Friday, 2 April 2010

That was fun- but it is time to get stuck in...

Back from Hi-Ex and finally getting round to sorting myself out. First off the next time I’ll be at a con will be in May, at the Bristol Event. Hotel booked and everything. Check out the pic on the right hand side.

Hi-Ex was great fun, always a pleasure for me to be there as it is perhaps my favourite gig in the country. It was great to meet up with old friends and make new one’s too.

Whilst there though I had a bit of a revelation. I’m a bit of a soft touch on the whole- I’m a fairly easy going kind of guy, so I tend to bend over a bit more than I should as far as strips are concerned. When it comes to scripts it is much easier to be tough- as there are a team of script readers who will all be aiming for the highest level of quality, after all entire strips will stand or fall on the quality of the scripts. I like to think that the team at FQP, as well as Dogbreath & Zarjaz, is pretty hot at sorting strong scripts.

It is the Artists that I need to push more. Most of the artists involved in the titles I produce are of a level where they are polishing their craft ready to approach publishers (I’m not going to put any names in this, just not fair) but there are some that need to be pushed a little harder. This is not a judgement on their drawing ability, not at all- it is mainly to apply the same harsh standards we use for scripts to art. I’m going to start asking for more re-working of panels, and where possible I would like to be able to get hold of a set of pencilled pages for strips so that I can pass judgement before ink is put to paper.

After all, the artists providing the work want to reach a standard where they can approach professional editors and gain paid work- so if I let them submit art that I feel needs work I am letting them down.

Therefore if you are an artist working on a strip for me and I tell you that there is something I want you to change- I’m not being awkward for the sake of it- I genuinely want you to submit artwork that knocks me out. I may be called SMALL PRESS, but that doesn’t mean we have to have small standards.


Emperor said...

It isn't going to be news to the artists whose ears I've been bending recently but it is kind of a big deal (relatively speaking). I know when I've spoken to people one of the first things they mention is the Zarjaz story I wrote. So there are quite a few people out there reading and paying attention, that's before we take into account copies of Zarjaz and Dogbreath end up in the Nerve Centre. If anyone was looking for new, up-and-coming talent they'd be a good starting place.

So it is well worth everyone taking a bit of extra time and effort to make sure we put our best foot forward (the standard has been impressive but there is always room for improvement), you never know how it'll pay off down the line. You'd take a little more time over preparing your portfolio and the comics might also count.

The problem is art can often arrive fully finished (sometimes close to the deadline ;) ) so it can be difficult making major changes then. Your idea of working with the artists at an earlier stage makes sense (if you have the time to fit it in, as you boys are already putting a lot of time and effort in). Where possible I find it useful to have a dialogue with the artists on my story as it can work both ways - it may seem all fine and dandy in my head but that doesn't guarantee it'll work on the page, so there is always room for a rethink or reworking it.

Soooooo I think everyone will benefit from this - creators and the readers. I'd better go off and get some pencils sent to you. ;)

Gibson Quarter said...

Great idea Bolt. Constructive critism is the only way folks will improve..well, that and practice!

You are doing your artists afavor via the exposure, so don't be afraid to ask for a few chances here and there where needed. Hey, I'm sure Tharg does too, from time to time!

Dunk! said...

I look forward to being edited.

Though i feel a clear workflow has to be agreed upon so any artist knows what is expected from them when they take on a Zarjaz or Dogbreath commission.

Roughs - feedback - pencils - feedback etc.