(Revised January 2019)
If you are planning to submit a piece of artwork, please make sure you’ve read over these guidelines.
With this revision, we’ve got a ‘short version’ and a ‘long version’. If you’re old hat at contributing to SSBB, read the short version first and see if anything’s new information to you; if something looks odd or you want clarification, find the same section in the long version and read the fuller explanation. If you’re new to this or it’s been a while, definitely read both sections in their entirety, but start with the short answers and then fill in the information gaps with the longer ones.
As always, if you have questions or want clarification on any matter, please ask.
1. Original art only.
2. Previously published art is not accepted. It’s okay to share concept and progress works before the issue goes live, but finished pieces should make their debuts in the issue.
3. Images should be in either .jpg, .gif, or .png format, and at most about 800×800 pixels. Images should be saved in black-and-white/greyscale/RGB, not CMYK. Filenames should be in the following format: [story title]-[piece number].
4. Multi-page, paneled comics with dialogue are not permitted in regular issues. Sequential art with small amounts of text interspersed are.
5. Deadlines are important. Art deadlines are the Saturday before the issue’s publication date. Any text in art submissions must be submitted by the text deadline, not the art deadline.
6. Even if you’re hosting images on your own server, email copies of all art to email@example.com.
7. Artists, like authors, are welcome and encouraged (but not required) to use pseudonyms.
8. While art submissions do not have to be pornographic, explicitness is encouraged. No depictions of sexual activity involving obviously underage participants will be permitted.
9. All queer and/or genderqueer content is acceptable in any issue.
There is no limit on: the number of stories in a single issue an artist can illustrate, the number of illustrations a story can include, or the number of individual artists that can contribute to a single story.
Artists who wish to illustrate for stories that have already been posted may do so; these images, with the author’s permission, will be added to the stories.
Standalone submissions may be made of no more than ten individual images that constitute a single piece. They may be accompanied by short text (100 words max).
Artists may submit up to two standalone pieces per issue: one created alone and one or two co-created.
Long pieces of multi-paged, paneled sequential art are only permitted in the theme-free December big bang. Artists may collaborate with writers or write their own pieces. Entries are strongly encouraged to have pornographic content.
Please note deadlines for comics: All text must be submitted by the text deadline two weeks before the publication date. All images are still due during the usual Saturday art deadline.
And here are the longer explanations of the above short guidelines:
1. Because the point of SSBB is originality, fanart is absolutely not permitted; if a piece is shown to be straight-up fanart, it will be taken down. Clever reimaginings of characters in the public domain, new interpretations of traditional figures, and the thin veil of plausible deniability laid over historical individuals — these are all acceptable. Straight-up, obvious drawings of other people’s characters are not. (Drawing your own original characters from another project is somewhat acceptable, but not really in the spirit of the exercise, now, is it?)
2. ‘First publication’ rights apply to art in the same way they apply to text submissions: Images should appear first in the SSBB issue to which they belong, after which time they can be posted in public journals, communities, Tumblr, deviantArt, etc. If finished art is to be shared with others before the street date of the issue (for critique/archival purposes), the place where it is shared should be locked/protected until the issue goes live. Warmups/concept sketches/rough WIPs are fine to share publicly before the issue goes live, but not the finished image itself.
3. Images submitted in either .jpg, .gif, or .png format. In order to make sure that images are visible to everyone, the upper size limit should be about 800×800 pixels. If an image is significantly larger than this, it should come with a scaled-down version of itself (not a partial thumbnail) equal to or smaller than 800×800, which will be included in the post as a link to the full image; if the image is too large and does not come with a scaled-down version, one will be created (but then the editor who’s completely incompetent with graphics programs might be the one resizing it, and you don’t want that, so might as well do it yourself).
Images should be not be saved in CMYK color palettes, as if for printing; this apparently prevents them from loading in some browsers. Instead, save them in black-and-white/greyscale/RGB as appropriate.
All illustrations should have file names like this: [title of the story to which they belong]-[piece number].[format]; if there’s only one illustration, indicating that the illustration is 1 of 1 is obviously optional. All standalone images need a title and should have file names formatted in the same way as illustrations do.
