ICN@DICE: What's The Big Idea Panel

On the What’s The Big Idea panel at DICE this afternoon were Irish stalwarts Stephen Mooney and Will Spiney along with PIGS co-writers BenMcCool and Nate Cosby. On this panel the discussion was about bringing an idea from concept to print and the travails in between.
A recurring theme of this panel was the relationships you forge while creating the comic through to the work ethic you bring to the goal of publishing the book.
Speaking through their experiences of creating Half Past Danger in Stephen Mooney’s case to Cu Chulainn in Will Sliney’s case to PIGS through McCool and Cosby.
Ben McCool revealed that the idea for PIGS came from a talk that was held while in a pub and that genesis of the idea spawned from there.
Stephen Mooney broke down how the first issue Half Past Danger came together. It took 6 months for the 26 page comic to come together. That Mooney did the cover, inks, pencils etc. by himself he was able to garner more attention from prospective publishers who he acknowledged were very responsive. He reiterated the earlier point that forging professional relationships were vitally important in the process.
There was a jovial moment when Will Sliney recounted the tale when he was featured on RTE show Nationwide during the production of Cu Chulainn. He said his local pub put the segment on repeat every time he went in.
Nate Cosby made the point that artists and writers need to utilise online tools to forge professional connections. He said that if a creator partnership is forged, put ego’s to one side. He said that you have signed on to do a project, so be creative and sometimes you are not always right so put your ego to one side and create your book.
Ben McCool advised that when sending in a pitch, “less is more.” You need to translate your idea in as little space as possible. His preference to see is a long line description with one to two paragraphs describing your main characters actions. Pitches can be difficult he said but be concise and you’ll be on your way.
Will Sliney said that he figures that you need to be three things in comics, “Nice, good and fast.”
Stephen Mooney said he found that creating can be a lonely profession but rewarding. He added that in artistic portfolio pitches, it isn’t necessarily pages one to five that you need to show but rather 5 pages of art that show you can tell a story.
When Nate Cosby mentioned that Marvel will not accept your pitch if you haven’t been previously published, Ben McCool added that been published these days includes webcomics. He added that funding projects through Kickstarter for example is a great way to find yourself being published.
This was a fast paced panel that won the plaudits of the responsive audiance when it finished.