Seeking Collaborator for a Singularity Comic Book

by James_Miller1 min read5th Dec 201119 comments


Personal Blog

I’m currently writing a book called Singularity Rising:  Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer and More Dangerous World.  The book will be published in about a year by BenBella Books.  This will be my third published book.

I’m thinking about also making a singularity comic book. My agent thinks the idea might work.  Unfortunately my artistic abilities are well in the bottom half of mankind so I'm looking for a collaborator who would do the art.  If you are interested please send samples or links to art you have created here:

If you know of someone who might be appropriate please email me (or leave below) his name, email address and if possible links to his artwork.


You can find out more about me here:  

19 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:59 AM
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I'm certainly in no position to apply for artist, but don't you think you should describe your ideas for plot, scripting, characters, etc., before asking for artists? It seems to me that if I were an artist, I'd appreciate (and require) that sort of information.

Edit: I just realized I transcribed your 2008 singularity summit talk. It was pretty good!

I'm not asking for a commitment just the opportunity to talk with a qualified and interested artist. I would ask the artist to read the introduction to my book to see if he thinks there is much hope of transforming my ideas on the singularity into a comic book.

[-][anonymous]10y 1

interested artist

Got to give a little if you want people to be interested. What separates your request from the bazillion others that a potential artist might see? Even if it's just a request to talk more, an artist can only process so many of them. If you describe your awesome idea, it's a lot less of a risk for an artist to look further into it.

Honestly, I'm a bit reluctant to describe my idea in too much detail in an open forum. The publishing industry is highly competitive. I was hoping, perhaps foolishly, that my background would be enough to at least get an artist interested in talking with me.

Are you qualified and interested?

[-][anonymous]10y 0

Are you qualified and interested?

no. good luck.

I understand that some industries can be highly competitive, but good ideas are a dime a dozen. Especially vaguely specified ideas. You don't have to post a detailed story board of every scene, and anything less than that I wouldn't expect anyone to be able to steal. It is very hard and generally not worth it to complete random interesting sounding creative ideas formulated by someone else. Especially consider the rarity of good understanding of singularity stuff. If someone were looking for a good idea to rip off, there are better sources.

Take my opinion with a grain of salt, of course, I know next to nothing about your industry.

Hi James,

Very glad to see you're working on this.

Are you definitely thinking of comic books, or might a picture book be of interest? I've been wondering about writing a picture book on Singularity topics for some time, perhaps along the lines of e.g. the 10 minute introduction to Singularity scenarios and WBE here (Carl's and my talk starts at minute 13; the graphics were mostly done by Z M Davis, who could perhaps also collaborate on a picture book if that idea seemed worth pursuing).

Thanks, the picture book idea does seem worth pursuing.

I think that the two probably target rather different demographics, and I suspect that fewer people would buy a picture book than a comic book (I would certainly be less likely to; I read plenty of books, but when a comic starts updating with single illustrations followed by bodies of text, my interest drops considerably.)

I like the idea of a picture book and wish there would be more such books that target adults. But I don't think this is the time to try and push that boundary.

I have no art skills, but this and your other book both sound neat. Let us know when you finish Singularity Rising!

I'm interested in the comic book but wouldn't be able to commit the time. There's also a particular set of technical skills for comic-book-drawing (especially at a professional level) that I don't currently have. I could probably gain them in a fairly short time, but it'd probably better to hire an existing professional.

I'm more interested in splitting royalties with someone who cares a lot about the singularity than in hiring a professional so if you do think you have the time please contact me. This wouldn't be a rush job.

Unfortunately for the near future, I can't take the time necessary to do this right without switching to a part-time job, which isn't workable until student loans are paid off and nest -egg established, which is at least a year from now.

Your ideal will be to find an existing passionate person with exactly the skillset you're looking for, who has enough free time to do the job justice. (Donating time in a piecemeal, random hour every few weeks between jobs is not likely to produce good results). Splitting royalties with such a person is the ideal everyone hopes for, and your ideal person probably exists, but finding them in the haystack will be hard (as well as competing against similar passionate projects they may be interested in). My sense from previous similar Less Wrong posts is that the hypothetical ideal person doesn't frequent our discussion board. (I hope to be proven wrong)

If you have a track record of publishing books, is getting your publisher to pay for an artist out the question?

My hope is to put together a proposal with my agent and have him shop it to publishers. For this I would need an artist before I got a committed publisher.

Not sure if I have a motive for this question yet, but curious:

Is the existing book you're working on currently your primary "job"? Would the comic book project begin in earnest before or after Singularity Rising is complete?

I'm a college professor and writing is considered to be between 40% to 60% of my job. I've already finished 90% of the work for my Singularity book and the rest of it will consist of responding to my editor's suggestions. I always work on multiple writing projects at once and I expect this will be the same with the comic book.

After putting together a proposal (which I would love to finish by three months from now) the comic book couldn't start in earnest until after I have a contract with a publisher and this could take anywhere from a month to over a year to (alas) never. I would be willing to come to an agreement with the artist that he would only stick with the project if we get a contract within some time period.

Isn't the preferred term "graphic novel" for this sort of thing (among the people who create them) rather than comic book?

I don't think the difference is worth noting for anything other than length, which in this case has been kept either ambiguous or undefined.