Its Gotta Be Creative
Its Gotta Be Creative

Season 5, Episode 1 · 11 months ago

IGTBC SPECIAL: What is the Negative Space Comic Book Competition with Alex Dvorak and Nahuel Fanjul-Arguijo


In this special episode of Its Gotta Be Creative, we are joined by Alex Dvorak and Nahuel Fanjul-Arguijo, co-founders of Negative Space Comics, as they share all the details, YOU need to know to enter your comic script into the Negative Space comic book writing competition, giving emerging comic book writers a clear path into the industry. The grand prize winner receives $500 and mentorship from industry professionals!

After listening, head to for all the competition details.

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Let's let's get this. Where did your guys pass me? And then how did that then kind of get to negative space? Welcome back to another episode with God to be creative. I'm your host. Ay there, Alio, and, as always, we have an amazing show ahead. To sit back relax into it. The show. We have comics with then other side. We're not, you know, in Boblo comics and stuff. So how did that kind of come together? You know, going to the negative space. So we actually met in high school. We were both in the same small town in schools right across the street from each other. You went to be always coil went to the all girls school. So we were friends all throughout and then through our like we were talking about our college experiences and obviously me and my cancer journey and all those things. We didn't see each other. We you know, lost touch, like a lot of people in high school do, and and then we reconnected when we both ended up in New York together. Do you ever reconnect, like just because New York? I should hit him up. WHO REACHED OUR HORST? So, so, funny enough are I was still able to like hear what Alex was going through in college. Her best friend growing up went through college with me. So in college I would stay able to just here for them. Her shoutout to meg. She was able to like tell me how Alex was doing, how treats, treatment was going, and she kind of kept me up to day on Alex because we were close friends in high school. Then it was when I was in Argentina for the year right before coming to New York. I was coming out of an aunt that lives here, so I was coming to stay here with her and I was just trying to like find friends that I knew that we're in New York right. We like followed each other in instagram. I kind of knew that she was here and I hit her up to the kind of hang out and that's when we started hanging out, worked out catch up. Yeah, are quote, we were we were gonna, we were gonna catch up, you know, in life and all that, and just it just was a really fun catch up. Yeah, then negative space obviously didn't come about till many years later. My whole family's in Puerto Rico and after the or well, you know, we're still, I guess, in the pandemic, but after lockdown had lifted and we had gotten vaccinated. He and I were like, let's go visit my family quarter goes some you know, it's a place we go to usually very often. So it had been a while since we had gone. Rough few few years, yes, very and so it was actually we're like hanging out, chilling on the beach and he was like, okay, I have this idea. So right up, it's like a good idea here. Hear me out, hear me out. He's like, so, you know, we're applying all these like screenwriting to you, writing, like competitions, fellowships, laughs and all the things. And he, as I say, is a comic book Nerd, and he was like there's nothing like it comp book industry. He said, what do you think? I was like Shit, that's brilliant. So right away we like went home and as we're like speed walking so like my beach house, were like, I'm taking down notes on my phone. I was like no, no, we're gonna just miss in this. And then that the name came to us, like what's going to be negative space? We just like it. It happened really quickly because I am of the belief that if you have a creative idea, you got to jump on it, like now we're else, it goes to somebody else. It's just sort of like a spiritual thing, I believe. So we jumped on it and it was a hundred percent all him, all his idea, and then, I think my Gusto makes make shit happen. It's like that. That's the one piece I'll add on. Alex is a Badass Bitch, like she says at the time. She makes things happen and already podcast. Yeah, I do say it all. I am a firm list she's a bad bitch and yeah, that she's always been a great push and a lot of the things that I do. So...

