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2016 Comics Contests and Awards

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 21, 2016, 5:28 PM
Joining | Submitting | About Us | Featured Articles | Summer 2012 Contest | Live Sessions

:bulletyellow: This is a basic layout of some of the main points of each contest. We strongly advise reading the "Details and Official Rules" at the top of each heading.

Manga Jiman

:star: Details and Official Rules (2016)

:bulletred: This is a CONTEST.  Entrants must be UK residents aged 14 and older.
:bulletred: There is an additional 4-koma contest which is available only to 11, 12, and 13 year olds.

:bulletred: Deadline:  Monday 24 October 2016

:bulletred: Specs: "A story created on 6 to 8 A4-sized pages and drawn so that it reads from left to right.  Theme: SIGHTS OF JAPAN"

Because no template is given for the main contest, the live area and below template is only a recommendation.
- Paper Size
210mm x 297mm

- "Live" Area
192mm x 267mm

:bulletred: Templates:
Non-standard A4 Temp by kabocha A4 4koma Template by kabocha

:bulletred: Format:  Left-to-right

:bulletred: Submission: Only send photocopies, along with the entry form.  Entry form is downloadable off the manga Jiman website.

:bulletred: Send Entries To:
Not provided yet, will be updated when information is available.  (After the Bradford Literature Festival)

10th International MANGA Award

:star: Details and Official Rules

:bulletorange: This is an AWARD.  Entrants must have produced their work outside Japan.  Published and unpublished work completed within the past three years are eligible, unless they've previously gotten this award.

:bulletorange: Deadline: June 30th 2016

:bulletorange: Specs: "The MANGA works (24 or more pages) must have been produced outside Japan."
One submission per entrant.

:bulletorange: Format: Unspecified.  

:bulletorange: Rights: "The artist agrees to images of the aforementioned work being placed on Web sites and distributed along with press releases.  The artist warrants that the work does not infringe upon an copyright or other rights of any third party. If a third party claims any rights over the work, the artist shall take full responsibility."

:bulletorange: Submission: Two copies of your work must be submitted with the entry form.  (Additional copies may be requested for works being considered for an award.)
It's advised to send photocopies, not originals.

:bulletorange: Send Entries To:
MBE108 The Tenth International MANGA Award Executive Committee
B1F Yuraku-cho bldg.
1-10-1 Yuraku-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
Postcode: 100-0006

Silent Manga Audition

:star: Details and Official Rules
FAQ 1 & FAQ 2
Theme Announcement

:bulletgreen: This is a CONTEST focusing on manga without the use of dialog.

:bulletgreen: Deadline: September 30, 2016

:bulletgreen: Specs: "Use the power of your artwork to tell the story, with NO dialogue.  We STRONGLY recommend everyone to keep the story short, around 10 pages or even less."

- Paper Size
257mm x 364mm

- Outer Frame / Outside Border / Trimmed Size:
220mm x 310mm

- "Live" Area
180mm x 270mm

:bulletgreen: Template:
Smac template by kabocha

:bulletgreen: Format: Unspecified.  

:bulletgreen: Rights: "The terms of application clearly forbids you from publishing your work elsewhere other than the Silent Manga Audition. Doing so may void your award winnings, so please refrain from doing so, until award results announcement!

However, when results are announced and you did not receive an award, you are free to release your work anywhere else. We will be posting your entry on our website unless requested not to, by the author.

For award winners, there may be different arrangement. Please talk to the Silent Manga audition administrative regarding your intended use of the title."

Basically:  Don't post your entry until before the results are announced.  If you win, there may be a contract.  If you don't win, you're free to do what you win.

:bulletgreen: Submission:   Previous rounds allow multiple submissions.  This is not likely to change, but the information is not yet available.

:bulletgreen: Submit Via:
Register and upload submissions.

