David Brothers encouraged me to round up these tweets in one place. Edited for typos/clarity. It’s a long one after the cut.
You’re not writing about comics if you’re not talking/thinking about the art.
I think the trap a lot of critics fall into is giving sole credit for the story visuals to the writer.
And if any credit is given to the artist it’s usually for style. Ie Cartoony, realistic etc.
But if you give 6 different artists a panel description you will get 6 different images.
And each of those images can make you feel different things. Things the writer may not have initially intended.
That synergy is the magic of comics and it’s why artists are really co-writers.
The production line method of making comics is just an imperfect emulation of a single cartoonist.
Every part of the comics production line requires choices that affect the storytelling.
While the comics production line is great for speed, it’s created a lot of false boundaries that when strictly adhered to make bad comics
If you’re not directly communicating with your collaborators then you’re not collaborating. You’re playing telephone.
Don’t have time to read many comics but 2 books I look forward to the most are Daredevil by Waid and Samnee and Hawkeye by Fraction and Aja
Neither book singles out credit for writing or art and in the case of Daredevil, Waid and Samnee are just credited as “Storytellers.”
Both go beyond the normal production line collaboration and I think that is why the books are of such high quality.
I want to see more of this! I think it makes for better comics. And it shows that both writers value their artists as storytellers.
Because frankly when you’re an artist it’s easy to feel undervalued as a storyteller in this industry.
When a review only focuses on and gives all story credit to the writer while only mentioning the artist in passing if at all. I feel undervalued as a storyteller.
When a publisher puts out a press release that only talks about the writer, I feel undervalued as a storyteller.
When a publisher holds a story conference and only invites their writers, i feel undervalued as a storyteller.
It’s certainly not the writer’s fault but hey if you’re doing an interview about a book and the art is not being talked about. Bring it up.
The only way reviewers and the comics press can figure out how to talk about art is by talking about art.
When a writer refers to “his artists” I feel undervalued as a storyteller.
In comics I do think drawing is co-writing but I will also add in the best instances writers are co-directing the art with the artist
I have an excellent collaboration with @chris_roberson on Edison Rex and if you could see out process, I think you’d be hard pressed to say where the writing ends and the art begins. Ask Chris, I am OPINIONATED about the story but Chris is the same about page layout and design. And I think that makes for a better comic.
It”s frustrating to read a review or tweet or whatever that glosses over my role as a storyteller.
You learn to do things by doing them. I’d rather see a reviewer clumsily talk about art than not at all.
I use undervalued specifically because this industry is built on undervaluing it’s creators. Creators that feel valued make better comics!
Here I was talking with a reviewer:
The art IS the story. Even if you don’t care for the style or don’t think it’s dynamic
The presentation by the artist of the images in sequence is how the story is being told. The art IS the story.
If you get rid of the art and are only left with the balloons, you will have no idea what’s going on. Comics IS art
When a reviewer only credits a writer with the story it is inarguably wrong. That’s just not how the process works.
Chris and I are credited for each others ideas in Edison Rex reviews all the time. Often we’re not sure who did what. If we don’t know how can you?
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