Friends of Lulu: Call for Entries

Marion Vitus writes to say that Friends of Lulu is planning a new anthology, “The Girls’ Guide to Guys’ Stuff” and they have posted a call for entries:

The Friends of Lulu, the national organization devoted to promoting women in comics, are in search of lady cartoonists for our next anthology, “The Girls’ Guide to Guy Stuff.” We’re looking for humorous takes on guys and the cool or stupid things they do.

You might write about:

Something usually associated with guys that you love.

Something men love that drives you absolutely nuts.

Some unique experience your guy friend told you about.

Playing with “boys’ toys.”

The submissions we’ve received so far range in topic from video games, sports, record collecting, comic convention etiquette, love of Terminator, desert car racing, and boobs, to a jazz legend who disguised herself for decades as a man. There are a few stories about individual male friends who’ve made strong impressions on the artists, or had memorable, unique experiences.

Your story can be autobiographical, a tribute, or take any other clever approach you can think of. We’re keeping the book light hearted and humorous, so no dramas about why your ex is the worst person ever. (Unless, of course, there are some really hilarious circumstances behind it.)

If you’re interested in participating, please e-mail lulu@mkreed.com and let us know.


For more info about Friends of Lulu’s previous anthology, Broad Appeal, check out:

www.friends-lulu.org

The deadline for final artwork has been extended to December 1st, 2006. Please send a jpeg preview or descriptively writen text file as your submission (or send us a link to where it is hosted online). Rough sketches and outlines are welcome as well.

GUIDELINES

– R-rated sensibility (Violence, swearing, and talking about/implying sex is okay, but no frontal nudity or depiction of sex.)

– 1-4 page self-contained, complete story

(nothing that ends with “continued at xo.com!” will be accepted)

– The book will be printed 6″ x 9″ so please keep those proportions in mind.

– black & white (grayscale or bitmap) **See specs for final pieces at the end of this document.**

– We’re also looking for a few longer “anchor” pieces as well, 8-10 pages in length

Of note: Your story CAN incorporate name brands or trademarks as long as they are editorially used. For instance, a story about how you used to play Legend of Zelda for hours on end is fine. But we can’t get away with doing straight-up Legend of Zelda fan fiction without getting sued! Especially considering many comics publishers nowadays own the exclusive rights to do a lot of ’80s properties (Transformers, He-Man, Ghostbusters, etc.) in comic form.

The book is being planned for a 2007 late winter/ early spring release. All contributors will get several comp copies, and be promoted on the Friends of Lulu website.

DEADLINE

Please e-mail MK Reed at lulu@mkreed.com ASAP if you would like to contribute a piece to the book. The deadline for final artwork is December 1st, 2006. (Though anyone who would like to submit something ahead of this date is encouraged to do so.)

Please include the following info with your final submission:

1) Name (as you want it printed)

2) E-mail/Website, if you want it included in the book

3) A brief bio of 100 words or less.

We would like this to be an all-woman anthology. If you are interested in doing a piece, but don’t have enough time to draw a comic yourself, please let us know and we will attempt to pair you with another talented female artist. Likewise, if you want to draw a

comic, but can’t think of a story, let us know and we’ll see what we can arrange.

Any questions or comments can be emailed to lulu@mkreed.com We look forward to your submission!

-Editorial staff:

Robin Enrico, MK Reed, Marion Vitus

FINAL SPECS:

The book will be printed at 6×9 inches (the same size as the previous Broad Appeal).

The dimensions of your actual artwork can be provided larger than print size (as long as the scale is correct), since we will adjust the final size on the page layout in QUARK XPRESS. Dimensions should not be smaller than print size, however, since sizing them up will affect the resolution of the artwork.

You can turn your final files in as either LINEART/BITMAP or GRAYSCALE.

If you do not have any shading in your artwork, then LINEART/BITMAP is the preferred format. This will keep your files CRISP and also amazingly manageable.

LINEART/BITMAP files should be turned in at between 600dpi-1200dpi and saved as TIFF files. Tiffs with LZW compression are okay and are much smaller in size without losing any quality.

GRAYSCALE files should be created and turned in at 300dpi (or up to 400dpi) and saved as a Tiff. (NO Jpegs, please!) Tiffs with LZW compression are okay and are much smaller in size without losing any quality.

Hand lettering:

We need to have a BITMAP file of the line art (between 600 and 1200 dpi) for the lettering, so that it prints 100% crisp black. Lettering saved as grayscale can print unreadable if anything shifts in the printing process.

