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Subj: Re: These times, they are a changin'
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:43:01 pm EDT (Viewed 8 times)
Reply Subj: These times, they are a changin'
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:29:41 pm EDT (Viewed 147 times)
Quote:I was recently reading something on comicartfans.com about a commission piece by Jim Lee, notorious for being late. The commissioner said - I paraphrase - something to the effect that Lee had only done a couple of books throughout the entire past year but it was okay because he's such a good artist and he's worth the wait. My first reaction was "huh?". In what kind of world do we live in where "worth the wait" is the main argument to not get angry with an artist who is late?
Quote:It's various factors. Most people don't care if an issue slips late. They can spend that time reading backissues (since they've been fans for years), picking up another comic, or even just saving that money for something else. I think complaints about delays come mostly from the older readers.
Quote:Coincidently, on another website - I apologize for not remembering which one it was - a poster mentioned that Lee went to form Image with those other guys because they weren't concerned with deadlines and allowed their creative teams to take as much time as possible to publish issues (paraphrasing once again here). The poster in question mentioned that he liked that approach. I had one of those WTF moments. What kind of mentality is that? Is the prospect of making lots of money from the sale of a book, by allowing it to be published sporadically and late, more important than meeting deadlines and delivering a product to fans, as promised months before.
Quote:From the fans perspective, quality is more important than being on time.
Quote:Regardless if you agree with JB's comments that a lot of artists today treat making comics as a hobby, the bottom line is that books should not be allowed to be late as they are in this day and age. As many of you have mentioned in previous posts, if this happened 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have hired somebody else to finish the job, regardless of sales or how good the stories were. Too bad, the powers-that-be don't see it that way.
Quote:I think the problem with your viewpoint is that comics have changed radically since the previous decades. It's not just one factor that has resulted in delays, but multiple ones. You (group, not individual) continue to have the mindset that you have had in previous decades without taking into account certain changes. It's like the complaint of "Back in my day, we only had three channels. And they stopped at 10pm." So what?
Quote:Comics no longer have a shelf life of a few days, but can last for years as collections. Look at Watchmen still being a top seller after years. So this means that the collection will have more value for a company than a monthly comic. So this means that a publisher will accept a delay in a monthly comic since it means collections will sell better in the long term.
Quote:Superhero comics have changed dramatically. Instead of only 12 comics a month, Marvel now publishes around 80 or higher. I delay in 1968 meant a 10% reduction in profit for the month. Today, a delay results in 1/80th of a reduction in profit for a month. That's a huge difference, and that 1/80th reduction isn't going to be important.
Quote:There is a much stronger focus on quality these days. Drawing is much more complex. We expect backgrounds in our panels. We expect complex costumes. We expect each figure to be drawn well.
Quote:Fans are more likely to follow creators than just characters or titles.
Quote:Comics have also become much more a of a luxury item (for various reasons). Fans expect higher quality since they are paying more for the product.
Quote:I could go on.
Quote:Of course, I think there are compromises to be made. Have more realistic timeframes. Stop making every book a monthly. Keep fans as up to date as possible, including telling them the reason for ANY delay, progress on the title (page 15 of 22 done). Compile story arcs to be released monthly, with delays coming between arcs. If a main title is delayed, put out a separate miniseries in it's place. Assign multiple artists to a title.
Quote:I could go on.
I understand what you are saying and you make some really great points. I just find it frustrating that this is an industry that lets the artist control the deadline and the release.
I work in the VFX industry, and it would be absurd to tell a producer that a film needed to be delayed because the work was not ready yet. Instead, artists work around the clock and squeeze every ounce of energy to make the deadline.
Granted, your point is extremely valid since in film, the money made from an opening weekend is the most important tellers of success for a studio. Thus moving a film could severely hurt that and with comics, the money resides more in the collections. So yes, from a business prospect it makes sense, just annoying when a select handful of people can do things their way and at their own pace. But then again, that's life for you sometimes.
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