Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How do I submit my comic?
A: The easiest way is to submit it online.  <SUBMIT HERE>


Q: What is the theme of the anthology?
A: Each of the four quarterly published anthologies has the same theme: independent/alternative/DIY comics. We realize this is a broad category in which you can do just about anything you want. That’s kind of the point. Individuality of voice and style are primarily valued in this publication series. Genre is just a creative choice. Have a piece which was rejected by another anthology for being too weird or not quite fitting their theme? Have a multi-part story which you’d like to see in print while you gather funds to collect it into a graphic novel? Have a great short piece which has been published in an anthology years ago, but now just gathers dust? Send it to us and we’ll try to give it a home.

Q: When you say DIY comics, what do you mean?
A: Ever seen comics that people new to the medium throw together themselves with twine and a stapler? Ever seen the products of the 24 hour comic events where newbies can participate? That’s what we mean. DIY are comics that people do themselves, for the joy of making it. We hope to include a percentage of newcomers and hobbyists in each volume.

Q: How old do I have to be to submit my comic?
A: Due to the sometimes mature subject matter of alternative comics, you must be 18 years of age or older to submit a story, even if your story is PG-13. This is to prevent any misunderstandings between us and your parents when you receive your contributor copies.

Q: I make all-ages comics. Can I submit to this anthology?
A: Yes. However, understand that this anthology will contain a wide variety of genres and is marketed toward the comic creating community and the Alt/Indie comic afficienado. The benefit for you is that your work will be seen outside your target audience. The drawback is that it will not do much to gain exposure to your primary target audience; kids.

Q: Who decides who wins the $350 first prize for each book?
A: A jury of three people in the independent comic community will be selected. Previous winners may be invited to sit on future juries.

Q: What is the criteria for winning?
A: There are thirteen categories which each judge will be asked to evaluate.  Their combined scores will determine the winner. In the case of a tie, the editor will also cast a ballot by those same guidelines to break it.

Q: Who decides who wins the $1000 grand prize?
A: This will be done by jury and by reader votes. The five finalists will be the first prize winners from the Indie Ladies Comic Anthology Volume 3 and Indie Comics Quaterly Volumes 1-4. The comic for each of the five finalists will be placed online for vistors to read for free and vote on using the same ballot that the judges use. The total tally of visitor votes will account for 50% of the total score, and the judges will account for the other 50%. Whichever comic has the most points will win.

Q: I have been accepted to the most recent volume of the book, but don’t see my bio on the website yet.
A: The bios for creators and judges are not live until judging for the volume is complete.  Judging is double blind.  That means the judges do not know the names of any of the creators on the comics they evaluate and creators do not know who the judges are.  This is done to keep the process of evaluation as objective as possible.
However, if the winner of the volume you have been accepted to has been announced and you still don’t see your bio, email the editor.

Q: What size does my comic have to be?
A: 8.5×11″ is the size of the book. If your comic is smaller than that, it is okay. There will just be extra white space around the edges.

Q: What is the trim?
A: 1 inch all sides.

Q: What is the DPI (dots per inch)
A: Submissions must be 300-600 dpi

Q: What file format should I use?

Q: What color mode should my submission be set to?

Q: Color or black and white?
A: B&W comics have more likelihood of being included. However, a select number of color comics will be included in each anthology. If color is your true strength, submit it.

Q: Can I submit more than one story?
A: Yes. But we will publish only one of your stories in each volume.

Q: Can I submit a story which has been published before?
A: Yes. So long as you retain the rights to it and are not under a contractual obligation to another publisher to allow them sole rights to publish it, then yes.

Q: My comic has nudity, sexual situations, and/or violence. Can I submit it to this anthology?
A: Yes-ish.
Nudity is fine. Violence and sexual situations are generally fine too, unless it is pointless.
Extreme pointless violence which makes no sense in the context of the story probably won’t be accepted. It is important to recognize that pointless violence (torture porn) is worlds different than horror stories with gore or bizarre existential arthouse stories. The editor personally loves the horror and bizarro comic genres. We want to include it. We will be very forgiving of violence, but it has to make sense to the story. Extreme sexual depictions (erotica), while we all love it, will also be looked at closely by the same criteria.
This is not a flat no. Keep in mind that it’s got to be some really pointless porn in either case to be rejected on principle. We have to see it and make a judgment call. Comics which use elements of either extreme violence or sexual depictions will be seriously considered, so long as there is a clear story which puts it in context.

Q: I make comic strips in the style of the old Sunday Funnies. How do I submit these?
A: You can submit up to four of your favorite strips for any one volume. If you want to submit a larger chunk and we accept it for publication, we will include four of your strips in each volume. Judges will consider your comic for the prize by looking at the four strips in the volume, so pick sets of four which have some unified theme, style, commentary, or story arc to make it easier for them to see your vision.

Q: How much am I paid?
A: Two copies of the finished anthology for the volume in which you were an accepted/printed contributor. However only one story from each volume will win a $350 cash prize as determined by a three-person jury.

The winning comic and the runner up will then go on to be one of ten comics eligible for the $1,000 Spectare Comic Award for 2014. The other four finalists and four runner ups will be the winning comics from the other quarters of Indie Comics Quarterly and the Indie Ladies Comic Anthology. As the grand prize winner’s total prize dollar will exceed $600, the winner of the grand prize will be required by law to fill out and return a W-9 tax form to Spectare Creative in order to receive the $1000 prize money. See IRS

Cover Artists are paid $200 for the use of their cover art on the volume they are accepted for.


Q: Can I win more than one quarter?
A: Yes.  But if you do, you will need to fill out a W-9 tax form to Spectare Creative.

Q: Are there royalties?
A: No. Sorry.
Why? For one thing, it is my experience that self-published anthologies are lucky to break even. We are employing a cash prize, contest system because we do value the work that goes into making comics. This is our first experimentation in alternative compensation models. In addition to the barely breaking even issue, the most we could hope for would be very small royalty checks for each of you (indie anthologies don’t have wide circulation) and even at $10/year would require me to collect W-9 tax forms from every single participant. Which will then obligate each of you to pay tax on that small royalty check, every year you get one, whether we like it or not. See IRS

Q: Okay, but what if you do make a profit?  What happens with any profits made by the sale of these anthologies?
A: That was a real question recently received.  Full disclosure: Any profit made is reinvested into making the next year’s anthologies. It all goes into print and distribution costs as well as toward the prize money. The editor is paying for year one’s print run and prize money from personal funds earned at her day job.  Why?  For the love of it.  If the stars align and we make a large profit in year one, then the prize money and print run in year two go up. Simple as that. No salaries or wages are paid. Anyone involved in the process of putting together this anthology is a volunteer.  Why?  Because they like making comics.  Our intentions are honorable.