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POST Seeking advice from my intelligent superiors of art and comics: 
9th-Apr-2007 02:54 pm
Avez White
"POST-MANGA": The comics world we now inhabit, where the Japanese-style work ethic has influenced our Northern comics-producing continent. The idea of whole ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVELS ready for the shelves is more enticing than ever, especially more than simple single issues. WE WANT THIS. We want comics to be books, we want spines.

My first complete published work was just that. A 100+ page massive chunk of a book, Sharknife. Not only was my debut book a sizeable boulder of comix ferocity-- But it is part ONE of an AS OF YET UNDETERMINED multiple-part series. Pretty crazy notion for a starting-out comic artist to endeavor on-- but hey, OGN's are "the thing" to do (still are, for the moment?) so hey, I jumped right in. Page-rates, solicits, schedules be damned-- I will produce sheerly on ROCK alone, and the comic will be a success merely because I am awesome.

So where am I now? Two years later? I have no regrets. I have slayed some massive obstacles on my path of comics righteousness. My major comic of the last year was Rival Schools for Udon Comics. Without getting to specific, the project was a maelstrom of shit to overcome, a log jam all around. In another instance of how we were trying to assimilate the Japanese work ethic, I attempted to construct my own studio (YOSH). This ended up just being kind of a bunch of bullshit. A bunch of punk kids being solely responsible for a quite large entertainment property. Responsible for it's output in the comics world. We know how that went, since the last two issues are still being processed at this very moment (COMPLETE-- in the printing stage).

Besides Rival Schools, my non-comic drawing endeavors were various, as well. I produced a SHIT LOAD of art for MANY companies. The thing is, it was mostly concept stuff for animation, toy and movie development. So there's not a lot to SHOW. But hey, I kept busy.

Anyway, 2007, now I'm back to just REY! I can focus simply on my own created properties once again! GREAT VICTORY!!! I am once again endeavoring into the balls-out be-damned fray of ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL. For my followup to Sharknife, Sharknife Double Z. But how fucking honestly reasonable is it to ask ONE DUDE to produce a roughly-200 page OGN in the span of a few months?

IS THIS SOMETHING WE CAN REALLY DEPEND ON?

I'm dying every fucking second. I have no studio. I have no "people". Sharknife Co. Ltd. (tm) is all one guy. It takes a shit ass load of energy and intelligence to construct an entire universe for this shit!!! I'm not complaining!!! I FUCKING LOVE TO DO IT. But without instant success, piles of royalty checks or some kind of media tie-in deal, the OGN format is amazingly hard for a young BASICALLY "freelance" artist to commit to.

Oni, Myself, We all dream that the book will be out for San Diego Comic Con. We all crave new Sharknife :] But for that to happen, I'd have to draw 150 or 160 pages in roughly 3 months. And considering how GOD DAMN dense the pages are, that is a TALL, TALL, TALL order. Not to mention that I am also currently being sought after for many other side projects, which is a fucking conondrum when you're pinned as being somewhat "unreliable" on delivering serialized comics, yet people still hit you up for work coz you are "good", yet you need to focus on your ONE OGN, yet you need to take jobs because you are poor and need money. CONUNDRUM.

So my idea to Oni was to split Sharknife Double Z into 3 installments. Self-contained Peng-size comics to be released probably tri-monthly until the whole story is done, then collected into the "complete" Double Z book (probably with a bonus story). Not that astronomical of a suggestion, I think, since that's how most comics operate, anyway. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more SENSE it freakin' made to me. More SENSE than even the loftly goal of weekly serialized manga comics.

Let's look at the two sides of this immediate spectrum: On one hand you have the OGN, a massive chunk of comics. Fully satisfying and great to hold in your hands. Everyone is happy coz it's big and you get everything you want for your ten bucks. CONS ARE: If you can't feasibly make an OGN every year, your comic is not "regular" and is not commonly in the face of comic readers (your lifeblood). On the other hand is the manga-style weekly serialization (brilliantly orchestrated in something we WILL NOT SEE any time soon in the states: the weekly anthology). Every week you get a dose of your favorite comic, with the promise that it will all be collected into a digest once that volume is complete. However, there are CONS to this, too, and it is often complained about: Throw-away chapters. Quite often you'll skim thru weeks of manga serials just WAITING for the "big event" to happen. This is actually quite a huge bullshit problem, and probably the biggest strike against the "godly" manga work ethic.

