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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Smashing Pumpkins Tribute Anthology Comic

A few weeks ago, I came across a short anthology comic that featured stories inspired by the songs of the Pixies.  While I’ve never been the biggest Pixies fan, I really liked the concept and was excited to see other comics out there inspired by other bands and artists that I grew up with.  I was shocked, however, to see that no one had assembled a comic book tribute to my all-time favorite band, The Smashing Pumpkins. 

I’ve decided to fix that and, in 2013, I plan to launch a massive comic book anthology tribute to one of the most influential musical acts of the last 25 years.
Since announcing the project on Twitter, I have received a lot of questions from potential contributors and I’d like to take this opportunity to answers some of them and lay the plans for the comic, though I won’t be pushing this in earnest until after Wizard World Chicago in August.  In other words, you’ll get some info now, but there is plenty more to come.

Who is in charge? Who do I contact?

I will be serving as the main editor of the project.  While I hope to assemble an editorial team, I’m spearheading this project myself.  Until the team is assembled, any questions about the project can go through me.  I’ve even set up a special email address for the project where you can reach me: 

Is this officially authorized by the Smashing Pumpkins?
As of right now, no it is not.  However, I will be making every attempt to get this authorized and blessed by the band. I actually have someone who may be able to put me into contact with Billy Corgan, but I want to have a good plan before I present the project to him.  Even without authorization, however, we will be moving forward.

What exactly is a “tribute comic anthology?”

The anthology will feature stories that are directly inspired by the songs of the Smashing Pumpkins.  These can be straight-up interpretations, personal stories that involve the songs, or stories that are simply inspired by the imagery and music.  The idea is to pay tribute to how the music has affected the creators and inspired them to create comics and art.

What Smashing Pumpkins songs will be used?

This is entirely dependent on the creators.  I’d like to break the anthology into ten sections, one corresponding with each of the Smashing Pumpkins major releases—1. Gish, 2. Siamese Dream, 3. Pisces Iscariot, 4. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, 5. The Aeroplane Flies High, 6. Adore, 7. Machina/Machina II, 8. Zeitgeist, 9. Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, and 10. Ocenia.The amount of stories per section will depend on the contributions submitted, but I would like the project to reflect the entire Smashing Pumpkins catalogue from their very beginnings to the present.  Obviously not everyone will be able to do a story inspired by “Today” or “Tonight, Tonight,” so if you are interested, be creative.  The Pumpkins have officially and unofficially released hundreds of songs in the last 25 years—pick something unexpected and create a compelling story around it!
Are you looking for contributors now?
Yes! I am still working out a formal submission process, but if you are interested in contributing, please contact me.  We will need all manner of creators for this project—writers, pencilers, inkers, colorists, letterers, pin-up artists.  If you’ve been inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins and have a desire to create, please get in contact with me!  You can use the official email address of the project

I’d like to have a mix of established creators and up-and-coming talent in the book.  This should be seen not only as an opportunity to show our appreciation for the Smashing Pumpkins, but also as a way to launch the careers of some new comic book creators!

Will we get paid for our contributions?

That is the big question now, isn’t it?  I’m still mulling this over.  This is entirely a passion project for me, but I understand that most creators can’t work for free (or can’t do their best work for free).  I’m still mapping out the scope of the project (page count, print run, distribution, etc), which affects the budget.  Once I know more, I will start the formal submission process and will be very upfront and transparent about the payment process.  Depending on how this goes, the project may end up being funded via a Kickstarter campaign.

What is the plan for release?
Again, there are a lot of factors that go into this.  Right now, my goal is to have the book ready before San Diego Comic Con 2013.  I’d like to have it done even earlier, but there are still so many unanswered questions, so I’m giving us some buffer room.  I will be contacting publishers about distributing the book and there is still the question of whether or not we can get this officially approved by the Smashing Pumpkins.  This is just the first post and there is plenty of more information to come.

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