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JMelloul
01-15-2016, 06:35 AM
Whenever I see people complain about some part of being a comic creator, I just don't understand it.

Being a comic book creator - whether you're working professionally, or still working towards that goal - is the best thing ever!

I put together a list of reasons why being a comic book creator is awesome / why everyone should want to be a comic book creator.

www.creatoratlarge.com/blog/19-reasons-to-create-comics

I'll let you judge for yourself.

Scribbly
01-15-2016, 10:39 AM
See? That is your passive negative view of comics creation.
Looking only the half empty. Frustrated by some rejections, I guess. Working out irony?
But all the bad stuff you are bringing to the table "to discuss" is not new.
It is there from the inception of comics as media.
That didn't stop all the great comics creators for doing what they did. Even in the worse of the times.
Or for doing what they are doing today. Did you went to a comics store recently? Lot of great stuff from mainstream and independent authors in those shelves. Even if garbage, it is made with quality.

You can bring all the negative facts of any other creative activity to the table as well because yet, perfect world don't exist. Only for books and movies.
BTW, you can do the same about the negatives of working in film.
There is a lot of dirty, rotten stuff going on too.
Or in sports. Or in fashion. Or, at any activity or job...you name it.
There are many alternatives for entertainment if you don't like comics.

And please, don't tell me you are trying to help comics creators. You are not.
Unless you are a famous author sharing his experiences, you are another one trying to get there.
Using an old marketing strategy to promote yourself as new comic's guru. IMHO.

Magnus
01-15-2016, 11:15 AM
Scribbly, you are a sad and pathetic character who have been building straw men and judging people out of the blue on this forum for years.

Highlighting problems (subjective and objective) in an attempt to raise awareness and discussion is WHY forums exists. Your stance that "it's always been this way, why fix it" and "it's just as bad elsewhere" are idiotic on one hand and ruins conversation on the other.

You claim Melloul is negative and doesn't "like comics". Look in the mirror, you twit.

:M:

Buckyrig
01-15-2016, 11:19 AM
4. So you can be paid a lower page rate than what you deserve.

Lots of people deserve more money than they make, but we're a capitalist society. There simply isn't the level of demand for comics that would support the level of pay you're looking for here.

Seems like a creator has a better shot at making good money developing their own IP.

5. So you can get to the point where even though you're working professionally, regularly, you still have to hold down a full-time job to feed your family

Most working actors and musicians don't make a living acting or playing. That's the entertainment business in general. Guaranteed good income are what safe jobs like being an accountant are for.

Scribbly
01-15-2016, 11:25 AM
Scribbly, you are a sad and pathetic character who have been building straw men and judging people out of the blue on this forum for years.

Highlighting problems (subjective and objective) in an attempt to raise awareness and discussion is WHY forums exists. Your stance that "it's always been this way, why fix it" and "it's just as bad elsewhere" are idiotic on one hand and ruins conversation on the other.

You claim Melloul is negative and doesn't "like comics". Look in the mirror, you twit.

:M:

Maybe you did take the time for read his post before coming to attack me with your nonsense?
Here:



Jeremy Melloul:

A lot of people complain about it. I don't get why...

Being a comic book creator is awesome! It's the best thing in the world. Here are just some of the reasons why you should be a comic book creator:

1. So you can spend 10 years building a career to be called an overnight success

2. So you can eventually be hired to work on the same properties that have existed for multiple generations rather than bring new ideas to the table.

3. So you can feel the epic anxiety of waiting for a response from editors in your inbox.

4. So you can be paid a lower page rate than what you deserve.

5. So you can get to the point where even though you're working professionally, regularly, you still have to hold down a full-time job to feed your family

6. So you can enjoy rejection time after time. "No, I'm not free to work on this right now." "No, I won't publish your comic. "No, I won't buy your book."

