It’s been too long since NTO’s [formerly] annual art contest!

Once upon a time I had the art contest every October. You know what else happens this time every year? Inktober, the hugely popular art challenge/exercise. Although I’m incredibly busy with the NTO Volume 2 Kickstarter, I’m going to try to squeeze in as many Inktober drawings as I can. Rather than follow the official prompts, though, I’ve decided to try to make my Inktober output into something I’ve wanted to put together for a very long time: a coloring book.

I’ll be posting high res files of each of these [hopefully] colorable lineart drawings – some publicly (here, and on Twitter), some exclusively on Patreon. Some will be NTO-themed, others will probably be seasonal, or Hell’s Corners-related, or possibly even throwbacks to even deeper cuts from the Erin vault. Some will be more kid-friendly, others less so.  I got a lot of suggestions on Twitter. I’ll try to hit them all but I can’t make any guarantees. Here’s the first (click for full-resolution)!


At the end of the month I’ll also be making the entire coloring collection available for purchase as a PDF (Patrons will get it free).

But anyway, this is where you come in! Color them! Color one, or several — in crayon, in Photoshop; I don’t care – and then send them to me. At the end of October I’m going to post all the entries here on the site, and pick a winner, who’ll receive some neat prizes (see below).

I’ve never done coloring book art before — in fact prior to Rose coloring the Patron-only comic Cutter & Ironwood I’ve never drawn anything intended for someone else to color, period — so it’s probably going to be a learning curve for me. Bear with me! I promise I’ll get better! That’s the whole point of Inktober, after all. You should take on Inktober yourself (if you happen to draw something NTO-related I’d love to see it and post it on the site)  … but don’t forget your coloring contest entry!

Full contest rules


The winner will receive the following prizes:

  1. Signed print copy of Poor Wayfaring Strangers OR Next Town Over Volume 1 (your choice)
  2. A Genevieve T-shirt (two designs to choose from, available in unisex size S through 2XL)
  3. A grabbag of my convention prints
  4. Your winning entry featured in Next Town Over Volume 2

The details:

  1. Deadline is October 31ist, 2016
  2. Send entries to with subject line NTO COLORING CONTEST
  3. Traditional and digital coloring acceptable! Crayons, colored pencils, Photoshop, anything. Additionally, fell free to do whatever you want with the lineart (i.e. color it, etc).
  4. Please work big (or take big photos/scans!). .TIFs, .PSDs, .PNGs, .JPGs are all acceptable for submitting your entry but ideally make them roughly 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. 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
  7. 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).

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 work (or let folks know about the contest) on your site/blog/facebook/Twitter. I can’t wait to see what you can do you!