Various publishing companies have different process and format in accepting a story they will publish. But if you’re writing for Black Ink Comics the first thing you need to know is the difference between the format of a novel or short story manuscript and a comic manuscript.
A novel or a short story is composed of paragraphs and chapters that are guided by the word count. In a comic manuscript the dialogues and narrations are guided by pages and panels. Descriptions of the scenes are also provided similar to a novel or short story but it must be brief and easy to understand. Other details such as Title, Writer or Pen Name, and Genre/s are important to be included in a comic manuscript.
Title – should be maximum of six words only. It must be connected to the story, should be catchy, and easy to remember.
Writer’s Real Name or Pen Name – the writers either use their real name or nickname and real surname or create a pen name that are their initials or sounds like a real name. All pen names that will be submitted will be approved and will be exclusive for Precious Pages Corporation only.
Genre – the genre or mix of genres should be provided in the manuscript for it will serve as the guide for the editor to evaluate the story. If it indicates Comedy / Drama / Romance then it should have proper divisions of the said genres.
Pages – the story should be a stand-alone type (meaning it could end in one volume or it could have a sequel or prequel). The various pages of Black Ink comics are 20, 60, and 120+ but currently we only accept 60 pages manuscript for evaluation.
Panels – should be minimum of two or three and maximum of five or six per page. Panels are guide for illustrators. It may or may not be followed depending on the interpretation of the drawings that can be made in a page but it is still important that the minimum and maximum guide should be followed.
Here is the edited version of the story by Claudine Erang (click the written manuscript below).
Here is how Jana Dhel interpreted the story (click the illustrated manuscript below).
Aside from the basic format there are other requirements to follow:
- Use size 11 Calibri font. Maximum of 25 words (total of dialogues) per page.
- The story must be written in popular Tagalog / Taglish / Colloquial or often formal language (depending on the fictional world or setting of the story).
- The story should be an original work and might fall any genre of Romance as long as it’s not Hentai or erotic themed stories. We could accept Ecchi type of stories as long as it has “safe” shots. It’s also not necessary to write a story with happy ending. We are currently not accepting any series.
- Contains Filipino values and culture (we encourage to use Kuya, Ate, Lolo, Lola… also to use “po” or “opo”… depending on who’s the character/s of the story).
- If you’re a creator (both writer and illustrator) there’s no need to draw or to create a storyboard along with the comic manuscript. The evaluation for illustrations has a different process and deadlines.
- Type the name of the character/s and all necessary details. Use names that are generic or could only be used in the Philippines like Pedro or Juan. If the character/s will be given an odd pet name or nickname that’s not connected to his or her real name it should have a reason why he or she was named that way.
- The story could be a retelling of Philippine myths or historical events, has establishments, things, or places that are found only in the Philippines.
- To avoid being overwhelmed with texts or descriptions the writer should plan the visual part and work on it page by page.
- Particular themes, genres, and deadline are given to those who wish to apply and submit their comic manuscript. The requirements may vary and are posted at the Facebook Page of Black Ink. Once all the requirements are completed it should be sent to the given e-mail and must have the subject BLACKink (insert title of the comic manuscript). Confirmation that the e-mail was received will be sent but the feedback will be sent after a month.
- Resume must be sent along with the manuscript. Included are real name, contact numbers, e-mail, complete address, age, date of birth, schools attended, year graduated, course, current company, job position, and the list of published works in case the applicant already submitted under a different company or imprint.
Not following the format or requirements means automatic rejection.