We strip out the lettering from the BITMAP file and then place it over the GRAYSCALE file in QUARK XPRESS for print. So be sure to make any copy-edit changes to hand-drawn lettering in the BITMAP version.

NOTE: The BITMAP file for lettering must be scanned from the original hand-drawn artwork. If you try to convert it after you started coloring it from a CMYK or even a grayscale file, the results will be fuzzy and unusable for print in the book.

Fonts:

Fonts in Illustrator files should be converted to “OUTLINESâ€? for print. If you are using a custom font, we ask that you provide a copy with your final art so that we can easily make copyedit changes if needed.

Fonts are great because they are provided as vector-based LLUSTRATOR files, which always print at 100% black. So they don’t run into the same print shift issues that hand-drawn lettering often does when not separated in a B&W bitmap file. But make sure the fonts you choose complement the artwork! Wizbang isn’t always the answer!

Friends of Lulu is a national nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote and encourage female readership and participation in the comic book industry.

For more info about Friends of Lulu and their past anthologies check out their site:

http://www.friends-lulu.org/

Comments

  1. Be proud! Be strong! Be happy to be a fangirl by still making your work revolve around men!

    Gawd. I get that people often want to paint women-created anthologies as if they’re all Sexy Chix, but these is going too far to appease and cater to the fanboy community. Pass, thanks.

  2. Actually Anun, this is but one anthology in a collection that includes a range of topics. I can tell you with complete sincerity that Friends of Lulu doesn’t create titles to their anthologies based on appeasing and catering to the fanboy community.

  3. It’s not the title that bothers me, it’s the content. It’s completely contrary to the mission of Friends of Lulu, at least as I understand it, which is to provide a network of support and recognition of and for women in comics. And when I think of all thetopics an anthology could revolve around, I’m saddened to see all that tossed out the window to talk about boys. At least Sexy Chix had some variety in its material. I’m not asking for Twisted Sisters here. I just think it undermines the whole point of the organization.

    For example, if the topic was travel, some of those stories might involve men and some of them might not. But they’d be included as a natural story element. Men are too often the focus of women in the world anyway. What is the point of doing yet another project around them anyway? It sends the message that ultimately men are still the most important topic for women, creatively and otherwise. Seriously. I’m a-passing.

  4. Given the range of topics, it’s possible that not even one of the stories in the anthology revolves around men.

    Something usually associated with guys that you love…
    For example, my father is obsessed with home improvement. I was lucky enough that my father was willing to show me how to paint, restore furniture, fix a toilet that won’t stop running and repair a water-damaged ceiling. Now, stuff like that is usually seen as “man’s work”, but I think a story about my pseudo-male-bonding over a leaking ceiling would be about fathers and daughters. It wouldn’t revolve solely around men.

    Something men love that drives you absolutely nuts…
    Now, I’m certainly not a fan of strippers, but 90% of the men I know adore them. A story that revolved around strippers could easily be about the women affected by the adult entertainment industry, not the men.

    Some unique experience your guy friend told you about…
    Well, this topic would revolve around men. No doubt about it.

    Playing with boys’ toys…
    A story in this category would revolve around a girl/woman and how she feels interacting with something that people erroneously believe belongs to men.

    I don’t think one out of four topics focusing on men is too bad. The other three topics could easily have women as the focus. I think the anthology sounds like a neat idea.

  5. Sorry but I have to weigh in with Anun here and say I’m really disappointed – and slightly nauseated – by this choice of topic. An entire anthology revolving around women’s take on “men’s interests?” Which are, apparently, home improvement, strippers, video games, sports and the Terminator? Way to “light-heartedly” reinforce some stereotypes, folks.

  6. I don’t think there’s anything disgusting about stories by women, discussing stuff they might not otherwise talk about. The book will be about different perspectives, different opinions, different takes, and different attitudes. What’s wrong with exploring sterotypes and preconceptions, and breaking them down a little?

    Sounds interesting to me.

  7. It’s not coming across that way. The way the call for the anthology is worded, it sounds like it discusses “Those BOYS!” in a loving/exasperated way, which is akin to most magazine articles in Cosmo and also tries to designate certain things like “video games” and “the Terminator” as for boys. Since FoL devotes itself to promoting the radical concept that comics are NOT just for boys, this anthology idea seems a pretty abrupt departure from that ideal. The only one that sounds remotely interesting is the story about the jazz legend.

    I can’t fathom why an organization that promotes empowering women to be recognized and acknowledged as equal would want to have a publication revolving around men, especially one that discourages anything angry or serious about the habits of boys. It seriously makes no sense.

