Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I found this today. Frankly it sent a shiver through me. I'll meet you on the otherside:

Sources close to freelancers inform me that DC Comics has a new in house policy for pencillers. Aside from very specific contracted creators (such as Jim Lee), any penciller contracted to work on a monthly book must deliver complete turnaround of 22 pages of work in four weeks. Not a month, four weeks. If that schedule isn’t maintained, they’ll pull pages and assign them to other creators. And you may run short of future work. A reduction in quality is more acceptable than a reduction in quantity.
Specific examples I’ve been given include the recent issue of “Wonder Woman” was half Dodson and half Ron Randall. Also why Koi Turnball was dropped from “Jack Hawksmoor.” And it has been pointed out that there are already three fill-ins on the new “Legion” schedule.
Creators are also being dropped from exclusive contracts over this new regime. Expect certain publishing vultures to swarm.

It seems at first glance to be pretty straight forward. I mean, who wouldn't want to get the book out on time right? I started that way, getting a book out pretty much on time for almost two years. Then I was pretty well versed in the furious pace of the so called "mainstream". Right here I'll do the old chestnut: Freelancer to editor, " well, you want it fast, or good?" Editor to freelanced, "both". Ho ho ho.

What really got to me was the response to this little news tidbit. Most of the peoole who wrote in supported the opinion that books should, regardless of quality need to come out on time rather than as made as well as can be made.

This strikes me as addiction. Not common sense, not hopeing for the best book possible, but rather just getting them. Now, it's a sad fact to most editors out there that the goddamn art takes to fucking long. If you are the kind of artist that really wants to ink yourself, well, you'd best keep it simple. Or, have a studio setup of several other artists you can flog off the small shit to. Best to just keep it simple, that way the editor can whip it over to a conglomorate of computer colorists to "fill in the spaces" that you had to skip over to keep it on time. Hurrah! on time! You lucky devil you, you can get PAID!

Then you start all over again.

Addiction. Gotta have it, even if it's been stepped on A LOT. It's better than nothing. Month in month out. The same dynamic is at play: quailty doesn't matter, the good will of your man doesn't matter as long as you pony up for the stuff. You usually do it alone so you can bliss out as much as the cut-rate shit will let you. Then, you're out looking for more because it wasn't good enough to last.

The addicts are killing the very thing they want. The dealer just keeps hitting it to maximize income while you just line up for more. Meanwhile the stuff you love so much is getting weaker and weaker until you secretly hate the very thing you love most. But you line your ass up anyway.

I left that world for that reason. Not because I was told right to my face, "I am the company and I'M drawing this, not you, so you do it my way." Not because I was told I couldn't draw hands right, even after I'D LIGHTBOXED THE DAMN THINGS FROM MY PHOTO FILES.

No, I left it behind because I saw what I loved, what I wanted to do with all my efforts to make beautifully done, was actually irrelevent.

Never again my friends. That's why I've spent to much time, to much much needed money trying to forge a different road for myself. Good or bad, I'll stay true to the thing I love.

I'm addicted to love. Without it, it's all just so much junk.




Gretel said...

That is just plain scary. Quantity before quality is never a good option.

m. said...

Is anyone really surprised by this?