Tuesday, November 06, 2012

NaBloPoMo Post #6 - The Artist Drama

We're only six days into November, and I already have forgotten if I've posted some this stuff before.  If I have, sorry.
I wanted to get into the history of this comic a little bit, but to do that, I have to tell the story of our various artists.  Since we had some small issues with one of them, he shall remain nameless.    God love him, but it was just one of those relationships that didn't work out.
When John came to me with the idea, it was with the knowledge that he would not be drawing the book, as he did on The Secret Monkey, and everything else we had worked on in our lives.  Years of coloring and lettering comics had made him want to try his hand at the writing side of things.  So, it was decided that we would write the thing, hire an artist through the wonders of the internets, and pitch it to companies.  For this, we only had to initially shell out for the artist to do our five-page pitch, so we took to the message boards to see if anyone would bite.  We got several responses, and several different versions of our characters, which is really cool, in retrospect.  To wit, here to two Akiras.  The colored one we used.  The pencilled one was drawn by someone else.  No less cool, but he probably wanted more money or something.

In the end, we picked a very talented young man from The Phillipines that had the style John was looking for (and who drew the Akira on the right).  Our five pages came very quickly, so we asked him if he would also do our cover.  We paid him, John colored his pages, we made some copies, and headed to San Diego Comic-Con to pitch to the studios!
Very bad idea.  The Con has become such a beast that it's extremely hard to make your voice heard for something like this.  Still, we kept trying to break in as we finished writing the first story-arc.  The bad news?  Our fast and talented artist was now busy working on another project that was a sure thing.  So we took to the internets again and found another talented artist.  Unfortunately, this one not as fast.  Still, he was good.  As an example, here was his version of Akira.
Sadly, years passed, and even though we were paying this artist, the pages literally trickled in.  Not only that, but there seemed to be a bit of a language barrier, as parts of the script were completely misinterpreted, and a lot of the characters seemed to be smiling all the time.  He also insisted on being paid by International money order or something, which was really annoying because the other guy was cool being paid by Paypal.
Because he was good, and we were rubes who had already hired him, we kept him on to finish the first two issues of the first story arc, which was four issues.  Waiting for him to finish four issues might have taken decades.  Plus, John had the added frustration of fixing all of his mistakes, which lead us to decide he deserved an art credit for a book that he initially said he didn't want to draw.

Fortunately, our first artist recommended his brother to us (after we went and begged him to come back.)  His brother, Mark, was also very talented, and even faster.  Mark finished his pages faster than our second artist, and he came on way later.  Not only that, but we paid mark a little more to touch up some of the pages that the other guy had muffed.  And he was so fast and good, that I hired him a couple years ago to pencil my five-page story for my Comics Experience Writing Class.
After all these years and all these artists (to draw 4 issues of a comic), we're pretty close.  Some inking and coloring to be done, and that's why we need the Kickstarter backing, which I will hopefully be able to update you on soon, because I'm running out of ideas for this blog.

No comments: