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UniverseX259
09-03-2015, 05:13 PM
Yes, another writing thread from me. This post will sound harsh, but believe me, it's tough love because I WANT YOU TO GET BETTER.

Now before I continue, some definitions:

Writer: One who above all has a grasp of storytelling. Your stories have a clear beginning, middle, and end, you're able to visualize shots well, and you have a good grasp of dialog. A reader can get into your stories and an artist can follow them and draw them well.

Typist: Your only qualification for writing is you have a word processor. This shit has to be easier than drawing, right?

Now I'm an artist and not a writer. I do have experience in creative writing and copywriting and have been told I'm a good writer, but I find drawing more enjoyable. But I've been drawing comics for a long time and I've read hundreds of scripts, so I'm able to deduce issues in them before I even lay them out.

This Summer was like a new level of shitty scripts being offered to me. Something tells me the popularity of superhero movies has made people want to be writers, so suddenly anyone with a laptop thinks they're Alan Moore/Brian Michael Bendis/etc. But it's not that easy. I've been drawing my entire life, and it took me 23 years of practice and drawing every day before someone was willing to pay me. Quality isn't born overnight.

Now here are some tips I have to make the best scripts possible and to keep you from falling into the realm of typist.

1) Know your story. No, seriously. Know it. Let's say you write your magnum opus as a 5-page pitch to send to Image. Even if only 5 pages are written, do you know how it will end? Do you know what characters will show up along the way? Is the entire arc even outlined out? Flying by the seat of your pants is the worst way to tackle a story because it's so easy to have it derailed. Plus, knowing how the ending goes gives you a goal to reach.

2) Have more than an idea. This Summer I was approached by tons of writers who had "amazing ideas" for a script.....But no script. I said yes to every one of these projects, even though I would've needed 100 hours in a day to give them all the time they deserved. Guess how many resulted in scripts? It was less than one. Ideas are great and all, but I can't draw them. Always have a script written before approaching an artist, otherwise you're wasting our time.

3) A bad idea can never be improved by adding onto it. If something in your story is fundamentally flawed then no amount of snappy dialog or action will save it. Let me put it this way: If you have a barrel of shit and you pour a glass of fancy wine into it, would you drink it? No, you'd still have a barrel of shit. If an issue can't be resolved through Occam's Razor then chances are it should be scrapped and you should start over.

4) Make executive decisions. I should've been paid extra for being a plot assister on so many stories I've worked on. A lot of writers end up getting wishy-washy when it comes to resolving issues, and it would usually come down to me telling them how to fix it. If you're not confident in the direction your story is going then why are you even at the helm? Is it even worth being told?

5) You should be a fountain of creativity. Do you have other stories on backlog in your brain? Are you prolific in the amount you can write in a day? Are you great at brainstorming? If not then you've fallen into the realm of the typist. I had issues this year with a writer taking forever to get me script pages. I'm talking 2 weeks to get 5 pages. And it's not like the quality of these pages was Shakespeare-level, they were usually riddled with issues. I'm able to pencil, ink, and letter about 4-5 pages a week at 8-10 hours per page. If I'm able to keep up this pace and draw faster than you can write then something is seriously wrong. Grant Morrison gets a bad rep for being late with his scripts, but he's able to write multiple scripts a month for major characters AND have them almost universally praised. If you struggle to write half an issue in a month involving your own characters that YOU created, even with a day job or family, then what makes you think you can keep up the pace if you hit the big time?

6) Always have a fire burning under your ass and use it to motivate you. Corollary to point #5, you should always have a motivation for writing. Is it because it's a great idea? Were you hired as a freelancer and you're under a deadline and trying to create the best product you can given these constraints? If you can't work under pressure then you're no good to anyone. Use this pressure as a motivator to better yourself. And as I mentioned before, if you can't handle low-level pressure then how can you handle the big leagues? I've worked with writers who crumbled when I asked them for 2 pages by the end of the week.