So here I am, the fucking prodigal son of POST-MANGA ARCADE LOGIC WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT TO CALL IT. No big "deal" of any nature to speak of keeping me afloat- simply still getting by on my INNER-ROCK alone. Stuck between my ideals, wanting to produce huge books, but at the same time wanting to give the world regular immediate doses of my freakin shit.

Where does this path lead me?

What am I thinking?

I am thinking my suggestion to Oni was the real shit.

Brandon (Graham) and I have strived to think of what it "IS" we "post-manga"ers DO. What the true format of our work should be presented in and regarded as. IT IS different. It aint 22-page ad-infested floppy comics, it aint weekly serialized anthology comics, it aint online comics, it aint single OGN 1-shot comics, and it is RARELY multi-volume OGN comics*

*Sharknife Vol.1 was an act of sheer willpower, King City took Brandon 2+ years, Scott Pilgrim is a rare exception due to it's instant brilliance and mal being a dickhead genius. Like, where is East Coast Rising part 2? Simmering in the background because Becky's more satisfied (and probably paid better) doing her Vertigo Book. In fact, the only other multi-volume OGN I can think of that is past "part 1" is MBQ by Felipe Smith, and that guy is a fucking monster.

So here's my point, and am I a madman for thinking this? Maybe there is a "post-manga" format that suits us creators who don't desire to make single floppies or single OGNs. Maybe there's a REASON my 2nd comic PENG is my favorite, and the THB 6 series is my favorite Pope works. Maybe 70-ish page comic installments, leading IN TO a complete graphic novel is THE WAY TO GO? It has all the qualities of american-floppies and japanese-serials, with a distinct new-vibe that makes me want to collect it. Has someone already thought of this and put it into effect???

When I think of this notion, I think of a term; POD-COMICS. I like my comics to be like PODS of entertainment that you collect like legos. Then when they're ready, you can put 'em together to form the greater story. That is just my way of making stories. People like Mal who are geniuses of writing and character weaving, etc, can plan out 6 volumes of book and have it work... Me, I like to work on a book-to-book basis and let the characters take me wherever.

AM I FUCKING CRAZY?????

Of course, from a comics publisher/retailer standpoint, I am fucking crazy. Because I've already dove into this damn industry, guns blazing. My first book was a fucking bazooka. Of course the next book needs to be a bazooka too. Can't a dude just chill out and distribute some fucking AK-47's for the damn revolution??

And what does all this talk mean? At the end of the day, either I'll be making Sharknife Double Z the OGN still, or I'll get my way and I'll make some Double Z "Pod-Comics". But the fact that this is a "weird thing" will still be prevalent. I think this speaks in conjunction with the industry as a whole... and the possible way it could change on my watch.

YOUR THOUGHTS?
Comments 
9th-Apr-2007 11:19 pm (UTC) - Inspired by the Lego analogy.
I can see it now! One collects all of the pods/issues in a novel, then along comes the OGN spine and cover. One just needs to snap/glue/tape/etc in the pods/issues/whatever to have the complete OGN!
9th-Apr-2007 11:23 pm (UTC) - Re: Inspired by the Lego analogy.
HOLY SHIT YESSSSSS. HA HA AHAHAHAHA

when the last book comes out, we can send out special "sharknife tape" so you can just tape all the books together.

fuck that actually sounds like a lot of fun.

holy shit. ha ha ha. this is what i want from comics.
9th-Apr-2007 11:24 pm (UTC) - Re: Inspired by the Lego analogy.
pliability! beyond just being a book! beyond a collectable! shit! wow!
9th-Apr-2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
"In fact, the only other multi-volume OGN I can think of that is past "part 1" is MBQ by Felipe Smith, and that guy is a fucking monster."

Svet Chmakova's working on vol 3 of DRAMACON at the moment, but she may not be "post-manga" to you. Becky's PIRATES only came out last year, and she's deep into Vol 2 right now.
9th-Apr-2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
Becky is a beast and always will be. I was wrong with my estimation about how far she is with her book... but I do believe she's probably still happier working on Virgin? I think I read something to that extent somewhere? And maybe she'd agree with my post anyway?

