Kids Comics Pitchfest 2023 Showcase
Comics creators from around the world submit their unpublished projects to be previewed online by editors and agents. A panel of judges (click here to see the juror list) select the top pitches. Projects are archived here so that industry pros may view them and discover new talent.
Humans are extinct, and cephalopods have inherited the Earth.
Kurita is an inventive young octopus who loves experimenting, but her ideas always… make waves. Her family says it’s due to her regenerated arms, which—in octopus literally—have minds of their own. Mom wants her to inherit their kelp farm. Kurita dreams only of studying alchemy in Polyps: a city of coral towers and technological marvels recovered from the records of the 'Old Empire'.
When shark-riding bandits driven by famine threaten the den, Kurita fights back using an ancient 'shield' she found in the nearby ruins. Little does she know that this time, Kurita's ideas will make waves that shake the entire coastal shelf.
Age Range:Young Adult
Genre:Adventure, Animals, Conservation & Environment, Dystopian, Fantasy, Mythology/Folklore, Neurodiversity Content, Science Fiction
Page Count Estimate:220
Whenever I go scuba diving I’m filled with wonder. I love sci-fi/fantasy, but a single coral reef has more diversity than all of Arrakis, and an octopus is wilder than any Fantastic Beast. I want a story that portrays the ocean as the magical place it is.
Because... the ocean is dying. Every day, human activity strains the environment further. We know this, but lack the collective will to address it. I believe this is, fundamentally, a struggle to empathize with the ‘Other.’ The world needs stories about the power of empathy.
My comic synthesizes both these goals. In Octopolis, humans are extinct, having failed to acknowledge their interdependence with the Earth. Now, it’s the octopuses' turn. Will they fare better than we have?
S. S. Julian
Sam S. Julian holds a degree in Creative Writing from Stanford University. Prior to cartooning, he worked as a designer at Goodreads. Sam's most recent comic, a nonfiction collaboration with Danna Staaf, was published by Octonation. He part of the 2023 cohort in the SF Public Library Writer’s Residency.
Sam lives in the Bay Area with his wife and dog. He volunteers as a scuba diver at the SF Bay Aquarium, where he gets to feed the wolf eels, giant sea bass, and, of course, the octopus.