  8. I think it’s more about women’s perception of men, than ‘about men.’ FoL is about equality and opportunity and encouragement, yeah. But making comics about girly stuff and grrrl power has been done, and done to death, and I’m pretty sure that stuff would make most readers (the non-converted, anyway) yawn and look the other way.

    This, on the other hand, already has YOU talking and asking questions and stirring debate. So I consider the topic a success!

    By stating that the antho isn’t looking for anything angry or negative, FoL is discouraging gender-bashing and ultra negativity. For a pro-women but not ANTI-men organization, I think this makes plenty of sense.

  9. Sarah says:

    (sarcasm) Yeah, a comic novel for women made by women can’t be anything but bad for women. (/sarcasm) Anun, Janet, why don’t you guys wait and read the book before being so negative about it? Either that or make your own anthology.
    — Sarah

  10. Anun says the anthology sounds like it’s “akin to most magazine articles in Cosmo.”

    Is that reallt that bad a thing?

    I’m not trying to position Cosmo as being high art or anything, but it’s a very popular magazine with a very high female readership. So apparently, there are some women out there who like reading those kinds of articles. What’s wrong with producing comics that would appeal to the readers of Cosmo?

    If this book is read by any women who wouldn’t normally read comics, isn’t that a good thing?

  11. ~chris says:

    I like to read about what women think about us men. My niece likes to laugh about the stupid things boys do (including thinking that some things are guys-only). That’s two copies sold.

    And some of the most serious topics can be broached when discussed with humor.

  12. I think the whole point of a book like this will be to ILLUSTRATE the fact that:

    1) Not all women have the same perspective, voice, reaction, etc. Based on similar anthologies you can assume that comics will range from serious to funny or ironic.
    2) The types of things that are perceived as “for boysâ€? can be equally enjoyed by girls.
    3) Maybe boys and girls have a lot more in common that society or prejudices would have us believe.

    The theme is just a jumping off point. So you can’t have any real idea what the stories will be like until they are all compiled and printed. Because you can’t know what the cartoonists personal experiences are. I know girls who love the Terminator and girls who hate it. And even the ones who like it don’t all agree on WHAT they like about it.
    So even if it was a whole book about girls arguing pro or against in theory it could be interesting…it all depends on the execution.

    Also SPX did an anthology based on the topic of travel…and I think almost no one paid any attention to it once it came out :(

  13. >

    Couldn’t it just as easily be about cakes, lizards, high-fashion, and farming? My dad may have spent half his life with a power tool in his hand, but not all men are like my dad. While my father was teaching me how to repair a damaged ceiling, another woman somewhere out there was being taught how to make the perfect cake. Or write the perfect speech. Or grow beautiful roses. The possibilities of what the “guy thing” is that a woman has learned to love are endless. Because pretty much anything can be a “guy thing” as long as there’s a man who loves it. And anything can be a “girl thing” too. Anyway, that’s what I’m hoping the anthology will show.

    Argh! And now after typing all that up I realize that I misunderstood the “something usually associated with guys that you love” option. I thought it meant “an activity that men that you loved enjoyed doing” not “something you enjoy doing that many believe is an activity for men.”

    Bah.

    I still think there’s the possibility for some interesting stories that will make people think though.

  14. this is sounding really good, ever since i read Batman: Hush series, i have alwasy wanted to work in the comic industry, but the only thing i would do is the story line, but this would be the best thing for any female…
    This may be the best thing yet

  15. Sorry, defenders, I’m not seeing it. If the notion behind this is to show that girls like guys’ stuff too, and therefore, guys’ stuff isn’t just guys’ stuff, it’s poorly worded. And I would think that if this was reversed and called “The Guys Guide to Girly Stuff”, everyone would be fearful of something like Maxim or The Game to be put together, especially with an emphasis on “humorous”. I’m missing the subversive element here.

    An anthology topic could be anything, and ultimately, many of the stories might still work in guys to some degree or another, but it would be in a more nuanced setting. To produce an anthology by women that revolves around men undermines the point of FoL as I have always understood it. If the mission statement’s changed, of course, I’ll take back everything I’m saying here.

    Sarah, I enjoy many comics by women, and in fact, my favorite cartoonist is Alison Bechdel. I’d like to recommend FUN HOME, which is a memoir about her childhood and her father. I’m not against women writing about men. I am turned off by women writing a whole anthology about men when the group producing the anthology is in theory for the support and recognition of women. Seems a little backwards, ya know? And Janet has written many a comic book in her time, besides also directing films. I think she might be a little busy these days to do an anthology, but her professional credits are solid.

