the general answer to that question if you’re a manga-style artist in the West is: “Not that much,” and “in chunks.” Usually, the money you get is paid in 3 parts – once on signing the contract, once when you’ve reached a milestone, and once when the project is complete. Regardless of the sum, the money is called an ‘advance’, and regardless of whether it fulfils the normal definition of an ‘advance,’ (like in the event of work-for-hire), the money will usually be called an advance.

The first thing you must know about an advance that a lot of people don’t know:

An advance is technically a loan.

That’s right. It’s not ‘free money,’ or ‘payment for your writing of your book which we are now going to license the rights and then publish.’The money you get paid upfront… isn’t actually yours, though you get to keep all of it, even if your book doesn’t sell well. However, if you screw up your end of the deal and don’t deliver your book on time (or to the publisher’s satisfaction), then the publisher has the right to demand the advance money back from you. Usually they’re highly unlikely to do so, due to the time and costs involved, but sometimes they may.

The advance is money the publisher lends you, in the expectation that you’ll have something to live on while you’re working on your book. When the book is done and published, the publisher fully expects you to repay that money. In other words, if a publisher advances you $10,000 to do your book, your book is expected to earn them that $10,000 back – not through the money they make, but through the money you make.

How?

Well, I’m sure you’ve heard of this thing called royalties. I’m sure you’ve heard that writers (and musicians, etc) get royalties from publishers, which are a small percentage of the sale of each book. Typically, royalties are 8-10% of the list price (15% for hardcovers). This means that if your book’s retail price is $10, then you’ll earn 80c to $1 for each copy of your book sold.

You are expected to earn your advance back through royalty payments, before you’ll see any actual royalty cheques from your publisher.

MATH TIME!

Say I wrote ‘Awesome Story,’ and I sign a publishing contract with QC Publishing to publish the book. The advance was $20,000 at a gross royalty rate of 10% of the list price. The book will be sold at $10. The book just got published.

Question: So, how much royalties will I be getting right off the bat?

Answer: NONE. I’m in the hole to QC Publishing for $20,000, due to the advance they paid me. An advance is a loan, remember? It’s money I technically owe QC Publishing, which I have to recoup for them.

Each copy of ‘Awesome Story’ sold at $10 gets me $1 per copy. If I sold 1000 copies of ‘Awesome Story,’ then I’ve made $1000 worth of royalty money. Take that out of the $20,000 I owe QC Publishing, and I still owe $19,000.

Anyway, I need to sell 20,000 copies of ‘Awesome Story’ before I will see a single cent in royalties. If I don’t sell those 20,000 copies, then I’m in debt to the publisher, and the publisher may not want to publish my next book.

This is why 85% of all books don’t earn back their advance. It’s because not that many books will sell consistently over 20,000 (this is too small a number, actually).

Now, if ‘Awesome Story’ sold only 18,000 copies, QC Publishing is highly unlikely to ask for that remaining $2000 back from me. It’s simply a dick move, and no publisher does it because it’s unfair. Once a publisher pays an advance, the author usually keeps all the money, regardless of the outcome. However, nobody will be impressed when they look at your royalty statement either.

But hey! The Publisher lost money too, right? They took a risk and paid me $20,000, so they lost $2000 on the gamble, right?

Not necessarily.

Retailers take a 40-60% cut of a book’s retail price, so if a book is sold for $10, then $6 go to the retailer (whoever it is). The remaining 4% will be split between the publisher, publishing costs and the author. If the author gets $1 per book, the publishing house gets $3, which has to cover printing, shipping, warehousing, cover design, formatting, copy-editing and all the overheads of running a publishing house.

Anyway, assuming I sold 18,000 copies of ‘Awesome Story,’ then it means my publisher grossed 18,000 x $3 = $54000. Did they lose money? Depends. Generally speaking, publishers calculate print runs through mathematical formulas that will give them an idea of how many copies a particular book will sell. They will usually print a number of copies close to how they think the book will sell, and they will definitely make sure they’ll recoup their costs. The number of copies they print of a particular book isn’t a wild stab in the dark. It’s calculated to ensure that the publisher at least breaks even. If they don’t do that, they’ll go out of business real soon.

*****

Next Wednesday - royalties and returns! Last post on this!

Filed under royalties publishing advances manga publishing math

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Section 2: What is Copyright?

Ugh, Internet was down for two whole days. A suburn-wide blackout where I live - thanks to the NBN installation, there’s been a lot of hiccups in the Internet connection lately. I thought I’d better post this up while the connection is still here.

 
  • This is part of an on-going blog series called “Being a Professional Manga Artist in the West”. The Table of Contents is here.
  • My comics-prose stories “Short Ghost Stories: The Man with the Axe in his Back" is available on Smashwords and Amazon. Read more at this link.
 
