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Glenn Greenberg
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 12:15pm | IP Logged | 1  

<<<If we're thinking of the same buy, Glenn, the book was closer to three
months ahead of schedule -- and during its run, it missed shipping
twice.>>>


I'm sure it's the same person, JB.

Sorry for shaving so much time off of your earliness! I'll try to remember
better next time I use that anecdote. :-)


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Martin Redmond
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 12:23pm | IP Logged | 2  

This is why I am starting to get more and more excited about the raw manga scene. Episodes come out in chunks of 20 pages a week like clock work, the art always looks steady. So if it blows, it blows forever and if it's good, it's always good.

The scene is much more energetic, it makes the US and Europe look like deadbeats. Though Europe crams way more content into 24 pages than US or Japan.

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Greg Woronchak
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 12:24pm | IP Logged | 3  

And too many fans seem content to be wowed by the photorealism than to be entertained and drawn into the story

I tend to agree, it all boils down to style over substance. Alot of meticulously drawn and overly rendered artwork these days may bedazzle the eye, but usually hides pose problems or lack of story-telling chops.

I was admiring a Swan cover for Adventure Comics 337, and it struck me how clean and simple the linework and coloring is, but it's a beautiful image, loaded with grace and emotion.

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Knut Robert Knutsen
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 12:26pm | IP Logged | 4  

A few years back I was working on a small press (supposedly) quarterly anthology. Half the (48 page ) book was a translated comic (which of course was translated by the (literally) dyslexic publisher instead of me, the guy with a postgraduate degree in  literature and languages).

We had 6 months lead time on the first issue, I had a story in 4 six page chapters already written (with a story bible covering at least 12 more possible stories)  and drew up the first chapter within a month of start-up. Which is when I get the feed-back "why did you use an 8 panel grid for your layout?"  "Well I wrote that in the script that you approved" "Oh. I didn't read that part. It's too boring. Draw it another way."

Another 3 months of needling and demands for revisions on the colour scheme etc.  Then I get an e-mail. Another artist needs a  script. I write one up, draw out some layouts to make sure the idea gets across, mail it off a few days later. The pages come back for me to colour and letter and they're all wrong. People in the wrong order, silly designs that completely wreck the concept, futuristic steel buildings freehanded with a squiggly line. I ask for revisions and I'm told that's suddenly MY job.

After going through endless revisions THAT strip is finally approved and I'm told that "hey, guess what: The other guys think it's not fair that you get two strips in each issue so your own strip will have to wait until issue 5."

So I play the good soldier and hand in finished scripts for the next storyline. I'm told that the artist can't draw that. So I hand in plot outlines for the next stories. "pick one and I'll finish it ". Then suddenly the artist decides to draw from plot. And completely messes up the story. I'm given the pages and told to fix them. Because the other artist can't be bothered.

Meanwhile everyone else keeps handing in their stuff later and later. But no-one nags them because they're The Editor, The Publisher and the Art Director.

As the deadline comes for the second issue I get an e-mail from the Art Director:" could you look over my script for the first story? I'm starting on the penciling tomorrow and I'm not happy with it."

I spend a day rewriting and laying out a 10 page script to make it work (and he did incorporate most of the changes I recommended) but for crying out loud: The Art Director is starting on the strip AFTER the deadline has passed?

Finally the whole thing collapses under its own weight after a year and a half and 2 published issues. I'd never missed a deadline, been subjected to endless  revisions and I hadn't had a single page of my artwork published.

Let me tell you, I absolutely hate it when people screw up their deadlines. Because that's how I got screwed.

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Paulo Pereira
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 12:35pm | IP Logged | 5  


 QUOTE:
I was admiring a Swan cover for Adventure Comics 337, and it struck me how clean and simple the linework and coloring is, but it's a beautiful image, loaded with grace and emotion.

Yeah a lot of the classic stuff was form and function.  A lot of today's stuff is all form no function.  It just kind of sits there.

