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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Introducing The "Vision Machine" Remix Writing Contest

The "Vision Machine" Remix Writing Contest starts February 1st. It's a great way to have fun writing and maybe get recognized. Ben - you know, the guy who owns Empire's Comics Vault - is going to remix "Vision Machine" also. Of course, he can't win any prizes, but he'll be in it with you. Here are some things to know.

Pencils by R.B. Silva


Imagine taking a graphic novel, erasing all the text and word balloons, keeping only the art, and then plugging in your own story. That's the contest. Take an unlettered copy of Greg Pak's "Vision Machine" and add your own story. You've got two months to do it. 1st place wins $100. 2nd place wins $50 in comics. 3rd place wins $25 in comics. All submissions must be received by March 31, 2012. Please read the official contest rules for complete details.


1. Download the official entry form. You'll need to include this with your writing submission. This form is required with all submissions.

2. Download an unlettered copy of Greg Pak's "Vision Machine." Add your story to the art - beautiful art by R.B. Silva. We're not accepting scripts, so your story must be added to the art, and you can do that any way you'd like - with a pen, using software, cutting out word balloons and pasting them onto the art. Also, your story can be of any genre you'd like - comedy, horror, sic-fi, whatever. Obviously, your story has to be original, you know, no copying anyone else's homework, or works that are protected by copyrights. There's more about that in the official contest rules.

3. Submit your completed official entry form and your story with art to empirescv@gmail.com or ship to Empire's Comics Vault, 1120 Fulton Avenue, Suite K, Sacramento, CA 95825. 


(1) "Vision Machine" is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License that lets you copy, share, and remix the book non-commercially as long as you credit Pak Man Productions and release your remixes/derivative material under the same Creative Commons license. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

(2) Essentially, that first point means, you agree to permit your remix of "Vision Machine" to be copied, shared and remixed non-commercially, online and offline; and since Greg Pak got this whole enchilada cooking in the first place, no matter how far down the line "Vision Machine" get remixed, we credit Pak Man Productions. Sounds fair to us! Plus, you never know, if your story is amazing, good things could happen for you. Maybe. So go for it.

The official contest rules are available online. We recommend reading those rules. Read them at http://empirescomicsvault.blogspot.com/2012/01/vision-machine-remix-2012-contest-rules.html.


Pak Man Production's very own Greg Pak has done and is doing some amazing things. Are you familiar with "Planet Hulk," "Incredible Hercules," "Red Skull Incarnate," and "Magneto Testament"? Ay-may-zing. Amazing, and honestly, we think he's a great model to follow when it comes promoting comics. We also like his healthy and active life online, from his blog to the novel he's writing on Twitter to his early adopter Google+ activities. So, if you don't know Greg, please get to know him. Last but not least, how many other writers do you know who are excited about you remixing their work? So, thanks, Greg. You're the man… the Pac Man.


“Vision Machine” Remix 2012 Contest Rules

“Vision Machine” Remix Writing Contest
Official Rules
The “Vision Machine” Remix Writing Competition (the “Contest”) is designed to encourage eligible individuals (“Entrant(s)” or “You”) to use their creativity to create their own interpretation of the artwork in Greg Pak’s “Vision Machine” graphic novel. Judges will choose the winning entries, and prizes will be awarded in accordance with these Official Rules (the “Rules”).

“Vision Machine,” pencilled by R.B. Silva, was funded by the Ford Foundation and is distributed for free under a Creative Commons license that allows anyone to reuse or remix it non-commercially, as long as Pak Man Productions is credited.