    John Green, my gut instinct is that fans of Cosmo who aren’t already comics fans and aware of FoL will not even hear of this anthology, so that marketing point is moot.

    chris, try asking a woman? Try seeking out more works by women in general? It’s not like this has been alien territory hitherto unexplored. However, usually when women in comics do write autobiographical and slice-of-life work, it gets dismissed by male fandom as “chick stuff”. But you’re willing to pick up a book that’s explicitly “girls” writing about guys? Does this mean guys will only read material by women when it’s titled “Guys’ Stuff”? Whose problem really is it then that guys don’t know what women really think about them and “their” stuff?

  16. dave roman says:

    Well since one guy doesn’t see it…maybe Friends of Lulu SHOULD’NT publish this book after all.

    Even if all the stories were really really good, why take a chance? Everyone really needs to have the exact same opinion for a book to be worthwhile. That’s what art is all about. Right??

    FoL is SUPPOSED to be a non-profit organization, intended to help promote the works of female cartoonists. There’s nothing in that mission statement that mentions encouraging women to write or draw things they want to, or think might be fun, or that could be percieved as “tongue in cheek.” They should stick to what’s in that mission statement and never evolve or try new things.

    And besides, as Anun points out with his dismissal of making a book that could potentially appeal to readers of a mainstream magazine: outreach to non-comics readers has always been a waste of time. Which is why Free Comic Book Day should only be available to loyal comic shop customers over the age of 21. And Publishers Weekly should stop writing all those articles about how libraries, and even teachers, are embracing graphic novels and the limitless potential of sequential art.

    Maybe there SHOULD be a limit to what is done in comics in regards to who is drawing them. Because if not, maybe people will snub their nose at what are intended to be light hearted projects.

  17. Anun’s “gut instinct is that fans of Cosmo who aren’t already comics fans and aware of FoL will not even hear of this anthology, so that marketing point is moot.”

    Isn’t this the strategy big comic publishers have had for decades? “Girls don’t buy comics, so why make comics for girls?”

    Maybe Cosmo has never covered any comics because they haven’t seen any comics they’re audience would like. Maybe this FoL anthology could change that, and just maybe Cosmo would give the book a little review and spread a little awareness of FoL to women who don’t usually read comics. Comics SHOULD be marketed all types of people, otherwise the audience base will never expand. Sure, chances may be slim, but is it not worth a shot?

  18. Yeah, actually, I’m a woman.

    And I missed the day that FoL gained the vast resources to market professionally to the wider mainstream non-comics reading audience. It’s a non-profit organization that half of male fandom isn’t even aware of, let alone mainstream society. But way to seize on a minor tangent and run with it, people. Do ignore the other stuff I said just because I dared to point out the reality of FoL’s marketing budget.

  19. Lots of comments here…

    I wonder, is this whole anthology a way of telling the world that not all comics/manga by women need only display men in a sexual light? Personally, as a creator, I’ve no desire to make a comic with men as the focus unless it’s for the ‘sexual entertainment’ of female readers. If FoL are trying to show that there is more to female-created ‘men in comics’ than just BL fodder, they might have been more clear about it instead of what looks like, as Anun says at the start: “Be proud! Be strong! Be happy to be a fangirl by still making your work revolve around men!”

  20. ~chris says:

    >

    Hi Anun, yes, I talk to women, and quite often their thoughts on men are discussed. I read many works by women, including Raina’s THE BABYSITTERS CLUB. I love comics by Raina (more SMILE in print please!), Vera Brosgol, Becky Cloonan, Chynna Clugston, Amanda Conner, Ariel Schrag, Carla Speed McNeil, Jen Van Meter, etc. The last novel I read was Marion Zimmer Bradley’s THE MISTS OF AVALON.

    But does that mean that I know what every woman thinks about every man, or have no interest in more opinions or stories on the matter? Hardly.

    I should point out that I am a member of Friends of Lulu, though I have never been on the Board of Directors, and am in no way involved in this anthology. In all fairness, I’m willing to pick up any anthology of talented comic creators who happen to be women, almost irrespective of its theme; this theme was unnecessary to reach me. I simply mentioned that it was a topic I (and my niece) would like to read about.

    >

    You’re absolutely right, that is true of far too many men. If this anthology reaches out and gets more of them to pick it up and read it, without using crass promotional tactics like calling the creators SEXY CHIX, I think that’s good. One of FoL’s goals is “to promote the work of women in comics.â€? I am uneasy about the “boobsâ€? topic though… but I trust that the book won’t have a Top Cow cover.