...really making me realize that I can have a writing life outside of a nine to five job that pays the bills while I write on the side or whatever it is that she pushes a lot of that stuff and she makes me realize that ideas that I have can actually be bigger than they really are. So in my head I was like sitting there being like Oh, yeah, this's what if we did a com book writing competition and like she was like yes, since she gets the phone now, sort taking knows, and I was like Oh, but, like, but, like Wayley what we like for this out. I's like no, no, weed to do it, do it, do it. So she runs with it. She's a big idea. She makes things big. She takes something and she makes something out of it. So the fact that I was looking up at that idea came up while we were sitting next to each other, because if we had, if I have, I would have had that idea. Know what are they killed on to a fopod days and the kind of forgotten about it. This one't we wouldn't be here. So I was lucky enough that had to. That idea came to me while we were together. If it comes to you do, you sit down and you do it. I've just am of that belief. I also like have the weird or amazing point of view of like I feel like I'm in my bonus life, like I wasn't really expecting to like live this long. So for me, like everything sort of like a well, why not? Oh, but we want to do this. Well, why not? Like I kind of don't sometimes I don't see as many barriers as other people. I like just do the things, like do the things you allow, like who cares? Like do the scary shit and get on stage or do the you know, like there's just I feel a sense that there is not time. So why not go for it? So so, yes, we went for it with negative space and just I feel like we've we jumped into talking about it without even really explaining what it is. So negative space is, yeah, we're starting off with our very first com book writing competition and it is this one. Our first competition is focused on the script, solely the script. So anyone who's a writer out there who has been sitting on an idea, there's there're still plenty of time to submit. Our final deadline is in a Toi. December. And what's really important to us the way we've mentioned before with our writing, the way we talked about after college and finding our way back into our writing careers. We did because of our mentors. We did because of people who said, oh no, wait, that's you, you have a voice, that's a good idea. You you can do this, even if you don't know how yet. And that's really what negative face is all about. So our first competition is going to involve three incredible amazing mentors, right, and it's it's so important and and for us. Yes, of course we wanted people in the combook industry that had, you know, titles that would make people want to submit in the first place. But it's so much more than that, like we really wanted to find, I feel like I mentors are really specific personality, like it's someone who's who's open and kind and generous, generous with our time, generous with their resources, generous with our network, because we all know what that is when when someone else sees us as a peer instead of as someone like lesser than or like not quite in the industry or whatever that vieup is. So yeah, so that's luckily we've been able to find with you and our other two incredible mentors, which know all can talk more about them. But I like to talk about the combook industry sort of in similar terms as the film entertainment industry in Hollywood, where it can be incredibly difficult to get your very first but in the door, and often you get that from the door because of someone you know. And if you're in that small town, like we talked about that we used to be in, where you don't know anyone or you feel totally underrepresented or not seeing or you know woman industry though it's very important to like help some people that don't know how to get any yet, but know that they're sitting on like I believe we're going to find those jumps, because great writing finds its way up. It finds its way up period. So I don't think it matters what you look like or where you're from. So we're really excited in finding those gems. Like I kind of cannot wait and then being able to give this incredible human over to our mentors and and know that they're going to be like well taken care of. And like I can't wait to show off our winners and be like see how...

God us they are now a year later, and see how we're able to like help their career. And we want to give back in ways that we have always wanted other people to do for us. You know, we're all creatives and intertry so we know what that feels like. Like we're saying earlier, I get a lot of linkedin DM's. So when I first got like no hit up and like email everything. I'm always down to talk to people and, you know, share stuff and everything. Well, there's also a lot of times where you have to be, you know, like okay, is this? Is this the right person to take the time out or they going to put an effort whenever? And when I got in Guy's website and started by going through everything and the pitch deck and all that, I was like, okay, this is this is like a serious thing, this actually makes sense, vision for the future, like this is something that I want to be a part of and it's really doing something good for the industry. One of the things that I was interested, that got me really interested, is that you actually had like prizes, because there's a lot of competitions are like send us your ideas, he now own it, you know, own the rights to it or whatever, or you know saying it and we'll kind of give you like a patent in the back if you win, like congratulations, whatever. So for you got to do that kind of come from your own experiences. But competitions? Yeah, definitely. We've been submitting to competitions for a couple of years now since we started really focusing on a lot of our screenwriting and TV writing. From what I've noticed, I do think that screenwriting and TV writing competitions started in the right place. They started with some really big competitions that ultimately led to names and projects really, like Alex said, rising to the top and getting seen and getting produced being created. Now it's there's a lot of them out there. So Alex and I have both like experience these competitions where will submit our script that we really care about, will pay our hard earned money to like be a part of this competition and then we don't really hear anything. Maybe if if we go through the next day, so we get a quarter finalists or semi finalists, whatever it is, it's like a it's a it's an email and that's kind of it. If we win it, it's maybe here's a small check, maybe even not, and maybe it's just like they kind of just say congrats and an email and then they tell they have us kind of say like we won this thing, but like yeah, I don't really do anything about us, they don't really do anything for so they've gotten to be a little bit there's been a lot out there and I think it's because there's so many out there that people are trying to get a little discouraged. So the one thing that I noticed in one competition that I want with my screenplay, it was like the ment like the phone call after the fact. That really mattered. It being able, like actually sit and talk with a professional TV writer and here from them their experience and hear from them what they thought about what I wrote and where I can go with it. X and Alex and I both mentioned before, and the how she brought her up again, that it was really like finding someone that saw something in us, to really see a potential and say wanted to help. It was when I got my mentor, Christian, that I really started to focus on a screenplay that really went somewhere. It was when Alex met up with sue and got all this all these one on ones with her and she ended up getting published in The Washington Post and she ended up getting published and help them post, like all these things. I like, it was a mentor getting spending their time and wanting to be generous with their time and their knowledge that really mattered. And then a day, five hand bucks for the winners. It can make or break someone or it can be just an exit, little bit of cash or someone whatever, wherever you are in your life right now. But really what we cared about is the mentoring. There's a lot of steps in the comic book making that people don't know about. So there's the editors like you, there's professional writers like Andrea, one of our under Fotido or one of our other mentors. There's just this vast knowledge of the industry which, Justin Zeriman are our other mentor, has just like really understand the industry, how it works, where it's going, where it came from, all this information that he has. It's just his brilliant I I feel like I've had calls within where I just call it him.

