Sunday, November 11, 2012
Place a brick on the river,
To show them what we built -
To show them what was lost -
To free us of our guilt -
To build back to a meaning...
Before it all got lost,
It hurts to be alone,
It hurts to be alone.
Place a brick on the river,
To give their lives a scale -
To fill their hopes with meaning -
To show them how we failed -
To untangle their past...
And give them drops of ego,
It hurts to be alone,
It hurts to be alone
Place a brick on the river,
To give our thoughts a platform -
To outperform the wind -
To bring us what we asked for -
To give our pain the merits...
Of art made on a whim,
it hurts to be alone,
it hurts to be alone.
R.I.P. To all those who died this week.
Monday, November 5, 2012
I'd like to think my storytelling skills have evolved a bit since the age of four, but the truth is that I didn't seriously consider comics as a career until 2006. Even then my writing background consisted more of unpublished editorials, and an unfinished Star Wars book that may never see the light of day. Fast forward a year later, I find myself attending my second Intro to Comic Book Writing course with the Comics Experience guru himself, Andy Schmidt. His challenge to me was formidable: write a self-contained five page comic script in a manner that may hint at the creation of a larger series. What I came up with was an angel of death story that reflected my pain at the time of not having any control over any of the horrible things that had happened to me that year. I also tacked on a seemingly obvious title, The Lonely Man, to further demonstrate my need to never directly write about myself. The script was well received, but I knew it did not hold a candle to the script I delivered in my first writing class with Andy.
Fast forward another two years to 2009, I'm hell bent on finding an artist for what is now an eight page rewrite of the original Lonely Man script. This time I am a few years removed from my pain and two years into my freelance comic book writing career (which is pretty much going nowhere). So although the script's story is more appropriately paced than the first, the dialogue still sucks. Luckily, I meet future Inkbot Film's CEO, Robert Vicente at an AIDS public service announcement campaign. Despite having the sexiest voice in the film industry, Rob manages to look past my amateur writing and agrees to tackle the art duties on my angel of death story.
Rob's first attempt at bringing The Lonely Man series to life was quite ambitious. Unfortunately, his inexperience with sequential art led to missed deadlines and our decision to shelf my angel of death story for the foreseeable future. Still, he did manage to push out this cool piece of promotional artwork within a ONE YEAR time frame :)
The year is now 2011. It is our second year exhibiting at The New York Comic Con as Inkbot.net. We've created quite a buzz for ourselves as one of the few returning web comic companies that can afford (barely) to be on the main floor at the convention. As a result, we attract a few submissions from artists looking to join our company. Out of a pile of fifteen submissions, two stood out: one of a naked chick that was horribly drawn but still passable enough to give most of our overworked crew a boner and the other a beautifully drawn crime short from an amazingly talented artist named Edward Taub.
Ed not only stole our hearts with his amazing artwork, but also managed to leave us breathless with his stunning Connor Kent-like good looks:
Ed had the privilege of NOT reading my previous two Lonely Man scripts. Fortunately, he did manage to get through my new 14 page revision without throwing up his six pack. Even more incredible, he actually liked it!
So here we are November 5, 2012, we are three weeks away from debuting our baby. Rob has been assigned to colors and Ed to artwork, because the two bastards have no choice I'm the writer. So, I'd love to continue talking about how my journey as a comic book writer has somewhat come full circle, but I figured I'd just show you instead.
See you guys on the 28th! I hope you enjoy our thrilling ongoing tale of the Angel of Death!
CEO of Inkbot.net
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
I have nothing against DC making money, but to print a Watchmen sequel is a desperate cry for help. Isn't DC already stretching it with the reboot and now this? Yes, they're going to make money but in the long run they give up something more valuable than dollars. By printing a watchmen prequel DC is guaranteeing that comics will never be taken seriously as an art. That's right I said it. Comics is a form of art.
And in a couple of years no one will look at Watchmen the same way. Couldn't they just kill Batman again, or is it Superman's turn. It's hard to keep up ya know.
Frank miller said it best when he said that 'every batman story that can be told has been told, all you can do is put a nose ring on the old stories' basically saying to re tell the old stories with a modern twist.
