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Guest Week Protocols

So, here's something I don't know, and maybe other Comickers could fill me in on the etiquette.

I see various comics do "guest weeks" from time to time. Often the guest week is a fun look at the way another artist would treat the same subject matter or its a fun send-up of the style of the comic.

Here's what I don't know. How do guest weeks happen? Do other artists approach you and ask if they can do a guest strip? Do you ask them? I imagine people who are in collectives have an easier time of this.

Not knowing how this works makes me feel like I'm back in junior high school wondering how to ask a girl out. I'm not super eager to do a guest week on my strip, I just don't like not knowing how to go about it. Maybe I'll make up a stock of notecards that say, "Do you want to do a guest strip for me? YES NO MAYBE (circle one)" and pass them to people in the cafeteria during lunch.

So, please share your info in the comments.

Bonus, if you have fun or entertaining stories about guest weeks, or particular guest strips you think are just spectacular, link them in the comments.

Re: Guest Week Protocols

A great guest strip is a Beaver and Steve one (episode 29). I don't know the url, so you'd have to look in the archives at http:/

Re: Guest Week Protocols

I am part of a collective (Hyena Comics) and I do usually ask the members first when I am thinking of having a guest week. Beyond this I will sometime just email around and ask some friends or open it up through forums to allow for others to participate.

I actually started my comic after doing a guest strip for Theater Hopper (see above) and have since become friends with Tom.

- Taking the Bi-pass

Re: Guest Week Protocols

roofpig's picture

Just had a guest week, actually. I'll put up a notice a week or two in advance saying that a week-long hiatus is coming, and mention that guest strips or art is being accepted. I won't flat-out ask or beg, though. If I don't get anything, then nothing goes up in the strip's place. But usually people come through for me.

On the reverse end of it, if I notice a comic I enjoy is going on a hiatus or puts out a call, I will try to throw something their way. Gotta support the troops, so to speak. Besides, you never know when they might reciprocate down the road. ;-)

- College is more fun when magic is involved. Bardsworth

- College is more fun when magic is involved. Bardsworth

Re: Guest Week Protocols

Howard Tayler's picture

I've provided strips for guest weeks on occasion -- usually I get an email from fellow BLC cartoonists, or from other peers in the business. Sometimes it's a forum post, or a blog entry that calls my attention to the request.

I've never needed guest weeks myself, though on the one occasion when it looked as if I might (I separated my shoulder at a time when I only had two weeks in the can) I would have emailed the Blank Label crew and other friends and peers. As it was I decided to learn to draw while happily high on hydrocodone.

When I the paparrazi start digging through my closet for skeletons, they'll probably find a brief bout with prescription drug addiction.

Schlock Mercenary

Re: Guest Week Protocols

Tom Brazelton's picture

Ali pretty much covered everything I was going to say. Plus, being in a collective myself, I'm not intimately familiar as to how the "other half" lives.

In the early days when I needed guest strips, I would say so in a news post and run pretty much everything I was given. I side-stepped the whole moral/pride issue this way. My logic is, if they took the time to draw it, it's more offensive to stick it in a drawer somewhere.

Plus, everyone needs a leg up sometimes. The exposure you give them might encourage them to go into web comics full time and that kind of mentorship is never a bad thing.

Incidentally, I've made a lot of good friends from people who have sent guest strip and you never know how those relationships will pay dividends in the future.

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::-

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::-

Re: Guest Week Protocols

Sean C's picture

People work it differently. If they're in a collective, then yes, they just put out a call in the collective's shared forum, and usually get several strips. However, some people advertise in popular webcomic forums, or even put out a call on Comix Talk. The newspost request and direct contact work at times.

Don't hesitate to procrastinate.

Don't hesitate to procrastinate. My brand new comic:

Re: Guest Week Protocols

housd's picture

There are a few ways of going about guest strips, I've found. You can put a call out in your newspost, which may well get you some guest strips from fans, but then you're stuck in the moral / pride bind as to whether to use the ... less than great ones.

Alternatively you can contact creators directly. It helps to know these people in some shape or form, whether you've chatted to them at a con, or done a link exchange, or even better you've done a guest strip for them.

I see guest strips as favour based, you build up enough favours, and you get some back in return. Having said that I've done over 30 guest strips in my time, but not recieved as many.

But that's cool too, doing guest strips for other people is great publicity, and opens you up to loads more potential readers.

Also a key thing to keep in mind is who can do it when. If you plan on doing a guest week, I'd recommend mailing your people about a month in advance. Enough time for them to fit it in, but (hopefully) not enough time for them to forget.

Hope that's a bit of help.

Ali Graham - AfterStrife / HOUSD