Submission Period is Open
Cloudscape Comics’ Life Finds a Way anthology project is now open for submissions. We will be accepting submissions between July 15th, 2018 and Sept. 31st, 2018. Production of the finished comics will take place between Oct. 1, 2018 and Mar. 30, 2019.
What is Life Finds a Way?
Have you ever wanted to know what happens to the people who survive the apocalypse?
Have you ever wondered where those survivors get their food?
How they rediscover old technologies or create new technology never seen before?
Have you ever wished apocalyptic fiction focused a little more on hope, and less on horror?
Life Finds a Way is a comic anthology about post-apocalyptic stories and the hope for tomorrow. Post-apocalyptic fiction as a genre is focused on the horror of humanity’s struggle to survive day-to-day in a shattered world, but rarely touches on the more human aspects of life after society as we know it has fallen. The Life Finds a Way anthology offers a breath of fresh air in the genre, focusing not on gritty realism and tragic misanthropy, but on the real human stories of love, family, courage, and hope despite the circumstances of a changed world.
This anthology will give artists and writers a chance to explore the ways in which people have protected, nurtured, and developed their new communities, as well as highlighting the adaptable resilience of humanity. This does not mean that everything has to be easy for our protagonists – the world has fallen apart, after all, and it will not be rebuilt in a single lifetime – but these stories should show that progress is possible, even if it is as small as tending a garden in an underground shelter.
Life, after all, always finds a way.
What We Want
“Unique apocalypses, unique ways of surviving.”
We want our creators to come up with their own takes on how people have rebuilt after their world has ended. The creators have the freedom to invent their own methods of apocalypse – everything from sci-fi plagues of nanobots to dark fantasy invasions of demons are possible, so long as they are treated with appropriate depth and maintain the main themes of the anthology. We would prefer that the setting of your story have a time-frame of at least a generation or two since the apocalypse, but the editors choose to leave the details to the creators so long as they are following the anthology’s theme.
Sample Apocalypse Examples:
- Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Fallout: Massive population die off with a hazardous environment left behind. What is left of the old world that is still usable? How have people found ways of surviving? Have people found a way to reclaim lost areas?
- Grey Techno-Ooze: Global Nanobot rampage, everything solid that touches the ooze is broken down into base components. Have we taken to the skies? Have we taken to the seas? Have we found a way to keep the nanobots under limited control?
- Magical Awakening: Magic is real and returned with force, but there are rules that people can work with. How has society changed? How long did it take for people to learn the rules? Are there monsters roaming the newly-magical landscape?
- The Ruinstorm: Weather on earth got so violent it reshaped the planet on a fundamental level. How are we surviving Mother Earth’s rage? How could people turn the violent weather to their advantage?
- Mass Mutations: 90% of humanity became unrecognizable within a generation, how have people coped? How has our definition of human been changed by circumstance?
- Loss of water/Rising Waters: We’ve become Dune or Water World. How has society changed, and how does the new climate affect their daily lives?
- Strange Apocalypse: B-Movie end of the world! Are people living in giant hollowed out mushrooms? Did Dinosaurs come back from the center of the earth? Did large boxy robots with death beams rise against us?
- Aliens “Attacked”: Alien Invasion? Alien Colonization? Alien Migration? Alien Exodus? Where are we now, how has co-existence changed us?
These are examples, creators are not limited to these options, these are only some ideas to get you started. We are excited at the idea of seeing your original ideas and stories!
What We Don’t Want
A cliché is a cliché because it’s expected and it’s boring. You don’t have pages and pages to outline, subvert, and dissect a cliché, so please avoid them.
Anything Pointlessly Grimdark:
Grimdark: Adj.: “a subgenre or a way to describe the tone, style or setting of speculative fiction that is especially dystopian, amoral or violent.”
Yes, the world ended, and it was terrible beyond imagining, but that’s not what these stories are about. Bad things can still be around and terrifying monsters can still be out there, but the point of your story should be that humanity is finding ways to effectively deal with this. The theme of the anthology is hope after all.
Romero/Walking Dead type zombies:
We get it, zombie apocalypse stuff is popular and people like the visceral horror of it. However, mindless flesh-eating zombies are a cliché now, and there are more interesting takes on the idea of an apocalypse driven by undead creatures. Sentient and aware rotting undead however, are more than acceptable, but keep things realistic given the subject matter: this circumstance would require radical changes to human culture, and we care about those changes more than we care about the zombies.
Violence, death and struggle are part of these human stories, but we would prefer no violence for sheer violence’s sake. Ask yourself: does the violence serve a greater purpose to the story, or is it just shocking? Furthermore, despite the fact that “apocalypse” comes from a religious idea and many religions have beliefs in “The End of the World” or “Judgement Day”, if you are using religious ideas in your story please be respectful to the beliefs of the people who hold them.
Fan-Fics, Fan Arts, Pastiches or Etc.:
Only original IPs will be accepted.
If you want more guidance, here is a word document covering the narrative guidelines in detail. You can download it here.
The Submission Process:
We require completed scripts to be submitted along with the proposal. This is so that the artist can have adequate time to complete the pencil, ink/coloring, and proofing process. Time will be given after the submission period for editing/revisions of the script, and for making any changes the editors might require
We would prefer if scripts were submitted in standard comic book script formatting. Please see the following guides for examples:
When accepted into the anthology, contributors give the Life Finds a Way anthology the first worldwide right to print and digitally reproduce the story for two years from date of publication, as well the right to subsequent reprints of the anthology. The creator also gives Cloudscape Comics and Life Finds a Way the right to use samples of the submission as promotional material.
Scripts that are not accepted into the Life Finds a Way anthology may be submitted to other anthologies in the future, and the creator retains all rights to their script and intellectual property.
The anthology will pay $50/page (pending KS project funding) to be divided equally among the story’s contributors. Each contributor will also receive one copy of the print anthology and one copy of the ebook for their own personal use. Additional copies of the Life Finds a Way print anthology may be purchased at wholesale prices.
- Can non-Canadians submit to this anthology?
- I’m an artist who would like to work on the anthology but I don’t have a script or a writer, can I still submit to the anthology and be paired with a writer?
You may, however preference may be given to pairs that have already developed a solid script/art sample as we may not have the numbers to pair solo writers with solo artists.
- Can we contact you about workshoping ideas/getting critiques?
The Editors would prefer your submission to be complete and finished to the best of your abilities. We may not have time to specifically critique or workshop any scripts we receive beyond our normal selection process. Scripts that are submitted significantly before the deadline are more likely to get a chance for editing and polishing prior to acceptance.
- How will we know we have been accepted to the anthology?
The Editors will send the artist and author notice and contracts shortly after the submission period closes.
- How long do you want the stories?
A maximum of 12 pages please.
- Colour or Black and White?
We would like art in colour.
- Can I make multiple submissions?
You may make multiple submissions, but please be aware that we will likely only accept one story per author in the anthology.
- Do I need to show concept art/sketches from the pitch in my submission?
It’s not required, but it would definitely be a great way to show us your vision for the story!
- Can non-Canadians submit to this anthology?