Of course, again, the scripts are also part of the problem.  I've just finished looking at some preview pages of THOR #6, which involve some exciting town hall and roadside assistance action.  This kind of thing seems to be par for the course these days in that title.  I do like a bit of the mundane to go alongside the spectacular in comic books.  I don't want a whole book of it, though.



Edited by Paulo Pereira on 21 February 2008 at 12:38pm
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Paulo Pereira
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 12:35pm | IP Logged | 6  

Sounds like a real horror story, Knut.
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Peter Svensson
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 12:35pm | IP Logged | 7  

The big thing about the Manga scene is that it's based on the work of uncredited assistants who help with inks and backgrounds. Manga publishers let new artists apprentice as uncredited assistants to established artists to prove their bonafides and give them practical experience.

I'd imagine that many American comic artists would be able to make those sorts of deadlines if given a support team.
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 12:46pm | IP Logged | 8  

 Felicity Walker wrote:
Speaking strictly as a fan of the medium, and setting aside for one moment the business angle and how a late comic affects people’s livelihoods, I would rather get a perfect comic late than an imperfect comic on time.

Technically I agree.  Once everything is out and done, the work is the only thing that matters.  Future generations reading Camelot 3000 won't think about how long the last issue took to come out, but I'm sure they'd notice if someone other than Brian Bolland had drawn it.

That said, there shouldn't need to be a choice.  Part of being in the periodicals business is "getting it right" AND "getting it done by Tuesday."

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John Byrne
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 1:08pm | IP Logged | 9  

I would rather get a perfect comic late than an imperfect comic on time.

••

There has never been a perfect comic, and never will be.

Now, please go find another hobby, and stop empowering the
unprofessional prima donnas.
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Andrew Goletz
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 1:51pm | IP Logged | 10  

I think a big problem comes from the fact that a majority of we as fans still support the late books. How long was the delay between the next to last issue and the final issue of Ultimates 2? And the book was still a hit. All Star Batman and Robin goes through these long delays and the book still sells when it eventually comes out.

It's unfortunate that not everyone has the discipline or professionalism to maintain their schedule, but the fans are part of the problem when they just continue to buy these books.

When I was a kid, I was pretty bummed out when the latest issue was one of those 'inventory' issues. I remember a Star Wars comic in particular that was hyping up the next issue and when that issue came it was a completely different story and I was upset. Somewhere along the line I accepted it, I suppose, as the nature of the business.

I'm guilty of enabling the lateness too, though. I bought that last issue of Ultimates because I wanted to read the rest of the story that I invested so much time in. But until me and the other people who make these books hits stop doing this, I don't think it's going to change.

Unfortunately, because of that, I think it's more difficult to get new readers to pick up monthly books. People are upset when their favorite show is a rerun. I doubt someone new to comics will wait several months to get the next issue of a comic they just discovered. How many potential new readers did Captain America fail to hold onto because there was such a huge gap between issue 25 (where he died) and 26?

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Tony Tower
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 11  

There seems to be a consensus on this board that most modern-day artists that can't do monthlies (Bryan Hitch, et al) are not worth the wait. I would agree many aren't, but some are. For my money, ULTIMATES reads better in trades that ULTIMATE X-MEN does with all it's fill-ins.

And I really do get what everyone's saying about Kirby, Swan, et al turning out wonderful work on a monthly schedule back in the day.

I keep hitting the "Neal Adams wall" though.

Doesn't anyone else wish the collected R'as Al Ghul storyline was 100% O'Neil- Adams? Irv Novick and Bob Brown are terrific artists, to be sure, but their issues always throw me when I re-read the run. I know I would have liked to have read a fully-Neal KREE-SKRULL WAR, with apologies to the enormously talented John Buscema.

Was Neal Adams the prototype "rose-grower"?

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John Papandrea
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Posted: 21 February 2008 at 4:17pm | IP Logged | 12  

There is a production DVD available called Comic Book Pencilling with Steven Platt. It films Steven pencilling a splash page with A LOT of detail under four hours. (the film is sped up to shorten the length of the film to about 2 hrs.)

It just seems to me a lack of discipline out there. Pencilling one book a month should be no problem.

 

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