Shonen JUMP Treasure New Artist Prize

:star: Rules and Guidelines

:bulletblue: This is a CONTEST run monthly by Shueisha.  Award ceremonies are held twice annually.

:bulletblue: Deadline: End of Each month

:bulletblue: Specs: "The same as 1.2 times of "Weekly Shonen Jump"
Your manuscript should be about B4 sized.  For story-based manga, your comic should be either 31 pages or 45 pages in length.
For gag manga, your comic should be 15 pages, 19 pages, or 31 pages.

- Paper Size
Between 230-260 mm wide by 330-365 mm tall (Approx B4)

- Live Area
180mm x 270mm

:bulletblue: Template:

:bulletblue: Format: Right -> Left; Must be in Japanese.

:bulletblue: Rights: "All copyrights including publishing, broadcasting, staging and filming rights will belong to Shueisha."

:bulletblue: Submission: "Your manuscripts will not be returned. Please take copies in advance.  On the reverse of the final page of your manuscript, print your postal code, address, name, age, occupation, telephone number (or contact number), and brief background details."

:bulletblue: Send Entries To:
The JUMP treasure new artist prize
2-5-10 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku

Aniventure Manga Contest

:star: Rules and Guidelines

:bulletpurple: This is a CONTEST run by Aniventure and Manga Academy.  It is open to international participation.

:bulletpurple: Deadline: August 1st , 2016

:bulletpurple: Specs:
You need to use their recommended font (download available on Aniventure's contest page)
"Short manga":
From 2 to 8 pages + 1 cover (total 3 to 9 pages)

"Long manga":
From 15 to 25 pages + 1 cover (total 16 to 26 pages)

- Paper Size
A5 at 300DPI

:bulletpurple: Template:
Available online

:bulletpurple: Format: Right -> Left; Bulgarian OR English

:bulletpurple: Submission: "To be able to participate with your manga, it should be sent to by August 1st , 2016 including:
*Files (or link for downloading the files) of the pages, where the file names correspond to the order of pages
*your full names
*Complete an informational form with information about yourself (if you're one of the winners this information will be published with your manga in the printed book of Aniventure)"

:bulletpurple: Send Entries To:

Closed Contests - Might Reopen

:bulletred: Society of Illustrators - Comic and Cartoon Art Competition - [Information] Has an entry fee

:bulletred: Morning International Comic Competition - [Information] Has not had a contest since 2011

:bulletred: Tezuka Award & Akatsuka Award - [Information] Ended March 31; will likely run again.


Know of other contests going on?  Let us know and we'll update this blog!

So You Wanna Make Some Merch...

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 9, 2016, 1:05 PM
Joining | Submitting | About Us | Featured Articles | Summer 2012 Contest | Live Sessions

So You Wanna Make Some Merch...
A brief overview about the different printing and merchandise options I've come across.
by kabocha

:star: An original article by kabocha
Originally Published Sept 17, 2010; Updated June 9, 2016
New additions to the list have been marked.

If you've ever been to a convention...

:bulletred: Preparing for the Artist Alley can be a little stressful.  There are so many questions, such as:
What kind of artwork should I do?
What kind of merchandise sells well?
How am I going to display my stuff?
Where am I going to get this all done...?!

:bulletred: The first three questions are a little tricky to answer!  (But guess what?  There's a survey and report which covers some of that, broken down by convention!)

Also note, while this list contains many resources, make sure to do a search for print shops in your city to see what's available, and find what they can do for you!

If you're into making comics or just want to sell things, you definitely want to look around for companies who can meet your needs!


:bulletorange: Greko Printing
Comments:  This printer is local to Michigan, but has come recommended by a couple of artists on Twitter.

:bulletorange: Ka-Blam
Recommended by the artist and author behind Caf-fiends, Gina Biggs, and several other artists.
Comments: They are reportedly slow to process orders, so don't use them as your printer when you're on a time crunch!