And Svet, ok, that's three Multi-volume-capable creators out of like hundreds of dickshit kids who aspire to do what they do.

I realize I may just be an idiot and am whining too much... But I feel there is something to this.
9th-Apr-2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
"I realize I may just be an idiot and am whining too much... But I feel there is something to this."

Only insofar as every new generation has a bunch of people in it who turn out to be full of shit or who burn out really fucking quickly.
9th-Apr-2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
Comics is hard, but I am willing to give it my best.

Maybe I'm full of shit, but so is comics.

Do you really think this is a bad idea? Or that I'm trying to weasel out of trying my hardest? I'm not the most prolific motherfucker on the planet, but I DO want to communicate the best way I can.
10th-Apr-2007 12:14 am (UTC)
Well, I think your deadline's impossible. Even breaking it down into novella form, you're not going to have shit out for San Diego.

Deciding you're an OGN graphic novelist is great. Not wanting to do singles is great. But unless I miss my guess and have my estimation of Oni's bookstore penetration all wrong, you're still mostly selling to comic book stores. And comic book stores don't have long memories for new people. I started out doing 40- and 48-page books, and it was a nightmare.

The Pod is basically the graphic novella, the 48-64 page book, with a spine. I've been pushing for it for years, and I'm finally doing some from this summer. If the longform stuff just eats your fucking brain, and your publisher will finance and keep in print that kind of book, then do it.

10th-Apr-2007 12:22 am (UTC)
I actually wouldn't want a spine on mine... I want it PENG-style. Maybe even a low print run or something. just for the people who fucking NEED sharknife... maybe to emphasize it's "pod"-ness.

I could have the first "pod" of Sharknife done for SDCC, most likely... I have like 12 pages complete (accounting for title pages, etc, i'm "on" page 20). It's seriously not that I'm SLOW or anything... I draw fast and hard and awesome when I'm doing a project when it's at optimum radness and schedule.

agggggggghhhhh either way i'm fucked coz it's already been solicited.

I'M NOT BURNT OUT!!! I'm damn freaked coz there are MANY opportunities for me, but I can't fucking organize myself... Or find Beat One or SOMETHING.
10th-Apr-2007 12:25 am (UTC)
"agggggggghhhhh either way i'm fucked coz it's already been solicited."

Ah, you're buggered already, then.

See, this is why I thought the FELL format would work for you for six months or a year or something. A calling card for your work.

But since you're not going to get the solicited book out -- yeah, now's a good time to reconsider and lay new plans.
(Deleted comment)
10th-Apr-2007 01:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, that was, um, interesting information.

Thing is, 200 pages... if they don't cancel it, it's just going to be hanging out there for, what, six months?

Did Corey tell you about PINAPL?
(Deleted comment)
10th-Apr-2007 01:27 am (UTC)
Did he tell you he sold it to A Certain Comics Company fucking instantly in a way I've never seen done?
(Deleted comment)
10th-Apr-2007 01:53 am (UTC)
I think I just sent them a rad email and the concept is sweet and it's got some clever uses of the "slimline format" or something-- I think? Did I actually do something extra, Warren? I can never tell coz everything I do seems mostly normal to me.
(Deleted comment)
10th-Apr-2007 02:02 am (UTC)
it WAS friends-only but I DON'T GIVE A FUCK.
10th-Apr-2007 03:50 am (UTC)
Wrong, because I'm "the only editor in comics that won't cry"*.


* phrase coined by Brandon Graham
10th-Apr-2007 12:59 am (UTC)
Look,...this is the deal. What do the people want? Should we(you) give it to them? maybe we should give them something else...something NEW to swallow instead...

okay,...now back to you. Do the 3 book deal. The problem with OGN's are that...Well, imagine a friend that you see all the time, like once a month, on a solid hang out tip, dinner, beers...late nights rambling and bullshiting. Once a month.