He's one of my go to guys for for Comic Book World, and I'm supposed to just like catch up for ten minutes about this one thing that we got went on, and all of a sudden I'm sitting on the phone for an hour and a half talking about like a great like next step in like the industry. So He's a brilliant, brilliant mind. Same with Andrei like this Simon says, which came out for image, on my favorite things I've read. It was such an interesting story. Some of the other stuff he's written is also amazing. In his art is amazing. So these are the kind of people that were generous enough to want to help someone who was in a place like I was maybe a year or two ago with a couple scripts and trying to figure out where to go and waiting for that moment that I could like leave my job to focus on writing full time. If they end up having that luxury, these people are going to be able to like teach them things that they wouldn't have anywhere else and really, if if it works out, open doors that like it might take someone fifteen years trying to make it to really have that door open. That's the experience that you will need to like be able to break through really having someone take them under the wing teach them about this. These next levels. Really this competition like it's investing in yourself and it's being it's a it's giving yourself a deadline. The Hen and I were talking about this yesterday. It's it's it's saying, okay, you know what, I'm going to Polish this up. I'm really in a way where I'm going to send it out feeling proud of of the work. It's not going to sit in my folder anymore and my desktop, like I'm when to do the thing and then being able to say, you know, yeah, I am going to invest in myself and I am going to take a chance on me and we I. I guess I would want writers to know that, like if you're sending it to us, like we we care so deeply about your art, like we care so deeply about your writing, and I want them to succeed, like I am dying to like read that script. Is gonna be like, Holy Shit, I cannot wait to send this human being to Teddy, like he is just going to know exactly what to do with them. He's going to have the expertise in a way I do not you know, like just being I just can't wait to be so proud really help them get a leg up and I like into this industry and I just can't wait till like show them off. So just just know, because I think, like no, I was saying, in our in film and screenwriting competition, sometimes you feel like you're sending things out into a void and if any writers out there like our crossing over industries, they totally get understand that. Just no, that's not the case. With us, like we are. We have readers on deck, we have judges on deck, we have mentors on deck, like ready for you and like we just cannot wait like really I cannot wait. I can't wait to hear what they're from. I can wait to you other stories. They have a little tunity in our submission to a little bio and already the submissions we've gotten, like I'm so stoked on them and I like, I just like can't wait on the side to be like reading their incredible work. One of my favorite things that Alex came up with, I can's a whole months ago we were talking about the process of the quarter finalist, semi finalist, finalist, like when they get to this stage, what do we do? And like she mentioned this thing that like will get on the zoom calls and we'll talk to the finalists and we'll get to know them before they get to like meet our mentors. Like will get to know these amazing creative humans so that, even now that native space gets really big, we're going to have more website than we also get to talk about them, we also get to like help them in any way possible. It's not just about our grand prize winner getting inventorship ours, it's also getting about finalists to be featured and be shown off into like have a space that they can like be seen in a way to like know where these people come from and wait to know like where their stories came from, and we really care about finding the next humans that are going to be creating the best comics out there. When I first got involved with the aftershock, one of the first things they put me charted was the submissions, and mostly at the time it was because it was like two years of it being open the submissions, but no one had the time because everyone starting the company, you know, to like actually go through and sort it and everything. So one of the first things I got was like hey, listen, like there's like a year and a half of submissions and there was literally like three...