1. BINDING AGREEMENT: In order to enter the Contest, you must agree to the Rules. Therefore, please read these Rules prior to entry to ensure you understand and agree. You agree that submission of an entry in the Contest constitutes agreement to these Rules. You may not submit an entry to the Contest and are not eligible to receive the prizes described in these Rules unless you agree to these Rules. These Rules form a binding legal agreement between you and EmpiresCV with respect to the Contest.
2. ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to enter the Contest, an Entrant must: (a) be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. legal resident (i.e. must be able to show proof of legal permanent residence, for example, a “green card”); and (b) if a minor, have obtained a parent’s or legal guardian’s prior permission. Minors who enter must have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian in order to be eligible to receive any prizes, as described in Section 8 of these Rules. Contest is void in Puerto Rico, U.S. territories and possessions, outside of the U.S., and where prohibited by law. Employees, interns, contractors, and owners of Empire’s Comics Vault, and its advertising and promotion agencies, representatives, and agents (“Contest Entities”), and members of the Contest Entities’ and their immediate families (parents, siblings, children, spouses, and life partners of each, regardless of where they live) and members of the households (whether related or not) of such employees, officers and directors are ineligible to participate in this Contest.
3. SPONSOR: The Contest is sponsored by Empire’s Comics Vault (“EmpiresCV” or “Sponsor”), a California company with principal place of business at 1120 Fulton Avenue, Suite K, Sacramento, CA, 95821, USA.
4. CONTEST PERIOD: The Contest begins on February 1, 2012 at 6:00:00 A.M. Pacific Time (PT) Zone in the United States and ends on March 31, 2012 at 11:59:59 P.M. PT (“Contest Period”). All dates are subject to change.
5. HOW TO ENTER: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. To enter the Contest, visit the Contest website located at http://empirescomicsvault.blogspot.com/search/label/Contests (“Contest Site”) during the Contest Period and follow the instructions that appear on the one-page official entry form (“Entry Form”) for: (a) submitting a Remix that reflects Entrant’s creative interpretation of the unlettered art of Greg Pak’s “Vision Machine.” (“Remix”); and (b) completing all information on the second page of the Entry Form before submitting; and (c) submitting a supporting statement of fifty (50) words or less and a title for Entrant’s Remix. The Remix and supporting statement must meet the “Remix Requirements,” described below.
Once the Entry Form is fully completed, it should be printed on a light colored 8.5”X11” sheet of paper, and for a minor, signed by a parent/legal guardian. The completed Entry Form can be submitted in hard-copy by mail or electronically via email.
To submit an entry in hard-copy form, the entry must be mailed in an envelope (packaged carefully so it won’t be damaged) with proper postage affixed, to the following mailing address:
“Vision Machine” Remix Writing

