View Full Version : Week 191: What Is Your Creative Wish List?

Steven Forbes
08-20-2014, 05:53 AM

What is your creative wish list? This is the question of the week.

Iím talking about flights of fancy, but things outside the norm. Everyone wants to work at Marvel or DC. Everyone wants to have an Image book that rivals Kirkmanís success. Everyone wants to have movies made of their stuff. Forget all of that. All of that is ordinary. And while ordinary is still powerful, itís whatís expected. Since itís expected, it can lead to complacency, and thatís never good. I believe that extraordinary dreams will push you extraordinarily.

I was doing some work with a creator whoís had a Mary Sue heís been pursuing for 20 years. He wants his creation to be bigger than Superman. Now, the historians among us will say that the last character that was bigger than Superman was Captain Marvel [Shazam], and the rest of us will laugh at how preposterous the thought is. I was working with him, and when he told me that, I had a tough time not laughing. But you have to admit, itís a different wish, isnít it?

I guess I should start off with some of my own wishes.

Click here to read more. (http://www.comixtribe.com/2014/08/20/bn-week-191-what-is-your-creative-wish-list/)

08-20-2014, 07:56 AM
Here is the most wildly, inappropriately, unrealistic dream I have: to have my work remembered and studied hundreds or thousands of years from now. Superman isn't big enough. I want to be like Shakespeare or Homer, to write something so vastly true to the human condition that my name is known to almost every member of the human race for dozens upon dozens upon dozens of generations.

Superman is insanely big, sure. But will people still know the names Siegel and Shuster a thousand years from now? Hell, most people don't know those names now...

Realistically, all I want to be happy is to be able to finish at least the first arc of Super.

08-20-2014, 11:21 AM
I agree with most of your wishes Steven, especially the racial bias in comics, I think diversity is essential in creating a universe.

My main wish is complete my graphic novel, don't care if it's a success or not, I just want my universe established in print. It's been a long time childhood dream to be in comics, that's slowly beginning to happen now.

Second, I want my art to improve to the point where I don't have to struggle every little detail. I want to be fast and pleasing to MY eye.

Luke Noonan
08-20-2014, 12:06 PM
Agreed obviously on the on issue of raicial bias. It may be harder to fully gauge the current level of unspoken racial bias or preference that informs comic reader's habits and opinions from here in the UK, given that the US is still the real home of the industry, but I have found that racial equality is definitely something the big 2 are pushing for. The same issue is true of sexuality and gender bias in comics, and IMO is even a lot worse in the latter, and doesn't look set to improve any time soon.
The problem is that this is often (from what I see and hear) derided as being a shallow gesture in the interests of PR, instead of having any real artistic basis, the assumption being that the only reason any given creators would wish to push a change to allow more diversity is for PR and/or that race, gender and sexuality are foremost in the mind of any creator at any time, so if any character is black, gay or female, there HAS to be a conscious politically-motivated reason they are not a white straight male.

As an axample, just look at the recent Thor Will Now Be a Woman thread on the Marvel board here on DW. I'm not suggesting that PR is not a big consideration for any publisher, but the kind of cynical pedantry that assumes the ONLY reason a decision like that could (and by implication, SHOULD) be made is to appeal to political correctness (or "the leftists" as some would have it) is NOT helping and is never going to improve the situation of equal-rep in comics.

08-20-2014, 12:44 PM
I didn't know Christopher Priest was black. Learn something new every day.

I always wanted to do a particular biography via comics.

08-20-2014, 01:56 PM
I really wish comics were cheaper to make too. My wallet is feeling very light...On the plus side, barrier to entry does push mean a person has to have a higher level of dedication to enter the field. Listening to indie music, since digital workstations are very, very cheap now, means there's a lot of people out there creating crap, crap, crap.

(Is it alright if I preface this saying I'm not white, I'm Asian?) As far as race in comics, I agree there's a lot of problems with it. But I can't help but feel annoyed when race is pushed into things for commercial instead of creative reasons. It's like those college pamphlets or work, training videos. They go out of their way to make sure to put one person of each race.

Purposefully including someone because of race still means you were making decisions solely based on race, just the same as discluding someone because of race. You are still being racist. For example, if I look at a pamphlet of colleges in Utah I would believe 25% of people here are white, 25% are Latino, 25% are Asian, and 25% are black. Living in Utah, I can tell you that is not the case. A vast majority of the population is white.

