GRAYHAVEN COMIC APPRENTICE- Challenge 7- Final Results

The judges have voted, deliberated, and come to a conclusion. At the final four, we let the results of the challenge speak for themselves, and tried to judge this much as we would any regular submission period – gauging your pitches on whether we would have accepted them into these volumes.

You all had at least one pitch we loved, but it was a question of the whole package. And based on these pitches, at least one of you is out of this competition.

I’ll post the judges’ thoughts, and the final ranking.

MARC:

Nathan

Spider Wife/Fairy Tale (4 pgs) – Very good story and it fits the theme very well, but I wonder if you’ll have enough room to tell the whole tale, even with the requested four pages.

Stop The Wind/Hope (4 pgs) – While I think the premise is interesting, I’m not very crazy about the story and it’s almost Fabled Americana approach. This seems more like a Pecos Bill tale than a story of Hope. Also, the spelling & grammar inconsistencies (tornado went from “its” to “his”) give this an unfinished feel.

Who Killed The Dead Detective/Pulp (4 pages) – This one reads a little disjointed and again is plagued by sloppy writing and grammar. I also feel that this comes off as too much of you narrating the story than providing an actual pitch.

Three pitches & 12 pages. The max you could have asked for and I’d have liked to see you take a chance on a smaller story instead of automatically taking the “easy” way out by asking for the most each time.

Jared

Untitled/Heroes (4 pgs) – A very sweet, touching concept, but I feel that your description is almost too vague. How does the father realize that his son is his hero? And while the father learns something from his son about being a hero, how do the readers know what will happen as a result. Feels incomplete/rushed.

Untitled/Sci-Fi (3 pgs) – I really like the thought that you put into this one and although page description in a pitch is normally overkill, I think in this instance it’s necessary as it really makes this pitch appealing. I like the “Twilight Zone” aspect of this and feel it’s a great representation of the theme.

Untitled/Romance (4 pgs) – This one is too much “show” and too little “tell” which is a problem that some pitches have. It’s almost a page by page breakdown and while that worked for your sci-fi pitch, it really takes away from this one. The story itself is a bit too preachy and not really romantic.

Three pitches & 11 pages. I like the risk you took with Sci-Fi but I think that you really only had one really solid pitch, and OK pitch and a sub-standard one.

Sam

What You Need/Western (4 pgs) – This one starts out really interesting but I think it falls a bit flat in the end. I also think that four pages for this is unnecessary and that it can be told in three pages. When the log line is twice as interesting as the pitch I think it’s a bit of a problem.

A Look, A Touch/Romance (3 pgs) – A really wonderful pitch, and the perfect pacing. I think that two pages could work on this as well, but also picture a very large reveal panel, which necessitates that third page for the impact. Nice job.

Our Fearful Trip Is Done/Horror (4 pgs) – Another good one that hits the tone remarkably well. I like the “swerve” of the ship’s captain being possessed. This is another pitch that could probably have been a page shorter but I think that the setting itself will require the additional page.

Three pitches in 11 pages. You have a nice understanding of story and how it relates to the pages, so I don’t feel like your story lengths are based on greed.

Courtland

An Uneasy Getaway/Crime (3pgs) – It’s VERY hard to get this much action and dialogue into a car chase story that is only three pages long. I know this because I basically wrote the very same story in the actual Crime issue (although the injured thief made it to the car and the argument was whether to hit the hospital or safehouse). I lucked out by having a comic pro make my pacing better. This would prove very problematic for an artist & editor to make work.

Lunch Lessons/Heroes (2 pgs) – Far too lengthy and detailed for the pitch. If you cannot break the story idea down into a simpler paragraph then there is concern that two pages may not be enough for you to adequately get the story told. A shame, because I really like the story in this one.

A Good Night Tale/Fairy Tales (3 pgs) – One of my favorite pitches of this round. A really sweet and funny story that I could picture being an entire childrens’ book. Again I just wonder if you would have enough pages to tell the story with this one, since you’d have to convey and awful lot in just three pages.