7) Use a spellchecker. This should be common knowledge, but almost every script I'm handed is littered with horrible typos. Thankfully I have a good grasp of spelling and grammar so I can catch them before lettering. I've even questioned writers about this and they swear they have their spell/grammar check on. Which is weird, because when I open the documents in my word processor there are red and green squiggles everywhere. It's not a huge deal, but imagine if I decided to forget how to draw fingers on hands or stopped using a ruler on straight lines. It would look horrible.

8) Visualize the story in your head before you write it. It sounds simple, but are you really doing this? I have tons of experience using my layouts as an opportunity to clean up storytelling issues in the script. I can't tell you how many times a door or a gun or even a character will just suddenly appear in a script without having been established in the scene before. This means I'll have to include these details early on in the layouts or shoehorn them in, which usually looks unnatural.

9) Garbage in, garbage out. Comic artists will draw what's in the script they're handed. If the script sucks then the art will suck. And like I mentioned with snappy dialog not being able to solve a story that's all-around flawed, no amount of flashy art will save a bad story. I can't tell you the number of times I've drawn exactly what's described in a script and then get blamed for making it look bad. The typist backpedal at this point is usually evident - My favorite is when they blame me for not drawing something that was in their head but not in the script. Which brings me to:

10) If you want it on the page, put it in the fucking script. We're not mind-readers. If the scene is meant to be at night but this information isn't in the script then how are we supposed to know? Simple things like this are often overlooked and can have a huge impact on the story. I've often gotten notes back on pages where the writer will say "I wanted this character to be looking off into the distance!" when the description might not even mention a stage direction for the character.

11) Trust your artist's judgement on artistic issues. Not to be a prima donna, but I think I have a better grasp of art than someone who's never picked up a pencil to draw before. I noticed that when I was bringing pages to pros at cons for critiques that the panels that were picked out as having the most problems were ones that had heavy outside interference, while the ones that were pure me were usually ignored. I did an experiment with someone I deemed to be a typist where I said "yes" to every suggestion he made, and drew the script exactly as it was presented to me. In the end I had to stop because the pages sucked. The word balloons were filled with typos and the storytelling made no sense. In addition, since I let shit pile on top of shit, the art also looked like shit and the story just got really non-sensical. And of course the client loved it while everyone I showed the pages to (Without telling them about this experiment) thought they sucked. A good team works together well when all parties are able to cultivate their strengths alone and find happy mediums. I will say that if I mess up something in the drawing and it's 100% my fault then I'll be glad to fix it.

And last point:

12) If your artist can't understand it then neither will anyone else. I've been confused on so many projects before. Unclear panel descriptions are an artist's worst enemy. I've even gotten pages where I have no idea what the fuck is going on in the story. I can do my best to make it work, but again, garbage in, garbage out. If I'm speaking directly with a writer about their vision and can't understand it, then how can the layperson who picks the book up understand what's happening? Clarity is your friend.



Again, this post sounds really mean, but I'm trying to help you from an artist's perspective. Writing is hard as hell - Why do you think I chose drawing over writing? But that's no excuse to do bad work. Practice a lot and then send your work out to companies or other artists. I also get proposals from writers who sent me the first ever script they've ever written. Keep that script to yourself, you'll thank me later.

paul brian deberry
09-03-2015, 06:00 PM
Writers should stop fucking trying to be Alan Moore and Michael (Shitty) Bendis. You never will. Steal and borrow from them. Never be them. Be your own writer.

I've been writing for along time. Never once did I want to be Stan Lee, Lester Dent or Jim Shooter. I've always wanted to be my own writer. I am good writer because I stole and borrowed from them.

I am a good writer.

Michael Ford
09-03-2015, 10:36 PM
Ian, it's easy to tell that you've had a rough batch of writers who you were willing to work with before they let you down. It's tough for an artist because everyone thinks that they can write well, when that simply isn't the case.

But I can promise you that some of those writers (or typist, whichever term you would prefer) are really thankful for what you did for them.

When I tried to create a comic months ago, I made so many of the mistakes you listed here. But thankfully for me, the artist was so good and professional that he took the small amounts of details I gave and drew the story I wanted in such a beautiful way. I owe him for making my first comic experience wonderful.