Now, all of a sudden it like, "Yo , lets make this a YEARLY thing." In that year, you dont get to see his failed and succesful fashion moments, the good or bad haircuts, the nitty gritty everyday shit...No, you just get the yearly up date, the 'Did you lose wieght?' logic. Doing serials is important, and an interesting format, but should not be rushed for the all mighty dollar sign the way Marvel does it. 3 books a year sounds perfect. The problem is distribution. I think more books would sell. I know every time I even try and find a Rival Schools comic of yours, or PENG....its , well....IMPOSSIBLE. They either dont order it, or just sell out so fast and thats the end of that. The requests dry up, and the 'comicbook readers' move on. I say sell the comics straight up off your site, work something out with ONI, but for other planets in your universe, like PINAPL, Apollonia NO! Peng...etc....Its all one universe...its all corey's world. Fuck man!...so much potential. I feel you hard. Thats why I am doing a comic with no comic....When you see this huge drawing I am doing its....insane, and its basiclally like an elaborate 'panel', where the possible panal after it is like, a video, or some object. Image if ...not just some, but the pivitol,....hella important pages in your book had ...more. Like evidence. Like a seperate book that was the foot notes to some backstory of some object, ...or better yet, the object itself...Thats where the pod idea is amazing. YESYES like fuckin legos. brilliant.

anyways....my ideas for the future of comics are crazed and lofty. I know that there is one thing that we will have to fight for at length...Comics, should always come back to its truest, congealed form.

ink on cheap paper.

But we gotta come up with an exit stratagy...Leave the comics world behind...be the'post-manger' and say fuck it. There is a clear seperation. You are part of a new generation of artists that can break free of this shit. We gotta pay the bills, but....I know you got it in you. Fuck, ...we gotta talk more on this.

but yes on the 3 book thing. fo sho...
10th-Apr-2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Thanks Vio, awesome words
10th-Apr-2007 01:23 am (UTC)
"What do the people want? Should we(you) give it to them? maybe we should give them something else...something NEW to swallow instead..."

THAT'S the important lesson, yeah. You don't give the people what they want. You tell them what they want.
10th-Apr-2007 02:03 am (UTC)
Well, we've already talked about it, you know my opinion. Warren, Mal and V have already said what I would say as well, so I won't repeat them. All I will add with my very slight amount of life lessons is to go what makes you happy. If it feels right and honest and makes you feel fucking fantastic, then that's the path.
10th-Apr-2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Man SUPER agreement on the THB 6 series. Those are great comics even compared to the rest!
10th-Apr-2007 02:20 am (UTC)
Dude, I'm not an "intelligent superior of art and comics" in any way, but I have to say that I picked up PENG this weekend and it blew me away. I absolutely loved the format and size of the thing and think 'pods' would absolutely play to your strengths.

I thought that the oversized (well, compared to digest) pages really helped show off your art and kept things clear, and the page count allowed for a "satisfying chunk of content". The card-stock covers make it into this sort of art-piece thing, like Ashley Wood's new book, but at the same time the staples keep it as this disposable pop thing.

Content aside even, it just totally jazzed me on comics. Honestly the 'PENG format' is what I'd love comics to be. I don't know how clear I was on what I was trying to get across, but yeah, go for pods dude.
10th-Apr-2007 02:30 am (UTC)
As a Sharknife fan I'd get whatever dosage, OGN/pods/issues, I can get.

I think this POD comics idea will fixate Sharknife demand more regularly, give the impression that both new Sharknife and your work is "more" regularly produced and out there for the consumers/readers and let you survive by doing other paid side-gigs. Rather than riding on the promise of giving the readers a full buffet of Sharknife (which from what you're saying you'll probably not be able to make it anyway) just give the readers the "Yum Cha (Dim Sum)" version; yummy delicious installments of the best meal they'll (we'll) ever have.

Sorry, I hope that analogy made some sense. I'm hungry.
10th-Apr-2007 04:01 am (UTC) - my thoughts...
It's hard to figure one's format... I mean there's so many ways to do a comic... be it webcomic, digest, or 24page monthlies... An artist has to figure out which one works for them. I'm trying to get my first comic in the midst of madness called life. Maybe sometime this decade, it will get published. You just have to keep doing what your doing and all will be just fine.