Personally, I feel like with Thor and Captain America they are just doing it for publicity. If they made one of them Asian I would be cynical too...I just question their motives. Both Thor and Captain America are among the top 10 most popular Marvel characters. It makes me think they are just trying to do that college pamphlet thing, "Let's make sure, of our 10 most popular characters, we have 1 Asian, 1 Latino, 1 Indian, 1 woman, etc, etc."

L Jamal
08-20-2014, 03:08 PM
My wish list is simple... to create comic work
1) that is fun
2) that I'm proud to work on
3) pays the bills
My work always manages 2 of the 3 because I've refused to do anything that doesn't. I'm shooting for the trifecta.

Regarding race in comics... from the big 2, it will always be a PR stunt because they aren't creating characters for a story, they are creating media properties for exploitation. I create characters from what I see around me without a concern of their race. They are who they are because that's who they are. Ungoodwise has an interracial couple because that's who they are and they always have been. It features a Native American because that's who she is. None of those items were part of a checklist, that's who the characters were from creation.

When interviewers asked Bob Marley when he became a Rastafarian and his answer was always that he was a Rasta from creation.

Diversity from creation comes from diverse voices from diverse creators.

08-20-2014, 03:30 PM
Diversity from creation comes from diverse voices from diverse creators.

This is so wisely stated. I love it.

08-21-2014, 07:44 AM
My creative wishlist:

1) To create a military themed comic that not only is entertaining, but has it's serious side as well. More less the M*A*S*H* of comics...

2) To make enough money from comics that I can laugh out loud to myself while swimming naked in an Olympic pool filled with £50 notes.

Luke Noonan
08-21-2014, 09:07 AM
My creative wishlist is:
1), to get writing out there that inspires people enough to wish to create stuff for themselves. Perhaps initially to imitate what I did, and then from that point to develop their own voices. I say this because that is the way I was motivated to start writing.
And 2), to get paid.

That's it. If that sounds humble compared to all the talk of overshadowing Superman or rivalling Marvel, look at comics history and remember how humble those things were when they began. Things snowball.

My creative wishlist:

1) To create a military themed comic that not only is entertaining, but has it's serious side as well. More less the M*A*S*H* of comics...

2) To make enough money from comics that I can laugh out loud to myself while swimming naked in an Olympic pool filled with £50 notes.

If you haven't read Army@Love by Rick Veitch, I totally recommend it. I reminded me a lot of M*A*S*H, a very modern version. If you like more serious army stuff, Garth Ennis' War Stories are worth checking out.

And 3) I want a speedboat made of cocaine, did I mention that?

08-21-2014, 09:16 AM
I want a speedboat made of cocaine, did I mention that?

I already have one. Want to go sailing together sometime?

08-21-2014, 09:18 AM
He should behave like those archers who, if they are skillful, when the target seems too distant, know the capabilities of their bow and aim a good deal higher than their objective, not in order to shoot so high but so that by aiming high they can reach the target. -Niccolo Machiavelli

Luke Noonan
08-21-2014, 09:25 AM
I already have one. Want to go sailing together sometime?

Way ahead of you brother :banana:

-Niccolo Machiavelli

4) I want the Catholic Church to protest me, too. Almost there.

09-21-2014, 06:03 AM
My Creative Wish List:

1. The Continued Expansion of Non-Superhero Titles in Comics Ė Donít get me wrong: Iíve enjoyed my share of mutant/demigod/vigilante tales, and still do. However, there is incredible room for growth in other areas that may appeal to new readers with very different interests. From a commercial standpoint, and seeing work optioned as a movie script, studios love titles they can make relatively cheap. A reasonable budget usually means keeping the VFX use as low as possible. We all know full well that blockbuster movies are made all the time, with plenty of CGI, but with the usual decades proven IP. The epic space opera youíve written with eight different non-humanoid races may rock as a comic storyline, contain visually stunning artwork and generate decent sales. But, a producer looking at your book as a movie conversion is going to make a mental checklist about how much CGI is going to be needed to animate these characters, create their powers and bring your virtual world to life. If theyíre going to take that big budget risk, it will more likely than not be with well-established material, with a built-in audience. A script that can be shot in Anytown USA on a humble budget increases your chances. By all means, dream big. I like fantasy and sci-fi and my first project is going to be along those lines. However, I also plan on adding some toned down and or contemporary tales to my bag of tricks.

2. Self-Employment- Some of us will only care about making the best books we can, within genres and subjects weíre passionate about, and design with that goal in mind. This is fine, but an IP doesnít have to end there. Being able to stick your fingers into as many proverbial pies that you can manage, and make a profit, is generally a good thing. My goal is to one day be my own boss, which will probably include multiple sources of revenue from creative works, and a whole lot of elbow grease.

