The creators of Outré Anthology Magazine had several websites to promote their new, bold and free comic anthology. This was Outre Press. They also had a wordpress version, Outre Anthology: https://outreanthology.wordpress.com/ which had blog posts starting in August of 2012 and ending a year later in September 2013.
I think all of us who looked forward to each Outre issue checked out each of the Outre sites. At one point you could have downloaded Outre issues from this website as well as from Comixology.
ComiXology is now an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary with content from over 125 publishers as well as thousands of independent creators from around the world.
For $.99 EACH you can download all six issues of Outre Anthology @ www.comixology.com/Outr-eacute-Anthology/comics-series/36013
The content below is from Outre Press's archived pages, as well as from other outside sources.
"...one of the better ambassadors for the comic book medium seen from the indie community in recent years." - InGenre
The biannual Outré Anthology is a thoughtful and theme-driven anthology featuring hungry up-and-coming creators with strong, new voices. Each issue features four short stories and two insightful interviews.
The Outré anthology is the brainchild of Norwegian comic book creators Magnus Aspli and Glenn Møane. Both fans of short stories, we started toying with the idea of launching an online anthology with a strong emphasis on quality and meaning.
With Outréwe want to deliver a thoughtful and unique product with superb quality in art and storytelling. Features stories by hungry creators who have something to say.
Initially Outré will be published online two times a year. It will be available for free as a downloadable file from our website, and in the future a few other channels. For free.
Each issue will feature four stories by four different creative teams, as well as two in-depth creator conversations and four stand-alone illustrations playing on the theme of the issue. Each story in Outré should be completely self-contained and exactly eight pages in length – no exceptions. Naturally, each story remains the property of the creators involved.
With strong focus on creating a consistent and thoughtful anthology, each issue of Outré will be theme-oriented. The creators involved are presented with a theme which they can approach in any way they like. Genre, style and tone are all up to the creator(s), as long as the resulting story is about the current theme.
- The first issue of Outré was about responsibility.
- The second issue’s theme is hopelessness.
- The third issue’s theme is xenophobia.
- Our fourth issue’s theme is silence.
MATT CHATS: Editor Glenn Moane on the “Outré” Theory
06/19/2015 by Matt O'Keefe | www.comicsbeat.com
Outré is a little-known but very well-polished anthology series that releases new issues twice a year, free on their website and for $0.99 on ComiXology. Even though they receive relatively few submissions, the stories have a consistent and impressive level of quality. Intrigued by it, I spoke to one of the editors, Glenn Moane, about the process of putting Outré together.
What led to the creation of Outré?
When we tabled together at Oslo Comics Expo back in 2012, Magnus and I started talking about anthologies and how it’d be nice if there were more theme-oriented ones around, as opposed to just random collections of comic short stories. Not that we had anything against the latter, but it wasn’t what were looking for, so we came to the conclusion that we had to create one ourselves. We also wanted the anthology to feature work by up-and-coming creators, so in order to get as many eyes on their work as possible, it made sense to offer each issue for free. After settling on the theme for the first installment we put out the call for submissions from both writers and artists. After choosing the strongest story submission and getting their scripts into the right shape, we teamed the writers up with the artists we felt would be a good fit and got the ball rolling from there. After a period of time Outré #1: Responsibility was a reality, and we’ve been repeating the process twice a year ever since.
You receive pitches for stories instead of completed ones. How does that work better than asking for finished comics?
Since we want to put out a quality product, it makes sense for us to get involved right from the start and try to make a writer’s scripts the best it can be. Sometimes a story is ready to go after the first draft and sometimes it takes three. Both Magnus and I have been writing comics for a few years now, and if it’s one thing we learned it’s that it is always healthy to get some feedback on our scripts before we send it off to be illustrated. Also, some of the writers who pitch to Outré are just starting out, and they may not yet have established a network of creators to work with. So if a new writer comes up with a great idea for a story after seeing what theme we’ve chosen for an upcoming issue, presenting it to us is the way to go. Now, for our latest issue we asked for pitches with a creative team intact, and those we picked got produced in the time leading up until the release.
The inherent risk is some stories won’t turn out as good as they appear on paper. Have you ever had to accept a pitch but reject the finished product?
Not yet. We’ve had artists bail on us, but fortunately we’ve always been able to bring in a suitable replacement before the deadline was up.
I assume the name of the comic is, in addition to a word of its own (meaning “unusual and startling”), a play on the word auteur. How do you keep the quality level high while still letting creators feel like they are true auteurs with full ownership over the material?
