PLEASE READ THIS DOCUMENT BEFORE BEGINNING WORK
First off, thank you for your interest in Transformers: Mosaic! This projects success is entirely to the credit of creative Transformers fans like you, and without such dedication and contribution, there would be nothing here to talk about!
The purpose of this document is to make the creation and submission process as smooth and straight-forward as possible, for both the creative team and TFM administration. The over-whelming interest in the project has necessitated these measures in order to develop a standard of both procedure and quality.
1. What is Transformers: Mosaic (TFM)?
TFM is a web-based Transformers comic strip project. Its content is mostly fan-generated, and is currently hosted at IDW Publishings message boards, as well as DeviantART.com.
2. Who is in charge of TFM and how do I contact them?
The project is managed and administrated by Josh van Reyk and Shaun Knowler, who are also the founders of TFM. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. How long has this been going on?
TFM debuted at IDWs message boards on June 18, 2007. The first strip was a piece called Destiny, featuring Bludgeon.
4. How did this project come about?
The project was initially inspired by a set of character-driven one-page comic strips developed and posted on the Allspark forums. A group of members and moderators from IDWs forum came together to create another set of such strips, with the initial plan of releasing only a small run of Transformers one-pagers.
The project was very well-received from the start, and soon garnered attention from some professional TF creators and IDW Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall. Not long after, the project was open for universal and indefinite contribution, which led to the project producing multiple weekly releases and being honored with publication in IDWs The Transformers comic books, beginning with one of the original Allspark strips (now all re-released as Mosaics), Rain.
5. Where can I read TFM?
TFM strips are posted at IDWs Message Boards (http://idwpublishing.com/forums) in the Fan Art section, as well as at:
http://transformers-mosaic.deviantart.com (also the best place to check out the archives)
http://www.seibertron.com (most releases are announced in their news section)
http://www.tfw2005.com (in the Fan Art section of their message boards)
6. How can I contribute to TFM?
The best way to gather up a creative team would be to send a call out on the IDW forums in the Mosaic writers/artists needed threads, or any of the other sites where Mosaics are posted.
Once we have been approached by a committed creative team, we will supply them with a (currently in progress) Transformers Mosaic Style Guide. This will be a .ZIP file that will contain a standardized TFM logo, layout templates/guides and lettering fonts.
7. Does my piece have to be approved?
No*, were not looking to censor your ideas to make them fall more in line to our tastes. However, we will do this kind of thing if its something we believe Hasbro would object to. TFM may be a fan-based project, but it does have a lot of support from the great people at IDW Publishing in terms of allowing us to host TFM on their forums, and publishing selected strips in their licensed-by-Hasbro comic books.
There is nothing else quite like TFM going on in any other fandom, and we feel its special enough not to risk falling out of favor with the propertys owners and licensees. Besides, we feel the Transformers multiverse is vast and fertile enough to be able to inspire uncountable stories that need not involve questionable content. There are plenty of other places to go for that if thats what youre interested in anyway. Keep in mind that this property is founded on a toyline for children.
* Please note, however, that we do operate TFM on a publishing model, and all pieces are subjected to an editorial/QA process. Please be advised that your piece may be returned if it is in need of tweaks and/or corrections. It is also recommended that you have your piece proofread by someone else before submission. The more eyes looking for errors, the better.
8. What kind of content is off-limits then?
Sex and overt sexuality
Gory violence (more of a concern for organic characters)
Anything involving the promotion of hate via racial, religious and political means.
Now, we realize that there are a lot of grey areas in these kinds of matters, so if you have a question about content, email us and ask.
Just know this: the call is ours to make. We (TFM staff) will ultimately be the ones to decide what is and isnt acceptable for this project. We will deal with such matters professionally, and only ask that all contributors do the same.
9. What Transformers characters/continuities am I allowed to use?
All official Transformers characters and continuities are permitted. Sunbow G1, Beast Machines, Marvel UK, Transformers Animated, etc.
10. Can I use my own original creation character/continuity?
No. We prefer to keep all TFM strips generally accessible by featuring characters and settings that average Transformers fans would recognize. Only characters that have appeared in a Hasbro-licensed medium of some sort are permitted.
NOTE: This does not mean you cannot use generic characters (organic or robot) in your cast, it just means that the strip must be about an established Transformers character.
