Get out your pencils, paints, yarn, crayons or Thesaurus — today starts the first ever Next Town Over art contest!

Anyone can enter and any medium is welcome, although I aim to include the winning entry (and possibly some runners-up) in Next Town Over Volume 1 — fully credited, of course — so if you elect to write a song or make a video or something crazy that might curtail my ability to do that. All entries will be featured here on the site with a link back to their creators’ sites/pages.

It’d hardly be a contest, though, without a prize! In addition to having their work featured in the book the winner will receive:

  1. Signed print editions of NTO#1-4 (Lookback, Sun Prairie, Whiskey Bend and not-yet-available Baron’s Crossing)
  2. 4 original hand-drawn sketch cards (characters of your choice)
  3. An all new NTO graphic T-shirt in your choice of Vane Black or John Henry Hunter flavor. These are as-yet unfinished and unseen designs and will not be otherwise available until after the Volume 1 Kickstarter’s begun. (I’m pretty excited about these.)
  4. A copy of NOBODIES, Volume 1, which features my short story Snake along with a slough of other fantastic shorts from fantastic folks. (144 pages, full color)

The details:

  1. Deadline is October 20th, 2012 (so get cracking!)
  2. Send entries to with subject line NTO ART CONTEST
  3. Full color, black and white, digital, traditional or macaroni are all acceptable. Although the focus of the contest is on visual art, short stories, etc.. are also welcome & eligible to win.
  4. Please work large with visual entries (or take big photos!). .TIFs, .PSDs, .PNGs etc., need to be 2100x3150px or larger for inclusion in the book.
  5. Please include your name as you’d like it to be printed on the site (or in the book), along with the URL of any personal site/project you’d like linked to.
  6. Your piece must be NTO-related or at least NTO-relevant. Snake, Marshall Snowman and of course any of the comic’s wronged parties are all fair game.
  7. This probably goes without saying, but keep it rated R or under.
  8. Enter as many different pieces as you like, but know that they’ll all be judged individually and will not necessarily increase your chances of winning
  9. By submitting your work to the competition you are granting me (Erin Mehlos) non-exclusive rights to post and reproduce it electronically and in print (with full accreditation).
  10. Delivery of prizes pending their printing/availability (NTO #4 and the NTO T-shirts will probably not arrive for a few months. I’ll get them to you ASAP, though, and you can rest assured you’ll have them before anyone else ever sees them.)

And that’s it! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Have fun, get creative, and don’t hesitate to post your project (or let folks know about the contest) on your site/blog/facebook/Twitter. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.