The experience you had might have been difficult and tedious, but you helped out a lot of people trying to write their first comics, which is really great of you.

Steven Forbes
09-03-2015, 11:47 PM
Ian, this is what I'm hearing:

I should get one of my stories cleaned up for you, and then get in contact with you about it.

Is that about right?

scott_dubin
09-04-2015, 12:50 AM
Yes, another writing thread from me. This post will sound harsh, but believe me, it's tough love because I WANT YOU TO GET BETTER.

5) You should be a fountain of creativity. Do you have other stories on backlog in your brain? Are you prolific in the amount you can write in a day? Are you great at brainstorming? If not then you've fallen into the realm of the typist. I had issues this year with a writer taking forever to get me script pages. I'm talking 2 weeks to get 5 pages. And it's not like the quality of these pages was Shakespeare-level, they were usually riddled with issues. I'm able to pencil, ink, and letter about 4-5 pages a week at 8-10 hours per page. If I'm able to keep up this pace and draw faster than you can write then something is seriously wrong.

I enjoyed this rant. I'd say the real rule with script pages is the writer should be at least a page ahead of the artist at all times. (There's stories of Alan Moore hiring a taxi cab to deliver Watchmen script pages to Dave Gibbons hot off the press so Moore was at least one page ahead of him and Gibbons had something to draw) .

Now ideally the writer should be much further ahead to allow for work-shopping of a script, revising and/ or editor feedback (if there is an editor) but the main thing is the writer needs to work out a plan to stay at least a page ahead of the artist at all times.

Magnus
09-04-2015, 04:31 AM
If a writer can't deliver a finished script to you, do not start the project. It's pretty bleeding obvious the whole issue (or chapters if it's a webcomic/graphic novel) needs to be in front of an artist so she/he can read the whole thing and plan accordingly.

If you're a writer who sends along batches of pages, you are bullshitting your artist. Artists: don't accept that kinda bullshit. Make demands!


:M:

Stewart Vernon
09-04-2015, 05:21 AM
To me there are some definite clear-cut stages... Comic companies should not solicit for product that hasn't been completed. I don't mean printed, but ready-to-be-printed once the orders are tallied. In an ideal world, comic companies ought not to solicit a mini-series until the whole series is complete... but if the series is longer than 6 issues and at least the first 6 issues are in the can, I could accept going ahead with solicits as long as work seems to be progressing.

Along those lines... I agree, an artist shouldn't be asked to start working on pages until the script is done. I mean written, edited, and re-written done. I'm not saying there might not be a late tweak that an editor or someone might decide needs to be made late in the game... but the script shouldn't be in flux while the artist is being asked to commit pencil and ink to the page.

I will say, though, that the notion of a writer or artist being required to be "the best" in order to be published is a crapshoot... because there are a lot of good writers and artists who are finding it tough to get published and some arguable "hacks" are getting paying work. I'm not sure how to analyze that beside itself and figure out why that is true.

Scribbly
09-04-2015, 09:46 AM
The question title for this thread should be: Are you a writer or a want to be writer?
The second question: Are you a good or bad writer?
The third question: Why only few comics writers are successful as Moore and Bendis are while thousand of good professional and well published comics writers are not?

Kevinlearn
09-04-2015, 09:58 AM
Last year I took a break from a graphic novel I am writing and drawing so I could get some perspective. Parts of the story were not flowing to my liking and rather than completing the project and having it be sub par, I took a step back.

During this year off I did some freelance work and discovered how little writers (typists) place into their work. Horrible grammar and spelling, boring dialogue, and no clear cut beginning, middle, and end. It was very frustrating.

I am by no means a great writer. I know it is hard work to create a story that sucks a reader in and to get those readers to care for the characters- either to love them or hate them. My year off definitely helped me with my own writing. Sometimes seeing the bad helps you see the good a little more clearly.

So, yes, I know exactly how you feel.