Empire’s Comics Vault
1120 Fulton Avenue, Suite K
Sacramento, CA  95825

To submit an entry electronically, send to empirescv@gmail.com. Please note this form of entry is in addition to the other forms of entry to the Contest. EmpiresCV is not responsible for illegible or incorrectly submitted entries made via email.
Entries received without a completed Entry Form or, in the case of a minor, without a parent’s or legal guardian’s signature will be disqualified.
LIMIT ONE (1) ENTRY PER ENTRANT. Subsequent entries will be disqualified. To be considered for the Contest, entries must be: (i) complete (as determined by EmpiresCV); (ii) postmarked by March 31, 2012 by 11:59:59 p.m. (PT); (iii) received by April 7, 2012 by 11:59:59 p.m. (PT); and (iv) in English (unless otherwise specified). Machine or computer-generated mass entries will be disqualified. Any submission not meeting the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified. EmpiresCV accepts no responsibility for submissions lost, delayed, damaged, defaced, or mislaid, howsoever caused. Proof of mailing does not constitute proof of entry. All entries will be deemed made by the Entrant submitted at the time of entry.
Submission Format: To be eligible in the Contest, a submission must include the text of your original story added to the art pages of Greg Pak’s unlettered version of “Vision Machine.” This may be accomplished in any number of acceptable manners, including using software, writing directly on the pages of a printed copy, cutting and pasting word balloons with your text onto the pages of a printed copy, or any other method for getting words on the art pages. Download a free copy of the unlettered version of “Vision Machine” at http://www.visionmachine.net/.
6. REMIX REQUIREMENTS. The Remix and supporting statement must meet the following criteria (“Remix Requirements”):
(a) They must not promote hatred or harm against any group or person.
(b) They must not contain content, material or any element that is unlawful, or otherwise in violation of or contrary to all applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulation including the laws or regulations in any state where the Remix and supporting statement are created.
(c) They must not contain any content, material or element that displays any third party advertising, slogan, logo, trademark or otherwise indicates a sponsorship or endorsement by a third party, commercial entity or that is not within the spirit of the Contest, as determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion.
(d) They must be original, unpublished works that does not contain, incorporate or otherwise use any content, material or element that is owned by a third party or entity.
(e) They cannot contain any content, element, or material that violates a third party’s publicity, privacy or intellectual property rights.
(f) The Remix is not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim.
(g) The Entrant does not include any disparaging remarks relating to the Sponsor or a third party.
During the Contest Period, the Sponsor, its agents and/or the Judges (defined below) will be evaluating the Remixes and supporting statements to ensure that they meet the Remix Requirements. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any Entrant who submits a Remix and supporting statement that does not meet the Remix Requirements. Incomplete entries or entries not complying with these Rules are subject to disqualification.
7. JUDGING: Each Remix will be evaluated and scored based on the following “Criteria”:
(i) artistic merit - writing skills and layout;
(ii) creativity and originality - unique and novel approach to the Remix;
(iii) adherence to the Remix Requirements and these Rules.
EmpiresCV has hired third-party administrator GooTank Marketing (“GooTank”) to help manage submissions. GooTank is an independent, third-party marketing services organization retained by EmpiresCV to assist with the administration of this Contest. At times during the Contest, a GooTank representative may contact an Entrant for customer service purposes. By entering, all participants agree to receive phone calls and emails from GooTank.
Tie-breaker: In the event of a tie, the judges will reevaluate the tied Remixes according to the Criteria until the tie is broken. The tied Remixes will be put up for a re-vote amongst the judges until the tie is broken.
Decisions of the judges are final and binding. In the event there are not enough eligible entries, not all prizes will be awarded. If a potential winner is unable for whatever reason to accept his or her prize, then EmpiresCV reserves the right to award the prize to another entrant.
Notification of Winners: Becoming a winner is subject to validation and verification of eligibility and compliance with all the terms and conditions set forth in these Rules. If a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, the Remix that received the next highest total score will be chosen as the potential winner. The potential winner(s) will be selected and notified by telephone and/or email, at Sponsor’s discretion. If a potential winner does not respond to the notification attempt within three (3) days from the first notification attempt, then such potential winner may be disqualified and an alternate potential winner will be selected from among all eligible entries received based on the judging Criteria described herein. With respect to notification by telephone, such notification will be deemed given when the potential winner or potential winner’s parent or guardian engages in a live conversation with Sponsor or when a message is left on the potential winner’s voicemail service or answering machine by the Sponsor, whichever occurs first. Except where prohibited by law, each potential winner may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release and provide any additional information that may be required by Sponsor. If required, potential winners must return all such required documents via fax (or as otherwise instructed) within forty-eight (48) hours and via U.S. Mail within seven (7) days following attempted notification or such potential winner will be deemed to have forfeited the prize and another potential winner may be selected based on the judging Criteria described herein. In the event the potential winner is a minor, his or her parent or legal guardian must sign the documents and return them as described herein. All notification requirements, as well as other requirements within these Rules, will be strictly enforced. Determinations of Judges are final and binding.