:bulletorange: Keness
Recommended by several artists, such as robokiss, and ShouriMajo

:bulletorange: PrintKeg
Offers booklet printing as well as postcards, posters, and more!

:bulletorange: PrintNinja
A fairly popular printing company which does their printing in China.  They're not bad, but do require a minimum order of 250 books.

:bulletorange: RA Comics Direct
Based on what I've seen printed by them, they produce fairly good quality for the price of their books.  Recommended by alakotila and robokiss.  They have minimum orders of at least 25 copies for books.  They also offer banner signage and other merch.

:bulletorange: Rink Printing
Based in South Bend, Indiana, and recommended on Twitter by the GCC Ladies Night.

:bulletorange: Transcontinental
Suggested by Gina Biggs.  A very large company which offers offset printing.  
Comments: Ideal if you are going to print a large run of books; it's almost as expensive to print 500 books as it was 1,000...  It's highly recommended that you obtain a quote before making a run.

:bulletorange: UK Comics Creative
Recommended by natashadown as a very dependable printer within the UK.  As she notes, they've "been the best price I could find and great quality so far!"


:bulletgreen: Catprint
Catprint has a lot of options, including a holographic print option!  Their 11 x 17 prints are actually quite cheap, as outlined on their Art and Printing Services page.

:bulletgreen: Costco Photo Center
021 used Costco her prints, and they turned out quite lovely!  Apparently they are quite cheap for the quality of some of the sizes - but individual posters can turn out quite expensive.
Comments: Their shipping seems a bit expensive, so you may want to consider visiting a location near you in order to lower prices.

:bulletgreen:  Staples
A general office store with varying quality based on the location.  A convention that Kita-Angel recently went to had several artists that pooled together to use Staples' printing services.
Comments:They aren't the cheapest you can find, but their turnaround can be pretty quick if you need something local.  They're a rather large chain,  but the quality can vary from store to store - based on their staff training and other factors.

A business card can speak volumes about you with just a few lines.  For instance, Alex's says that he's a bit too fancy to be working at a convention.  ...Maybe.

Business Cards & Promotional Materials

:bulletblue: Best Value Copy
The quality for the price seems to be quiet good, according to Tsukiyono-Miyu.

:bulletblue: ClubFlyers
Another recommendation from Caf-Fiends.  The cards are actually pretty nice looking, with a gloss on both sides...  They do 500 free cards, with a TINY line on the back for their advertisement.

:bulletblue: GotPrint
These guys were mentioned by RavynCrescent.  They do some MASSIVE orders of business cards (anyone need a few thousand for cheap), and she seems to like them.

:bulletblue: Moo
I like them, but they're a touch expensive.  Has locations in both the US and the UK.

:bulletblue: Overnight Prints
This one was recommended by the author of The System.  I've used their printing services in the past, and they turned out pretty good, with a few extras since some in the box were damaged.
Comments: They ship fast and respond well to customer inquiries.  Remember: If you're going to work in greyscale, make sure your image is in greyscale mode before sending it, or else something weird might happen.

:bulletblue:  VistaPrint
Vistaprint may offer freebies when you order from them - so they may be worth a look!  Often has promotions and discounts which makes printing very cheap!

Nothing advertises better than having people wear your awesome merchandise!  ...Unless Reed's the one wearing it.  But that's okay, we love him anyway.

Misc. Merch

:bulletpurple: Artscow
Custom print clothing, booklets, and other merchandise.

:bulletpurple: Acorn Press
Acorn Press is a service specializing in Acrylic Charms, but also may be offering prints and T-shirts in the near future!

:bulletpurple: Blue Collar Press
Another fairly cheap place to get screen printing done, as suggested by Gina Biggs.

:bulletpurple: Brunetto
They have a low minimum order, and provide good quality shirts.  Take a look at some of their customers for yourselves and see what ya think!  Anyway, this was another recommendation by the Caf-fiends author and artist. :meow:

:bulletpurple: BuyButtonParts
They sell button parts for you button-making types!
Comments:It has been suggested that the Badge a Minit machines are good for small buttons, but you wanna avoid anything smaller than 1.25" inches (3.175 cm).