PS
I love Sharknife and I just can't wait til the next one...
10th-Apr-2007 06:15 am (UTC)
the time i've spent in academia, including a current intensive cultural theory class where i read 3 essays on the meaning of the "post-" for the second day of class, has given me a hatred for the prefix. as if manga is over. ridiculous.
10th-Apr-2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
It's not that Manga is over, its that its not a NEW thing in the west. It is a mainstay part of our diet. What does this do to the generation of 'post-manga' comickers in the US? what state of mind does this place on the artists and writers, and what does the INDUSTRY expect?...this is some of what Corey is talking about.
10th-Apr-2007 06:41 am (UTC)
Anonymous
Doode. This is a conundrum. Part of me would just love one format. But I am one of those people who fucking NEED Sharknife. You can't create unrealistic expectations for yourself. Comics creators are human. I can't speak for everyone, but one advantage of this new POD format, is that I am the kind of dude, who would buy the installments, AND the collected format. I'm not made of money either. But I would love to be updated on Sharknife, whilst in the end having this tangible book on my shelf. ALSO, if this POD format meant other REY side projects (which I assume there could be, due to the apparent amount of huge interest in you from comics companies) or the other properties in the REY universe like Appolonia NO, or more Stab Kids, more Peng...etc.. I would fully embrace that. Because more of your art is such a good thing. I'm not a comic book artist/writer, just merely a huge fan of yours.
(sorry about this anonymous thing...i should probably start a LJ account.)
-Brennan
10th-Apr-2007 07:34 am (UTC)
I'm currently reading Buffy Season Eight from Dark Horse, and you know what? It frustrates the fuck out of me.

Because I'm used to getting my Buffy in big, meaty, 42-minute-long chunks that usually contain a complete story. Wheres now I'm getting it in 22-page bits that I can read in 10 minutes, which usually end on a cliffhanger.

PENG was great, partially because it was that midway format that's so rare. It was a couple bucks more than a floppy, but it took some *time* to read, there was a weight to it. If you serialized the next Sharknife in three big chunks, I would love that -- it'd certainly beat waiting many months for the next full OGN, and it would also beat getting a tiny monthly fix.
10th-Apr-2007 07:48 am (UTC)
You have alot of fans whatever you do they will be behind you.

I say go with the PODS everyone awaits Sharknife Double Z, Everyone awaits more stuff from you, this way you can spread out Sharknife giving people time to think about whats going on in the story and hype them up for the next interval.

You have a creative mind, I say work with it the idea.
You could revolutionize the comic industry.

-Kid
10th-Apr-2007 09:26 am (UTC) - PODS as LEGO

Continuing with the PODS as LEGO analogy... you could make the narrative so that, like LEGO, the reader can rearrange the order of the pods to build their own creations... something like a Christopher Nolan film, with separate scenes featuring various characters. These could be read in any order, but would all fit together in the climax/conclusion.

One downside to this is that, if/when the pods are collected in a TPB, you would have to specify a 'correct' order for the pods. The solution to this could be having 'alternate' versions, with pods in different orders (and a different cover for each?)

Alternatively, the 'Sharknife Tape' could actually be 'Sharknife Velcro'! XD

Anyway, just brainstorming!
10th-Apr-2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
This morning when I woke up, I discovered that Alan Moore is releasing the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as pods.

So there you go.
10th-Apr-2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
pod it dude.
10th-Apr-2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
I think you should actually print the covers with lego pegs & holes so that they actually connect into a solid cube with a cupholder on top.
10th-Apr-2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
Kazu and I are always talking about this. I just wrapped up my second book, and I can say that the biggest discovery I made while doing this is that assistants are the way to go! haha~ I never want to make a comic all by myself again! It's way too much work for one person.

BUT if you do plan on going it alone serialization seems like the sanest option. Everyone's hot on graphic novels these days, but with artists pushing themselves to the limits for these funny books, it can't possibly last without driving some of them crazy. I guess whatever happens in the end it'll work itself out naturally, but you should do what's best for you, Corey Lewis.
10th-Apr-2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks Amy :]

