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VIZ Talks Original Submissions

VIZ Senior Editor of Original Content Eric Searleman talks VIZ OEL.

Since VIZ has re-opened submissions for their original content program, I sat down for a few quick questions with Eric  Searleman, Senior Editor of the program. These are just some of the basics; not much has changed, but I'm sure some of you didn't hear all the info the first time it was announced, and I did manage to pick up a few new details-- including whether or not VIZ is interested in original prose content as well as comics. Let's get into it.
 
Anime Vice:  You posted the submission release form, but no guidelines as to the actual manga submissions themselves. What kind of submissions and pitches are you looking for? Are you accepting only work that have both a writer and artist (be they two people or one), or will you be accepting submissions from writers who do not yet have artists for

their works? Are there any particular genres or demographics you're aiming for? 
 
Eric Searleman: VIZ Media is hoping to publish a wide range of material. We’re not just looking for manga submissions (or stuff that only looks like manga). We don’t want to limit anyone in any way. We’re looking for good comics. It’s that simple.  
 
As for what to submit, here’s the scoop: Creators should send me a standard pitch-like package—a page or two of description, three pages of finished artwork, and some character designs. A resume and cover letter (of course) should be included. And don’t forget the release form at www.viz.com/comics . Keep in mind that you are pitching us. You are not submitting finished assets ready for publication. That’s not how it works.
 

AV:  You say that the submission should have "finished artwork;" does that mean that submissions from writers who do not have artists for their work are not eligible?
 
ES:  No, that’s not correct. We want to see submissions from anyone who has a great idea for a comic book. If a writer is not attached to an artist, that writer can still send a pitch. Their submission, naturally, just won’t include any artwork. That’s the only difference.   
 
AV: And now, the "when" question: how soon might a submitter hear back about their submission? And readers will want to know, how soon might we start hearing about the books selected-- how soon might they reach bookstore shelves? 

 
ES:  The last time we opened our gates for submissions we received a mountainous amount of mail. Do not expect to hear back from us unless we are interested in your pitch. I’m sorry if this sounds insensitive, but my priorities are focused on assembling creative talent I want to publish.  

 
Concerning the second part of your question, it’s too early in the process to accurately gauge when our original books will hit bookstores.
 
AV: VIZ has moved into publishing a lot of novels in addition to manga; will the company ever consider original novels? I know many readers have asked about wanting to publish "light" illustrated novels similar to the Japanese style-- is this something VIZ would ever consider?

ES: It’s true—we’re having success with our Haikasoru imprint featuring Japanese science fiction novels. But the answer is no, we have had no discussions whatsoever about publishing original novels.  
 
So there you have it: writers-only welcome, as long as your project is a manga, not a novel...at least for the time being. Anyone gonna run with it?
GodLen staff on Oct. 9, 2009 at 11:44 p.m.
What do you know,  I'm a writer~  *starts writing script*

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