4. Multi-page, paneled comics with dialogue are not permitted in regular issues. There are several reasons for this decision, but the main ones are these: one, while there are many anthologies and venues available for original comic work, there are far fewer webzines for writers to get audiences for their original short stories, which is the primary reason bb_shousetsu was created in the first place; and two, editing and managing comic submissions is a complicated business, and not one we’re prepared to do for each issue. A good rule of thumb is: a standalone submission should have no dialogue.
Short sequential art pieces with small amounts of text interspersed with images (e.g., 25 Lives) are permitted.
5. Art deadlines are always the Saturday before the issue’s publication date.
If you are going to have text in your art submission and that text is a complete sentence or longer, that raw text must be submitted to us by the regular writer deadline (i.e., the Tuesday two weeks before the issue’s publication date), so that we can edit for spelling, punctuation, and clarity in the same way we would for a story submission. If we receive an image with text and that text was not submitted to us by the writer deadline, we reserve the right to hold that submission for the next issue.
6. We will be uploading all images to the shousetsubangbang.com server by default. If you’d rather have an image hosted off your own server, please provide us with a URL — though we’ll still be uploading those images to the server, as to prevent problems we’ve had in the past where images have disappeared and their owners have been unreachable. If you have a reason to object to this, please let us know and we’ll work something out. Please email copies of all art to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. All art submissions will be tagged in the ‘illus:[name]’ format. You may choose to be credited with your LiveJournal name, a different handle, your real name, or a project-specific pseudonym. If you’ve already submitted a piece of text to SSBB under one pseudonym, you may either use that same name or choose a different one for submitting art.
8. Content ratings for art do not have to be the R/NC-17 mandated for text submissions. Standalone art must contain content in the overall pornographic spirit of the zine, but can still be worksafe; illustrations can be of anything contained in a story. That being said, bb_shousetsu has always been and continues to be a smutty little project, and while pornographic content is not required for submitted art, it is most definitely encouraged.
No depictions of sexual activity involving obviously underage participants will be permitted. As anyone who lived through The Great Strikethrough should remember, there is a very clear double standard for literary and artistic depictions of underage sexual activity, and art is held much more closely to this standard than text is. This isn’t a personal judgment; this is an ass-covering.
9. As of 2019, there are no longer separate issues for m/m, f/f, and Yes, And content. All queer and/or genderqueer content is appropriate for all issues.
You may illustrate for as many different stories in an issue as you can find authors who’ll let you illustrate for them. You may also illustrate a story you yourself have written; if you do, you can choose to be credited under a single name or two separate names for your role as author and your role as artist. Please note: this is the only exception to our ‘pick one pseudonym and stick with it’ rule.
We don’t want to put a limit on the number of illustrations a single story can include, but if you feel that number is going to be particularly large, please warn the editorial staff ahead of time.
A single story may have illustrations by multiple artists; just make sure that when we receive the images in our email inbox, each piece is clearly attributed.
We have, in the past, had artists contact us about illustrating for already-published stories. If you want to do this, that’s wonderful! Send us the finished picture and we will get in touch with the author; if the author gives permission, we’ll add that image to the story and credit you appropriately. If the author cannot be contacted or declines to give permission, we’d still like to find other avenues to showcase the piece.
What we mean by ‘standalone’ is art that has no connection to anything other entry in the issue. These pieces are collected in the second part of each issue (though not everyone issue has had standalone pieces submitted for it).
Each piece of standalone art may involve anywhere between one and ten individual images. If your submission has multiple images, please indicate clearly the order in which we should arrange them.
Standalone art may be accompanied by short text that is not on the image itself, though that text should be no longer than 100 words and should be submitted by the text deadline (i.e., the Tuesday before the issue publication date).
Each artist may have up to a total of two standalone art contributions in an issue. You can submit up to one piece of art where you are the sole creator; you may submit up to two pieces of art where you are credited as a co-creator.
While short comics with dialogue are not permitted in regular issues, they are encouraged in the theme-free December big bang, as are single images and other forms of sequential art. Artists may team up with writers or can script their own stories.
There is no standard page size, panel layout, or style, nor do all the images in a single submission have to be the same size or shape. However, pages should still be not much wider than 800 pixels across.
Single images are subject to the same content rules as they usually are, but comics are held to the same content rules as text submissions in regular issues — in other words, they should have pages that would be considered Not Safe For Work. Images of sexual activity don’t need to be graphic, but there should definitely be explicit sexual content.
All text must be submitted by the December text deadline. Images are due during the normal Saturday art deadline.