Their stuff [MAD] was smart, it was funny, and it was very sexy too. So much so that I used to hide the comic in the garage so my parents didn’t see that I had this proto-porn.
Four thousand people read my comic books. I can’t make money from comics. I sell my original for a lot of money when I sell my comics, but it’s very finite. I think most art is really underpriced. Comic art. So it’s good for people like us where if we get money we buy comic art.
If you’re creating a strip and people are enjoying it who cares whether it’s in print or on the web. For us I think it’s more a question of are we getting paid for our work? What frustrates us is we get paid literally pennies for having our stuff on GoComics and Comics.com sites. It’s not the readers’ faults — it’s just the insane way the web works that gives content away for free.
Most people connected to comics have a longstanding sense of having the field to the themselves, that little piece of territory the “cool kids” couldn’t touch.
In a time when literally hundreds of new comics are coming out each month, it is hard to draw interest into a new title.
Entertain yourself. Sounds ridiculously simple, but it’s much harder than it looks. You think you are, but more often than not, you’re playing to an audience, trying to entertain others. When you try to do that, you entertain no one. Just try and make yourself laugh. I once asked Scott Adams that questions. I said, “You’re so funny when you write; how do you do that?” He said, “I write to my brother. I imagine my brother reading it.”
Yes, she’s [Batwoman] a lesbian. She’s also a redhead and rides a motorcycle. These are all facets of her character we need to get out there and then move on.
I love the traditional comic book format, and it’s by far my favorite format to work it. It’s the perfect weight and size, can be easily read in one sitting, and I don’t have to wait a year or two to see my work in print! It also floors me that there are so many cartoonists who dislike that format, and were “ashamed” to have their work appear in it. That’s like a musician who loathes vinyl records!
I had no reservations about going to comic book conventions because comics are a medium, not a genre, and while at the larger cons there are people dressed up as Batman, there are also quiet corners where the folks in plastic framed glasses get together and talk theory.
The day I signed the contract for “Hellboy” [the movie], I went home and created a new character because, on the off chance that things turned out to be horrible — all those stories I had for Hellboy, I needed another place to put them. There’s pros and there’s cons, and it’s a gamble.
Webcomics have no restraints. (By the way, my spell check’s recommended alternate word for webcomics was “lobotomies.” Seemed relevant.)
Reason #1 to love this 1941 superhero [Mr. America]: His secret identity is a Texan oilman out for revenge against the Nazis. Reason #2: His sidekick’s name was “Fatman.” Reason #3: His Nazi-fighting technique? Dying his hair black and whipping his enemies until they surrender.
Like science fiction, this is a medium with its roots in pulp and the alternative: for every scholar who attempts to trace the history of sequential art back to pre-Columbian parchment or the Bayeux Tapestry, there will be 50 diehards who claim it all started with Superman.
Comic book artists invented some of pop culture’s most indestructible heroes. But when it comes to protecting themselves, these writers and illustrators turned out to be as vulnerable to personal setbacks — health crises, foreclosures, insolvent retirements — as Superman is to Kryptonite
Since I have a comic store, it’s easy to have a display up front. If I make a pitch to someone asking if they want to read my comic and they say no, I take their snapshot and do a photorealistic portrait of them. Right now I have about 80 portraits on my wall of people who have said no to my sales pitch. I then print out the new portraits of those people in the next issue of my book, so that when I see them again, they’re compelled to buy the book. It’s been working so far.
In many ways Harvey [Kurtzman] was one of the godparents of Monty Python. All the smart people loved Harvey’s work; the dumb people didn’t.
When done right, comics are a cognitive whetstone, providing two or three or more different but entangled streams of information in a single panel. Processing what you’re being shown, along with what’s being said, along with what you’re being told, in conjunction with the shifting multiple velocities of imaginary time, and the action of the space between panels that Scott McCloud defines as closure… Comics require a little more of your brain than other visual media. They should just hand them out to being to stave off Alzheimer’s.
