UcreateComics 2013: Breaking Down the Doors, Part 1: The Competition

When the economic downturn took Derek Adnams’ job, he made an eminently practical decision: he would become a comic book writer. He recently won the UcreateComics and Write Brothers comic book scripting competition and was awarded a contract to write SUITZ #2.  Over the next few weeks, Fanboy Comics will be chronicling Adnams’ journey throughout the creative process, as UcreateComics and Write Brothers will assist him in going from concept to development and production and, finally, to finished product.  This is his story.

By Derek Adnams

The first thing I can remember seeing is Amazing Spider Man #188. That was in 1979, and although I couldn’t read, I’d look at the pictures and make up words to go along with them. In high school I started writing comic books properly, following the writers whose talent spoke to my teenage wasteland mentality – people like Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Chris Claremont, Neil Gaiman, and Grant Morrison. Always Grant Morrison.

With college came a decreased interest in comic books. Once I entered the “work force,” my creative passion all but evaporated until 2012 – the year of change. I rediscovered my love of comic books thanks to All-Star Superman by the above mentioned Mr. Morrison. My creative fires were rekindled.

I threw myself fully into the world of comic book writing, learning everything I could about the craft and the business. I was lucky enough to have the first scripts I ever wrote, two 3-page vignettes for Pross Comics, published. I went on to co-write Average Jo #1 for the same company. An independent publisher (who shall remain nameless) greenlit a six-issue series, but it was abruptly cancelled due to monetary concerns. Stupid economy, always messing things up.

In 2013 a story I wrote called “he” was published in Indie Comics Magazine #7, with art by my long-time collaborator Brandon Bullock and the remarkable color effects of Justin Wood. I was wasting a little time on Facebook one day and came across the posting for a writing contest sponsored by UcreateComics and Write Brothers script software. I’d seen advertisements for the UcreateComics Big Break Tour with Kevin Smith and Neal Adams, so I figured it was a legitimate contest, as I didn’t see a pair of industry giants attaching themselves to a fly-by-night operation. The winner received $1,000, a set of script-writing software, and a share of sales. A big bonus, as a writer, was that the illustrating contract for artist Steve Legge would be paid for by UcreateComics.

Then, I had to put together a pitch. It was an oddly liberating experience to work within the constraints of an existing premise – a reality show that’s “out of this world” in which four ordinary people suddenly acquire extraordinary powers. The work needed to be a self-contained morality play in 20 pages, so I chose a setting and characters that would be easily understood by the reader and representative of the higher concept. Once the pitch, SUITZ: Riot Act, was accepted I went into marketing mode. My contest strategy was simple: the saturation bombing of every contact I had ever made.

When voting closed on October 10th and I saw that I had won, all I could think of was, “I actually have to write this thing now, don’t I?”

Please be sure to follow Derek's adventures in the upcoming article Breaking Down the Doors, Part 2: Working with an Editor.

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