7. So you can spend the rest of your life courting thoughts of inadequacy.

8. So you can spend years working on a book only to have to struggle to get people to read it afterward.

9. So you can perpetuate a monopolistic distribution model headed by a man who profits off of and exploits the work of artists. http://www.theouthousers.com/index.php/news/134153-founder-of-ruthless-comics-monopoly-speaks-out-in-favor-of-income-inequality-rebukes-god-damn-liberals.html

10. So you can leave a lasting legacy of fantastic work and eventually have to run a GoFundMe to cover your medical expenses.

11. (If You're an Artist) So you can be left out of reviews on the books you worked your ass of to create.

12. (If You're a Woman) So you can be asked whose girlfriend you are when you table at a convention.

13. (If You're a Woman) So you can deal with a lot of assholes on a consistent basis.

14. So when you tell people what you do and say "Comics" and they ask you "like a comedian?" You can say, "no comic books" and they can tell you, "Oh, like super heroes?"

15. So you can participate in a medium and industry that routinely finds itself on the wrong side of gender issues.

16. So you can participate in a medium and industry that routinely finds itself on the wrong side of racial issues.

17. So you can participate in a medium and industry that's routinely wrong.

18. So you can participate in a medium and industry that people still think is dying.

19. So you can spend years building a career with no security or guaranteed path forward.

See, becoming a comic book creator can be all you want and more!

So what are you waiting for! Start making comics! Become the creator and enjoy all the fruits of your labor!

If you don't see the passive negative or irony here, I may be wrong on what I did post as response.

Scribbly
01-15-2016, 11:43 AM
Scribbly, you are a sad and pathetic character who have been building straw men and judging people out of the blue on this forum for years.

Highlighting problems (subjective and objective) in an attempt to raise awareness and discussion is WHY forums exists. Your stance that "it's always been this way, why fix it" and "it's just as bad elsewhere" are idiotic on one hand and ruins conversation on the other.

You claim Melloul is negative and doesn't "like comics". Look in the mirror, you twit.

:M:
And sorry again, but I see you didn't get to my point.
I said: "It's always been this way" and even so, this didn't stop great comics creators for doing what they did or doing what they do today."

Awareness my ass. I don't think Jack Kirby, Neal Adams or Jim Lee had any awareness when starting, not that they need any, to become what they become. Same for all "big names" comic's writers.
If you want change the working conditions of the American coming industry, before put the feet in, be my guest. I wish you good luck.
Maybe online discussion and awareness would help you.
What about the state of comics industry in Norway? All good over there?
Or it is called bande dessinee?

Sully
01-15-2016, 02:56 PM
I was 100% against Scribbly in the other thread, and while he didn't exactly conduct himself properly in this one, I kinda have to agree on some points. There really was no point in this article. The other had good and bad, and called for discussion. This was just a sarcastic, bitter rant about how horrible making comics is. I found myself agreeing with the other article. I just found myself annoyed by this one.

Make comics because you have no option not to. Make the best of the game while doing that. But don't just tear down and belittle what is here, because no one is forced into this type of job.

JMelloul
01-16-2016, 05:42 AM
Still getting around to replying to your post on the other thread, Scribbly. Already it’s pretty clear we don’t agree on much.

The point of this post was to satirize the benefits of building a career in comics.

I love the comics industry. I want to help improve it. I think a key part of that is helping creators build independent careers - rather than work through gatekeepers - and help them get their work in front of other audiences outside the Direct Market.

I’m sorry you dislike me, but I don’t really care. You don’t know me, but I do. And I know that I would - more than anybody - be angry at myself for sharing “knowledge” if I didn’t think it was true.

The only reason I’m comfortable writing about the industry is because I really believe in what I’m writing.

It’s my fault that the satire in this post didn’t come through. That’s made obvious by the fact that Sully, more so than you, found this bitter. I was trying to poke humor at it - I think making comics is extremely rewarding, as is the journey to becoming a creator. But there are definitely negatives along the way.

Some are just the nature of the beast whereas other can definitely be overcome.