:bulletpurple: ClearBags
Their Crystal clear bags have been recommended by luciole.  If you're selling prints, these are always useful to have on hand!  (Or you can package your other merchandise in them - it's completely up to you!)

:bulletpurple: ClearDisplays
The displays made by this company look quite nice, and work well for convention tables, if you're looking for a way to display your merchandise.

:bulletpurple: Crucial Pins
This company is located in Canada... And they do buttons.  The prices look pretty nice, too.
Comments:Recently, I got a quote from them.  If you're in the US and want to use them, it's going to be an additional $5 or so to get your buttons shipped...  Since they have to cross borders and such.  On the whole, though, it's not a terrible increase in price. If it's something you're worried about, get a quote!  They're friendly and responsive!

:bulletpurple: Inkit Labs
Does a variety of charm printing in materials such as wood and acrylic.

:bulletpurple: JiMi Agency
A merchandise group ordering service based in South Korea.  Order openings are announced ahead of time, and require registration in order to sign up.  Prices include shipping.  Merchandise offered may vary depending on the order.

:bulletpurple: Lord Sticks-a-Lot
Recommended by ShouriMajo -- they offer sparkly buttons!

:bulletpurple: Med Merch Orders
A merchandise ordering service based in California.  Order openings are announced and run, and products vary.  Doujinshi printing available.

:bulletpurple: StickerMule
Stickermule offers a variety of custom stickers to use for a variety of purposes.

:bulletpurple: ZapCreatives
A UK-based printer for acrylic and wood charms, stamps, and other merchandise printing!

All these places aside, there are still tons of other printers and businesses to investigate!

Regardless, if you find an option that you like better, or have had good experiences with, feel free to share it with us!

If you do decide to go with these types of businesses, you definitely should pay attention to their guidelines, templates, and requirements to ensure your work comes out well.

:heart: :iconkabocha:

Related Manga-Apps Articles:

:star: Artist Alley First-Timer? What You Need to Know!

Feedback Wanted

Journal Entry: Fri Apr 22, 2016, 7:11 AM
Joining | Submitting | About Us | Featured Articles | Summer 2012 Contest | Live Sessions

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the lack of exciting news and articles lately -- there's been a lot of things going on in our lives offline!  We'd like to change that, though, and get back to providing helpful resources!

So, what sorts of things do you want to see from Manga-Apps?

Do you have questions, or trouble approaching specific topics when you draw?

What sorts of articles, materials, and tutorials do you want to see more of?


The Grawlix CMS

Journal Entry: Sun May 10, 2015, 8:02 AM
Joining | Submitting | About Us | Featured Articles | Summer 2012 Contest | Live Sessions

What is The Grawlix CMS?

Product Site:
Type: Content Management System for Comics
Price: FREE
License: MIT Open Source
Tech Level: Intermediate
For Use With: Personal Domain & Hosting
Recommended? Yes

A while back, we went over different options for hosting your own webcomic. One of the comics-central CMS (content management system) options we mentioned was the soon-to-be-launched Grawlix.

Well, good news, everyone!  The Grawlix CMS is now available.  Grawlix is brand new, but the 1.0 release works well. If you're an intermediate user with experience hosting your own website, Grawlix is a lightweight and effective content management system for your webcomic.

Who’s behind The Grawlix CMS?

The powerhouse developers behind The Grawlix CMS are Ben Gremillion and Cherie Benoit.  While testing the software, I communicated with them to share impressions and tech issues.  They were communicative, helpful, and patient, especially with technological and installation concerns.
Grawlix 1.0 is also made possible through the support and help of nice folks like Jeff Laclede (Grawlix user, designer of site mascot) and Brad Guigar (consultant).

