I am Cameron Callahan. I write and sometimes draw the slightly acclaimed comic series Scrambled Circuits and also contribute comics to anthologies and zines put together by others. I wrote and horribly drew 3 issues of Scrambled Circuits and wrote the fourth issue and had half a dozen guest artists helping me bring it to life. I am currently writing the fifth collection of Scrambled Circuits stories while slowing chipping away at some other comics related things.
If you want an idea of my small comics resume I would direct you to a recent review of my comics by Rob Clough, who writes very frequently about indie comics/minicomics and occasionally writes for The Comics Journal website. His review can be found at his website.
Callahan is clearly a young artist dedicated to the form, getting better in public and grappling with emotional truths from a number of different angles.
A while back I sent a handful of people I know a rambling collection of thoughts on a comic anthology I was trying to sort out and got far more positive responses than I had anticipated. Now, months later, I hope to move forward. Below I go through the specifics, such as they stand now, on content, packaging, and compensation (In the form of cold hard 1s and 0s cash). The following sections will be somewhat-concise points derived from the original letter I sent people as well as developments since that time. I recommend going through the letter if what I say below interests you as there is a lot more context in it then what I can address below.
I love anthology television. I love anthology comics, a lot of the time. I love the concept. The flexibility of the format. In the last few years, though, I’ve been disappointed in some of the anthologies I’ve come across. Disappointed in a bunch that I read and a lot more I read about and judged from afar. So now I am here.
This is not for your Cthulhu story. What this will be for, though, is your own stories. I want to create a framework of modern urban legends. I want stories about uniquely modern fears and stories about the monsters that only the modern world could breed. We live in a world that is hugely connected but instead of it bringing an immense sense of understanding and appreciation to everyone it just lets us know how bizarre and terrifying the world is.
This is for the stories about the monsters of the world. These monsters come in the form of twisted murderers or creatures we somehow have yet to discover. They can also come in the form of abstract unknowns.
This is also for the stories about the heroes a world like this needs to stop the monsters. Uniquely modern monsters require uniquely modern heroes. This collection is for the stories that are so insane they couldn’t possible be true but still leave the readers going straight to snopes.com or google because you’ve made them remember that we live in an insane world and at least some part just has to be true.
I want a framework of modern urban legends that exist in our world, because of our world. A framework that can be built on and expanded. These don’t have to be a specific genre or tone, though, I’m sure unsettling and creepy will be present.
This will not be a comic someone will pick up and ever mistake for being an old pulp or ec comics tribute. This is not a comic that will have stories with twist endings, unless it is a twist that simply would not have been possible to write in any other time than now. This is a comic for stories that take place now, in the unexplored parts of our world.
The end result will be a digital comics-centric anthology. In that initial letter I sent to a few people I had said this:
The reality of the world is that no kid is gonna be picking this comic up for a quarter and reading it in secret and sharing it with his friends or whatever. Having this be black and white because I pick up my Creepy Archive hardcover reprints and think, “Damn, I cant imagine how cool it must have been as a kid to read these!” is really misguided nostalgia for an era I wasn’t even alive in, that kids born in the last twenty years have no desire to experience.
While I would like to do a limited print, that is for another day, when I can nail down how to justify a print version and really make it something special. Will it be free or paid? That is something that will reveal itself as I get more people on board.
Sequential comic stories
The majority of the collection will be comics because they are amazing.
Can’t draw? Prefer prose? Submit. I don’t discriminate and I certainly feel like there is a place for prose here. This can also be accompanied by artwork.
Who needs words? If a single, full page image can fit in here it could find a spot.
I will pay you. Let me put forth this unfortunate disclaimer first, though: I probably can’t pay you what your artistic skill is worth. I can pay you enough to hopefully show you that I’m serious and that I do value you. I also hope that since there isn’t any deadlines for this yet and, while I do certainly have ultimate say in the end product, I have little interest in being an editor and giving anyone hard notes on their story, that this can be taken on by anyone interested in their spare time. For those interested, I would of course be available for anything they may need (questions, input, lettering, formatting the art for the end result, etc), but my hope is that those involved are able to execute on their unique version to come up with a great contribution.
For specifics on payment, email me at email@example.com and I’ll get into what it looks like I can pay. As it stands now, I have a fixed budget for this but, I assure you, if I see a great comic from someone I will put aside money for however long it takes. I can promise an upfront payment and, should it somehow bring in money by sales or anyway after it is finished, contributors will get their share. All I can promise, though, is paying you for your submission, if accepted, and credit in the book and on the cover, and free copies of any print copies that come about.
With that said, I live in the exact same world you do and I will have no hard feelings if someone that is interested is turned away because it won’t pay enough.