Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

Amazing Spider-Man Message Board >> View Post
·
Post By
Cbasfrench

In Reply To
mjyoung

Subj: Re: These times, they are a changin'
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 02:15:49 pm EDT (Viewed 104 times)
Reply Subj: Re: These times, they are a changin'
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 01:49:51 pm EDT (Viewed 116 times)



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      There are plenty of fishes in the sea. If one really good artist ends up being considerable late - say a couple of months - why not get another really good artist to assist the first one with the art chores. There are plenty of Jim Lee wannabes in the world - taking his DC work as an example. I think both the quality of a book and that book being a time should be able to be achieved. Just give the artist more time before soliciting a series.



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    Because that other really good artist isn't just sitting at his desk waiting for a call. But as I've said, I think there are compromises to be made.


But there is such a huge pool of artists out there. If the second guy is busy, I'm sure there is someone equally as good who can come in and help out...


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      Comics are essentially still produced the same way they were before. Dude writes it, passes it to the dude that pencils it, who in turn passes it to the dude that inks it, then color it, etc... Not everybody drawing today put in a million detail in every panel. It can be argued that, back in the day, artists did not draw a lot of background. That's fair enough, but they made up for that by working on two to three books per month, versus just one. So the total amount of work was just about the same, if not more.



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    That's just not the case. The job and responsibilities of the comic book artist are really different. Two huge difference is that they are better compensated for their work, and comics aren't a sweat shop anymore. I know people like to romanticize Jack Kirby (I had someone here tell me Kirby did 14 22 page books a month, but couldn't prove it) but his books today wouldn't sell as is.


I agree Kirby's books wouldn't sell as well today, because his style was so unique, especially toward the end of his career, that people would not be attracted to it.


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    There are just alot of differences besides the one I mentioned. Artists have to do character designs, something that artists in the 60s didn't do. They have to do interviews to promote their work. They have to make sure their covers are as appealing as possible. They have to talk to their writers. They also don't work 80 hour weeks.


Guys in the 60s did do character designs...they practically invented the Marvel Universe. Now, the whole PR thing is probably a very important factor to take into consideration. Back in the day, there was no Internet to advertise anything and interviews with magazines or online comic sites did not exist. A lot of time, you couldn't even put faces to a book's creative team. It is so totally different. I'm not saying they should work 80 hours a week; they should, however, find a way to make it happen, on time, even if it means making sacrifice.


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    One of the ideas in the 60s was that artists never erased any of their work. Today, with much more competition and a higher level of expectations, artists have to put their best work out there.


I don't disagree with that, but sometimes you have to make decisions and possibly sacrifice an extra building or cross-hatch lines, if it means you can deliver the product on time.


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        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.

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        But there is no guarantee that they will sell better. Forecasting revenue is never 100% guarantee, if you know what I mean. More times than enough it never works out as expected.



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    But you can make predictions, and have a good guess on how well something will sell. I have a lot more faith in Millar and McNiven on Wolverine than Reed and whoever on Ms. Marvel.


Then again, the books sell well because of those that buy anything Millar writes, and also because McNiven is drawing them, but the lateness in their books absolutely kills me. I hate having to wait more than four weeks for the next issue of a book. No matter how many back issues I can buy in that time, it bugs the crap out of me.


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    You can also look at trends. Marvel can see that tpbs with multiple artists don't sell as well as tpbs with a single, big name artist.



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        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.

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        True. Marvel has to look at it from a business point of view but if you can sell 100k copies of a book per month but you can only publish the book six times a year, should you not look into making changes so you can publish it twelve times a year and get higher sale numbers, or even 75% of those sale numbers. Also, their revenue is split into quarters, so you also have to take that into consideration.



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    I agree that Marvel should look into it. And they do, since you don't see Ms. Marvel getting delayed.


The boring ones don't get delayed but the good ones do...crazy sh*t


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    But let's look at Thor. JMS's Thor has the title selling at more than double what it did under Jurgens. We can see their schedules, assume JMS comes out bimonthly and Jurgens monthly. So even then it would be equal. Variable costs like the cost of the creators probably isn't doubled for JMS. Fixed costs are the same. JMS Thor is 30% more profitable at $3.99. We can assume that JMS Thor sells twice as much and probably more in collections. We can even put a monetary value on goodwill.



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        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.

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        More details does not necessarily equate better quality. I disagree with you there. It's about storytelling. If an artist, without the use of any background, or dialogue, can tell a story, then he is ten, twenty, a hundred times better than any of those cross-hatch-lovers artists. Take a look at John Romita's 'Nuff Said Spider-Man issue that did not have a single piece of dialogue. JRJR is not known to be a very detailed background kind of guy anymore - mainly because he made the decision to change his style in order to meet deadlines - but his storytelling abilities are so good that you can pretty much figure out what is going on without reading the dialogue. I would take that over any artists who just uses lines after lines after lines to give dimension to his/her work.



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    Look at the top artists. Jim Lee, McNiven, Van Scriver, Quietly, etc. Not alot of cartoonish artists like Kyle Baker on the list. I would say JRJR was a detailed artist.


JRJR is almost in a special category of his own. His work is so unique and detailed in his own special way.


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        Fans are more likely to follow creators than just characters or titles.

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        Which, I think, is contributing to the downfall of comic books today. It shouldn't be about the creators, it should be about the character.



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    According to you. I would personally argue that following characters is killing comics. People are only interested in reading about a character, and not necessarily about the quality of the story. Look at the people who continuously buy Amazing without enjoying it just to keep up their collection. With creators, you will follow because you enjoy their stories.


I'm interested in reading books that have a balance of the two. Good input from the writer (story-wise) but books that are about the character first, not what the writer wants the character to be. Too often, writers come onboard a title to do THEIR take on a certain character, not giving a damn about anything else that's come before, pretty much changing the character to fit their idea, instead of modifying their idea to fit the character.


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        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.

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        I don't think you can compare quality versus costs. Comics were cheap back in the day, but everything was cheap then. Take into account the inflaction and all that other stuff and there is a reason for comics to be that expensive today. In other words, the cost of comics is relative to when they were published.



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    Comics have increased in cost compared to other entertainment items. Let's remember that comics are competing against every other form of entertainment. And people tend to underestimate value. I'm sure if comics were magically $2 per issue, you would buy alot more. A movie ticket cost $1 in 1965, and the price of a comic was 12 cents. Today, a movie ticket is $7.18 and a comic is $3.99. So that's a ratio of 7.18 to 33.25.





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