Here at DARK OZ we are always on the look out for more talented creators to join the long list of contributors in DECAY, Retro Sci-Fi Tales, and other new projects which are in the works. Have you been published by DARK OZ yet?
DECAY is Australia's longest running modern anthology, giving hundreds of creators a place to show off and be published, incorporating a mix of talented established professionals and new up and coming creators. Click on the 'Creators' button above to view the extensive list of creators published by DARK OZ so far. Is your name on that list?
Scroll down for the submission guidelines.
If you've looked at the "Creators" page of this website, or flicked through a copy of any DARK OZ comic, you will have seen the impressive array of contributors: it's like a "who's who" of Australian talent. And you too can join that list.
We are always looking for more writers, artists and colourists to contribute to DECAY, Retro Sci-Fi Tales and our future other projects. With the first issue of DECAY published in March 2010 and going steady ever since, DARK OZ plans to be here for a long time yet, continuing to produce top quality anthology comics (like DECAY and Retro Sci-Fi Tales) as well as some new one-shot comics and mini-series'. And we need YOU on board to make it work.
DARK OZ has a great ethos of incorporating a mixture of professional talent and new underground creators. This will always be the format going forward, giving new artists and writers a chance to have their work published, as long as the quality is high. We are always looking for new creators - amateur or commercial, mainstream or alternative - to contribute to our products.
As most of our comics are anthologies it's best to start small. Please don't send your submissions for graphic novels. We're only looking for one-off short stories. The stories in DECAY can be as short as just two pages.
As DARK OZ comics are only available in Australia there must always be at least one Australian creator per story (either the writer or the artist) - the comics are a showcase of the incredible talent Australia has to offer. We do publish the odd international creator, but the aim will always be to have a majority of Australian creators. But we can't say 'no' to the amazing work we've been receiving from international creators lately (thought there still has to be one Aussie per story).
Writers, artists and colourists interested in contributing to DARK OZ should contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at DARK OZ, PO Box 811, Salisbury, S.A. 5108, Australia. For now, if you're sending samples of your work, low resolution JPEGs will do.
A great place to meet and show us your work is at the many conventions we attend. Bring your portfolio to our table and show us what you've got. And if you are in Adelaide you can always try contacting DARK OZ by email to possibly arrange a one on one meeting.
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All comics produced by DARK OZ are in A4 format. The actual size of the comic-book is 210mm wide by 297mm high. All text and important parts of the images must remain within a 5mm 'safe area' all around, that is, within the central 200mm wide by 287mm high area. Full bleed (and partial bleed) is allowed but you must supply plenty of bleed, around 5mm all around, so the actual size of art with full bleed is 220mm wide by 307mm high. But with full bleed you must still keep the main image and text within the 'safe area' of 200mm by 287mm.
Files should be at least 300dpi and at least A4 in size. Preferably files are to be sent in TIFF format at 300dpi and at A3 size. Do not go below 300dpi. Do not go below A4 size (210mm x 297mm). JPEG images are also acceptable, especially for B&W/grey-scale images, but colour images are preferred in TIFF format and in CMYK, not RGB.
In our comic-books we use two types of artists: (1) sequential art comic-book artists and (2) cover artists. Before starting work on DECAY you will need to send samples of your work to the editor Darren Koziol by email at email@example.com or by post to DARK OZ, PO Box 811, Salisbury, S.A. 5108, Australia. For now email images need only be sent at low resolution, for viewing only. Later, when images are accepted for printing, they will need to be sent at high resolution. It is also okay to send links to sites where your work is on display.
(1) If you want to draw the comic-book stories you will need to supply examples of sequential art, not just splash pictures. They must be good quality drawings, and send several pages, not just one.
(2) Cover art must be visually captivating: something that really stands out. Bright colours, strong images. Cover images need to reflect a story within the comic, so you'll need to discuss with the editor what to draw. There must be plenty of bleed supplied, at least 5mm all around. Leave room on the cover for the title and other regular text.
The image below shows the bleed area and safe area on the page. Bleed here is shown at 3mm, which is the minimum we need. It's better to be safe and make it larger if you can, like 5mm.
Keep stories short and original. I can't stress that enough: "SHORT and ORIGINAL". Do not send me your 100 page graphic novel, your ongoing series, or ideas for a 'universe' that you've created. For DECAY and Retro Sci-Fi Tales we only want one-off self-contained short stories with non-recurring characters, and the shorter the better. Even as short as 2 pages for DECAY, or 3 pages for Retro Sci-Fi Tales. Certainly nothing longer than 8 pages. And you must not use any characters that you do not own the rights to. This includes no: parodies, send-ups, mock-ups, tributes, homages, parallels, imitations, copies, plagiarism, etc. Be original and be as creative as you can be.
DECAY is primarily a horror comic and so all stories should contain elements of horror. That doesn't mean that there has to be a monster in every story, but perhaps a horrific or disturbing event. People doing bad things to each other, like a brutally violent scene, can be quite horrific. Stories in DECAY can also contain science fiction and/or fantasy elements, but still with elements of horror. In general no silly or funny stories are published in DECAY. Our aim is for a serious horror comic-book, although some elements of humour, preferably dark humour, do creep in from time to time.
Try to keep the action flowing. Make every page as interesting as possible, not just the last page with a twist. Try to keep every page as visually gripping as possible, with lashings of violence, gore, death, mutilations, etc. Don't make the story into an essay with too much dialogue, but don't put in so little dialogue that readers are finished almost as soon as they began. There should be a reason for everything, every action, every word spoken, otherwise try deleting it and condensing the story. Can your 10 page story be made into a fantastic gripping 6 page story, or 4 pages?
I also encourage people to write Zombie horror stories, as long as they fit into the "Oz Zombie" universe. For a list of 'rules' for the "Oz Zombie" universe please visit the "Oz Zombie" page of this website. I also encourage people to write stories about the "Sisters". They are three beautiful young Vampire sisters, and also have their own page with a list of 'rules', on this website. Being immortal means that stories can be set in different times and places. "Sisters" stories do not always have to include all three of the sisters, they may focus on just one or two of them.
In Retro Sci-Fi Tales all stories must be an odd number of pages in the comic (3 or 5 or 7 pages long). And the stories MUST suit the 'Retro' theme. Think 'old school' science fiction. Imagine you're living in the late 1800's or the early 1900's and writing science fiction.
Once you have your foot in the door as a short story writer then we may look at your ideas for longer material, as DARK OZ does want to release other comic-book titles in the future. However, this mainly relies on the amount of sales of our existing products. So keep spreading the word and get as many people as you can to buy DARK OZ titles, so that we can all support Aussie creators and an Australian comic-book industry. DARK OZ supports all Aussie creators, and you'll be supporting them too when you buy DECAY and Retro Sci-Fi Tales.