Okay, I had this brilliant plan of making a video for this. But you know what? I have a twenty quid Nokia phone from over a decade ago and it's not going to happen. I tried to do something slick on my computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing and so here we are. I'm just going to write it. Old school.
First off, can I say thanks to Jim O'Hara and all my pals here who were great enough to volunteer their time to help with this talent search. Not just for going through the thousand or so scripts we received and shepherding the five or six hundred artists who submitted sample pages, but for their endless good grace and time spent helping people through the entire process on the boards these last few months. I literally wouldn't have had a hope in Hell of doing this without them and so a huge thanks to the guys for taking what must amount to at least several weeks of full-time work making this happen.
Can I also say not to be disheartened if you're not one of the creators chosen this time. I'm financing 13 people to get their big start in print next summer and that means less than one in every hundred who submitted can possibly be selected. The level of talent was also staggering. I knew there was a huge amount of untapped, smart people out there just waiting for a place to focus their energies, but - my God - you're going to love this annual. The range is truly international. I'd guess less than a third of the entries came from the US or UK and paring it down to just thirty this week and then a final six writers and six artists plus a cover artist yesterday was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Seriously, you'll see what I mean. Wait till you see what these guys have done with my characters.
So before I announce the names just remember that we have the CREATIVE FORUM here all year with pros and fellow new creators to help you develop your skills. I'm paying Marvel and DC rates every year for these annuals, given 13 new creators their first taste of print every summer. So if you're not on the list THIS time stick around and enter NEXT time. I'll post details of when it's happening again next summer and - I swear - I'll get the video working for December 23rd next year.
So here we go. I've loaned out six of our franchises here to twelve new people and matched up the artists I feel are most appropriate. I'm about to take a family break until January 4th, but I'll be in touch with each of you privately on the day we get back with deadlines, very small rewrites and - best of all - getting your bank details so each of you can get paid.
The Summer 2016 annual will thus be as follows:
COVER - Satine Zillah
Kick-Ass - Writer Ricardo Mo/ Artist Ifesinachi Orjiekwe
Kingsman - Writer Philip Huxley/ Artist Myron Macklin
Starlight - Writer Deniz Camp/ Artist Pracheta Banerjee
American Jesus - Writer Cliff Bumgardiner/ Artist Steve Beach
Chrononauts - Writer Shaun Brill/ Artist Conor Hughes
Hit-Girl - Writer Mark Abnett/ Artist Ozgur Yildirim
BIG BIG BIG congratulations to all the winners. Like I said, this was enormously difficult and I know people always say that, but actually true in this case. COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS, I want you to take a look at the art thread beneath this post and see the level of talent taking part. There's EASILY a hundred people who should be working full-time and about twenty I think are going to have really big careers. I hope you employ them and I ALSO hope you pay them proper rates. Writers and artists, I'm not on Facebook, but I'm here on www.forums.millarworld.tv and on Twitter most days so come and talk to me if you feel uncertain about what you're being offered from any company. I'm here for advice of any kind.
So we're back next summer with a brand new talent search, but writing and drawing should continue here as you hone your skills. Also, we have some INSANE plans for next year, creative designs being employed in a whole new venture I'll tell you about in the New Year plus a huge international COSPLAY COMPETITION I'm going to launch on January 27th. Don't miss this. It's going to be really fun and taking cosplay to a whole new audience all across the world.
Big thanks also to everyone for all the kind words on the books this year and for coming to see the Kingsman movie. Next year will be nuts with Stuart Immonen and I launching our sci-fi series Empress in April, MONTHLY FRANK QUITELY right after, Sean Murphy back for Chrononauts 2: Futureshock in July and GREG CAPULLO in the Autumn with our big creator-owned book I'm writing at the moment. This time next year it's Mister Jae Lee and a horror series unlike any other. Empress #1, incidentally, gets a massive preview in the extra-sized Huck #3, on sale on the 13th of January.
Have a Merry Christmas, folks, and I really do hope you all have a lovely New Year.
Congrats again to the winners. You all did brilliantly and should be very proud.
PS Here's the art thread for other publishers to have a look at and for readers to get a glimpse of the brilliant work they can expect in our annual next summer...