Three stories and 8 pages. Where I think the others were too eager to get as many pages as possible, you hurt yourself by going with too few.  Good concepts but your pacing may be off as a whole.

Ranking

Sam
Courtland
Jared
Nathan

 

GLENN: Hello gentlemen and well done for lasting this long and sticking with us 🙂

On this task I’m basically imagining myself as the editor of the volume.  When I edit a volume and I get a pitch I dismiss those I know def won’t be getting in for one reason or another.  Most go into a maybe pile and only a few are ‘definite’.  If I get more definite’s than I have space I start to have to make hard calls and then I start to cry.

I’ll be grading your pitches on the same grade.  I’ll do some brief thoughts, whether they would make it overall and then my final thoughts on everyone’s offering. Good luck

Nathan Kenkel

Spider Wife

A bit too weird for me and I think too dark for the Hey Kids!  Fairy Tales volume.  Would likely be a ‘maybe’ for the ‘Dark Fairy Tales’ I keep pushing Andrew to do but a little more Tim Burton than I would like for an all ages book (and I love my Tim).  I also think you’d need more than 4 pages

Grade:  Dismiss

Stop The Wind

Still a bit weird but more suited to the volume.  Would likely only need 3 pages.  Don;t always ask for four just because you can.  Would be killer if it was silent and drawn by Brian Defferding

Grade: Maybe

Who Killed The Dead Detective

You know with Pulp I really wanted to take part but couldn’t come up with a story to save my life.  This is the story I should have come up with.  I really like it and reminds me of a darker version of the Disney movie ‘Justin Case’ (look it up people).  Love it.

Grade:  Definite

Overall thoughts

Your stories clearly come from a weird place.  No a bad thing but works on some volumes better than others.  Either make yourself a bit more varied or play to your strengths.  You’d have been better going with Horror or sci-fi with your mind set I’m picking up here.

Jared

Heroes

Nice little story, not a lot to it but pleasant enough.  Could probably be done in 3 pages easily.  Nothing mind blowing though

Grade:  Maybe

 

Sci-fi

Time travel?!  Sold!  Oh?  I have to read the rest…all right then…

Finished.

Sold!  See?  My past self was right

Grade:  Definite

Romance

Eh it’s okay.  Nothing astonishing but has enough visually interesting stuff to perhaps set it apart.  This one would probably depend all on the artist, you’d need someone good to make this great.

Grade: Maybe

Final thoughts

Your last 2 pitches are very inventive which is good.  Your first story is a bit bland though.  Good for you for trying new things with the comic format, its what some of our best writers/artists are doing.  That sci-fi story reminds me of my Momento style Booster Gold issue from year 2 of the BB Apprentice which makes me happy

Sam

What You Need

I like it.  Very solid and simple but probably would benefit from being a little shorter.  Very solid though, like a mix between Brian Koschak’s Vol. 2 offering and Kedd/Ed’s Western story both of which are favorites of mine.

Grade:  Definite

A Look, A Touch

Nice little sad tale blending sci-fi and romance which is hard.  Could probably do with only 2 pages.

Grade: Definite

Our Faithful Trip Is Done

Eh seen it done before and a lot better and wayyyyyy too long

Grade: Dismiss

Final thoughts

 

First 2 pitches are great and the potential with the right artist to be brilliant.  Keep an eye on what page limit your asking for.  All your pitches could have easily been done in less page space in my mind (and it will be my mind that matters because you have to take the page count I give you on volumes because I’m a meany)

Courtland

An Uneasy Getaway

Great ‘crime doesn’t pay’ morality tale methinks.  Nothing astonishing but a solid maybe.

Grade:  Maybe

Lunch Lessons

Again a nice little tale but nothing mind blowing.  You could use an extra page.

Grade:  Maybe

A Goodnight Tale

A story with a little humour and one I think you manage to pull off which is hard.  Again I think you have the perfect page count here and I think this is one I would definitely like to see more of.

