Paging All Artists

Paging All Artists

Not a full column this week; rather, notice of what we'll be doing in a future column -- with your help.

I'm fascinated by what artists bring to the creative mix. If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you've likely encountered me up on my soapbox, saying that we as an industry don't value art and artists nearly enough. The medium has become largely writer-centric, and I don't think that's a positive development. Creative balance between story and art is the key to a successful comic. When artists are treated as interchangeable parts in the creative process, the finished product suffers.

What the artist brings to a comic is, from my vantage, even more important than what the writer brings. The artist breathes life into the story, and every artist will breathe a different kind of life into the story. How different would "Watchmen" be if Frank Miller had drawn it? What if "Dark Knight Returns" had been drawn by Dave Gibbons?

Marz Stakes the Competition with "Shinku"

So here's the exercise. Below are the first two script pages for issue #7 of "Shinku," my creator-owned series with artist Lee Moder from Image Comics. Yes, "Shinku" has been on hiatus, while we search for a new colorist and bank pages in order to avoid future scheduling problems. Issue #6 is complete, and issue #7 is in progress. Lee completed the first batch of pages from issue #7 quite some time ago, including page 2. Now I want to see what other artists might do with the same page.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to draw page 2 of the "Shinku" #7 script. Page 1 of the script is presented only for context; page 2 is what I'm interested in. Let me say that again: YOU ONLY NEED TO DRAW PAGE 2 OF THE SCRIPT.

Interpret the page as you see fit. Show off your skills. Show off what you bring to the page. In a few weeks, we'll post as many pages as possible, to see how multiple artists approached the same page.

Submissions can be pencils, inks or full color. I'm happy to have submissions from pros to amateurs and everyone in between. Specs: jpegs at 72 dpi, 900 pixels wide. Please include your name with your page, as well as a Twitter handle or Deviant Art account if you want it included.

E-mail submissions to: DrawShinku@outlook.com

Deadline is midnight, Sunday, Feb 9. The Shelf Life column featuring the pages will appear on Feb. 13. I'll run as many submissions as feasible, as well as the finished page drawn by Lee Moder. Be aware that I can't guarantee every submission will run, since I wouldn't even hazard a guess as to how many will be received. But I'll do the absolute best I can to include everyone.

Character designs for Shinku herself accompany this column. Additional reference, if you feel the need, can be found in "Shinku" issues #1-#5, which are collected in the Volume 1 TPB (which is available in print, as well as digitally).

Some reminders: completing a page for submission does not mean you're being hired to draw the comic. None of the submissions will be reprinted in the comic. There is no monetary compensation offered. Shinku is copyright Ron Marz and Lee Moder.

You've got more than two weeks to draw one page. Show me (and everybody else) what you can do.

Ron Marz has been writing comics for two decades, and thinks it's pretty much the best job ever. His current work includes "Witchblade" and the graphic novel series "Ravine" for Top Cow, "The Protectors" for Athleta Comics, his creator-owned title, "Shinku," for Image, and Sunday-style strips "The Mucker" and "Korak" for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Follow him on Twitter (@ronmarz) and his website, www.ronmarz.com.

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