8. PRIZES: One (1) 1st Place Winner will win $100. One (1) 2nd Place Winner will receive $50 in new or regular-priced back issue comics. One (1) 3rd Place Winner will receive $25 in new or regular-priced back issue comics. Each Winner’s entry will be displayed on the Empire’s Comics Vault blog, http://EmpiresComicsVault.blogspot.com.
The time of the prize distribution will be provided to winners in the prize acceptance documents but will not be earlier than four (4) weeks from Sponsor’s receipt of prize acceptance documents from winners. All prizes awarded to minors will be paid in the name of the parent or legal guardian for the benefit of the child. No transfer, substitution or cash equivalent for prizes is allowed, except at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize, in whole or in part, of equal or greater monetary value if a prize cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, as described for any reason.
9. TAXES: AWARDS OF PRIZES TO POTENTIAL WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS REQUIREMENT THAT THEY SUBMIT TO EMPIRESCV ALL DOCUMENTATION REQUESTED BY EMPIRESCV TO PERMIT IT TO COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL TAX REPORTING ALL PRIZES WILL BE NET OF ANY TAXES EMPIRESCV IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO WITHHOLD. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, ALL TAXES IMPOSED ON PRIZES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNERS. In order to receive a prize, potential winners must submit tax documentation requested by EmpiresCV or otherwise required by applicable law, to EmpiresCV or a representative for EmpiresCV or the relevant tax authority, all as determined by applicable law. The potential winner and finalists, and if the winner is a minor, their parents or legal guardians, are responsible for ensuring that they comply with all the applicable tax laws and filing requirements. If a potential winner fails to provide such documentation or comply with such laws, the prize may be forfeited and EmpiresCV may, in its sole discretion, select an alternate potential winner.
10. GENERAL CONDITIONS: All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. EmpiresCV reserves the right to disqualify any Entrant from the Contest if, in EmpiresCV’s sole discretion, it reasonably believes that the Entrant has attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, deception, or other unfair playing practices or annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other entrants, EmpiresCV, or the Judges.
11. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: "Vision Machine" is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License that lets you copy, share, and remix the book non-commercially as long as you credit Pak Man Productions and release your remixes/derivative material under the same Creative Commons license. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