Grate:  Definite

Final Thoughts

Solid overall if a little unremarkable in places.  I think you probably have the best handle of page count but your pitches are a little overly wordy.  You don’t want the editor to get bored, just give the main beats to get them interested.  I don’t need a blow by blow account!  That’s what the script is for!

Overall

Solid efforts by everyone, all 4 would seemingly at least get one story in.  You’ll be ranked by number of definite’s then maybe’s then dismissals

1) Sam

2) Jared and Courtland (tie)

3) Nathan

Seems we have a problem because only two can move forward

You both pitched ‘Heroes’ stories and both received Maybe’s

I think it’s only fair if I decide on who gets true second place based on who’s heroes pitch was better.  I have to ask myself if I had one place left who would I give it to?  I think if I was being honest and it would be close but I would have to give the edge to Jared in that scenario so that’s why he has the slight edge.

Final ranking

1) Sam

2) Jared

3) Courtland

3) Nathan

ANDREW: I’ll do this like I would if I was picking the stories for an actual volume which is basically taking into account how many pages are asked for (are you asking for 3 when it could really be 2) how well you are with keeping it simple (does it look like 50 pages of material for 3 pages) whether your story fits the theme of the book and finally simply whether I like the story pitch. Giving a maximum of 3 points per story, or 9 total points for the project.

NATHAN

Fairy Tale- This is an intense story. I think it may be too intense for the young readers this volume is aimed for BUT we neglected to specify this was one of the young reader volumes we did so I’m not faulting you for it. It’s actually an interesting little story that works with the theme but I don’t know if even 4 pages would be enough to convey it properly. 2/3
Hope- A pretty dark story for one centered around hope but you do get there with the townfolk getting inspired. It’s only a pitch but it feels…unfinished. I don’t know if it would need the 4 pages asked for. 1/3

Pulp- I think the story is certainly interesting but it seems like much of it would be spent on the main character remembering his wife and focusing on the then as opposed to the now. I think this one was the weakest of your three. 1/3

Total- 4/9

JARED

Heroes- Typically a story like this you’d expect the son to realize the father is the real hero yadda yadda so I like the flip here a lot but it doesn’t actually tell us enough about how the father comes to that realization. That’s information that we want given to us in a pitch. 1/3

Sci-Fi- Okay this one is a lot better. Not only is it an interesting time travel story but you tell us exactly how you hope to achieve the story in the page breakdowns. I think you could get it done in 3 but here’s a case where I’d actually see if there was room to spare and talk to editors about granting a 4th page (a rarity) to help it breathe more. 3/3

Romance- It’s an interesting story visually but I don’t think there is enough ‘meat’ in the romance itself and 4 pages is probably too much. 1/3

Total- 5/9
SAM

Western- The story begins with a lot of promise. I found the log line more interesting than the resolution, actually. I think 4 pages would be a bit much for this one but all in all I could see some interesting things being done with it depending on the artist you’re paired with. 3/3

Romance- This one I liked A LOT. When I start scanning ahead of myself when reading a pitch it’s a good sign. I wanted to see where it was going. You explain the basic details and provide a great ending to really give it that ‘oomph’. 3/3

Horror- I think this was your weakest of the three stories. 4 pages seems like a bit much so the reader would be waiting a bit to get the the real point with the possessed captain. Not a BAD story idea but nothing I was particularly bowled over by. 1/3

Total- 7/9

COURTLAND

Crime- I liked the story a lot. But I don’t think this could be done well in 5 or 6 pages let alone 4 for a short. To get the real impact of the relationship between these guys as well as the foreboding about what may come there’s going to have to be some set up to make people care. 1/3

Heroes- Here is think you do yourself a bit of a disservice by only asking for 2 pages. I could see it working okay in two but being much more powerful in 3. The pitch seems more detailed than the information you’d be able to put into the final script. I do like the story a lot and using the teacher as the unsung hero is a great idea. 2/3