My thoughts on The Grawlix CMS

I recommend Grawlix 1.0 to someone who has some technical experience with running their own website.

If you’re unfamiliar with manually installing software such as WordPress, getting started with The Grawlix CMS might be a little alien to you.  I recommend reading the documentation.

There’s also a support forum which you can use to communicate with the developers and other users.

Setting up The Grawlix CMS was fairly straightforward – though in the version I tested, the installer required that I edit the configuration file myself.  The code was provided after I entered my database credentials, so it’s an easy step!
Once installed, the CMS runs pretty smoothly. I found the the system to be lightweight and intuitive. I tested it in a variety of environments, and found that the following conditions worked best:

1.     A server running cPanel (Linux and Apache)
2.    PHP 5.3 or newer
3.    MySQL

Not every webhost will be able to support this set-up. If you don’t know what your webhost’s capabilities are, consult them and see what options are available to you.

Other platforms I tested were using IIS with PHP 5.3, and a Parallels-based system with Apache and nginx.  Neither of those worked particularly well and required tinkering on the server to get it working better.

All in all, I like the Grawlix CMS.  It seems like a promising alternative to some of the other Comic CMSes out there.  If you’re looking to start a new comic, consider giving it a shot!

And by the way - you can support this project on Patreon!
:iconkabocha: kabocha

Hosting Your Own Webcomic

Journal Entry: Sat Jan 10, 2015, 2:42 PM
Joining | Submitting | About Us | Featured Articles | Summer 2012 Contest | Live Sessions

What is Web Hosting

With the previously discussed closure of InkBlazers, there are many authors looking for a new home to move to.  While several are going to Tapastic, there are still some who may want to break free of reliance on communities for their primary source of income, and create their own websites.

Web Hosting is, in a nutshell, a service-based where you get space on someone else's server to display (host) your own website.
When you buy web hosting services from a company, you are essentially buying your own little piece of the Internet.

There are other ways to have a presence on the Internet, but having your own website allows you greater control over how things look and work.

Most paid web hosting offer things such as the following in their packages:
:bulletred: Space for your website*
:bulletred: Access to the website files using FTP
:bulletred: The ability to access your website using a domain name
:bulletred: The ability to utilize scripting languages such as PHP or ASP.NET
:bulletred: Access to SQL-based databases
:bulletred: Access to create email addresses with their packages

*Many webhosts will say that they offer "Unlimited" space or bandwidth, thanks to the way their servers are configured.  In the fine print, most of these hosts actually have a disclaimer stating that their Unlimited Resources Policy applies only to files meant for your website, and not for storing or sharing files that aren't a part of your site.  If you are found in violation of these policies, they may contact you.

:lightbulb: But what does all that mean?

Here's a brief breakdown of some terms and acronyms you might see in use by a webhost:

:bulletred: Domain name - This is the .com/.net/.org address that people use to access your website.  For example: is the domain name for deviantArt; and if you had a comic, you could have a domain name of  While a domain name is not required to have hosting, it's VERY helpful to have one for your website.  If you're going for a recognizable way to put yourself out there, it's almost vital.

:bulletred: Linux vs Windows - These are two different operating systems used for Web Hosting. Usually, you don't want to pick your hosting based on the operating system (unless you're looking at a private server), but rather on what is supported in the environment.

:bulletred: Apache vs IIS - These, like the above, are two different web server software options which are very popular.  Apache is what you'll see 99% of the time on a Linux box, and occasionally on a Windows server.  Windows servers often use IIS, which supports the ASP.NET framework.  Both server software options have the ability to run PHP.
IIS is exclusive to Windows, while Apache can run on both operating systems.

:bulletred: PHP - This is a popular scripting language which is used for software like WordPress and Joomla.

:bulletred: ASP (ASP.NET) - ASP is Microsoft's scripting language, which natively runs on Windows server installations with IIS.

