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

Amazing Spider-Man Message Board >> View Post
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Post By
Jamo

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,042
In Reply To
mjyoung

Subj: Re: These times, they are a changin' -- for the worse!
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:01:18 pm EDT (Viewed 122 times)
Reply Subj: These times, they are a changin'
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:29:41 pm EDT (Viewed 147 times)



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      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?



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    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.


Most people also have something to fall back on -- such as video games, which is something that Marvel is admitted to having trouble in competing with. They're having a hell of a time getting profits for a monthly schedule? Well, it really doesn't help the situation when they can't keep it either. Little Jimmy isn't going to make it a priority to run down to the comic store to pick up the several-month-delayed issue of THOR when he's got a Nintendo DS or Wii, etc. He may spend $60 on a game, but I guarentee that he'll get more entertainment value out of it than a randomly published comic.


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      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.



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    From the fans perspective, quality is more important than being on time.


So being on time with your work isn't considered quality now?


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      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.



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    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?


And the problem I see with yours is that we should all live and let live, play in the field and pick flowers. Have the mindset that when the writer or artist decides that he should turn in his script, it shouldn't matter that it was six months late or not.


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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.


Collections are only as good as interest of the consumer. And when the consumer has no interest because of a random publishing schedule...
I've never read, nor will I probably ever read Watchmen. I don't care for it. Why do I need to buy it? I bought the "Kraven's Last Hunt" because it was cheaper to buy the TPB because the individual issues themselves were more expensive. (I bought mine in the early 90's at a $15.95 price tag.) I've seen the pricing for the first Red Hulk TPB -- why do I need to spend $20 for 5 issues when I own the original issues anyway? I'm not about to plunk down that kind of money for a cheap read.


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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.


Of course not, the company has grown since the 60's. But just because it's grown doesn't give the excuse to let such delays happen.


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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.


Then they're over-complicating and cluttering their work. I've seen some incredibly hand-drawn work from the most underrated artists and they've had no problems maintaining a monthly schedule.


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


True. But not always. I liked PAD on the Hulk, but that doesn't mean I like his work on X-Factor. I'm not a big X-Factor fan, why buy it? I really wanted to buy his Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man work, but never could afford it because I was enjoying other books that I didn't want to sacrifice for a big-named writer.


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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.


I consider a lot of video games a luxery item. There are tons of games that I'd like to buy, but at $60 a game -- sorry. And this isn't even including the fact that I will not purchase a PS3 or Xbox 360 at their prices.


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    I could go on.



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    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.



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    I could go on.


Natch.






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