    >

    It’s men’s mistake. But the failings of men too often become everyone’s problem. I hope this anthology wakes more ignorant fanboys up.

    Are you a FoL member? I think your perspective would be a good addition to the organization.

    ~Chris Lite

  21. ~chris says:

    Dang HTML didn’t like my angle brackets as quotes.

    Right angle bracket #1 was supposed to be Anun’s statement:
    “chris, try asking a woman? Try seeking out more works by women in general? It’s not like this has been alien territory hitherto unexplored.â€?

    Right angle bracket #2:
    “However, usually when women in comics do write autobiographical and slice-of-life work, it gets dismissed by male fandom as “chick stuffâ€?.â€?

    Right angle bracket #3:
    “Whose problem really is it then that guys don’t know what women really think about them and “theirâ€? stuff?â€?

  22. So I’ve been reading and pondering all comments so far. Here are two of my own.

    To me, the wording of the title gives me an “ew” reaction. “The Girls’ Guide to Guy Stuff” sets me up to expect stereotypes–ya know, “GUY stuff.” And I don’t think in terms of guy stuff or girl stuff, unless you’re talking jock straps and tampons. (Actually, I’m not even one to equate “guy” with “girl”; maybe “guy” and “gal” or “boy” and “girl.”) To me, nearly all things–cooking, auto racing, fashion, football, etc.–are everybody things. I have trouble playing along with the idea/joke that certain things belong to one group more than the other . . . not how I raised myself and not my experience of the world.

    HOWEVER, given all that, I am interested in submitting something (!) because I don’t believe in waiting for the perfect context or occasion to do something that may have a positive impact. Otherwise, things may never get done. It’s like waiting for the right administration to guide the country before expressing contrary beliefs. In fact, maybe this project is an ideal place to express something artistically, because I won’t be, as they say, preaching to the choir! How exciting and challenging is that!

    I encourage other dissenting voices to submit something also, making this project something that you are proud of–something unique and unexpectedly delightful and egalitarian, maybe something twisted! Your little brothers love to bake? Your gay male boss reads “Playboy”? Your boyfriend spends most of his free time at the mall? Tell me about it!

    Peace . . .

  23. While I see the point people like Anun are making, I think this is a topic which could be subverted to tell whatever story you want. (My favourite graphic artist is Alison Bechdel (can’t wait to read Fun Home) and she deals beautifully if peripherally with men in the modern woman’s life.)

  24. To Anun and the skeptics posting above,

    When I read the topics involved, the gist of the theme as I understood it was not “stories by women about men,” but “stories by women about their interest in things that aren’t usually associated with women.” I do balk at the title – “guy stuff” just reinforces those stereotypes – but the fact that we usually associate things like NASCAR, sports and construction with men means that there aren’t enough women visibly involved to tip that balance over in the public eye, and/or that women who are into these things often find themselves in the minority. So where is the harm in these women bringing their involvement in these areas to light? A story about a woman’s experience being a record collector or video game nerd in a world of male peers doesn’t need to revolve around the men she comes into contact with. It can just as easily be about her own enjoyment and struggles, or how she got into it historically, or where she wants to take it, or even – wow! – her contact with other rare girls in the field. Who wants to write about something she’s not personally interested in? Stories about “guy stuff” (I know, gag) are not necessarily stories about guys.

    Giving a topic to write about is no guarantee of what sort of content will be generated, especially in an anthology situation with multiple contributors. With all that said, I sincerely hope the editors think long and hard about how to title this collection, since I don’t want another “Sexy Chix.” “Guy Stuff” is a step backwards, when this collection could be a step forward.

  25. I’ve just sent in a story proposal. i don’t know how you define ‘lighthearted’, but my story hits a couple of controversial topics about so-called ‘guy stuff.’ Did you just want funny stories, or anything goes?

  26. I submitted a story about being nine years old and catching frogs. There are boys in it, but it isn’t about boys, exactly. I dunno, if the basic idea of ‘comics about boys’ bugs you, play with the boundries of the rules.

  27. i think that Janet’s little nausea
    attack has to be one of the funniest
    things i’ve ever read.

    she thinks that boys are only into
    video games and drinking? holy
    fuck.

    i think a comics anthology based on
    the perception of women on men/boys
    is a great idea.

    gees.

  28. BEHIND THE JACKPOT; Divide And Conquer: Movie representation Titans

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  1. […] The Friends of Lulu have issued a call-for-entries for their upcoming anthology, The Girls’ Guide to Guys’ Stuff. Heidi MacDonald has the details. […]

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