:bulletred: SQL Database - This is a family of databases which use a similar architecture and syntax for executing queries.  The two most common types in webhosting are MySQL (commonly run on Linux) and MSSQL (runs on Windows).  Most software will tell you what type of SQL database you need, and usually will provide minimum version requirements.

:bulletred: FTP - File transfer protocol.  This is how you move files between your computer and your website.

Do I want my own website?

What can you do with your own site?  Pretty much anything.  You get to choose the content and appearance, and also are able to decide who can do what (to an extent).

It can be pretty convenient!

On the other hand, you actually have to maintain the website.  If you're running software like WordPress, it's important to periodically check if it's up to-date, like you would for your own computer.  Your webhost will most likely NOT maintain or update your website for you.  (They may update the server, though.)
If you write your own code, it goes almost without saying that you may need to update it periodically as the server is updated.

Google has an article over at their WebMaster Academy which also goes over the pros and cons of having your own webspace.

Once you decide if you want your own website, it's time to choose your package and your host.

What kinds of web hosting are there?

There's three main types of hosting out there:

Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server Hosting, and Dedicated.

Most of these packages come in two flavors: Linux, or Windows.

:bulletgreen: Shared Hosting is where a company charges relatively cheap rates to put a bunch of customers on one server.  It's like the apartments of web hosting.  This is great for websites that don't get a lot of traffic.  Be aware, however, if someone's being a bad "neighbor," it can affect the performance of your site!  Most shared hosting pakcages don't require you to interact with the server, and come with a control panel interface, such as cPanel or the Parallels Panel.

:bulletgreen: Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is like having your own townhouse.  You get more control over the environment, and a lot of space.  Most webhosts won't manage the server itself for you (unless they say they do).  In return, you get the freedom to make changes to your system to do what you want!

:bulletgreen: Dedicated Server hosting is like having your own house.  Depending on the company you go with, you may get to customize your build - though you don't own the hardware.

Other types of hosting you'll see are Cloud hosting, which allows you to pay for resources you use by the hour (or for a longer term, depending on the provider), and colocation, where you send your own server to a datacenter.

Well, that's all fine and dandy, what if I want MacOS For my server?
Work that out with your hosting company, but be aware that MacOS isn't a typical option for hosting.  You'd likely be responsible for the configuration and maintenance of such a system.
...And if you're asking for that, you probably aren't the target audience of this article.

Okay, I have hosting! How do I set up a comic?

Getting into setting up a webcomic might be a little bit out of the scope of this article - but I'll list the two main options below:

1.  Create each page for a comic using HTML & CSS - This is awesome if you want to have full control over the layout of each page.  One comic that does this to great effect is Unsounded (NSFW at times) - where some panels just burst out of the page and into the layout.

2.  Use a Content Management System - This allows you to upload your comic using blogging software, and you usually don't need to worry about code at all.  Using a content management system (CMS) comes with its own pitfalls, however -- so this is something you would need to make sure is up-to-date regularly.  I've listed a few options below:
:bulletblue: WordPress with any of the following:
ComicPress OR Comic Easel

*WordPress comes with its own set of issues, so if you choose to go this route, you may want to look at this quick article:

:bulletblue: WebcomicX - This is a C#-based CMS, which requires a Windows-based environment.  By the looks of it, this is best run on an Azure-based cloud server.

:bulletblue: Graffito for Joomla - If you don't want to use WordPress, Joomla might be of use!  Grafitto seems to be best with an older version of Joomla, so tread carefully.

Not yet released but worth a watch:
:bulletblue: Grawlix CMS - Rumor has it that a beta is coming soon!

And So...

That's pretty much it!  Once you get set up, start posting comics and have fun!  Having your own site can be its own reward, so it's definitely worth a shot if you're willing to put in the time and effort!

Happy New Year, and enjoy making comics!

This article is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute technical support.
You should reach out to the technical support team of the service or software provider you are using with respect to any particular issue you may be experiencing.


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