June 9, 2011

Nickelodeon One-Pager and Phase 7 Funnies

Every time I sent in a batch of gags to Nickelodeon Magazine, I also sent in a pitch for a one-page comic.  The pacing for these comics behaves a little differently than a single-panel gag cartoon.  You have to sort of stretch out a joke over the whole page and then have a big payoff in the last panel.  If you want to see some great examples of what I'm talking about, check out the comics section on Dan Moynihan's site, which is full of great one-pagers that made it into the magazine.

I tried all kinds of weird things for my one-pagers; a page full of puns, a page with one panel for each letter of the alphabet (in sound effects),  and one-pagers with various characters I invented.  But none of them quite hit the mark.  I put all of these one-pager attempts, along with a bunch of my unaccepted gag ideas, into two issues of a minicomic that I made called "Phase 7 Funnies" which you can read about on my other blog.

Since I have finished posting all of my accepted gags on this blog, it seemed like a good time to put these minicomics online, so that all of you can compare the accepted gags to the rejected gags, as well as the level of detail in my pitches.  Anything that is not a gag in these collections is a one-pager that I pitched (most have been reformatted over several smaller pages).  You can read these minicomics in their entirety by following these links:  Phase 7 Funnies #1 / Phase 7 Funnies #2 
By the time I was sending in my last few pitches to Nickelodeon, I had almost given up hope on ever getting a one-page comic accepted.  I remember right before I sent off my penultimate batch of gags, there was one gag idea that I hadn't been able to condense down into one panel.  Something about a judge and how in court they are always taking recess, like kids do at school.  Then, instead of trying to condense it into a single panel, I decided to expand it into a one-pager.  In about five minutes, I dashed off a silly rhyming idea, using the recess idea as a framework.  And it worked!  As Chris Duffy put it in his email: "And now, brace yourself, Alec. YOU SOLD US A ONE PAGE COMIC! Somehow your hypno beams got to us and we're going for Judge Jasper."  Here's what the finished comic looked like:

Well, that's it!  That's everything I ever did for Nickelodeon Magazine.  I hope you have all enjoyed these gags.  I want to thank Chris Duffy and Dave Roman for being the coolest editors I have ever worked with.  Even just the fact that I am now able to post these gags and comics is a testament to how much they understood and respected independent artists like myself.  They offered fair contracts, good pay and plenty of laughs along the way!  I'll be lucky if I can find another venue for my gags someday that is HALF as cool.

NEXT WEEK: something entirely different!

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