Sunday, October 26, 2008

Project Rooftop is Bullshit

As I mentioned a ways back, I offered a submission to the Project Rooftop/Harris Comics Vampirella ReVamp contest. Like the kid who threw together a science project the night before the fare involving Styrofoam cups and glitter, my piece left a lot to be desired... when I failed to be among the nineteen winners and honorable mentions, I was cool with that. My design wasn't even quite what I had in mind when I first considered the project, and if I made it in within deadline, it was by the skin of my teeth. However, this was before Project Rooftop posted a second batch of honorable mentions. That's what turned them into motherfuckers. 40 additional pieces were shown, bringing the total to 59 out of "over 100" entries. Now, that could mean 101 or 125, but likely closer to the former. In effect, Project Rooftop declared that over half of all submissions they received were too worthless and ugly to offer on the site.

It gets worse, as the Project Rooftop editors have always flouted their own guidelines, though never so grievously as here.

3. Keep in mind, the task is not to re-imagine the characters, but to revise their costuming. Think of it as if you’ve just been assigned to the series, and have been asked to redesign the character’s costume, not the character. Try to create a BETTER costume than the one currently in use, not just a variant.

8. If you have to put the character’s name in the image, you haven’t done your job. So don’t even bother with that.

How many entries featured a Vampirella completely unrecognizable, either as a character or even as a generic vampire?

4. Be sure to include enough visual information in your drawing that another artist could draw your costume without having to invent much of it themselves. Generally, a full-body frontal shot is the most easily accepted, but feel free to include multiple shots in one image.

A number of entries featured images of Vampirella that are heavily shadowed or have swaths of her costume obscured.

7. We recommend not trying to redesign Superman.

Unless they're running a Superman: Man of Style month. It seems like a lot of A-listers get attention during their contests, as though they needed to be redesigned.

So in order to cut through the bullshit, let me offer my own addendum to the Project Rooftop guidelines:

10. If you hope for serious consideration, be sure to redesign your super-hero so that they look as much like any random hipster asshole on the street as possible. We are ashamed of spandex, capes, sashes, and most every other mainstay of comic books. Converse All-Stars, hoodies, jeans, and other youthful casual wear are greatly preferable.

11. If you do not have access to digital coloring softwear, do not waste out time. Colored pencils FTL.

12. Unless you are a professional caliber artist, please draw in as simplistic and childlike a manner as possible. Cute rules, but no crayons. See rule # 11.

13. If you are a professional caliber artist with quality coloring softwear, you can totally bullshit your way past offering an actual design. Drip honey/blood/body paint or whatever over the naughty bits, and so long as we can spank to it, you're aces for an honorable mention.

14. Likewise, if you're just a really bitchin' artist who should just be drawing your own damned comics, feel free to turn in lukewarm or highly derivative designs. Especially if you're a cute Asian chick.

15. Elseworlds, people! Fetish and period workings make us cream in our jeans.

Hopefully taking these additional guidelines into consideration will secure myself and my fellow 41+ wastes of space who bothered to submit entries with an honorable mention next time...

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