|Mark Waid is the founder of Thrillbent and a major proponent for digital comics.|
Mark Waid held a contest for writers and artists to pitch their one-shot story at San Diego Comic Con 2014. The winning idea would be produced and paid for by Thrillbent. However, salespeople had a mere 15 seconds to orate their 30- to 40-page one-shot story. Any pitches exceeding the time limit were marked invalid. Did I mention no visual aids were allowed?
Thrillbent's press release for the event laid down a framework for judges' criteria. Contestants' ideas needed to work well visually and as a digital comic. Bonus points were awarded for stories shorter than 30 to 40 pages. Mark Waid also recommended that pitchers take note of digital comics' unique storytelling properties. Stories also needed to have a clear conflict and resolution.
Just reading about this contest stressed me out as a writer. My empathy and sympathy go out to creators struggling to condense their idea to a mere 15 seconds. Furthermore, Mark Waid warns that contestants must trust judges and audience members not to steal ideas.
I admire Mark Waid and Thrillbent for giving comic creators such an opportunity. However, as a writer myself, the chance to pitch a series or arc would have been more appealing. Fifteen seconds also does not leave any time for more than a few sentences to summarize the setting and story. Mark Waid notes the competition is a relatively last-minute endeavor, possibly in conjunction with another Think Tank event hosted by Thrillbent at Comic-Con. Nonetheless I am curious to see which story won and which ideas may have been close runners-up.
Although the contest was held yesterday, winners have not yet been announced. Would you have tried your luck at having your one-shot pitched to Mark Waid and staff? How do you feel about such contests? Let us know in the comments section what you think and what idea you would have tried to sell!