In addition to pushing the writer to make his script as solid as possible, we do the same with the remaining members of a story’s creative team. The creators who contact us are hungry as hell to get their work out there and in front of readers, and motivated by the fact that the finished product will be available on our site forever. And we don’t own any of the stories. They belong to the creators, who can do whatever they like with them after an issue is released.
Creatively and practically, what are the appeals of including one-page, one-image stories?
When the idea for Outré was conceived we wanted to create a full and satisfying package that could resemble a magazine. We used to feature two interviews in each issue, one with an industry professional and the other with a creator whose work was featured within. To add stand alone illustrations that revolved around the issue’s theme made sense, and it was also a nice way to get more creators involved. And some of these illustrations look really good as well. Practically, overseeing the production of a single illustration is a less time-consuming than getting a whole short story done. Contacting a creator and throwing the theme his or her way was usually enough, and after a while we had a nice illustration in our inbox.
Why don’t you charge for Outré?
To attract as many people to the anthology as possible, also readers who may not read comics on a regular basis like you and me. By offering each
issue for free, there should be really no incentive not to download it and check it out at some point, unless the reader is allergic to the theme in question and/or only interested in a specific genre. Anthologies are a tough sell in the Direct Market, but since we love the format and want more readers to get excited about it, the free and digital option was the way to go. A seasoned comics fan may be reluctant to pick up a book featuring work by creators he’s never heard of before, but if all it costs is a couple of taps to read the issue on his or her tablet, why shouldn’t s/he?
Do you ever worry that offering it for free might diminish its value in some people’s eyes?
I’m sure it’s happened. We try to market Outré as a professional-looking anthology filled with quality stories, and 95% of the reviews we’ve received have been more than positive. But I’m sure there are plenty of readers who don’t bother reading those reviews in the first place, and unfortunately I’ve yet to see an anthology making a huge comics news splash across the board. That’s just the way it is.
But recently Outré made its debut on Comixology, where it’s not possible to offer products for free unless it’s part of special campaign. So we priced each issue at $0.99, and told our regular readers that one could pick them up if they wanted to experience the stories in the cool function that is Guided View. I’m certain a good handful of the customers who bought the issues weren’t aware of our anthology in the first place, so we’ve probably reached a few more readers, which is great.
Not only that, a couple of days ago I found out that Outré #1 & 2 had been uploaded on a torrent site, along with several other new comics. Since those issues are the only ones available on Comixology as of now (#3 & 4 are on their way), the uploader more than likely got them through that digital platform. Now, if piracy leads to Outré getting in the hands of more readers – readers who may be unfamiliar with the creators and their work, then I’m all for it in this particular case.
As a not-for-profit business, is it difficult to keep a regular publishing schedule?
Releasing an issue twice a year has proven to be the best for us. With no budget to speak of, we can only rely on the passion of the creators we work with, and that they have the time and opportunity to work on the stories in their free time. This is why we give our creators long deadlines, and a story greenlit in December won’t be released until June. The creative team then has about six months to get their 8 or 10-pager done in this time period, which should be enough. I say “should”, because life and other opportunities can pop up, and if an artist has to take a break from working on a Outré story because of a paid job offer, we’re the first to understand. But the work gets done, even if some stories take longer than others.
So yeah, two issues each year is enough. When we began toying with the idea we did actually talk of a quarterly schedule, but we see now that we then had to produce two issues more or less at the same time, and handle twice as many creative teams. And right now the anthology business doesn’t pay well enough for us to even consider it.
What motivates you to publish Outré, since profit’s not a real factor?
It’s a pleasure to feel a script coming together and to see it come to life at the hands of a talented and passionate artist. That never gets old. And whenever an issue is finished it gives us a sense of satisfaction, and we take pride in the fact that we managed to pull it off once again, fueled only by us and the creators’ passion for comics.
Outré has also proven to be a great way for us to connect with other creators. I got to know colorist K. Michael Russell and artist/letterer Sean Rinehart through this anthology, who both helped me out on two of my own projects. Not to mention Brett Uren, whose story “Torsobear” in Outré #2: Hopelessness led to a whole anthology of its own, which I co-edited with Brett and wrote a story for. The first volume was uccessfully funded through Kickstarter last year and the campaign for the second one is currently ongoing.
