By Leroy Douresseaux
August 3, 2006 - 09:00
On Wednesday evening (Aug. 2), one of comic book scribe Warren Ellis's "Bad Signal" emails announced his involvement in a new webcomics venture. Called "Rocket Pirates," the site is created by Joey Manley. Ellis, who first came to prominence on such titles as The Authority and Transmetropolitan, will edit the site. Ellis's recent work includes Black Gas (Avatar), Fell (Image) and Nextwave (Marvel). The full text of Bad Signal annoucement follows:
Who wants to be a Rocket Pirate?
Joey Manley talked me into curating a mass webcomics site. I've known Joey for getting on for six years now. It's partly my fault that he
got involved with comics at all. I suspect this is his revenge.
People who want to make webcomics are invited to submit their ideas
to me for membership in the Rocket Pirates, a webcomics collective
which will be housed at http://www.rocketpirates.com.
Rocket Pirates will be the first site to launch with the new Webcomics
Nation Collective Edition technology, which will be available as a
commercial product for people wanting to quickly and cheaply launch
their own multi-creator webcomics portals sometime in the next few months. Because we're all about being quick and cheap, believe me.
Rocket Pirates will be free to all readers, all the time. This means,
of course, that there is no cut of subscription fees to offer to
creators. Instead, the system allows each creator the freedom to
install Google Ads, Amazon Associates ads, ads for their own products,
rate cards for prostitution services or any other damn thing on
their comic's Rocket Pirates page. Also, since we're not paying, all
Rocket Pirates engagements are on a non-exclusive basis, allowing
the creators to run their comics on their own websites or any other
place that'll have them.
The non-subscription approach means that I'm also doing this for free,
so anyone who wants to send food and clothing c/o Joey Manley at
Modern Tales is welcome to do so. I also offer inexpensive adult
The submissions system is simply this: email your materials to me
at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to see at least three completed
pages and an overview of what you intend to do. No need to be
formal -- rambly emails talking about the central concepts and what
you want to achieve are fine.
I'm open to anything -- series, serialised graphic novels, single
panels, self-contained shorts, newspaper-style strips -- in any
style, from manga to clipart to whatever the hell you just invented
in your basement. No limits.
I'm open to any kind of content. You're going to have to work pretty
hard to get me to accept a superhero project for the site, but if
you've got something that knocks me flat, I'll take it. But, seriously, I
want to eventually curate something that takes in a wide breadth of
what comics can achieve. Surprise me. Give me something straight
out of literary mainstream fiction, give me a warped genre, give me
something I've never seen before. That's the "theme" of the site, the glue that holds it together. It is quite simply "stuff Warren really likes."
The submissions process is open to everybody. I don't care if you
only decided you wanted to try and make a comic ten minutes ago --
I'll look at it. I'll warn you in advance that the chances of my
being able to provide detailed and constructive rejections are slight,
but I'll do my best.
(Also, if the site turns out to be all-male because only guys
submitted, I'm going to be very pissed off, and will infect you all
with this lung disease my girlfriend seems to have passed to me
over the weekend.)
I'd like to be up and running by the end of the month, but I won't
kick the site live until I have enough work of quality. The submissions process will remain permanently open. Unless, you know, I change my mind. I am unpredictable and I drink a lot.
That's all I've got. Please feel free to pass this unedited post on
anywhere you like.
-- Warren Ellis