NOTE: Look below this post for the latest entries.
Q. "Serenity Tales"? Is Dark Horse launching a "Firefly" anthology? Squee?
A. Er, no. Sorry. (If only.)
However. Inspired by recent conversations with cartoonist pals, we thought it might be fun to build a website hosting a slew of fan comics set in Joss Whedon's "Firefly" and "Serenity" 'verse.
Think of it as an ongoing anthology book -- along the lines of Dark Horse's "Star Wars Tales" or "Tales of the Slayer" -- only delivered online, free of charge. We'll also link to established comic strips that mention "Firefly" or "Serenity."
Q. Can I submit a story?
A. Well, find out after the jump...
... Still reading? Yes. We're totally inviting cartoonists from all over the world to participate.
Q. Groovy. How do I submit?
A. E-mail us either Web-rez JPEGs of your comic or a link to its location online. If we decide to link or host it, participants will have two options:
(1) We can post your comic at the Serenity Tales Webcomics Nation account; OR
(2) If you want more control, and who'd blame you, you can host your comic yourself -- and we'll simply link to it from here.
(However -- and don't take this personally -- for the sake of our own sanity we will be screening and editing entries. (Lightly.) Don't worry: Our limbo bar won't be set terribly low. However, if your comic is a logistical dog's breakfast, or if you pester us in a stalkerish way, or if you do both of the above but fail to make us laugh, well, start your own gorram fan site.)
Q. Do we get paid?
A. Oh dear Lord no. This is an elaborate fan-fiction stunt. None of us can profit from this licensed, copyrighted property in any way.
Q. What sort of stories are you looking for?
A. One- to 100-page stories exploring any aspect of the "Firefly"/"Serenity" 'verse.
You can adapt a scene from the established series or an unfilmed script. Explore the inner life of The Operative. Continue the misadventures of Jubal Early. Dive into the pre-history of Earth-That-Was. Tell a story from the Unification War. Create whole new characters (a la Tag and Bink) who move tangentially through established storylines. Do a "Firefly"/"Mosquito" crossover. Do an autobio piece about your own personal relationship with "Firefly." Do a photo-funny. Do something with puppets. Whatever.
Looking for inspiration? Here's a page of sample story ideas. Pilfer away.
Q. What if two people accidentally write a similar story and they clash?
A. These are fan comics, not Whedonverse canon. We personally think multiple interpretations of the same event or character might be interesting.
Q. Can we work in teams?
A. Of course!
Q. What sort of stories AREN'T you looking for?
A. Any kind of fic where a kick-ass sex scene is kind of the only point of the story. We want to keep things narrative and PG-13, like the TV show and movie.
(UPDATE: To address a really good question posted by this Whedonesque reader, a clarification is in order: We have absolutely nothing against love scenes or sex jokes in submitted comics -- particularly given that there's one married couple, a bisexual courtesan and at least one case of serious unrequited hormonal lust built into the very DNA of the cast. It would just be nice if the sex stuff served a larger story. So anyway: Feel free to go crazy with those "nothing twixt my nethers" jokes and the Wash/Zoe pillow talk and Jayne's bunk retreats.)
Q. I need photo-reference!
A. Here are three galleries containing over 120 photos' worth of ref:
Q. I have questions and comments!
A. Drop us a line here, or in the comments section of this post. Answers may be added to this FAQ.