Editing an issue of Outré takes time, but it’s also really fun. We’ve just began to talk about the next issue, and there’s a chance the theme this time around will be something horror-related. So we’re pretty excited about the stories this will lead to.
MATT CHATS is a weekly interview series with a person of prominence and/or value in the comic book industry. Find its author, Matt O’Keefe, on Twitter and Tumblr. Email him with questions, comments, complaints or maybe even praise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So where were you and what were you doing when you first discovered Outré? I was participating in the annual New Year's Day Frostbite Regatta in an open dinghie with two-person crews in the frigid waters off Port Washington, NY. Frostbite sailing, as it is called on Long Island Sound and the Great South Bay is surprisingly popular. SO there are a lot of crazy sailors out there. Races are sponsored by the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Centre Island and across the Sound at the Larchmont Yacht Club. On the South Shore. The Narrasketuck Yacht Club's frostbiters sail out of Amityville, and every Sunday at noon, about (must be crazy) 20 frostbiters launch from the lawn of the Snapper Inn on the Connetquot River and race in the Great South Bay. However, the New Year's regatta on Manhasset Bay is the highlight of Long Island's frostbite season. SO there I was with my best friend. All I can say is Thank God for North Face waterproof jacket designs and pants designs. I was almost completely dressed in North Face products, a walking advertisement no less. Anyway, that evening after a thrilling, freezing, race I was chilling at my friend's house and he showed me the Outré Anthology Magazine. We are both comic freaks as well as crazy cold weather sailers...among other things. What a cool idea. I was an avid reader of each free issue. Sure do miss them.
So where were YOU and what were YOU doing when you first discovered Outré?
For each issue we present a theme to be tackled, in any genre, tone or style you prefer. We publish 4 stories per issue/theme, and all stories must be 8 pages – no more, no less.
STORY SUBMISSIONS FOR OUR 4th ISSUE ARE NOW OPEN! (CLOSES APRIL THE 1st)
Current theme 2014:
Caveat: The story must not only be your interpretation of the theme, but also silent. Meaning no conventional dialogue or other narrative text (captions, thought balloons etc.)
Artists: please include a sequential page of previous work along with your pitch, so we can see how your final “Silence”-story will look.
How do I submit my/our story?
Easy! Send us a one-page pitch that briefly outlines your story and how it plays on the theme, and a line or two about yourself/yourselves. Please put the pitch in the body of the e-mail.
As of now, we do prefer stories with an artist attached. Meaning: If you’re just a writer, join hands with a good artist and submit your story idea together. You don’t have to have any artwork ready, just include a link to your portfolio so we can judge your skill/style. (Please remember that we can’t assess your sequential storytelling skills if you only direct us to pin-ups, splash pages and stand-alone illustrations.)
Note that your story, if chosen, will (likely) go through an editing process before it’s ready. We’re all in it to make Outré the best anthology out there. Naturally, each story remains the property of the creators involved, and can be used for whatever purpose after the Outré issue has been launched.
I want to illustrate a story…
Terrific! We are looking for all styles and types of artists. Please do send us a link to your portfolio with sequential samples/page samples to the e-mail address below. (We can’t assess your sequential storytelling skills if you just direct us to pin-ups, splash pages and stand-alone illustrations.)
All artwork used for/in Outré remains the property of the creative team/artist. It can be used for whatever benefit the owner(s) desires. All we ask is that the artwork is kept under lid and not shared online until the respectable Outré issue has launched.
I’m an artist and I don’t have time to illustrate a full story, but I still want to be part of this…
Great! Each issue will feature different pin-ups/stand-alone illustrations. If you have a story you can tell in a single illustration – working on one of our current themes – we encourage you to get in touch. The illustration does not have to be finished, or even planned, but we require a look at your portfolio so we can understand how the finished illustration will look. The ownership of the illustration will of course remain with the artist, but we want to keep it under wraps until the respectable Outré issue has been launched.
- Story pitch deadline for issue #1 – Responsibility – closed 15th August, 2012
- Story pitch deadline for issue #2 – Hopelessness – closed 12th September, 2012
- Story pitch deadline for issue #3 – Xenophobia – closed 1st May, 2013
- Story pitch deadline for issue #4 – Silence – closed 1st April, 2014
- Story pitch deadline for issue #5 – Desire – closed 30th November, 2014
Entries from 2014
Artist spotlight: Ashley Ribblett
March 5, 2014 | Outré Press
Soon we’ll start showing off some of the brilliant artwork for our third issue. But first, let’s start welcoming the creators.