This also applies to movies, tv shows, books, whatever.
By not taking any creative chances in any of these mediums, the creative people behind these things will not inspire anyone to reach for something more. By rebooting batman and spiderman every 5 years, we're subtly telling the audience that it's ok to not push yourself and just copy what someone else did and fob it off as your own. Hollywood and comics are a Symbiotic entity that is creatively vapid. Don't be an original, just copy and paste cool things that you see on your Facebook page and get by.
America used to be the place that took risks, now it's just content to make money. Is it any surprise that other countries are kicking our ass everything?
People are starving out there to see something new, at least I am. But we have to spend our money on some form of entertainment, and if It's not new, it might as well be familiar.
Anyway back to DC. Marvel is kicking their butt and I don't know why because I don't read marvel. However I do know that DC won't get there with gimmicks and prequels to things that were made 25 years ago. Crisis infinite earth, final crisis, how's that going to be different than the next crisis?
I don't know, I don't care, I just know that I'm not inspired to pick up a comic book. What was great about watchmen was that it had a beginning and a end. Now it won't, which is sad. Couldn't they just write the one storyline that hasn't been written yet? Batman and Superman, star crossed lovers.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I want to let you in on a dirty little secret about DC Comics: they need to make money. Seriously, they have writers, and artists, and editors but beyond that they have electricity, and heat, and the guy who empties the trash. It’s what we call in the trade, “a business”.
Here is another secret: not all of the books they put out make money. It’s a gamble. If they knew exactly how to print the exact right number of books they would do it. If they knew the formula for combining a creative team with a character and a concept they would do that too. But they don’t.
Some things are safer bets than others. Like if you have the top selling graphic novel of all time and you take the characters and settings from that book, and combine it with some of your top teams, you should sell a few copies. And if this move is considered controversial and drums up tons and tons of free publicity? That won’t hurt sales either.
DC comics owns the characters from the Watchmen and they paid Alan Moore for them. Handsomely, might I add. And he deserved to make a lot of money it made a lot of money for DC comics. But people don’t want to talk about the creative teams on the books that didn’t sell for whatever reason. Because if those books lost money no one asked those creative teams to give their paychecks back.
See, that’s why creators chose to work for DC comics. They want that guaranteed paycheck. Could you make more money if you self published? If the book is a hit, then sure you could. But before the book is a hit you have to eat, and keep your heat on. and you also have to spend money promoting the book. That’s one of the nice things about having DC Comics publish your book for you. They have a marketing department and a publicity department. They add an air of legitimacy to your project just because they chose to publish it. And if your amazing book that you self publish doesn’t sell for whatever reason you will have nothing to show for it other than a stack of unsold comics and a stack of unpaid bills.
I’m glad Alan Moore has enough money to not need any royalties from the Watchmen movie. Dave Gibbons still took them and I don’t believe that makes him a bad person. Another “secret” is that no matter how talented an artist you are you can probably only knock out a page a day. A talented writer can write a book a week. Maybe more. So, as a writer Alan Moore can produce 4-5 times as much work as an artist. And he can write movies if he wants to. Dave Gibbons can’t draw one. But I’’m off topic.
Here’s the point I wanted to make. DC Comics finds a new talent. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s me. (It’s probably going to be me.) As an unknown quantity it doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to take a chance on me. But they look at their bottom line and they see if they have any profit this quarter. Like say they sold a bunch of Before Watchmen comics. Maybe they can afford to hire me to write a book that maybe won’t sell so well. Or maybe it will be a big giant hit and they’ll make lunch boxes and action figures and a TV series.
I’m all for profit sharing and creators being well compensated. Because well compensated creators are better equipped financially to create their weird niche creator owned property. The cash they get from their corporate work creates a cushion. One of my favorite comic books is called Action Philosophers. It’s terrific. It’s self published. The writer also writes for Marvel. And I’m pretty sure if he wasn’t getting that Marvel paycheck he probably wouldn’t be doing his awesome self published book.
I would love to think that royalties from his corporate work, and sales of his creator owned book would make enough money so he could tell Marvel Comics to go to hell. Because then there would be a job opening there for me.