Fairy Tale- I think this one works very very well all around. 3 pages ‘may’ not be enough but it could be done. Very interesting idea with the rhymes and the sprite I even like the relationship between the father and daughter. I think this one with the right artist could be excellent. 3/3

Total- 6/9

I think you guys pulled this off fairly well. Remember when we’re asking for a basic capsule pitch in a paragraph each to try and give us the meat and essentials of the story without hanging on the insignificant details. Use your limited time wisely. The adherence to the pitch rules is crucial because that’s our first indication that someone will be easy to work with and follow the guidelines when it comes to doing the script. A frequent mistake tends to be someone wanting to put a 6 or 7 issue story into a 3 page spot and over writing. You either bombard the reader with words and lose everyone’s interest (and an artist’s patience) or cut your story to the point where what we liked is barely recognizable.

All in all there were a lot of these that I would have loved to have in our previous volumes and you all came up with some great little stories.

MY RANK-

 

SAM
COURTLAND
JARED
NATHAN

RAY: Okay, I will rank the pitches on a scale of 1-3, much like Drew did. Looks like pretty intriguing pitches all around, but there’s got to be a top and bottom as always…

Nathan:

The Spider Wife – This is a dark, creepy tale that seems to straddle the line between fairy tale and horror. However, it does have a happy ending, so that fits a little better. It’s original and memorable, but I wonder if even with four pages, it might feel a bit overstuffed. It’s a pretty complex story. 2/3

Stop the Wind – I see this as a rather metaphorical story, representing a man’s fight against fate, or nature to save the one he loves. But at the end of the day, it’s still a rather dark, violent story that’s more of a monster or horror story than a true hope one. I sort of get what he was going for, but the concept was just too out there. 1/3

Who Killed the Dead Detective? – Nathan’s best pitch, for me. This straddles a nice line between crime, horror, and pulp that works really well. My only concern is, again, it does feel a bit like he tries to cram a lot into four pages – and I know I used to do that, so I know what it looks like! But overall, I really enjoy this story. This is the one I would fight for. 2.5/3

Overall, some good stories, but one that just didn’t fit the theme well. Nathan went for ambitious stories with the maximum page count, and could have benefited from going a bit more simple.

Total – 5.5/9

Jared:

Heroes – This is a nice story with a positive message, and I like seeing an unconventional take on heroes. But the problem is is that this story really didn’t need four pages. It’s a sweet, simple tale that could have been told in two, three max. It would have no chance of getting in at four. The description is a little vague overall, compared to the others. 1.5/3

Sci-Fi – Easily Jared’s best pitch. Time travel is rife with possibilities for both wonder and horror, and this pitch captures them both – that first joy of discovery, combined with the sudden horror of what it unleashed. The ending is creepy in the best Twilight Zone way. This one is worth four pages, easy. 3/3

Romance – A rather dark, symbolism-heavy take on romance. I like the unusual setting here, taking a generally action-heavy genre and using it to tell a romance tale. Unfortunately, I feel like the creepiness of the tale, fitting horror more, might be out of place in a romance volume. Still, I’m intrigued by it. 2/3

Overall, a good mix of stories with the different themes all reflected well. But one of the stories isn’t up to par with the other two.

Total – 6.5/9

Sam:

“What You Need” – A strong western tale told from the perspective of the criminal. In a lot of ways, westerns do tend to be morality tales, and this one has a tragic ending that works really well. I feel like this fits perfectly with the western theme, and it would have a very good chance of making the cut for me. 2.5/3

“A Look, A Touch” – I’m a big sucker for the fusion of romance with other genres, which is why I did enjoy Jared’s pitch as well. I think this one works even better. It’s a simple story, which is why I’m glad he went with the shorter length here. Overall, it’s touching, sad, and sweet. Perfect for this volume. Probably my favorite pitch so far. 3/3

“Our Fearful Trip is Done” – Competent and creepy. I feel like Sam chose to dip his toe into the biggest, most competitive theme of all, and so I do have to judge it against that level of competition. Ghost stories are so common, but I did like the unique location here. I don’t know if its original enough to get in. 2/3

Overall, a great mix of stories. There are no bad pitches here, just differing levels of good to fantastic.

