Comics Workbook

An online magazine for Comic Book Makers

Wow!  We are truly humbled by both the quantity and quality of the submissions to the Comics Workbook Composition Competition 2013.  

Choosing the winners in this contest was much more difficult than we imagined it would be.

Congratulations to all who created and submitted work for this contest. We really enjoyed reading each and every work.


FIRST PLACE - $500 cash prize

Hacienda by Dave Ortega

Our decision to award “Hacienda” First Place recognizes Dave Ortega’s creation of an ambitious, multi-layered narrative that cuts through history, class, status and power in a deftly constructed story which takes the reader back and forth in time to reveal the conceit and illusion undergirding dominant paradigms in a way that only comics can.  This complex concoction of culture and character made for a winning combination.


SECOND PLACE - $250 gift certificate at Copacetic Comics

Shield by Zoe Coughlin

In Second Place, Zoe Choughlin’s “Shield” puts an inventive twist on the mutant superhero theme, and in so doing gives new meaning to the phrase, “prickly personality.”  Here is an adolescent power fantasy right where it’s needed most:  the hallways of high school.  Bullying takes many forms, some invisible to all but the victim.  By recognizing this in a convincing and dramatic fashion, Ms. Coughlin has effectively demonstrated the power of comics to contribute to the eventual remedying of this unfortunate human trait.


THIRD PLACE - $100 gift certificate at Copacetic Comics

Old Port by Evangelos Androutsopoulos

The Comics Workbook Competition’s Third Place, “Old Port”, clearly embodies excellence in both conception and execution.  In telling the story of youth’s first forays into independence and how the discovery of a nurturing space and mentorship can lead to creativity’s first flowering, the story provides an apt recapitulation of the very ideals powering this competition; its excellence in execution is plain for all to see.




HONORABLE MENTIONS - $50 gift (each) at Big Planet Comics

A Cramped, Well Pressurized Place by Scott Kroll

Prof. Lewis by K. L. Ricks

Goldie Over There by Jeremy Sorese

Arachnodacks by Rowan Tedge



SPECIAL MENTION - $25 gift certificate at PictureBox

The Perfect Human by L. Nichols



The evidence is piling up:  comics is THE ascendant art form. The sheer amount of energy and talent that poured into this competition during its relatively brief window provides ample testimony to this. It is our belief that artistic creation is a two way street.  An artist, or any other creator, grows in the process of creating; the greater the efforts, the greater the growth. By this measure, comics creators in general – and those who submitted work to this competition in particular – are growing by leaps and bounds, and so, by definition, is the comics form; as in the final analysis, the value of a form is coincident with the work that it contains.  It is our hope that all of the makers who participated in this contest have been TRANSFORMED in some way – artistically, personally, spiritually, and/or physically (improved eye-hand coordination?  yes!) – by the time and energy dedicated to the creation of their submissions.
Everyone who took part in this exercise has completed a hero’s journey.

Frank here. The restrictions placed upon the contest entries were derived from The Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers. It is my firmly held belief that restrictions such as the grid are ultimately freeing. I also believe that timing is the essential ingredient to making great comics. How do you study and practice timing in comics? You use the grid. 

The judging panel consisted of three men and three women from diverse backgrounds. Some were comics makers, some were comics readers and one was a “non-comics reader” - meaning this particular judge was not a comics initiate.

I will be writing more of my thoughts about this contest this week at The Comics Journal. I will also archiving all of the entries on a new tumblr in the near future. Stay tuned.

Please see this post for information regarding this fall’s correspondence course. Thanks. - Frank Santoro

P.S. Please reblog. Thank you. 

Thank you to Copacetic Comics, Big Planet Comics and PictureBox for contributing their efforts and financial support to make this contest possible.

(extra special thanks to Bill Boichel and RM Rhodes)

And of course THANK YOU to everyone who participated. Please check out all of the entries below.




(Triangle Circle Square) by Alexander Tanazefti

A Cramped, Well Pressurized Place by Scott Kroll

A Kat, A Brick, A Mouse, A Dog or Comics: A Vast Waste Land by Paul

A Poorly Edited Ending by Alison Crofts

A Tender-Hearted Beheading by Nick Francis Potter

Arachnodacks by Rowan Tedge

Attempt 101 by MK Stangeland Jr

Baba’s Accordion by Jared Cullum

Bibo by Lauren Molina

Big Wheel  (AKA The Curse of Santoro) by Tyler Luetkehans 

Black Goo by Moonpulse

Blue Dusk by Mica Agregado

Boxes by Whit Taylor

Clangor by Derek Timm-Brock

Close One by Nick Alexander

Death of Spot by Bill Wehmann

Dog Dead Afternoon by Eva Houzard & Tarquin Pons

Escape to the Top by Andy Frederick

Exile from Cyclops Island by Pat Guppy

Freefall by Alexey Sokolin

Glory Trolls by Nicky Minus

Goldie Over There by Jeremy Sorese

Good Night Billy Moon by Ian Chachere and Jesse Dewyer

Hacienda by Dave Ortega

Hiccup by Mike Centeno

House of Bees by Jillian Fleck

JAS by Phillip Dokes

Joey by Melissa Mendes

July 99 by Suny Gao

Late Night by Jack Reese

Lesbian Sunrise by Rick Manlapig

Little Dreamers by Dan Tabata

Loner Anger by Mike Olson

Meet by Harrison G Prince

Molarhead by Mau

Moon Festival by Todd Webb

Moonling by Lydia Grace Henderson

Mouth by Tristan Wright

Object Memory Featuring Mother Koala and Mi the Yellow Dolphin by


Off the Grid by AT Pratt

Old Port by Evangelos Androutsopoulos

On The Way by Michael Fikaris

One Woods by Brad A

Post Fallout by Blake R. Sims

Problem Child by PR Gamlen

ProcrastiNation by Camilo Vieco

Prof Lewis by KL Ricks

Real Real Deep by Nick Jankowski

Red and the Wolf by Michelle LaPlante

Redneck Beach by Gabrielle Mulholland

Repetition is a Form of Change by RM Rhodes

Ringed Planets by Bob Schofield

Sea by Rosie Haghighi

Searching by Andrew Pannell

Shield by Zoe Coughlin

Stay Frosty by Ben Duncan

Strange Outpost by Pablo Selin

Swampy 93 by Bjorn

Symbolon by Lucas Teixeira

Temple by Jared Morgan

The Abridged History of a Moon by Patt Kelley

The Bad Unicorn by Yuliya Sobotyuk

The Green Fly Theater by James Dale

The Grid is the Thing by Derik A Badman

The Perfect Human by L. Nichols

The Quest by Kalen Knowles

The Secret Life of Steven Seagal by Mat Barton and Adam Cooper

The Steganographer’s Dream by Miranda

The Story So Far by Royce Icon

Then They Stand Stationary Again by Derik A Badman

They Live by Night by Cole Johnson

Thin Virtual Cloud Structure by Shawn Eisenach

Tides by Andrew White

Transaction by Joseph Lambert

Valley Post by Mark Wang

Vespers by Alexander Rothman


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