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How to Contribute

Lightning Made of Owls is a collaborative webcomic project. Everybody who wants to contribute can do so.

Rules in a Nutshell

Characters

We have a set of primary characters that contributors use. All you need to do is write a joke using one or more of the primary characters, illustrate it as a comic, and send it to us. We'll publish it here on the site.

The rules for using the characters are listed on the cast page. You must follow these rules.

You can introduce new characters of your own devising if you like. If other writers like your character, they may start using them too! But each comic must contain one of the predefined primary characters as well.

Our characters exist across all genres. So you can stick the characters in a medieval fantasy setting, a modern day office, or on a spaceship. It doesn't matter.

Continuity

Lightning Made of Owls is a gag-a-day strip, without any continuity. Some ongoing or recurring elements may occur, but only if the writers naturally go that way and build on what other writers have done before.

You may submit a series of strips that form a short story arc, as long as each strip has a gag in it, and the story isn't an epic. The story should be resolved and completed within 7 strips. (Think of a daily gag comic like Dilbert, for example. It sometimes has short story arcs of related strips that might run for a week. But by the end of the week, the situation is over, and everything returns to normal. The story doesn't keep going.) Other people's unrelated strips will be run in between your strips. We don't want a single artist monopolising things for a week. We don't think this will be a problem - readers should figure it out easily enough.

If you have an idea for a strip that builds on events in an earlier strip (by you, or by someone else), that's okay - again, so long as it doesn't lead into an ongoing story.

Strips that are completely unrelated to any other strip are always fine.

Art

The artwork for the comic can be any style you like. Scanned drawings, computer artwork, 3-D rendering, photography, whatever - as long as the characters are recognisable. Both colour art and black & white art are acceptable. Strips may be single-panel, multi-panel, or wacky and experimental.

Do not violate anyone's copyright. If you want to use a photo for a background, make sure the author has released it under an appropriate Creative Commons or similar licence. Do not assume you can copy anything you like.

If you have a strip idea, but can't draw it (or can draw but have no ideas for strips), you can look for a collaborator to join forces with you. You can use the forums to tell people what you need. Once you've found someone, work together and send us a completed strip. Please don't send us a joke without art or art without a joke.

The other thing you can do is use existing artwork from previous comics and edit them to make your strips. This is fine. Just make sure to credit the original strip's author when you submit your modification.

Completed artwork should be sent to us as a JPG or PNG file. Image size can be anything as long as one dimension (height or width) is less than or equal to 1024 pixels. In other words, you can make a comic that fits nicely on a screen, or one that scrolls vertically, or one that scrolls horizontally, but not one that requires scrolling in both directions.

Please make the artwork as clean and presentable as possible. We may clean up images - especially scans - to correct for noise, colour balance, and contrast. But we'd prefer not to have to.

If you need help with any aspect of artwork, check our list of comic creator resources.

Copyright and Legal

All submissions to Lightning Made of Owls will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence. If you submit a strip to us, you agree to the following:

  1. You affirm that the strip consists wholly of material which does not violate copyright or any other law. The work may contain:
    • original material for which you own the copyright;
    • material by other people released under an appropriate Creative Commons or similar derivative works licence, appropriately credited;
    • public domain material; and/or
    • small amounts of otherwise copyrighted material used under a fair use provision for the obvious intent of parody.
    The work may not contain portions of copyrighted material that would fall outside a fair use provision.
  2. You absolve us from any legal action which might be taken against you as the author of the work, should you fail to adhere to the above point.
  3. You authorise us to publish the strip under the Creative Commons licence mentioned above.
  4. Your name or nom de plume will be attached as the author credit (unless you prefer to be completely anonymous).
  5. We will not claim authorship of your work, nor will we make any profit from it.
  6. We may, at some point in the future, republish your work in a print or other collection. If we do so, all revenue (if any) raised above the production cost will be donated to a registered charity. (We are not actually planning to do this at this stage, but if we ever do, it will be much easier if we have this permission up front, rather than having to e-mail everyone and ask for it.)

Sending in Submissions

When you have a comic ready, e-mail it to the address shown in the footer of this page. We may build a web-based submission form, but that's for the future.

When you submit a comic, please include:

Do the comics have to refer to lightning, or owls?

No, not at all! In fact, that would be a bad thing. The title is just a non-sequitur. Having strips constantly refer to lightning and owls would get old and repetitive very quickly.