I think being able to look the problems this post points out straight in the eye and still move forward is necessary to succeed. I wrote this from a place of agreement with what you were saying, Sully. Make comics because you can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s hard to build a career and if there’s something you can do instead, it’s probably in your best interest to do that.

But if you can’t let go of the urge to create and your desire to make comics, specifically, then keep at it. I’ll be cheering you on and helping you as best as I can along the way.



Magnus, thanks for coming to my defense, I appreciate it. I think you understand where I’m coming form, which is comforting.

Buckyrig, you’re absolutely right. There isn’t the demand in comics, currently. That’s why I think we need to look for readership outside the existing market. That said I 100% agree that creators should be developing their own IPs. The way most publishers are I see little incentive for giving up ownership of properties you create.

Scribbly
01-16-2016, 01:39 PM
Fair enough Melloul . No problem. As you see, I got the irony (satire) of your exposure.
Don't worry, I don't dislike you or anyone else on these forums. WE all love comics from our own perspective.
I may agree or disagree with some of your opinions and rebuke by expressing mine regarding some points of interest.
As I always do. Contributing with data and information that I consider may be useful for clarify the concepts in question.
We can go in extend about these topics in future threads.
Unlike some members, I never tried to lower the bar with low talk, cheap insult or personal aggression.
I like to keep it civilized and in the level of ideas.
Regarding your plan, I honestly don't know where are you coming from. Or how qualified are you to give proper advice for helping creators to build their independent careers. Sorry by my ignorance.
I just know of you by the concepts you are bringing to the table after reading your column, article by article, I found the general concepts you manage are sometimes inaccurate, discouraging and full demoralizing remarks facing the spectrum of comic creation.
Personally, I think every prospective creator must keep the focus in the positive in order to succeed in their career.
The negative is everywhere in any human activity.

Fact is, that currently, American comics , thanks direct market, are selling millions of printed comics every month.
In America and overseas. With no much advertising in the media.
Millions in sales implies millions of buyers. Can you see it? An audience of millions of readers paying for read "printed" comics every month.
Mainstream and independent comics. With the plus, that nowadays, any independent comic's author can have online exposure and use print on demand and sell books online. Not counting electronic devices.
How dying this industry could be?
Nice to meet you and hope to hear more about your proposals.
Best.

Steven Forbes
01-16-2016, 02:06 PM
See?

Nothing but love and rainbows in here...

NatMatt
01-16-2016, 04:06 PM
I've gotta say, I kinda agree with this. I've been drawing comics "professionally" for almost three years now and out of those three years, only one of my projects has seen the light of day. I've worked with many writers on many jobs and I can say it's fustrating as hell. Different views on the direction of the book, low wages and stuck up assholes who abandon the project half ways and leave you hanging have soured my tastes to work with anyone on a book ever. I made the decision to work on my own material by myself almost a year ago and where am I at now? Working at a job I hate to pay bills and doubting my career choice. My girlfriend is studying to become a doctor and when she asked me what I'm currently doing with my life, I embarrassingly said I'm a cartoonist. It is rare when anyone can say that with pride these days. The reason that artists like Jim Lee or Neal Adams can be proud of what they do is because they were there at the right place at the right time (they are also both massively talented). Comic book artists these days are too plentiful and rarely does anyone stand out from the huge masses of other artists.

Sully
01-16-2016, 04:35 PM
Completely understandable, and I got that it was trying to come off as satire, it just felt sour, somehow, when I was reading it. Like that friend that makes a joke with an edge to it, and you realize they're not joking or playing around?

Either way there's no worries I don't judge people easy. I was just sharing my opinion.

I understand so many of the problems, but sometimes I gotta defend it, ya know? After all, it seems like we've come so far in such a short period of time XD But maybe my perspective is just in flux.

