I’m putting together an anthology of funny comics dealing with germs and germophobes. It will be called “Germ Warfare,” and it will be sort of experimental. What I’d like to do is invite artists and writers to create stories about the characters I’ve been working on (who I now release to the community for this project). I’m hoping that, by having different people with different visions working from the same template, we can create something of a narrative that will feel like a mashup between loony tunes and urban legends.

I want participants to have fun and get silly with this. Put the characters in ridiculous situations. Have them interact with characters of your own creation if you want. The only requirements are that the stories should have something to do with germs, and should be approprite for all ages.

The book will be black and white with a trim size of 6.69 x 9.61″ so all submissions should be prepared with these specifications in mind. This is proportionally very similar to standard comic book size, so art drawn on standard comic book art board will work just fine.

-Try to include a title panel and byline for yourself at the beginning of your story.
-Allow for a 1/4″ gutter on all sides
-Include a blurb about yourself and a link to your website with your submission
-Send submissions to volsungaloop@gmail.com by April 26, 2011
-Send your work as .jpg grayscale images, 600 dpi
-Give me a mailing address so I can send you a copy of the book
-Find someone to collaborate with, if you are an artist who doesn’t write, or a writer who doesn’t draw
-email me at volsungaloop@gmail.com if you have questions

-put page numbers on your work
-use colors or dark gray washes, as they will end up looking muddy in print. (Light-medium gray should be okay)

All participants will get a complementary copy of the finished book, bragging rights, and warm fuzzy thoughts from me.

Here are some notes on the personalities and body language of the characters I’ve created for the germ stories. If you haven’t already seen them, I’ve posted some short comics about them online here https://lupiloops.wordpress.com/tag/germs/

The Humans
Stew and Beryl Sterrel are a married couple who are terrified of germs, and go to ridiculous, self-destructive lengths to avoid them.

Stew is the more fearful and panicky one. He is like a frightened rabbit, with a bald head, rounded features and a tendency to cringe and shrink when confronted with germs. Although he will occasionally have bursts of courage, he always seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Beryl is taller and more robust than Stew, with more angular features. She is more aggressive and more apt to direct her energy outwards, instead of cowering like Stew. I think she is hyper-organized and obsesses over details.

There is also a baby, who, like all babies, gets into everything and puts gross things in his mouth. He is happy, healthy and oblivious in comparison to Stew and Beryl, who worry themselves sick.

The Germs
Obviously, there are billions of possibilities here. Mutant germs, staph infections, antibiotic-resistant batceria, viruses… You could even make up a germ that is totally new to science. Let your imagination run wild.

If you do want to revisit the germ cultures (no pun intended) I drew, here is the basic info:

The jellybean shaped germs are friendly lactobacilli. They have a military order, but are too polite and civilized to really be threatening.

The slug-shaped germs with spots are aggressive, unnamed invaders who live on Stew’s skin. They have mismatched weapons and helmets which they plundered from previous victims.