Buckyrig
09-04-2015, 10:47 AM
5) You should be a fountain of creativity. Do you have other stories on backlog in your brain? Are you prolific in the amount you can write in a day? Are you great at brainstorming? If not then you've fallen into the realm of the typist.

Going to have to take issue with this. Sure, if someone is trying to write serialized fiction, they need to figure out how to do it on a schedule. But being slow does not disqualify one from being a writer. Too many stories about writers taking years to finish a book (Huck Finn for example).

I'm able to pencil, ink, and letter about 4-5 pages a week at 8-10 hours per page. If I'm able to keep up this pace and draw faster than you can write then something is seriously wrong.

Again, someone trying to be a professional writer of serial fiction needs to barrel through this stuff and accept that you can't produce your absolute best work all the time and keep a schedule.

But, while both a writer and an artist start by staring at a blank page, the artist has a guide to start with. He is wrestling with execution while the writer is wrestling with content and execution. Conjuring something from nothing can be very difficult.

7) Use a spellchecker.

I won't say don't use a spellchecker, but really it's best to spell check yourself. Spellchecker won't correct homophone mistakes or type-os like forgetting to put a 'd' at the end of 'and'. People use spellcheck as a crutch.

11) Trust your artist's judgement on artistic issues.

Generally agree. But this is also how Hank Pym became a wife beater. (http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/03/hank-pym-was-not-wife-beater.html)


In that story (issue 213, I think), there is a scene in which Hank is supposed to have accidentally struck Jan while throwing his hands up in despair and frustration—making a sort of “get away from me” gesture while not looking at her. Bob Hall, who had been taught by John Buscema to always go for the most extreme action, turned that into a right cross! There was no time to have it redrawn, which, to this day has caused the tragic story of Hank Pym to be known as the “wife-beater” story.

UniverseX259
09-04-2015, 11:47 AM
Ian, it's easy to tell that you've had a rough batch of writers who you were willing to work with before they let you down. It's tough for an artist because everyone thinks that they can write well, when that simply isn't the case.

But I can promise you that some of those writers (or typist, whichever term you would prefer) are really thankful for what you did for them.

When I tried to create a comic months ago, I made so many of the mistakes you listed here. But thankfully for me, the artist was so good and professional that he took the small amounts of details I gave and drew the story I wanted in such a beautiful way. I owe him for making my first comic experience wonderful.

The experience you had might have been difficult and tedious, but you helped out a lot of people trying to write their first comics, which is really great of you.

I'm glad you enjoyed my OP, Michael! I have no issues with creators who are looking to improve their craft through trial and error and constructive criticism. If you have this attitude then you can definitely make strides in your craft.

An issue I've encountered a lot recently has been the Dunning-Kruger Effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect), where people who are less skilled tend to overvalue their abilities, while people who are more skilled tend to be more humble in their abilities. Basically, the worse the script the worse the writer took criticism. It can suck having your stuff criticized, but developing a thick skin is the only way you'll learn and improve.


If you're a writer who sends along batches of pages, you are bullshitting your artist. Artists: don't accept that kinda bullshit. Make demands!


:M:

I've actually had this issue on a long-term project because I began outpacing the writer with my drawing. This was his story with his characters that he created in a world he should know. But when it comes to figuring out how the story ended he'd keep stalling and extending the story so he wouldn't have to reach that point (Hey, more work for me). But it got to the point where I'd be given some script pages, draw them to completion, and then sit around twiddling my thumbs waiting for more pages because he couldn't figure out where HIS story was going. I learned to take on multiple jobs for this very reason.


Ian, this is what I'm hearing:

I should get one of my stories cleaned up for you, and then get in contact with you about it.

Is that about right?

If you've got a great story and some cash and want a handsome and charming artist who many would say is talented, then yes!

UniverseX259
09-04-2015, 12:01 PM
Last year I took a break from a graphic novel I am writing and drawing so I could get some perspective. Parts of the story were not flowing to my liking and rather than completing the project and having it be sub par, I took a step back.

During this year off I did some freelance work and discovered how little writers (typists) place into their work. Horrible grammar and spelling, boring dialogue, and no clear cut beginning, middle, and end. It was very frustrating.