Scribbly
01-16-2016, 06:47 PM
I've gotta say, I kinda agree with this. I've been drawing comics "professionally" for almost three years now and out of those three years, only one of my projects has seen the light of day. I've worked with many writers on many jobs and I can say it's fustrating as hell. Different views on the direction of the book, low wages and stuck up assholes who abandon the project half ways and leave you hanging have soured my tastes to work with anyone on a book ever. I made the decision to work on my own material by myself almost a year ago and where am I at now? Working at a job I hate to pay bills and doubting my career choice. My girlfriend is studying to become a doctor and when she asked me what I'm currently doing with my life, I embarrassingly said I'm a cartoonist. It is rare when anyone can say that with pride these days. The reason that artists like Jim Lee or Neal Adams can be proud of what they do is because they were there at the right place at the right time (they are also both massively talented). Comic book artists these days are too plentiful and rarely does anyone stand out from the huge masses of other artists.


First at all. Why you feel embarrassed when introducing yourself as cartoonist? If you are not proud of what you do. Who would? The outsider would never know about the lows and highs in other's profession or activity.
I like to introduce myself as freelance artist. They always kept thinking how cool that could be. -"Oh, are you a freelancer? Cool! You can work when you like and do what you love!" People always will compare us with the public figures that are representing our chosen activity. - Then, if we start whining about low pays and professional frustrations , people would start thinking: ( My gosh, this guy is a loser) Then, the lame excuse may be:
"Yeah, but this guy is a genius and he was in the right place at the right time. That is why he made the millions he made."
Next thinking of our interlocutor is: ( well certainly you are not genius and you may be in the wrong place knocking the wrong door.)
... But if you don't give a shit and act proud of what you do showing love and passion, they would respect and admire you.

An artist is also a salesman. Did you ever heard of a salesman publicly complaining about his sales?
Is not bad thing to work in a job we hate for paying bills. You won't feel remorse to drop it when the activity you really love start giving dividends. Many famous artists kept themselves working parallel jobs until their artwork gets famed and start bringing money, usually is a gradual process.
How many years goes anyone with graduate degree doing side jobs, taking low pay jobs or working for others in the field before they can start making real money? And how many years take to have a degree on anything?

Do you know how many years Neal Adams or Jim Lee where working as professionals making peanuts before they got the streak of success?
Read their bios and interviews. Do you know how many rejections they have before they got their first professional job? Do you know how bad was the state of the comics industry by the time they where trying to break in? Do you know how mediocre their first professional assignments did look like? Their persistence and constant fight for improvement over their artwork and their wise management over it made them legend.
The working conditions in comics when Neal Adams did start in the industry? As he recall, the times were desolating for comics. Well, we know he actually was the guy who after becoming a famous comics figure (AFTER , NOT BEFORE) he did start legally fighting for artists rights, return of originals etc.
How good working conditions we think the artists who were involved in the IMAGE rebellion had that made them to left their publishing employers for creating their own publishing venue? Or the economic situation of those worldwide acclaimed Independent comics authors who are known by everybody only after their creations were adapted to film?

To become a published professional is the first step.
To make god money as professional takes many steps up. To be in the top ten takes many, many steps up. To be number one takes geniality in top of everything.
I going to stop here. Just to point that your situation and the situation of any of us who are not yet there is not more different of what it was for those who already made it. Hundred of new artists and writers who are been published and working in comics for the last 10 years. Many of them were coming from these same forums.

JMelloul
01-17-2016, 03:14 PM
Ah, my mistake Scribbly.

I interpreted you saying that I was just using an old marketing strategy to promote myself as a “new comic’s guru,” and that I was “frustrated by rejections” as you disliking me. You know, since it felt kind of like a cheap insult / personal aggression.

Sorry you disagree with me.

I think it’s important to acknowledge the bad in the industry and move forward in the face of it, and to work to try to change the bad parts of the industry.

I don’t consider looking at the bad parts to be negativity.

Yes American comics are selling millions - though not many millions - but through all that there aren’t many creators able to sustain a living. Just because independent creators can make a living doesn’t mean many are.

I never said the industry is dying. I think it’s moving in the right direction, but slowly. I’m trying to get it to move a little faster.



