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Submissions Policy

HEAVY METAL is always searching for cool science fiction, fantasy, and horror comics and we’d love to see what you’ve cooked up from your own fervent imagination and hard work at the drawing board (and/or computer). That said, there are a few things we’d like you to do to make all of our lives easier. Please read through the whole thing (we know it’s long – but it’s worth your time, trust us):

I. COMICS FOR HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE

A) We’re only actively seeking completed stories (preferably in full color since most of the magazine features color stories). Everyone here at Heavy Metal has been or is currently a freelancer, so we know working on spec is tough, but for numerous reasons we can only consider finished pieces for the magazine. We do reprint work from all over the world, so the comics do not have to be created exclusively for us.

B) We do not pair writers with artists, so please do not submit artwork hoping to find an assignment or comic scripts hoping for them to be sent to an artist to complete. We just don’t have the resources to deal with all the complexities of putting creative teams together.

C) Please e-mail low resolution files (72 DPI, no more than 10” at their largest dimension) in JPG or PDF format to editor@heavymetal.com with “HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE COMIC SUBMISSION” as the subject line for the message.

D) Stories can be as short as one page or as long as 96 pages (and every now and then, even longer). We’re mainly looking for short stories from eight to sixteen pages in length, but we do print one-pagers, longer pieces and serialize graphic novels over several issues. The idea behind the shorter stories is to give readers as much variety as possible in each issue (and since we do serialize stuff, it’s nice to have a few self-contained strips to give readers some closure in every magazine). We’re happy to read any Heavy Metal-esque comics that you have regardless of page count, but shorter stories do have the best chance to get in and be placed quicker.

E) Editor-in-chief Grant Morrison cannot personally respond to submissions – as you can imagine, he has an extremely hectic schedule that doesn’t allow him that opportunity.

F) WE NO LONGER ACCEPT SNAIL MAIL SUBMISSIONS – all submissions must be submitted via e-mail.

G) Response Time: Due to the number of submissions that we receive,  it can take a very long time to hear back from us. WE DO NOT EXPECT YOU TO HOLD YOUR WORK WAITING TO HEAR FROM US – IF YOU HAVE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR WORK TO SEE PUBLICATION, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO PURSUE THEM.  We’ll try to let you know that we’ve received your work within a week or two of it arriving in our mail box – but we’re currently very backlogged (which is why you haven’t gotten a response if you’ve already submitted material). It can take four to six months (or much longer) for us to get back to you regarding publishing the piece. Crazy, huh? We apologize in advance, and thank you for your interest in the mag, but we only publish six issues per year and we’re often working with very long lead times, so it can take quite awhile for us to go through the submissions and place work we dig into the magazine. Typically by the time you submit a story, we’ve already filled up the next 1-2 issues, which is why there’s usually a minimum four month wait. Also, we do not reject anything outright unless you specifically ask for an immediate “yay” or “nay.” We like to keep things on file in case of emergencies, so we don’t rule anything out unless a creator requests it. Most likely, if you ask for an immediate response, it will be “nay” because we’re on a long timeline, making it very difficult for us to commit to anything quickly (so it’s much easier for us to pass on something if you’re in a hurry for an answer).

H) Please look over the work that we publish so you get a feel for the kinds of stories that we’re seeking.  Please do not submit comics featuring explicit sex (we do feature R-rated material, but not X), bestiality (that’s just… wrong), or graphic BDSM.

J) It’s not required, but we’d love it if you formatted the art to fit the dimensions of the magazine: Bleed size is 8.25″ X 11.125″. Trim size is 8″ X 10.875”. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it (or google it – as the saying goes: knowledge is power).

II. COVER ART FOR HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE

A) We’re currently publishing six issues per year and we have to solicit to our distributors four months in advance, so cover slots are booked far in advance and fill very quickly – thus it’s very difficult to place a cover with us. That said, if the odds don’t bother you and you’d like to submit work to be considered for a cover, it’s pretty much the same process as above for comics: please e-mail low resolution files (72 DPI, no more than 10” at their largest dimension) in JPG or PDF format to editor@heavymetal.com with “HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE COVER SUBMISSION” as the subject line for the message. Please do not send links to web sites/blogs/social media accounts because we don’t have time to surf sites (unfortunately) and we don’t know which images you hold the rights to that we might be able to use.

III. ILLUSTRATION FOR HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE

We haven’t been running many spot illustrations or pin-ups over the past few years in order to focus on comics – so we’re not seeking single illos. However, we do have the “Gallery” and “Artist’s Studio” sections in the magazine that spotlight an illustrator by featuring six to fifteen pieces of artwork and a short biography of the artist. The major caveat about these features is there isn’t a page rate for them, so they’re for promotional purposes only. If that sounds cool to you, please e-mail 6-15 low resolution files (72 DPI, no more than 10” at their largest dimension) in JPG or PDF format of your work to editor@heavymetal.com with “HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE GALLERY SUBMISSION” as the subject line for the message.  Please do not send links to web sites/blogs/social media accounts because we don’t have time to surf sites (unfortunately) and we don’t know which images you hold the rights to that we might be able to use – so sending the images via email is the best method.

IV. EDITORIAL/PROSE/POETRY FOR HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE

A) We’ve been focusing on comics the past few years and plan to do so for the foreseeable future, so it’s unlikely that we’ll run many text pieces (reviews, commentary, interviews, etc.) or short fiction, and extremely unlikely that we’ll run any poetry. You may submit pieces if you’d like, but (if you haven’t guessed by now) it’s very unlikely that we’ll be interested in publishing them. We’re trying to maintain the “illustrated” bit in our “World’s Greatest Illustrated Magazine” byline – so our main focus is comics. If you do submit stories, please keep the word count to 5,000 words or less.

V. COMIC BOOK SERIES PROPOSALS FOR OUR COMIC BOOK LINE

A) We are not pairing writers with artists at this time. Comic book series proposals must have at least eight pages of final art included with the pitch material so we can see what the finished comic book pages will look like. Beyond that requirement, please feel free to include as much additional material as you wish – but since comics are a visual medium, we do need to see some finished pages in order to make a decision if we want to pursue a project.

Please e-mail low resolution files (72 DPI, no more than 10” at their largest dimension) in JPG or PDF format to editor@heavymetal.com with “COMIC BOOK SERIES SUBMISSION” as the subject line for the message.

That covers the vital points. If you have any questions, just holler.

Cheers!
The Editorial Team
editor@heavymetal.com