3. The Continued Growth and Acceptance of Digital Distribution - One of the main problems that independent creators face is the cost associated with printing and distributing physical books, and digital distribution may be an excellent partial solution. Iím not one of those people that need a physical copy in my hands in order to enjoy experiencing a comic, and I see a few advantages to going digital:

A. Convenience Ė As a seller, your books are available 24 hours a day and potentially making money, without having to receive order requests; keep stock available; deal with storing inventory; deal with packaging and shipping costs, etc. As a buyer, I can go to a site, browse to my heartís content and make a purchase. I donít have to drive across town, sift thru an extremely limited shelf selection, and read what someone else deems worthy of the space, deal with issue numbers, and jumping late into a storyline, etc. Last but not least, I donít have to deal with storing boxes of comics. My office is already brimming just from reference books collected over the years.

B. Potential Increase to the Readership Base Ė When your books are available on the internet as a digital copy that can be accessed in seconds, it also becomes available to an international readership base. Depending on the country a physical book needs to be sent to, the cost in shipping may affect how likely a customer is to make a purchase. Access to an online archive or a downloadable PDF eliminates much of the cost that would otherwise be associated with that choice.

Furthermore, letís face it: The average person in the current age favors the relatively passive activity of moving imagery, or the interactive media of video games, where the viewer is the protagonist of their own screen. Reading and sequential art has taken a back seat and I donít see that changing anytime soon, regardless of how many comics are mined for Hollywood. In regard to kids, they arenít begging parents to buy that comic they happened to see on a stand in the grocery store. They now beg for the toy based on animated characters they watch or the video game advertised during commercials. In regard to the average adult, my guess is that most are watching TV series, Netflix movies, sports, gaming, etc.

Comics readers are not the norm. Sure, we do all the above activities as well, but we still enjoy more cerebral things, such as reading, creative writing and visual arts. You can insert the stereotypical, introverted nerd definition here, which is by no means a bad thing. Own it. However, does the current crop of nerds possess the exact same characteristics as their counterparts from older generations? Not necessarily, and Iíll use my own daughter as an example.

By no means am I a technophobe, even though I'm old enough to remember time before the internet and the PC. There are multiple computers at home and work, with my personal machine being capable of efficient video editing, running 3D design software and digital sculpting. Yet, the I-phone craze was resisted (still rockin a non-touch screen Blackberry, although Iím about to cave due to ridicule from friends, family and co-workers) and I scoffed at the idea of the I-pad. At no point during the day am I without access to a computer when I need one, so what the hell do I need an I-pad for? I suppose it could be nice to travel with, and more portable than even a laptop. However, do I NEED one, or is the money better spent elsewhere, such as software and reference material? I acquire and learn just enough tech to do what I need to do. However, truth be told, if I could get Warhammer 40k novels on a handheld device, Iíd never buy the physical variants again.

On the other hand, my daughter also has access to a computer whenever she needs it, but devours two to three novels a week on her Kindle. When sheís done with one sheíll secure permission to make a new purchase and itís on her handheld within a few seconds. Sheíd also be all over an I-pad if we had said yes to her initial request. Itís leaning towards priority this year because now I want access to one for development purposes.

My point is thereís a relatively new and developing platform for comics with the tablet crowd and younger readers. Viewing a comic on an I-phone wasn't a good experience. I donít like guided views, as I want to see what the artist did with the page layout as a whole, and at a glance, not just explore individual panels. Tablet viewing of digital comics is another story, and one way for the industry to grow in multiple ways.

3. Diversity Ė Oh boy, thatís a long, complicated subject. I will say I think itís getting better, but weíve got some work to do in this area. Some of that will be on us as creatives, especially independents. Attracting newer readers open to independent titles can also play a huge role. I think thatís where the real change can happen. There are too many proverbial suits in place with the big boys, looking at hard numbers and unwilling to take much risk until a product is proven. There are too many readers still emotionally invested in older, established IP to give anything new much consideration, regardless of what demographic the characters represent. When they do appear, there are too many instances of minority characters functioning as the mouthpiece for social change, or reinforcing certain stereotypes, as opposed to the pure escapism and solid storytelling within other established titles. Some of this is also on the current consumers. Itís easy to complain about the lack of diversity, or seeing the same formulas and characters again and again, but when a team has the balls to roll with something different are we as readers supporting the work? People vote with their pocketbooks. There is a lot more to say, but it can easily be its own topic.