I am by no means a great writer. I know it is hard work to create a story that sucks a reader in and to get those readers to care for the characters- either to love them or hate them. My year off definitely helped me with my own writing. Sometimes seeing the bad helps you see the good a little more clearly.

So, yes, I know exactly how you feel.

I'm curious, were the scripts presented to you always like this throughout the years, or did the quality begin to decline only recently? Because it's only been within the past year or so that most scripts I encounter are almost unsalvageable. Either the story is weak, there's no structure, or there are lines and lines of dialog with lots of words that mean absolutely nothing when strung together (When writing dialog, read it out loud to yourself - Do humans actually speak this way?).

As I mentioned before, I think most writers/typists emerging out of the woodwork are just people trying to jump on the comics bandwagon who may never have even read a comic before. I get a lot of scripts from filmmakers who turn their screenplays into comic scripts, then hope to shop them around for a movie. Which is fine and all, but film writing and comic writing are different beasts. I can usually tell who the screenwriters are because they'll ask for things like "slow motion" in the panel descriptions or have something with sound that can't accurately be translated into SFX lettering.

UniverseX259
09-04-2015, 12:16 PM
Going to have to take issue with this. Sure, if someone is trying to write serialized fiction, they need to figure out how to do it on a schedule. But being slow does not disqualify one from being a writer. Too many stories about writers taking years to finish a book (Huck Finn for example).

I'm talking more about comics and other serialized media. In these formats you have to put your ego aside and learn how to work efficiently to deliver the best product in a short period of time. Imagine if your favorite TV show was picked up for a 24-episode season but then the head writer had a stroke of genius or couldn't handle the pressure and could only crank out 3 scripts? How quickly do you think they'd be canned?

Novels are completely different, though, as they can take longer to create and aren't expected to come out at a set time. It took James Joyce 17 years to write "Finnegan's Wake", and it's considered one of the most brilliant pieces of literature due to its creative use of the English language, but this couldn't be done if it was written as a comic or serialized in a magazine.


Again, someone trying to be a professional writer of serial fiction needs to barrel through this stuff and accept that you can't produce your absolute best work all the time and keep a schedule.

But, while both a writer and an artist start by staring at a blank page, the artist has a guide to start with. He is wrestling with execution while the writer is wrestling with content and execution. Conjuring something from nothing can be very difficult.

I do agree that the hardest part of any creative process is starting. But you should have enough skill at a base level to have your worst stuff still be sort of good, be it with writing or art. Creative blocks suck, but your job isn't to be a frustrated genius, it's to get words or art on a page that can be published. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.


I won't say don't use a spellchecker, but really it's best to spell check yourself. Spellchecker won't correct homophone mistakes or type-os like forgetting to put a 'd' at the end of 'and'. People use spellcheck as a crutch.

This is true. But why then am I still seeing red squiggles all over my word processing documents? A few years back I got a script where there was at least one typo in every sentence. Every. Single. Sentence. I fixed some typos when I read it, then again when I lettered it. Even after 2 passes there were still mistakes I missed. We then hired a copyeditor who did 2 more passes before catching all the mistakes (As well as fixing iffy grammar). If this script didn't have a solid story behind it (And if it didn't pay well) I'd have said NO immediately.


Generally agree. But this is also how Hank Pym became a wife beater. (http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/03/hank-pym-was-not-wife-beater.html)


In that story (issue 213, I think), there is a scene in which Hank is supposed to have accidentally struck Jan while throwing his hands up in despair and frustration—making a sort of “get away from me” gesture while not looking at her. Bob Hall, who had been taught by John Buscema to always go for the most extreme action, turned that into a right cross! There was no time to have it redrawn, which, to this day has caused the tragic story of Hank Pym to be known as the “wife-beater” story.


Yeah, but think of how many stories this one panel inspired, and how much it shaped Hank and Janet's characters? Or maybe it didn't. I dunno, I don't read the Avengers.

