Attention up-and-coming comics and/or manga creators: Yen Press wants you! In the recently posted November 2010 issue of Yen Plus magazine and on their website, Yen Press posted information about their New Talent Search for "any artist who has never been published."
The requirements? You'll need to create a 32-page story to the dimensions provided on their talent search page, and provide art in either black and white or color with a full-page splash art / title page. You can create any kind of story you wish, but you need to submit a photocopy of your work via mail to the Yen Press offices in New York City before January 3, 2011.
What's in it for you? Well, if your work makes the cut, you just might get a contract to get your work published in the pages of Yen Plus! (and yes, we can probably assume that means you'll get paid in some way for this -- but that's not specified on the talent search page).
It's nice that Yen Press is offering this avenue for aspiring artists to get their start because, well, not a lot of other publishers are exactly clamoring for up-and-coming artists inspired by manga right now.
Don't believe me? Check out this essay entitled "Manga is not a dirty word" from former TokyoPop editor Tim Beedle (as pointed out by Kate Dacey at MangaCritic.com and Brigid Alverson via Robot6) . As Beedle put it, as U.S.-based manga publishers have drastically scaled back their efforts to publish original comics by home-grown talent who grew up loving Japanese manga, there are now fewer and fewer opportunities for these artists to get their work published.
"So why is it that comics drawn by manga-influenced artists (other than Adam Warren) seem to always struggle to find an audience in the United States?"
"Unfortunately, I still think there's a lot of misunderstanding among both readers and publishers. They hear manga and they instantly think of big eyes and flowery backgrounds. The problem is that far too many people still cling to the idea that manga is a style. Manga is not a style. It's a format, and even within that format there's a lot of diversity. To say someone is a manga artist is no different than to say they're a comic book artist."
So what do you think? Are you a manga artist in the making? Will you be entering the Yen Press contest? What do you think of what Tim Beedle had to say about the professional prospects for manga-inspired creators in North America? Add your thoughts below!
Image credits: K-ON! © Kakifly / HOUBUNSHA, © Svetlana Chmakova, © Yen Press