We are seeking an artist to collaborate on a new project. Back in 2015 Damn Interesting published the longform article The Zero-Armed Bandit, and it has become our most popular article to date. It even won some awards and stuff. August 2020 marks the 40 year anniversary of the events depicted in the article, and to mark the occasion we are planning to produce a “graphic novel” version of this longform non-fiction. We’re coining the term “graphic longform,” because we think our pants are fancy. Mostly we aim to have fun with it, and to make a physical thing we can look upon with pride. But it may also turn a small profit, and if this project is a success, it might become the first in a series.
We do have in-house illustrating skills (we produced a lot of original art for the piece [most of which is featured in it]), but we lack the internal bandwidth to finish this graphic longform by the deadline. If you are an artist who is interested in collaborating on this project, please register your interest in the form at the bottom of this page, below the FAQ.
What does this job pay?
That is to be determined. We aim to compensate fairly, so all parties will be happy, but we’ll need your help to determine what is appropriate compensation for this work. We can compensate in the form of a flat fee, a share of profits, or some combination thereof.
How many pages will there be?
This is also to be determined; we have started some initial storyboarding, but we didn’t want to dive into that too deeply until we find our artist. We anticipate that the artist will want to be part of the storyboarding process, and that the artist will have more talent in that arena than we. Once the book is storyboarded we’ll know how many pages we’re looking at. At a guess, perhaps 30-40 pages.
What is the deadline?
We hope to have the books physically available by 26 August 2020, which means all artwork will need to be finalized by the end of June 2020 to allow time for print and distribution.
What art style do you seek?
We have some flexibility here, but we prefer to avoid “cartoonish” style; we lean more toward the semi-realistic look we have cultivated over the years. The print version will be in full color, and our ideal version looks more like paintings than cel shading. See here for multiple examples of cover art that we’ve made for past purposes. But we’re also receptive to new ideas, so feel free to attempt persuasion.
What visual references will I have access to?
We have the series of images we created for the article (see them embedded in the article itself). The digital originals are high-resolution, so they can be easily used/adapted for print. We also have a number of additional photographs of the relevant people and places, and a PDF with some grainy images we obtained from the FBI on a FOIA request when we first produced the article.
How closely will the graphic longform follow the article text?
Our tentative plan is to follow the article text word-for-word, unabridged, but we’ll see how well that fits the format.
I am an artist, but I’ve never done a comic. Can I still apply?
If you have the talent, sure! Just keep in mind that comics tend to render people and places from multiple angles, which is a skill that takes practice. And the work does need to be finished at print resolution (minimum 300dpi, preferred 600dpi).
Will I be credited as the artist?
Of course! You’ll be prominently credited by name wherever appropriate.
How will this be published?
We will probably self-publish, as we’ve been burned by big publishers in the past. But we may be receptive to publishing the old-fashioned way if we can get a contract that protects our creative control. We aim to sell copies via this site and Amazon at a bare minimum.