11. Can I write a Mosaic strip that is longer than one page?
No. All Mosaics must be self-contained on a standard comic page (more about exact dimensions later). Each piece must tell a coherent one-page story.
Ideas for multi-part releases will be entertained at the staffs discretion, and will not exceed 3 separate pages/releases, with each page telling a self-contained story. Keep in mind that the parts may not be released back-to-back.
12. Can I write a crossover piece?
Crossovers with other properties are permitted, but dont forget they are subject to the same approval as all other Mosaics. Also, be aware that crossover pieces of any kind will be off-limits for publication with IDW, regardless of properties involved.
13. What about these themed events you keep announcing? Are those replacing the normal Mosaics?
The themed event projects are something we do periodically as a fun way to pay tribute to and explore certain settings and characters from the Transformers multi-verse on a large scale, with many Mosaic creators on the same field. Details for such events can be found in their announcements. These projects are NOT intended to replace the regular Mosaic operation as a whole. Regular submissions will operate as usual.
14. What do I do once my piece is finished?
Finished pieces should be emailed to email@example.com, with the subject heading; "COMPLETED MOSAIC FOR APPROVAL." Pieces MUST be submitted in the correct format; JPEG @ 850 x 1300 pixels, 72dpi. Note, this is the final web-friendly version were asking for. It is NOT recommended that you work in that resolution for your source files. Your original file should be 300dpi.
Please refrain from submitting high-resolution source files! Pieces submitted in this fashion slow us down a lot in the editorial process, and clog up our email inbox. We do however ask that you do hang on to your high-quality source files, in case you need to make changes, or in case we need a print copy.
Completed pieces should also be accompanied by full particulars; Full names of creative team, internet / screen names of creative team and any online galleries / websites.
Josh "Richter" van Reyk http://josh-van-reyk.deviantart.com
Art, Colors & Letters by:
Kris "Drivaaar" Carter http://drivaaar.deviantart.com
15. Can I post my Mosaic art/script before it has been posted online by TFM staff?
Please dont. In order to enhance the impact of these stories for the readers, we ask that all creators please keep their work under wraps until the completed piece has been released by TFM. Small previews are acceptable if kept at one panel or less, and without dialog/text. Try to keep the preview spoiler-free.
16. How long do I have to wait till my piece is released after its been approved?
Unfortunately, were unable to give a definite timeframe on turnovers. It all depends on a number of variables, such as number of pieces already on the release queue, and fluctuations in the release schedules. We ask for patience from all contributors in this matter, as it is difficult to maintain a balance between keeping the queue from piling up too much, and making sure each piece gets a fair turn in the spotlight. We also dont wish to bore/strain the audience by flooding the market with too many releases in a short time (Event releases being a special exception).
17. I saw a Mosaic printed in the back of one of IDWs Transformers comics, whats up with that?
TFM has always found great support and enthusiasm from IDW Publishing. As a way of rewarding the great effort and skill demonstrated in the project, IDWs Chris Ryall obtained special permission from Hasbro to print TFM pieces in their comics. The first piece to be printed was Rain, in Transformers: Devastation #2 (October 2007).
18. Have any professional Transformers creators ever contributed to TFM?
You bet! Artist Robby Musso was the first (Feeling Yellow), and has since been followed by Simon Furman, Eric Holmes, Josh Burcham, Liam Shalloo, Josh Perez and Kieran Oats
along with some we might not be a liberty to say just yet, so keep your optics peeled
19. Are Mosaics official canon?
As the pieces are not commissioned by Hasbro, they are not to be considered canon. For example: Simon Furman has contributed a piece called Hail and Farewell which was released as canon, but IDW need not adhere to recognizing it as such in future storylines, since it was not commissioned by either IDW or Hasbro.
Should the situation ever be different, the piece will be marked as such.
20. Why doesnt IDW give [insert Mosaic creators name here] a job? Theyre slaggin awesome!?
Chances are, we agree! And it does happen! Mosaic creators Kris Carter, Casey Coller, Joana Lafuente, Jeremy Tiongson, Andrew Griffith, Priscilla Tramontano, Josh van Reyk & Shaun Knowler have all gone on to professional Transformers work (for both IDW and Titan in the UK) after working on TFM. We are very proud of them, and all Transformers fans who contribute their creative energies to this vast Mosaic!