“This is a place for creators to do something different from what the traditional comics fans are used to—stories about kids and their crazy pets, girls and their otherworldly boyfriends, or teens playing ancient games in magical worlds,” Paniccia said. “Sure, the industry has produced a wide variety of stories, but it’s usually the exception in this super-powered avenger-centric industry.”Epic contributors! Quick, time to rejigger your proposals as black-and-white, non-spandex projects!!
That last part leads to one of the rules of Tokyopop’s expanded line of new, original projects – no capes or tights. “There’s a strict rule here to avoid anything that remotely smacks of traditional superhero comics in either story or art,” Paniccia said. “Tokyopop is not competing with DC or Marvel. Superheroes are not the company’s strength, nor is there a desire to move in that direction. It’s not our audience.”
And if you’re thinking that this is starting to sound like an open call for talent...well…Paniccia’ got a publishing schedule for 2005 that he’s looking to fill.