12. PRIVACY: Entrants agree that personal data submitted with an entry, including name, mailing address, phone number, and email address may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used by Sponsor and its affiliates for the purposes of conducting and administering the Contest. By entering the Contest, Entrants agree to the transmission, processing, disclosing and storage of this personal data by Sponsor and its affiliates. Entrants have the right to access, review, rectify or cancel any personal data held by Sponsor in connection with the Contest by writing to EmpiresCV at the following address: Privacy Matters, c/o Empire’s Comics Vault, 1120 Fulton Avenue, Suite K, Sacramento, CA  95825. If an Entrant does not provide the data required at entry, that Entrant’s entry may be ineligible.
13. PUBLICITY. By entering the Contest, Entrants agree to participate in any media or promotional activity resulting from the Contest as reasonably requested by EmpiresCV at EmpireCV’s expense and agree and consent to use of their name and/or likeness by EmpiresCV. EmpiresCV will contact Entrants in advance of any EmpiresCV-sponsored media request for interviews.
The Remixes may also be used for press and media purposes and Entrant agrees to waive any rights and not assert any intellectual property rights that Entrant has or may have in the Remix. EmpiresCV reserves the right to publish the name and likeness of the Entrants and the Winners on the Contest Site or through other media for publicity purposes.
14. WARRANTY AND INDEMNITY: Entrants warrant that their Remixes are their own original work and, as such, they are the sole and exclusive owner and rights holder of the submitted Remix and that they have the right to submit the Remix in the Contest and grant all required licenses. Each Entrant agrees not to submit any Remix that: (a) infringes any third party proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, industrial property rights, personal or moral rights or any other rights, including without limitation, copyright, trademark, trade names, industrial designs, patent, trade secret, privacy, publicity or confidentiality obligations; or (b) otherwise violates applicable state, federal, or local law.
To the maximum extent permitted by law, Entrant indemnifies and agrees to keep indemnified Sponsor at all times from and against any liability, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs and expenses resulting from any act, default or omission of the Entrant and/or a breach of any warranty set forth herein. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Entrant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor from and against any and all claims, actions, suits or proceedings, as well as any and all losses, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys fees) arising out of or accruing from: (i) any Remix or other material uploaded or otherwise provided by Entrant that infringes any copyright, trademark, trade secret, trade dress, patent or other intellectual property right of any person or defames any person or violates their rights of publicity or privacy; (ii) any misrepresentation made by Entrant in connection with the Contest; (iii) any non-compliance by Entrant with these Rules; (iv) claims brought by persons or entities other than the parties to these Rules arising from or related to Entrant’s involvement with the Contest; (v) acceptance, possession, misuse or use of any prize or participation in any Contest-related activity or participation in the Contest; (vi) any malfunction or other problem with the Contest Site in relation to the entry and participation in the Contest by Entrant; (vii) any error in the collection, processing, or retention of entry or voting information in relation to the entry and participation in the Contest by Entrant and in the voting process by consumers; or (viii) any typographical or other error in the printing, offering or announcement of any prize or winners in relation to the entry and participation in the Contest by Entrant.
15. ELIMINATION. Any false information provided within the context of the Contest by Entrant concerning identity, mailing address, telephone number, email address, ownership of right or non-compliance with these Rules or the like may result in the immediate elimination of the entrant from the Contest.
16. INTERNET AND DISCLAIMER. EmpiresCV is not responsible for any malfunction of the entire Contest Site or any late, lost, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible, undeliverable, or destroyed Remixes or votes due to system errors, failed, incomplete or garbled computer or other telecommunication transmission malfunctions, hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, typographical or system/human errors and failures, technical malfunction(s) of any telephone network or lines, cable connections, satellite transmissions, servers or providers, or computer equipment, traffic congestion on the Internet or at the Contest Site, or any combination thereof, including other telecommunication, cable, digital or satellite malfunctions which may limit Entrant’s/consumer’s ability to participate/vote respectively. EmpiresCV is not responsible for the policies, actions, or inactions of others, which might prevent Entrant from entering, participating, and/or claiming a prize in this Contest. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Rules will not constitute a waiver of that or any other provision. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify Entrants who violate the rules or interfere with this Contest in any manner. If an Entrant is disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate that Entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Contest.
17. RIGHT TO CANCEL, MODIFY OR DISQUALIFY. If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest, EmpiresCV reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest. EmpiresCV further reserves the right to disqualify any Entrant who tampers with the submission process or any other part of the Contest or Contest Site. Any attempt by an Entrant to deliberately damage any web site, including the Contest Site, or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, EmpiresCV reserves the right to seek damages from any such Entrant to the fullest extent of the applicable law.
18. NOT AN OFFER OR CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT: Under no circumstances shall the submission of a Remix into the Contest, the awarding of a prize, or anything in these Rules be construed as an offer or contract of employment with either EmpiresCV, or the Contest Entities. Entrants acknowledge that they submitted their Remix voluntarily and not in confidence or in trust. Entrants acknowledge that no confidential, fiduciary, agency or other relationship or implied-in-fact contract now exists between Entrant and EmpiresCV or the Contest Entities and that no such relationship is established by Entrant’s submission of a Remix under these Rules.    
19. FORUM AND RECOURSE TO JUDICIAL PROCEDURES: These Rules shall be governed by, subject to, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, United States of America, excluding all conflict of law rules. If any provision(s) of these Rules are held to be invalid or unenforceable, all remaining provisions hereof will remain in full force and effect. To the extent permitted by law, the rights to litigate, seek injunctive relief or make any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Contest are hereby excluded, and Entrants expressly waive any and all such rights.
20. WINNER’S LIST: You may request a list of winners after April 30, 2012 but before October 1, 2012 by sending a self addressed stamped envelope to:
“Vision Machine” Remix Writing Contest

Empire’s Comics Vault
1120 Fulton Avenue, Suite K
Sacramento, CA  95825

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Next Podcast Session: 02/01/2012 - Sacramento Comics

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back to Podcasting in 2012


Sacramento's comic book and pop culture conversation is back. We took a short, much needed break over the holidays, and it was fantastic to hear on our Facebook page that you missed us!

Well, miss us no more. In fact, how about joining us. We alter our recording schedule every week, so talk to Ben, call the store, or tweet us to ask when the next podcast session is.

Also, you can listen to the podcast in four different ways:

It's going to be an awesome year, and we have lots of fun planned, so wherever you are online, definitely keep in touch.

Finally, we'll leave you with this. We love the online world. If you do too, please pin with us at Pinterest or add us to one of your circles on Google+.