...thousand like emails and stuff. I just yeah that. I just I was like okay, like I they want to do this right, because I've sensed about and it goes into like nothing. People don't hear from people. So like let's get all these, you know, in reviewed catalogs where they should go in the thing. But then after that, like let's make sure that we always respond and if people do send stuff to us, hopefully, because now it's been like seheres of me doing it, they know that like we've respond like I'm very on it about that, even though we're busy, like that's the only way you can find these people, right, like this is one of the avenues that the industry is built. You send us some missions and if you don't take it serious as it like an actual way to get your talent, like what's the point of having it? Like just get rid of it. There's there's no point of having the email. No one's going to actually review it. So when you guys were when we first jumped on Zim, we we're talking about and you guys were kind of explained like you know, you want to find those people. If it reminded me of like back in the early days, trying to build that up from the ground up and like now, where that program is now, is like really good. We found some awesome artist writers in it and everything that really done awesome stuff for us at a shock. So remind me of that. And another reason I was like yeah, this is going to be sick. People always email me and they're like I'm going to be a complic artist, you know, like how can I do that? You know, because that's like the big thing right like in the industry. It's like, Oh, I you know, like that's that's like the top Pete, like that's a movie star. And then industry, if you're like the comboat artist, even sometimes bigger than even the writer, honestly, oftentimes because it's just seems like, I guess it's more fun job. I don't know, but like some reason that's the big thing, and I always try to tell people, like there's more than just being an artist in this industry, like there's writing, but there's also editorial. There's our marketing team, there's our team who works in film and TV to make sure that like your vision for product can get turned into an actual good, you know, movie or television show. You know, there's our whole social media team or whole team that works with like the book market and all these things that people kind of like laser focus on one thing, but they kind of forget like these there's these other opportunities. I can still work in the industry and one of the things when I was going through the competition in the pitch that you cent was like, Oh, there's me mentors and they're going to talk about these different areas, because maybe you are a really good writer, but also maybe you could be a really good editor, because you understand that side of it, or maybe you you, you know, went to the Coubert school and we're an artist there and you started doing that. But you could also be a good editor because you could recognize a good artist, you know, in the submission stuff, when who you should talk to him, all that stuff. I think outs are sent it real quickly. But do you want to talk about was it is two thousand and twenty, two hundred and twenty eighth. Okay, well, I wasn't that all right? And then you talked about what was it? It's five hundred dollars. Grand Prize, the Onehour Mentor sessions and then the spot on the website. Yeah, we're going to create a really cool page or we're going to be able to highlight the winners and the finalists as well. So we want to create a place where a industry people can see these projects that are waiting to be created, and that only that, if these are writing scripts rights, if there's an artist that also is like I want to work on this script. This sounds like it's exactly what I can draw. They can connect people. So it's like a we're going to find a way to really highlight these people there's and their stories. So yeah, the five hundred dollars, three one hour sessions. So right now we have you as an editor, we have a writer and we have an industry pro and writer in Justin and wait. The submissions opened. They opened on September nine. For First Competition. Our first deadlines are early price and October eight. Then that's our regular deadline. Price, it goes up by ten bucks or fifteen bugs in my back and really the exact number now I probably shouldn't know about. October nine to November eight is the regular deadline and then November nine to December nine is the final. So December nine is the final, final deadline. It just worked out that it's on my birthday, so we can all celebrate together...

