News / Winnipeg

First-time comic publisher seeks artist for dystopian fighting story

Mel Giesbrecht is new to publishing, but is trying to assemble a team to help release her first comic book about "futuristic mixed martial arts."

Comic book creators Melody and Greg Renton in Winnipeg Manitoba, October 18, 2016.

Lyle Stafford/For Metro

Comic book creators Melody and Greg Renton in Winnipeg Manitoba, October 18, 2016.

A fledgling independent comic book company based out of Winnipeg is searching for a local artist to draw the first issues of its post-cataclysmic, gladiator-like comic series.

Called “Rumblesport, the future of fight,” the story-to-be is set in a dystopian future where an organized fighting competition captivates what’s left of civilization.

“It’s sort of a futuristic mixed martial arts type thing… or futuristic pit fighting,” said writer Greg Renton.

It’s a gritty, copy-righted concept that proprietor Mel Giesbrecht not only wants in comic form, but also a television series eventually.

“But we want to start off with the comics… get the idea out there,” Giesbrecht said.

She and Renton have been working intermittently on Rumblesport since 2013, but just recently secured sufficient funding to bring an artist aboard—hence the talent search.

“We have the story, we have sample art, character designs, we’re just slowly assembling (everything),” Renton said. “We want to find an artist and give them a chance to work on the books with us.”

Giesbrecht said the most important thing to her is keeping the whole team local, so she’s looking specifically for an amateur artist looking for their first paying gig in Winnipeg.

“We want to start it off here and keep it in Winnipeg, have Winnipeg support the idea,” she said, adding first runs of the comic would be made available locally first before branching out to a wider audience.

Renton said he’s already drawn early concept art for the incumbent to pull inspiration from, but he needs a “skilled artist, or possibly two, to work on the first issue” and beyond.

Giesbrecht admits it’s slow-going bringing her dream to life, especially as a woman in what she bills as a “male dominated arena,” but she’s determined.

“I’m not exactly the most experienced (in publishing), but you do your homework and find people who do have that experience and want to be involved,” she said.

People with the artistic chops to draw and colour a full-length comic issues can submit their work samples to for adjudication by the Rumblesport team and “collaborating judges.” 

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