On Bad Signal, Ellis explains his new webcomics portal:
Who wants to be a Rocket Pirate?
Joey Manley talked me into curating a mass webcomics site. I’ve known Joey for getting on for six years now. It’s partly my fault that he got involved with comics at all. I suspect this is his revenge.
People who want to make webcomics are invited to submit their ideas to me for membership in the Rocket Pirates, a webcomics collective which will be housed at http://www.rocketpirates.com.
Rocket Pirates will be the first site to launch with the new Webcomics Nation Collective Edition technology, which will be available as a commercial product for people wanting to quickly and cheaply launch their own multi-creator webcomics portals sometime in the next few months. Because we’re all about being quick and cheap, believe me.
Rocket Pirates will be free to all readers, all the time. This means, of course, that there is no cut of subscription fees to offer to creators. Instead, the system allows each creator the freedom to install Google Ads, Amazon Associates ads, ads for their own products, rate cards for prostitution services or any other damn thing on
their comic’s Rocket Pirates page. Also, since we’re not paying, all Rocket Pirates engagements are on a non-exclusive basis, allowing the creators to run their comics on their own websites or any other place that’ll have them.
The non-subscription approach means that I’m also doing this for free, so anyone who wants to send food and clothing c/o Joey Manley at Modern Tales is welcome to do so. I also offer inexpensive adult services.
The submissions system is simply this: email your materials to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to see at least three completed pages and an overview of what you intend to do. No need to be formal — rambly emails talking about the central concepts and what you want to achieve are fine.
I’m open to anything — series, serialised graphic novels, single panels, self-contained shorts, newspaper-style strips — in any style, from manga to clipart to whatever the hell you just invented in your basement. No limits.
I’m open to any kind of content. You’re going to have to work pretty hard to get me to accept a superhero project for the site, but if you’ve got something that knocks me flat, I’ll take it. But, seriously, I want to eventually curate something that takes in a wide breadth of what comics can achieve. Surprise me. Give me something straight out of literary mainstream fiction, give me a warped genre, give me something I’ve never seen before. That’s the “theme” of the site, the glue that
holds it together. It is quite simply “stuff Warren really likes.”
The submissions process is open to everybody. I don’t care if you only decided you wanted to try and make a comic ten minutes ago — I’ll look at it. I’ll warn you in advance that the chances of my being able to provide detailed and constructive rejections are slight, but I’ll do my best.
(Also, if the site turns out to be all-male because only guys submitted, I’m going to be very pissed off, and will infect you all with this lung disease my girlfriend seems to have passed to me over the weekend.)
I’d like to be up and running by the end of the month, but I won’t kick the site live until I have enough work of quality. The submissions process will remain permanently open. Unless, you know, I change my mind. I am unpredictable and I drink a lot.
That’s all I’ve got. Please feel free to pass this unedited post on anywhere you like.