CLBedell
09-04-2015, 12:39 PM
Awesome post! Straight to the point, well worded, and simple enough for most hacks to understand. Even the more talented writers can benefit from taking a step back and considering these points.
I will be printing out a copy of your post and keeping it in my script notebook. It will serve as a nice little reminder to keep me on my toes. Writers tend to spend too much time in their own heads, and sometimes forget to look at a script with third-party eyes.

Kevinlearn
09-04-2015, 01:54 PM
I'm curious, were the scripts presented to you always like this throughout the years, or did the quality begin to decline only recently?

I think its been pretty steady.

I remember when I first started freelancing I created an illustration for this guy's website. He was a writer and you could tell he was one of those guys who are constantly shoving their work in other people's faces in an attempt to get published. So he sent me a novel he was writing that he wanted to turn into a graphic novel, giving it the description of "The Hangover in a car/road trip." No plot, just fart and butt jokes.

He was a classic example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. And ever since then it feels like meeting new creative people involves weeding those DK effect people out. Are they serious about their work? Do they stay up late and wake up early to find time? Does their schedule revolve around when they write/draw?

I had a good work ethic drilled into me at school, so if I don't see it in my collaborators I get worried.

Blue Wolf
09-04-2015, 08:30 PM
Good argument for paying for an editor before even going for an artist?

I'm bookmarking this post, I find it motivational.

UniverseX259
09-04-2015, 09:21 PM
Awesome post! Straight to the point, well worded, and simple enough for most hacks to understand. Even the more talented writers can benefit from taking a step back and considering these points.
I will be printing out a copy of your post and keeping it in my script notebook. It will serve as a nice little reminder to keep me on my toes. Writers tend to spend too much time in their own heads, and sometimes forget to look at a script with third-party eyes.

I'm glad you found this post to be inspirational! I honestly had no clue how the writers here would take it - Tough love can sometimes be taken as harsh criticism.

As far as being stuck in your own bubble, that advice can be given to anyone. I remember in high school having my ego inflated by teachers and family and friends telling me I was amazing and the best artist ever. Then I started showing my work on DW and Penciljack and was amazed at how much more I had to learn. If your only filter or advisor is yourself then it's really easy to get trapped in your ego.

And as Blue Wolf said, having an objective third party like an editor can really help. There are objective boundaries of quality for both writing and art that can be easy to step over if you have no one to rein you in.



I think its been pretty steady.

I remember when I first started freelancing I created an illustration for this guy's website. He was a writer and you could tell he was one of those guys who are constantly shoving their work in other people's faces in an attempt to get published. So he sent me a novel he was writing that he wanted to turn into a graphic novel, giving it the description of "The Hangover in a car/road trip." No plot, just fart and butt jokes.

He was a classic example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. And ever since then it feels like meeting new creative people involves weeding those DK effect people out. Are they serious about their work? Do they stay up late and wake up early to find time? Does their schedule revolve around when they write/draw?

I had a good work ethic drilled into me at school, so if I don't see it in my collaborators I get worried.

I've had situations like that. In my case I make 100% of my income from my art so I go with whatever projects pay the best. Unfortunately, having money doesn't always equate to quality. And much like the Dunning-Kruger Effect, it seems that the people with the most money to spend on you have the worst ideas (No doubt thinking hiring a talented artist will hide their shortcomings).

It sucks because I know I've objectively improved since I began freelancing full-time over 5 years ago (I cringe when I see my art in the first graphic novel I worked on). And that's ultimately my goal - To get better with each and every page. But unfortunately I can't find a collaborator to challenge me on a creative level who can also pay me a solid page rate. Earlier this year I designed an album cover for U-God from the Wu-Tang Clan which has been my biggest project to date. But this didn't open any doors for me comics-wise. When the album cover was done I was back to drawing bad script after bad script and having my work ripped apart by someone without any writing credits to their name who got pissed that I wasn't drawing exactly what they saw in their brain. The cognitive dissonance was off the charts. I see great art everywhere, so where are the great stories?

I love comics and I love drawing them, they've been my number 1 passion my entire life. But at this point I feel it's best to go elsewhere for work until I can get everything to click into place.

