With Skullkickers #16 hitting shelves last week, the third installment of Tavern Tales is rapidly closing in. For those of you unfamiliar with Tavern Tales, consider it like an anthology of new Skullkicker stories outside of the main continuity. The first two Tavern Tales (issues #6 and #12) featured some top comic talent the likes of Joel Carroll (Flight), Brian Clevinger (Atomic Robo), and Joe Ng(Street Fighter).
While this next issue of Tavern Tales (issue #18) features some incredible writers and artists like Tradd Moore and Justin Jordan (Luther Strode), creator Jim Zub also mixed in a surprise for all the aspiring comic creators out there. Zub asked anyone interested in being featured in issue 18 to submit either a story proposal or sample art pages. The artist or writers with winning submissions would be granted with the eternal glory of being featured in Tavern Tales.
Well, the results are in and we have an interview with the winning writer, Aubrey Sitterson. As a long time comic editor for publishers like Marvel and Image, Sitterson is a writer who learned his craft from some of the best in the industry. I spoke with Sitterson about his winning storyline and how he crafted a contest winning pitch.
Well, it’s called “Dues or DIE!” and deals with the complicated working of the guild system in the world of Skullkickers - with (probably more than) it’s fair share of punching, kicking, shooting and all-around violence, natch. See, for more than a dozen issues now, Baldy and Shorty have been engaging in all manner of fights, brawls, brouhahas, kerfuffles and donnybrooks for profit, all without having ever once paid dues to the Fighters Guild, something the Guild’s duly appointed representatives are none too pleased about…
How did you approach pitching your story to Jim and the SK team?
Do you know what artist is helping you illustrate the script?
Do you have any previous experience working in comics?
How did you manage to work within the continuity of the Skullkickers universe while maintaining your own voice?
Well, it certainly helped that I’m a fan of the book, so I already felt pretty familiar with the tone and style of the stories that the Skullkickers guys are telling. I guess I’m a little fortunate in that my sense of humor tends to skew a little wacky and slapsticky, so I felt right at home writing my six-pager, though I went through and reread the entire SK run before doing my dialogue pass, just to make sure everything sounded right.
Any advice for creators pitching their own stories to publishers, artists, etc?
Keep it short. If you want your story to be great, it needs themes, individual character arcs, metaphors and all the rest of that college-boy stuff, but in order to get picked up by a publisher, or even just appeal to an artist, it needs something else: A hook. This is advice that I have trouble following myself, but don’t get lost trying to explain how great the finished product will be when your more immediate goal is to explain to someone why they need to get in on the ground floor.