First up is the lovely Ashley Ribblett!
Who are you? I’m Ashley!
Creator Brett Uren takes “Torsobear” to the next level
February 26, 2014 | Outré Press
Today we want to give readers and creators a heads-up about one of the latest developments in the Outré family. In a satisfying turn of events, writer and artist Brett Uren has decided to expand his Outré #2 short
Ronald Montgomery writes for GrayHaven’s You Are Not Alone
February 12, 2014 | Outré Press
This week we want to tell you about a comics anthology that has just hit the digital stands, featuring a story from one of the very first Outré collaborators: Ronald Montgomery.
The 200-page book is titled You Are Not …
Outré #3: Cover Revealed
February 19, 2014 | Outré Press
This week’s transmission is a short one, but it’s very, very sweet, as the cover to Outré #3: Xenophobia is done and we see no reason not to share it with you right away:
The talented team …
Announcing the theme for Outré #4
January 29, 2014 | Outré Press
Issue #4 will be slightly different from our previous issues, as we’ll have a special caveat in place, a limitation that we hope will encourage even more people to jump on and submit their story, particularly artists & …
New reviews! Outré #4 deadline! Action Johnson!
February 5, 2014 | Outré Press
Today we have a few points to address to our dear readers, all of them related to all things Outré.
First off, reviews of our second issue are still hitting the web, and the two latest ones are more than …
Our artists, writers, colourists and letterers.
Outré #6 Grotésk
OUTRÉ #5 – DESIRE
Outré #5 Desire
Adam Bryce Thomas
OUTRÉ #4 – SILENCE
Outré #4 Silence
«The expertly handled sequential work in this book often had me pausing on panels and I have now re-read the whole book a number of times.» – Down The Tubes
OUTRÉ #3 – XENOPHOBIA
Outré #3 Xenophobia
K. Michael Russell
Jonas A. Larsen
«[...]showcases a wide array of talent and is worth picking up if you want something a little different.» – Omnicomic
OUTRÉ #2 – HOPELESSNESS
Outré #2 Hopelessness
Sindre Foss Skancke
Nic J. Shaw
Jonas A. Larsen
«Outré is clearly making a niche for itself by providing great content, for free.» – Unleash The Fanboy
OUTRÉ #1 – RESPONSIBILITY
Outré #1 Responsibility
K. Michael Russell
«…one of the better ambassadors for the comic book medium seen from the indie community in recent years.» – InGenre
The Language of Violence
December 16, 2015
Outré Volume #2: Review
By Max Delgado on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 | www.unleashthefanboy.com
After a small hiatus Outré is back — the start-up publisher infused with a comics-for-the-people sentient that manifests this way: they solicit submission from writers and artists all over the word and then build an anthology which they give away for free. Yes, free.
The Outré anthology is the brainchild of Norwegian comic book creators Magnus Aspli and Glenn Møane. Both fans of short stories, we started toying with the idea of launching an online anthology with a strong emphasis on quality and meaning. Initially Outré will be published online two times a year. It will be available for free as a downloadable file from our website, and in the future a few other channels. For free. The second issue’s theme is hopelessness.
I’ll confess that I love what Outré is all about, even if I don’t love every story in this current issue.
Yes, they publish a free anthology, but better yet they allow the contributors to retain their rights, and even publish in-depth profiles of creators toiling in the comics field. If your love of comics goes beyond just art and words — meaning you pay attention to how the actual industry treats its talent — then you have to applaud this new approach.
The theme of issue #2 was “hopelessness,” and unlike issue #1 where there was a stronger balance of good writing and good art, this latest installment of Outré offers much stronger visuals than narrative. Standout artists in this issue include Jonas Larsen who offers a stiff, strange and yet thoroughly enjoyable style in Jonathan Clode’s story Brenda about a shut-in with an active imagination. Artist Shane Smith’s dark and moody style bring a lot of life to Kevin Fong’s Cassandra, an otherwise flat tale about a depressed girl who wants freedom. The best contribution by far (in both art and writing) has to be Torsobear by Brett Uren. In Torsobear we encounter a strange world inhabited by retired children’s toys; they live in a saccharine city where it rains lemonade, but where serial killers also lurk. It is beautiful, stunning, and haunting. And I wanted more.
Outré is clearly making a niche for itself by providing great content, for free. I could easily see this anthology becoming a place where creators go to get discovered, build their portfolio, and shape their brand. And for us as readers, it’s win-win.