Scribbly
09-04-2015, 10:32 PM
I'm glad you found this post to be inspirational! I honestly had no clue how the writers here would take it - Tough love can sometimes be taken as harsh criticism.

As far as being stuck in your own bubble, that advice can be given to anyone. I remember in high school having my ego inflated by teachers and family and friends telling me I was amazing and the best artist ever. Then I started showing my work on DW and Penciljack and was amazed at how much more I had to learn. If your only filter or advisor is yourself then it's really easy to get trapped in your ego.

And as Blue Wolf said, having an objective third party like an editor can really help. There are objective boundaries of quality for both writing and art that can be easy to step over if you have no one to rein you in.

I've had situations like that. In my case I make 100% of my income from my art so I go with whatever projects pay the best. Unfortunately, having money doesn't always equate to quality. And much like the Dunning-Kruger Effect, it seems that the people with the most money to spend on you have the worst ideas (No doubt thinking hiring a talented artist will hide their shortcomings).

It sucks because I know I've objectively improved since I began freelancing full-time over 5 years ago (I cringe when I see my art in the first graphic novel I worked on). And that's ultimately my goal - To get better with each and every page. But unfortunately I can't find a collaborator to challenge me on a creative level who can also pay me a solid page rate. Earlier this year I designed an album cover for U-God from the Wu-Tang Clan which has been my biggest project to date. But this didn't open any doors for me comics-wise. When the album cover was done I was back to drawing bad script after bad script and having my work ripped apart by someone without any writing credits to their name who got pissed that I wasn't drawing exactly what they saw in their brain. The cognitive dissonance was off the charts. I see great art everywhere, so where are the great stories?

I love comics and I love drawing them, they've been my number 1 passion my entire life. But at this point I feel it's best to go elsewhere for work until I can get everything to click into place.

Your problem is that you expect that the people paying you for your artwork must also be talented. As you are. That is all wrong. All the people who pay you, they pay because they don't have the talent to do it by themselves.
You want talented people writing comics for you, you should be the one casting writers and paying the talented ones to write for you and your ideas.
If you don't have the skills for writing your own comics pay somebody who has it to make it real.
If it makes one million or zero cents is another story.

If you don't like to pay talented writers the alternative is to offer your free services to some famous-published writer and, if he/her don't reject it, you could be part of a solid project. Regardless if you can make a cent of it or not.

paul brian deberry
09-04-2015, 10:39 PM
^^^this can't be liked enough^^^

beyond brilliant!

Stewart Vernon
09-05-2015, 02:26 AM
I was going to say something similar to what Scribbly did... but mine's a tad different so I'll say it anyway! :)

If you are a good artist and you are frustrated that only "poor" writers want to pay what you feel you are worth... consider what is really happening. These writers see your art, and feel like your art will make their story look better and thus sell more. That's why they are willing to pay you.

The better writers, either because they know they have a good idea OR they are previously published, know they are bringing meat to the table... so they might not be willing to pay you as much to make their story look good because they might feel like it's the other way around, that their story makes your art sell.

If Joe Nobody hires a known artist, then Joe Nobody gets known as a writer quicker... If Bob Nevermind is hired by a known writer, then Bob Nevermind gets known as an artist.

It's a two-way street... and I don't say it to be disparaging... but if you think you are worth a better story to fit your artistic skills, consider the writer who might think his story is worth a better artist. It's all relative.

Buckyrig
09-05-2015, 01:52 PM
I'm talking more about comics and other serialized media. In these formats you have to put your ego aside and learn how to work efficiently to deliver the best product in a short period of time. Imagine if your favorite TV show was picked up for a 24-episode season but then the head writer had a stroke of genius or couldn't handle the pressure and could only crank out 3 scripts? How quickly do you think they'd be canned?

Novels are completely different, though, as they can take longer to create and aren't expected to come out at a set time. It took James Joyce 17 years to write "Finnegan's Wake", and it's considered one of the most brilliant pieces of literature due to its creative use of the English language, but this couldn't be done if it was written as a comic or serialized in a magazine.

