Visual Storyteller Contest

Are you the artist who will create the next great graphic novel? Don’t miss this opportunity to get published!

Submissions Are Now Open For The 2024 Visual Storyteller Contest!

Entries are due September 2, 2024.

The winners will be announced on October 14, 2024.

Contest Details

Imaginary Friends is excited to host the 2024 Visual Storyteller Contest. This is your chance to make your publishing dreams into a reality. Each entry will be judged by our panel of judges who have experience with visual storytelling and constructive feedback will be given to the entrant. Professional level feedback can help the contestant grow as an artist and discover more about what it takes to become a professional.

The winners will also have 50 copies of their book made and sold. (Junior contestants will have 25 copies.) They will have a hand in selecting the paper any finishings our sister company Print Zoom offers. The winners will determine the final price of their book and this process will assist in doing so.

Blake Wilde - Destructo Boy

The Categories

Each category will have a top 3, and those top 3 will have an additional 2 weeks to polish or edit their piece and resubmit for a final review. Contestants entering for the Junior, Expert, and Collaborator must be located in the Yuma Metropolitan area. 

Junior

This category is open to contestants who are age 17 and under, as long as a parental waiver is signed. The Junior submission is a minimum of 24 pages.

Expert

This category is available for creators age 18 and over who will write and illustrate a graphic novel that is at least 40 pages long. This can either be one story or an anthology of no more than 3 stories.

Collaborator

This category is open for a writer and artist team, age 18 and over, who will write and illustrate a graphic novel that is at least 40 pages long. This can either be one story or an anthology of no more than 3 stories.

Out-Of-Town (NEW!)

This category is open for a single creator or writer and artist team, age 18 and over, who will write and illustrate a graphic novel that is at least 40 pages long. This can either be one story or an anthology of no more than 3 stories. This category is for non-local (outside of the Yuma Metropolitan area) entries within the U.S.

Requirements

Important: Industry Professionals & Previous Visual Storyteller Contest winners are not eligible to submit their work.

Each original and unpublished graphic novel will need to be at least the required length of their category (40 pages or 24 pages). One story can take up the entire length of the graphic novel or up to three short stories can be combined to create a compendium of stories.

The story can be submitted in a digital format, a physical format or a combination of both. For a physical blank book please visit Imaginary Friends HQ.

Destructo Boy by Blake Wilde

Selection Process

Entries due September 2, 2024.

Upon submission, all qualified entries will go to the judges. The judges will select the top 3 from each category by September 16th and provide constructive feedback for all. The top 3 of each category will then have the option of leaving their work as is or performing any edits they think will improve the work and resubmitting for a final round of reviews on September 30th.

The winners will be announced on October 14, 2024.

Sign Up For The Contest:

The Judges

Lia Littlewood

Greg Harms

Greg Harms is the publisher and owner of Third Empire.Greg has worked as an advertising sales representative, newspaper editor and publisher, graphic artist for Hastings Entertainment, freelance work and has done extensive work in the comic industry (ModernPulp, Bluewater Productions, CCP, Big Dog Ink, Robot Cowboy Studios, 7th Wave Comics, Deadzone Comics, Arcana, EGA Productions and more).Third Empire is a federation of comic publishers/studios that have gathered together under  a unified banner, to better pool resources, further comic publishing careers, develop intellectual properties and push the members to make the best comics possible and deliver them into the hands of supporters who prefer physical media, digital media or both.Greg joined Roman Morales III, former publisher and owner of Third Empire Studios, in 2006 and worked with him until his untimely passing in 2018. In 2020, with Roman’s family blessing, Greg stepped into the publisher role and is carrying on with the legacy of what Roman started.

Third Empire Studios Website

Blake Wilde - Destructo Boy

Blake Wilde

Blake Wilde is the 2020 winner of the Imaginary Friends’ Visual Storyteller Contest. He was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona.  Blake developed a fascinaion with both drawing and storytelling at a young age. Originating as a desire to become a filmmaker, it has since evolved into the wide world of comic books.

Blake is currently working on a 166 page western graphic novel.

Destructo Boy Comics

Lia Littlewood

Lia Littlewood

Born and raised in Yuma, Arizona, I was inspired by everything around me: agriculture, nature, music, and a good sense of humor, developing a deep love for my hometown. I live, breathe and crave art. My love for it has spread to teaching Yumans all about it. I believe art changes the way we think and how we approach the world. Without it, how do we express ourselves? How do we communicate our creativity? I love seeing people’s faces light up when they see their finished product. Make the earth a better place, make some art, and brighten your day.

The Littlewood Murals Website

Jon Perry

Jon Perry

Lover, learner, leader. These are the 3 pillars of Jon’s life. He loves the creative world he works in, loves the complex simplicity of pop culture and loves to solve problems for those around him in unique and clever ways. Jon is a constant learner. Using all tools at his disposal, from books to people, online sources to work shops, when he wants to learn something, nothing can stop him. He understands life is a constant evolution of behaviors and mindsets and is surging to optimize both of his. Jon is a low key leader. He does prefer to lead by action primarily. When he gets in front of a crowd his words can sway and persuade those to his cause with his trademark empathy. Jon is the founder of Imaginary Friends design studios in 2002 and Print Zoom in 2015 and both entities help serve his drive to aesthetically build up Yuma and beyond one entity at a time.

Personal Tidbit: Jon proudly owns/wears Malcom Reynold’s dog tags and brown coat.

Imaginary Friends Design Studios Website

Past Winners

The Collaborator Category

Power House Comics wins the Collaborator Category with “Bible / Bloodspill: Blood Soaked Sunday” is a graphic novel by Ray Whitacre, Brandon Williams, and Adrian Gutierrez. The comic is a finalist in this year’s Visual Storyteller Contest. The book’s cover is 10pt. C2S and the inner pages are on beautiful  80# Gloss paper. The book has 46 pages and is 8.6 x 11.25 inches in size. This is a limited edition printing of only 50 copies.

Power House Comics - Bible / Bloodspill : Blood Soaked Sunday
Power House Comics - Bible / Bloodspill : Blood Soaked Sunday

The Expert Category

Julie Pilkington, author of “1, 2, 3 What Do You See? A Book About Clouds”, and “Mo-Mo Finds His Rainbow” won with her new book “Two Tiny Tales”. “Two Tiny Tales” is a children’s book by, Julie Pilkington, a finalist in this year’s Visual Storyteller Contest. The book’s cover is 10pt. C2S and the inner pages are on beautiful Eggshell 80# Text paper. The book has 47 pages and is 8.6 x 11.25 inches in size. This is a limited edition printing of only 50 copies.

Two Tiny Tales - Julie Pilkington
Two Tiny Tales - Julie Pilkington