 

Part 4c: What is Copyright?

Disclaimer: I talk about publishing contracts, but this is not a definitive guide. I try and keep my information accurate, but if there are any corrections, please let me know. This is not legal advice – I have no authority to give out legal advice. If you’re offered a publishing contract and you’re unsure of the terms, please find a legal professional who can help you.

To understand how a copyright license works, you must first understand what a copyright is.

A copyright is a creator’s exclusive right to make copies of their own work, and then distribute and profit off it. Hence it’s called a “copy right” – it refers to the right to make copies (and to do various things with those copies). This legal concept of “copyright” is protected by law, and protection is automatic, the moment you commit pen to paper and start creating the work. However, this protection extends only to countries who are part of the Berne Convention, and when it comes to court of law, it varies from country to country.

 
 

To give you an example, here’s a photo of all the books I’ve had published over the years. You can buy most of these as a print book from a bookstore, or from Amazon, or as ebooks from various places. The copyright on these vary, because some of these are where I worked only as an illustrator, while others I own partial copyright. That’s the thing about publishing – you don’t always own everything you do, and if you sell off a license, you no longer own the right to sell or distribute your own work.

An easier way to talk about copyright would be through the books I’ve self-published.

 
 

Here’s a pic of three books I’ve self published – “Queenie Chan: Short Stories 2000-2010”, and two versions of “Short Ghost Stories: The Man with the Axe in his Back”.

All of these books are copyrighted to me. Regardless of when I wrote and drew the short stories in “Short Ghost Stories”, I had copyright protection on all of those stories from the moment they were created. I own the exclusive right to make copies of “Short Ghost Stories”, to distribute and then sell it. By “exclusive”, I mean only me, and no one else, has that right.

If you bought a print copy of "Short Ghost Stories” off Lulu, and then scanned the book into your computer and then distributed it, then you’ve just committed “copyright infringement”. Scanning or reprinting the book in small numbers don’t really count as “infringement”, but distributing it en masse certainly will. You can own the physical copy of “Short Ghost Stories” (which would include all the paper, ink, and binding) and the right to do whatever you want with that particular copy. This includes the right to give it to someone else, resell to a used book store, to cut, to glue, to scan and reprint, and you can even translate and use it as a study. You can also scan it, link it to a page and talk about it (to criticize, to compliment or to hate) – all that is under fair use agreement. However, the right to distribute en masse (ie. distribute to file sharing sites and release the links) the contents of “Short Ghost Stories” is a right you don’t have. Profiting off it is also a right that only the copyright holder has.

You can purchase individual copies of my print book or e-book. However, no matter how many copies you purchase of “Short Ghost Stories”, the right to make money off the contents of the book via mass distribution doesn’t belong to you. Only the original creator (me) has that right. Or, if I licensed that right to a publisher, then they have that right. If I licensed that right to you (for a sum of money), then you have that right.

Now that you understand a bit about copyright and what you’re selling to a publisher, let’s talk about the length of a publishing contract.

 

Part 4d: If I Sell an Exclusive License to a Publisher, How Long does that License Last For?

If you have a good agent/intellectual property attorney, then hopefully the exclusive license to publish your book in hardcover/paperback and e-book only. Hopefully, that term of the contract will be 5-10 years, rather than the full-term of copyright. If it’s not a specified time frame, then it’ll be for the full-term of the copyright, unless there is something else in the contract that mentions a particular situation for a full rights-reversion.

A full-term of copyright lasts until the death of the creator, plus 70 years – and this is constantly getting extended. If you sell the exclusive right to publish your story to a publisher without specifying a time frame or an ‘out of print’ clause, then they’ll keep those rights until 70+ years after your death… so not only you, but your children and your children’s children will be affected.

These days, specifying a ‘time frame’ in your contract is a great idea. It’s because with the advent of e-books, ‘out of print’ clausesare now losing their original intent. ‘Out of print’ clauses used to be the last chance for a writer to get their rights back from a publisher, but since e-books are in print forever, these clauses have lost all meaning (and thus, their teeth).

*****

Anyway, hopefully you got paid a decent amount. Next week, I’ll talk about getting paid an advance, and what that is. These posts are coming to a close, and there are only a few posts left, so I’ll make it quick.

Filed under copyright manga publishing publishing getting published licensing

10,957 notes

Satoshi Kon - Editing Space & Time

Tony Zhou : “Four years after his passing, we still haven’t quite caught up to Satoshi Kon, one of the great visionaries of modern film. In just four features and one TV series, he developed a unique style of editing that distorted and warped space and time. Join me in honoring the greatest Japanese animator not named Miyazaki.”

Nice to see Tony Zhou look at animation as well as live-action! Love Satoshi Kon - he died too young. :(

(Source: ca-tsuka, via jdeedupuy)