Yes, but you said anyone who can't produce lots of material on a schedule is not a writer, but instead a typist.

At best, they're simply not a professional writer of serialized fiction.

Steven Forbes
09-05-2015, 03:40 PM
So basically, Ian, this is another public bitch-session about the quality of writers you've been working with.

That's fine. Getting some things off your chest is always a good thing. Relieves the pressure some.

Some of your points are relevant. Some, not so much. Some are relevant to all writers of any stage, some are more into the editorial side, and some are wishful thinking on your part.

But really, Scribbly is right. (I don't say that often.) You're looking for writers to be as talented as you are. That simply isn't the case.

I run The Proving Grounds over at ComixTribe.com. Writers send scripts for free editing, which myself and another editor then provides. Most of the scripts aren't ready for prime time. No, let me rephrase. The overwhelming bulk of the scripts aren't ready for prime time, and I've been doing this for a few years now, so I can say that without feeling bad. But these are the same creators who are hiring me to edit their stuff, so they can get better. They submit their scripts in an attempt to get better. (Most of them. Some just want an ego stroke, which I generally don't provide.)

You want better scripts? Do as Scribbly said: hire someone. Or collaborate with a writer to create something. You can have work projects that pay the bills, and then the passion project that you want to have done that calms your soul.

But I'm glad you got some of this off your chest. If you're ever looking for a collaboration, hit me up. I've written some scripts for some DW alum, and they've gone over well, to hear the artists talk. A relief to get a script they could "see" and were excited to draw. Nothing came of those scripts, but I'm always hopeful.

UniverseX259
09-06-2015, 03:32 PM
So basically, Ian, this is another public bitch-session about the quality of writers you've been working with.

That's fine. Getting some things off your chest is always a good thing. Relieves the pressure some.

Some of your points are relevant. Some, not so much. Some are relevant to all writers of any stage, some are more into the editorial side, and some are wishful thinking on your part.

But really, Scribbly is right. (I don't say that often.) You're looking for writers to be as talented as you are. That simply isn't the case.

I run The Proving Grounds over at ComixTribe.com. Writers send scripts for free editing, which myself and another editor then provides. Most of the scripts aren't ready for prime time. No, let me rephrase. The overwhelming bulk of the scripts aren't ready for prime time, and I've been doing this for a few years now, so I can say that without feeling bad. But these are the same creators who are hiring me to edit their stuff, so they can get better. They submit their scripts in an attempt to get better. (Most of them. Some just want an ego stroke, which I generally don't provide.)

You want better scripts? Do as Scribbly said: hire someone. Or collaborate with a writer to create something. You can have work projects that pay the bills, and then the passion project that you want to have done that calms your soul.

But I'm glad you got some of this off your chest. If you're ever looking for a collaboration, hit me up. I've written some scripts for some DW alum, and they've gone over well, to hear the artists talk. A relief to get a script they could "see" and were excited to draw. Nothing came of those scripts, but I'm always hopeful.

Bitch sessions are my forte! As I see it now, I have a few options for how to proceed with my predicament:

1) Keep doing what I'm doing, bad stories be damned
2) Start working outside of comics and come back later, new and improved
3) Put my money where my mouth is and write my own stories

I've been looking into options #2 and #3 heavily. As much as I love drawing comics, I've been getting less out of them than what I put in lately. I've also found more success doing boring graphic design stuff or doing drawings for other fields. But if I go with option #3 then I can play by my own rules and have all the success or failure rest squarely on my shoulders. No more worrying about covering for someone else's shortcomings while I'm still trying to give the art 110%. And I can more easily make executive decisions on what's happening (And avoid the situation I'm in now - I've been in a chat box with a client for 90 minutes as he brainstorms to himself how rubble should look in a panel. 90 minutes).

And Steven, I'd be interested to see some of your work. I know that you're an established member here who's helped a ton of people out, so a good script would be a sight for sore eyes right now.

Steven Forbes
09-06-2015, 06:34 PM
Shoot me an email, Ian. Addy's in the sig.