Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Marvel Adventures

Last San Diego Comic Con -- I had some character designs and some pages and I made the rounds of companies that were reviewing portfolios.  While there an editor from one of the small comic book companies starts going over over my pages.  He sees that I have done a try out script from Darkhorse -- he's giggling about all the mistakes in the script that the artist is supposed to correct.

I was blown away by the attitude -- that artists are supposed to pass some sort of test.  Knowing how to draw and tell a story is not enough now you have to overcome the approved mistakes of the writer.  If the writer wants fifty things to happen in panels the size of postage stamps, it's the artist's job to make it happen.  Forget the quality of the art.

Which I guess leads to the devaluation of artist in the creation of comic books.  I've heard about this, but since I am now an occasional reader of comic books (including blogs about, online 'zines about or other related electronic media about)  I haven't heard or noticed.  Funny thing is, it is entirely understandable.  I didn't say reasonable I said understandable.  If you are looking to mine an art form to use in another art form -- namely comic books to movies, then you need the material that translates -- which is the writing.

Which further leads to people who do not understand or respect the medium to working in the medium.  Because they do not understand the medium, they write unreasonable scripts. For instance this portion of this scripts asks for multiple things happening in each panel which don't really work in this medium.  Because they do not respect the medium -- "it's like a movie, but with an unlimited budget" they devalue the work that the artist puts into crafting the material. Camera zooms -- moving from a long view to a close view, with multiple things happening, that in a movie would be throw away scenes, but because it is a comic book the scenes are vested with weight, because the reader pauses and can return to  images.  So the scene SHOULD have weight.  There should be nothing in the artwork that should be a throw away -- each panel and page should have portent and weight.  Each panel treated as Checkov's Gun. In this script the fight takes place in a parking lot filled with expensive cars.  With so much going on it is hard enough drawing all the actions, or show all the characters, then to show the types of cars -- when there is no payoff from the VALUE of the cars or TYPE of cars.  "Faugh, how dare you throw an inexpensive domestic car at me!" 

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