...once it's all on's all done for our first competition. Yeah, and also one thing to add in case there's writers out there who have been sitting on many different scripts. You can submit as many as you want. Obviously submit what you think is your best work or most representative or what you're just like most stoked on. Or we have incredible readers ready to give detailed notes. So I know that there might be some writers out there who want to submit simply to get feedback and give themselves a chance to potentially be a finalist or winner. So we will have three finalists and one winner, and it is our one winner. Just want to make sure that that's cleared because our one winner that is going to be getting these one on one, one hour zoom sessions with each separately. So that's three full hours of mentorship. And then, you know, obviously we want to find that gem, that diamond in the rough, and give them a shot, to give them a chance, and then really we're setting them up for these incredible meetings and then it's really up to them. It's up to them to shine. It's up to them to feel like their best and most confident and be willing to because I think Noel and I have talked a little bit in this podcast about like believing in yourself and being able to like see the big picture. I mean like yeah, you know, I could, like if someone else can, just like why not me? And so I just would love for that one person that maybe didn't think that they could to win, like I just I love tune people's minds about, you know, their own self worth. Now that'd be that be awesome. I feel like, you know, again, just having an opportunity is so important for people because, even if this is the first step, let me really try to do this professionally, like that's a major thing to do, and to actually be able to when would be awesome. You know, they'll be a huge boosting confidence. And I also want to say one more thing. So obviously this is our first, very, very, very first competition. It is focused on simply the script, but know that if you're an artist out there or in any other form of the fields, like, please keep in touch with us and we have a newsletter. We obviously have our website at negative space Comicscom because we are going to be announcing our future competitions. We I want, obviously, I want an all female competition, like I want to cut the bullshit and just know that like a woman will be winning. I want, you know, we're going to have our artist competition, so we're really going to be opening up the floor for different specific areas of the industry. So just know that if this one isn't exactly right for you today, it will be and there will always be another. But but why not bet on your self today? You know. Yeah, now, that was that was my next question. If you guys wanted to expand on because I know it's not just guys. Aren't building a you know, a single competition? Be like that's it, congrats. Next year we might see to do it again or not. Like I said, more than an artist from more than one thing, like trying to provide those opportunities for across the industry. What's your instagram again? Was it like at set? Negative space? Right, yeah, negative space comics, right way, double check, because we right. I think space comics well, because that some of the social medias like. Make us make them shorter, so we like next space. But yeah, igative space comics. Twitter is Nike Space and Nice Space Comics as a stagram is negative space comics. Website is negative space Comicscom and obviously, if you just figure out our website or or our links are there, you can sign up for our newsletter. There, twitter, instagram, you can find our linkedin page if you are into linkedin. My friends make fun of makes. I'm always big on Linkedin. It's really addicting. I don't know, I just started it and I'm like, Oh, I like it. Yeah, just to reiterate, our our newsletter is going to be incredibly helpful, because we don't like spam out of Tony emails at all, but every once in while you're going to get that like update on the next competition that's coming up or the deadline that's coming up, and it's it's just important to like keep that in mind in like a cute...

...little newsletter with like a gift of Yoda. Stay tuned this week. Could I add one thing about the competition that I just realized we never mentioned. Yeah, guess without the okay, I realize that we didn't mention that. We are open to all genres. So I it's so cool to me if it's like a biographical, cool story and it's sort of more realistic, or if it's total fantasy and wild. You know, as long as it's original content, so it's not based on anything that's already been written in or any amazing superhero that you love, it's like literally just yours, like superhero or not. That's really what we want and as long as it's original content and totally your own, we're gonna love it. Yeah, and now I'll just add on to that just so people fully get it, since we're looking at twenty two to twenty eight pages of comic book look like. So you're a PDF that you send in might be a little bit longer if you write a lot for one page of comics and that number. Twenty to twenty eight pages is our idea of what can be a single issue for a series that you're writing. Or if it's twenty two to twenty pages of a graphic novel, that's a lot longer that you're having mind. So you can kind of send in it. where I look at just serialized issues of comics, we're also can do twenty eight, twenty two to twenty eight pages of a graphic novel. So it's just a snippet of it. Just let us know when you put that information and when you submit you'll see the place. Awesome, awesome. All right. Well, I appreciate you guys taking the time today to come on to the podcast and you know, share you. Let me yea yeah, let me be involved and everything. Super excited for this. Andy listens out there, go check it out. This is going to be a big thing. I'm going to put my whole backing behind it. Everything. I've got all the connections, everything. So this is you. I get an industry. Listen is podcast. This is where you got to be right now. This is your first step. This is this, really gotta be this Forgotta Send Yourself. That's it for this week. As always, thanks for tuning in. Don't forget this. This Christ you get a move right when a new episodes are we well fun instagram at. It's got to be creative podcast, and prefer it for you to care for, well, let's say pay their real running.

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