Total – 7.5/9

Courtland:

An Uneasy Getaway – I like the use of a crime in progress as the setting here. Throw us right into the crime and let us ride along with them. I think that’s the best part here, and the story is overall plotted very well. I do feel like we’ve seen these archetypes a lot before, and it’s missing an x-factor to get me really excited. Still, really good. 2.5/3

Lunch Lessons – I get what Courtland is going for here, I really do. We’ve all got that story of a teacher who cared enough to go that extra mile. But the problem is, he puts a ton of detail into the pitch for only two pages. I can’t see this story being fully realized in a two-page story. Shame, because I did like the concept. 1.5/3

A Goodnight Tale – Perfect. Hands down my favorite pitch of this round. It’s so clever, and fun. Kids would absolutely love this story. One of the problems with fairy tales is that it’s really hard to find new ground. Courtland pulled it off, and this would likely be a first-round pick for me on this volume. 3/3

Courtland went really conservative with page count, and I think that bit him in the butt on one pitch. Fortunately, he was very strong story-wise.

 

Total -7/9

Overall:

1. Sam – 7.5

2. Courtland – 7

3. Jared – 6.5

4. Nathan – 5.5

THE FINAL RESULTS:

We tallied up our scores, and one thing was clear – Sam, you won this challenge with a unanimous first place ranking among the judges. You are in the finals, congratulations.

Courtland, you had one pitch that none of us really thought worked…but overall, three of the four judges had you in second place. And we all loved your Fairy Tale pitch. You are joining Sam in the finals.

Nathan…we all loved your script last week, and some of these pitches had promise, especially your detective one. But unfortunately, the judges did rank you last this week, and I have to say…Nathan, you’re fired.

So that leaves us with Jared. You came in third in all but one ranking this week. The judges had leeway to decide how many to cut this week, so we put your fate up to a vote. Based on that vote, looking at your performance all season…Jared, we’ve decided we want to see more from you. You are joining Sam and Courtland in the finals.

So this competition will have a final three. Congratulations to everyone who made it. Details about your final challenge will be forthcoming.

PAST EPISODES:

WEEK SEVEN

Challenge #7- Task (The Pitch)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/09/09/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-7-the-pitch/

Challenge #7 (Completed Projects)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/09/13/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-7-completed-projects/

WEEK SIX

Challenge #6 Task (The Script)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/29/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-6-the-script/

Challenge #6 (Completed Scripts)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/09/05/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-6-the-script-projects/

Challenge #6 (Boardroom/Results)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/09/09/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-6-boardroom-and-results/

WEEK FIVE

Challenge #5 Task  (The Rewrite)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/23/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-5-the-rewrite/

Challenge #5 Complete Projects- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/27/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-5-completed-rewrite-projects/

Challenge #5- The Judge’s Thoughts- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/28/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-5-judges-feedback/

Challenge #5- The Boardroom- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/29/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-5-the-boardroom/

WEEK FOUR

Challenge #4 Task (Marketing) –http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/13/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-4th-challenge-marketingpr/

Challenge #4- Completed Projects- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/21/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-4th-challenge-completed-projects/

Challenge #4- Judge’s Thoughts Boardroom-http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/22/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-4th-challenge-judges-thoughtsboardroom/

WEEK THREE

Challenge #3 Task (Milking the Franchise)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/05/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-3/

Challenge #3- Completed Projects- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/10/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-3-completed-projects/

Challenge #3- Judges- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/11/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-3-judges-feedback/

Challenge #3- Boardroom- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/12/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-3rd-challenge-the-boardroom/

WEEK TWO Challenge #2-Completed Projects-  http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/03/the-apprentice-2nd-challenge-completed-projects/

Challenge #2 Judges- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/04/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-2nd-challenge-judges-feedback/

Challenge #2- Boardroom- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/04/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-2nd-challenge-the-boardroom/

WEEK ONE

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