And hey! Congratulations!!! I saw Becky's pix! Looks like a gorgeous wedding! Tell Kazu I say congrats too :}
11th-Apr-2007 03:26 am (UTC)
It's cool that you're battling with the format thing, because as an unpublished artist trying to start out, I've really been struggling with writing a huge graphic novel. If you can actually popularize an inbetweener length, I'll happily jump that bandwagon.
11th-Apr-2007 05:02 am (UTC)
I have to agree with chrisarrant. Your killing yourself trying to push to hard. We in Japan and we don't have the same outlets that require to you to work yourself to death. Look at Joe Mad! Poor guy hit the grind everyday and after awhile his comics suffered, he won't even pick up Battle Chasers anymore, you don't want that for Sharknife, Peng or any other comic you do. In my own opinion, you have the means by which to spread out your work. I know I know your circle of friends, but you've got access to a huge number of like minded persons with skill either better or equal to your own that may be willing to help you out. It doesn't always have to be in a studio setting. I think your starting to see that your steering away from what made you rock the hardest and trying to get back to it. Remember your old saying, "I do this for Comic Justice." Making a martre of yourself and your work isn't Comic Justice man...Slow down, pump the breaks and find your chi again. I'm not say you've lost it, I'm saying you seem to feel like you have, and if you keep over working yourself, you will...

I've waited a year to see Sharknife man, I can wait another year, no matter what format you choose, make sure it's the one expresses the work you want to put out. The one that ROCKS OUT WITH YOUR COMIC JUSTICE!!!.
12th-Apr-2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
OK so I know I'm no comics master or anything, just some piece of shit kid dreaming about getting out there, but for now it's mostly self done stuff.
So for this self-published crap I've been planning, I was gonna go the 2-part 70ish page thing, since I dont have a publisher or an editor or anything, I can do whatever me wants. And see how it goes.
All that basically because I've been thinking about this stuff too, mostly from the indie creators viewpoint but still. It's great to know that the people who are OUT THERE dealing with the REAL THING are thinking up new ways to push comics to a new level.

OGN are the shits right now but I don't know for how long. It's something pretty new and once it settles in I think the mediums cons are gonna show.
I hope publishers see that these 'pods' need to be explored, before the audience gets sick of OGNs and stuff.

Great post, there should be more like these around.
13th-Apr-2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
Being an American product of the 70s, individual 20-48 page "floppy" issues of comics will always be my preferred way to experience the medium of comics. However, I know that not everyone shares that love of cheaply-produced serializations (and hell, they aren't cheap any more), and that can be alienating to new readers and foreign audiences who expect full stories and a classier product they can keep on their bookshelf.

I'm generally not a manga reader. In fact, when I came across Sharknife in my local comic store a few years back, I thought you were Japanese, Corey. I flipped through it and said to my girlfriend (also a comic reader) - "See, if I could find more manga art like this I'd read it - It's got the same crazy energy but more European line work, just like Paul Pope". I didn't buy the book right away (I think I wrote "The Rey" down on my hand), but when I finally deciphered the smudged ink and looked you up online a few days later to buy the book I was surprised you were American.

I've been reading your blog, Becky's, and Brandon's; and you all seem to be running into the same distribution issues...being lumped into this "OGN" craze, because manga trades sell in chain bookstores. If you, the creator, envisions a story in that format, it should be collected that way, but if it takes years of toiling alone before that single book gets released you may never find your audience (and *gasp* may never get paid by your publisher). I think there has to be a better way to release smaller chapters of this stuff to keep your readers, keep motivated, and then collect it as a whole later.

I know you want to be "post-manga", so the Japanese style "phone book" anthologies are out (or are they? That would be a great way to pull together all of you like-minded artist/writers serializations, would keep your stuff out there as it is completed - Non, Monkeysuit, and Flight are some of the best anthologies ever). Alternately, the way Kazu released "Daisy Cutter" worked pretty well and is similar to your idea for Sharkknife (three spined 64 pagers and then a 192 page trade). You've got to stay in solicitations and stores, though, or your fans are going to forget about you, or you'll never stay motivated to finish that gargantuan OGN.