Sully, that’s totally understandable. I figure I need to work on my non-fiction satire ;) The industry has definitely come a long way. Just a lot more to go, haha.

Steven Forbes
01-17-2016, 05:13 PM
Waitaminnit!

You're the new comics guru, Jeremy? I thought I was?!

Where's richcapo?! I need some crazed stalker-love!

(No, no I don't. Really. It was a joke.)

Scribbly
01-18-2016, 07:14 AM
Ah, my mistake Scribbly.

I interpreted you saying that I was just using an old marketing strategy to promote myself as a “new comic’s guru,” and that I was “frustrated by rejections” as you disliking me. You know, since it felt kind of like a cheap insult / personal aggression.

Sorry you disagree with me.

I think it’s important to acknowledge the bad in the industry and move forward in the face of it, and to work to try to change the bad parts of the industry.

I don’t consider looking at the bad parts to be negativity.

Yes American comics are selling millions - though not many millions - but through all that there aren’t many creators able to sustain a living. Just because independent creators can make a living doesn’t mean many are.

I never said the industry is dying. I think it’s moving in the right direction, but slowly. I’m trying to get it to move a little faster.



Sully, that’s totally understandable. I figure I need to work on my non-fiction satire ;) The industry has definitely come a long way. Just a lot more to go, haha.
OK Jeremy, since you already exposed all the negative in comics creation, I'm looking forward to heard about your positive ideas for revert the bad in he comics industry.
And your plan for make comics creators able to sustain a living with stability, regular and steady jobs, good page rates, assured rights and why not, full benefits and all the coverage they deserve.
Make it faster, good luck and keep it up.

NatMatt
01-18-2016, 03:45 PM
Honestly, comics are moving in the right direction (to an extent though). These days, there's more of a variety of genres and stories than just purely superhero comics. Now you have stories like Saga or Sex Criminals, which never would've worked a few years ago (or at least wouldn't be as popular). With that, there's much more of an open door for people to experiment with their artwork in more unconventional ways than before. However, this is not without its flaws. With success comes oversaturation. Now the market has so many different books, it's difficult to stand out in the crowd. An idea that may have seemed fresh a few years ago has now has like 5 different iterations today. In an example, let's put in perspective the walking dead. At the time, horror comics were not as striving and zombies were not nearly as overused yet. Today though, the market has an abundant amount of horror comics and has overdone the concept of zombies to death. Another problem plaguing the modern comic are its readers. Let's be honest, how many children willingly read a comic book without the influence of their parents? Not many. As a kid, I was never interested in comic books until I came across a few while in a comic book store with my dad. The market has many children appropriate comics but not as many children readers. I blame a few factors for this. One, comics are not sold in conventional retail stores. If comics were sold next to magazines in stores like Target or Walmart, they'd reach a wider audience. I admit, I fucking hate comic book stores. The clerks are mainly dickheads and the place reeks of sweat. It's not a very inviting place for a person to become turned on to the world of comics. Another factor is the stigma of comics. When I was in high school, I was friends with this kid who always had a comic book in his hands. He was constantly bullied for this and came off to everyone as a "dork" or a "nerd". During my high school years, I rarely touched comic books and viewed them as a thing for nerds. Even today, I sort of feel this way. I see this mostly with superhero comics though, but it's still difficult to be caught in the comic aisles of a Barnes noble and not be eyed at as the nerdy type. So in conclusion, the comic industry has its foot in the right direction but still has a lot of growing before people who work in the industry can really be proud of what they do.

Luke Noonan
01-24-2016, 03:23 PM
Call me weird, but articles like the one above, although annoyingly negative, I find cheerfully inspiring. The fact that producing comics is such an uphill struggle only makes it more worthwhile, there are few mediums in which artists or creators work harder to contribute to culture than in comics, and when it pays off that contribution can be immense. The article is simply reminding us of stuff that most people on this site already know.

JMelloul
02-01-2016, 06:09 AM
Glad you feel that way, Luke!