One of the most blatant signs that a creative team is about to waste my time occurs when the first issue of a brand new comic series that hasn’t existed in any previous incarnation opens with a page showing the faces of all the characters and little blurbs that explain their personalities and motivations.
No graphic novels for me, it’s too much work, I’m too lazy, and quite honestly, I’d rather play hockey.
The comic book medium is about sequential storytelling; doesn’t matter if we’re discussing webcomics, comic books, comic strips, or mini-comics. What matters is the material, and getting your material to as many people as possible.
There are more women creating comics than ever — ever! — before, but on the other hand we still see male editors hiring their drinking buddies.
Whatever works — retail syndication, web comics, door-to-door — cartooning is all about diversifying and finding homes for your work. You do it your way and I’ll do it mine.
What the hell is “sequential art narrative work”? Have you been reading Scott McCloud while high on Nyquil?
Wonder Woman is a lame superhero. She flies around in her invisible jet and her weaponry is a lasso that makes you tell the truth. I just don’t get it. Somebody has a big challenge on their hands whoever takes that role but I don’t want to do it.
Adult comics are very much ghettoized in the comics world, shunted off to the side with the expectation that its readers want jerk-off material and nothing more.
I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve also been very productive in my career. Unlike a lot of my colleagues, I don’t actually talk about the work, I actually do it.
Comics are as healthy as they have been for over a decade. The level of story and art are at all time highs and that’s not hyperbole. As long as we have quality, I think we will be fine. But there will be a transition over to the digital world and rather than fear it, I embrace it. I look forward to it because that will be just another way for us to do our jobs, which is to tell stories with pictures and words.
Modernism came late to comics. Cartoonists are naturally stylistic chameleons, selecting and altering visual techniques to serve their subjects. But explicitly presenting style as content? That’s always trickier.
I love Wonder Woman because she doesn’t brood. There is nothing emo about her. She is, in fact, one of the toughest sumbitches in comic books, yet still manages to have a comforting motherly aura.
In the right hands, comics are an excellent medium for revealing character with a few concise words and lines.
Now the comic books themselves have gotten better and better. Because more and more top writers and top artists, who in the past might not have considered working for comics, are eager to work for comic books and graphic novels. Mainly because they’re hoping that whatever they do will result in it turning into a motion picture.
I’ve worked in television, and there are a hundred people between you and the audience. I’ve worked in film, and there are a thousand people between you and the audience. In comics, there’s me and an artist, presenting our stories to you without filters or significant hurdles, in a cheap, simple, portable form. Comics are a mature technology. Their control of time — provided you’re not intent on reversing universes (or even if you are) — makes them the best educational tool in the world. Hell, intelligence agencies have used comics to teach people how to dissent and perform sabotage.
I don’t read much of other people’s work. Maybe I should. Maybe I’m missing something. I’m learning so much from this experience, from the way people are responding to my work. It’s teaching me a lot. I feel good that I wasn’t wrong. I’ve been on this track for so long and I haven’t been that successful in Japan. But now some people are getting it. It’s very gratifying.
Sometimes mainstream superhero comics aren’t very good. Sometimes they are astonishingly great. The same goes for every other kind of media product and/or narrative.
Burnout is grist to the mill. I write every day, for most of the day, so it’s just about turning into metaphor whatever’s going on in my life, in the world, and in my head. Every nightmare, every moment of grief or joy or failure, is a moment I can convert into cash via words.
It’s really a dance, trying to pair up the text with the art, not simply illustrating the words, but to move the story forward visually.
Comics are definitely slowing down. No kid wants to buy a comic book for $3.99 when they can play video games. When I first started reading comic books in the 1940s they were 10 cents.
Comics are like that [playing baseball]. It’s a hobbyist medium. We’re craft workers, and we’re really lucky to be able to make our living from craft.
It’s important to make something that’s thrilling. A mini-comic, with the right color of paper, the right staples, the right distance apart, the right way to ink, and a little stack of them on your table, can just be totally thrilling.