All right, I've rambled too long. I hope you figure this all out; I'll be following along as a fan and picking up your books in whatever form they come out in.. just be sure you're happy with the way they feel in your hands when you're done, because that's what matters and it's the way we are going to be finding them and experiencing them.
14th-Apr-2007 12:05 am (UTC) - i am not an expert!
1) I think people are way more reluctant to consider using assistants than they should be. The argument that convinced me was: "Say your career is gonna last for 30 more years -- would you rather put out ten volumes, one every three years, doing everything yourself, or 30 volumes, one every year, collaborating with assistants?" You seem to be completely bursting with ideas, and speaking personally as a reader I would rather see you create as many of them as you can rather than spending huge amounts of time on just one or two. When I think about comics like From Hell and Death Note, I'm really grateful that those books were drawn with the help of assistants -- because they actually got finished! -- and yet the end result is still a book that totally bears the unique stamp of the artist.
2) Quite a few of the Tokyopop artists have definitely made it to vol 2 -- Svetlana, Rivkah, Joanna Estep, Queenie Chan, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some. But the process of production is probably different with Tokyopop vs. with Oni? I'm pretty sure at least one of the Tokyopop gang has hired an assistant to do inking or toning.
3) PENG was fucking awesome. It looked amazing, it was exactly the right length, and it was easier to read (probably a combination of bigger pages and you becoming a better artist?). It's a book I recommend to friends. If you could do one of those every X months -- about Sharknife or kickball or psychic laser golf in space -- that would kick ass. 72pp, 64pp, 48pp, whatever. I don't know what the scheduling requirements are like, but if I were a SDCC visitor, and instead of SharknifeZZ I got 64pp of Corey Lewis psychic laser golf and 8 preview pages of SharknifeZZ, I would NOT walk away unhappy.
14th-Apr-2007 03:14 am (UTC) - Yeah stuff
I'm a little late jumping into this. But here we go!

Comics medium I think is under the radar enough that people are allowed to experiment and get away with forms that they probably shouldn't be able to. But it's small enough that most publishers won't want to take a risk on something as cool as an anthology because it could literally spell the end for them. So.. Comics.

I think the idea of these pods is great. I personally LOVE the monthly format, I think OGN creators are for the most part agains them because they feel they are part of a "revolution" for lack of a better word, and see themselves as doing something different and new for the comic market. I think if most OGN kids (and I say kids cuz most of em are younger then me at this point!) were hit over the head by a stack of monthly books they'd see the light (or the pages.. hah)

And I think a lot of veteran creators from monthly books are switching to the OEL/OGN format to see what all the fuss is about.. I wouldn't be surprised after their "three book series" is up (cuz we all have 3 book series except o'malley) they'll probaby run back to monthlies.

My dream for a while is 60 page 6x9 OGNs. Dark Horse published DOMU like that and it's such a beautiful format. The Perfect Format next to monthlies.

Anyway. Blababla. I got a lot of shit to say about this post-manga thing too, but I'll leave it for another day. (It's a rant about how much marketing can affect the industry and readers and how that affects how my work is seen and how I don't want to be seen as post manga or oel manga or manga anything, i just want to be known for making the comics that i make!!!! I want someone to look at my book and be like "wow that's some comics by becky cloonan" not like "wow becky draws original english language manga" which in my opinion, since manga to me = "japanese comic" the term Original English Language Japanese Comic is making my head spin!!!! this is only a little bit of what I think of being in the OEL slab.

As a Tokyopop creator, Manga is one of the "GENRES" on the back of my book (don't even get me started on the genre of MANGA.) and it's also referred to in the copyright info. I just want... I don't know. I don't mind creators who want to be in the manga catagory, but I'm not one of them!!!!!! T_TT_T_T_T_TT_T_T

BTW ECR 2 is totally into chapter 2 btw. It's on back seat to AV but it's getting done. Thanks to Warren Ellis for coming to my rescue!!! My hero!!! :D

SEE that's another thing! How many OEL or OGN creators have 2 books at one time? I can name a bunch.

Agh wahtever i can't shut up. I'll talk to you later.

-Becky
14th-Apr-2007 12:14 pm (UTC)
this whole american manga thing still seems like a nische market to me. espeacilly at 200 pages. i've thought about this and i dont really see the advantage of selling your stuff(or anybodys stuff) as anything tied in with manga. i think the audience is somewhere inbetween manga purists who would rather have 100% japanese manga and mainstream comic fans who would of already written manga off ages ago. and to a new fan its just to impenetrable, espesh at 200 black and white pages. just market it as its own thing.
16th-Apr-2007 12:39 am (UTC)
i agree with that one guy that said about that fan thing...
any who, if you deside to do that extra story for the sharknife volume 2, maybe it should be grapes..??
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