The Big Contest!

08/20/08 – The contest is now officially closed. Winners, and all entries, are posted below!

In preparation for our 52nd episode, we’re having our first-ever contest! We’re inviting you to participate in your own experimental comics project like the ones we’ve chronicled in The Big Experiment 01 and 02. Entries will be posted on the website when the contest ends, and we’ll select the winner at random.

The Deadline: When Art & Story 52 goes live on the website.

The Prize: A collection of comics works by Mark and Jerzy, spanning their entire career in comics. Also, some excellent reads culled from a recent trip to the quarter bins at Wizard World Chicago, and some other surprises!

How to Participate:
1- Download and print out the PSD template of the comics “panels” or “pages” found here. For those who do not have Photoshop, you can get a PDF template here.
2- Print or write the list of headlines and items found here, and select three of each at random. Items are taken from the ones used in our Big Experiment comics. You can find pictures of them on our Flicker page here and here.
3- Create a six-panel story that incorporates the headlines and articles, and email the finished work as a 450px wide JPG file to

Rules for Making Your Stories:
1- You must use at least one element from each headline and item.
2- Items may be interpreted. You don’t have to show the exact item in the story, but you can use aspects of it.
3- You can use whatever tools you wish to draw the story, digital or analog. I’d personally prefer it if you tried to do it analog, but you don’t have to.

Above all, have fun with this! This exercise is more about jogging your creativity rather than creating a laborious process for you. Try to not spend more than a couple of hours on your comic. When you download the panel template you’ll see that you don’t have a lot of space to work with, which is part of the exercise–see how your work changes when you are forced to say more with less in each panel.

I’m leaving comments open on this page so you can post any questions/concerns. I’ll update the rules as necessary if we need to make things more clear. You can also find an audio version of the contest description at the top of Episode 47 of the regular show.


Grand Prize Winner – Kevin Cross!
By Kevin Cross!

Runner Up – Dan Phelan!
By Dan Phelan! Click for a larger version.

Audra Furuichi
By Audra Furuichi of nemu-nemu!

Carrie Robare
By Carrie Robare! Click for a larger version.

Dungeon Warden
By Dungeon Warden!

Eric Raehn
By Eric Raehn!

Garrett Williams
By Garret Williams of The Kenny Chronicles!

J Gould
By J Gould! Click for a larger version

By Jarmo!

John Hensel
By John Hensel! Click for a larger version.

Ryan Dow
By Ryan Dow, of Introspective Comics!

Sally Scott
By Sally Scott! Click for a larger version.

Shawn Robare
By Shawn Robare of Branded in the 80s!

Tim Hengeveld
By Tim Hengeveld, of Dinerdate!

Our deepest thanks to everyone who participated! It was a blast reading all of the entries. We’ll have to do it again next year.

You can check out a video of the drawing and the prizes won below.