Each week our Gutter Talk podcasts open with a quote. Usually they are tied to the podcast somehow but other times we often wonder if Adam needs a white jacket with long sleeves and shiny buckles. However, nothing compares to what Gavin Aung Than does with quotes on his Zen Pencils comic, often going from playful to masterful in one panel. Adam sits down one on one with Gavin to discuss the drive behind Zen Pencils, and how hard work and a little luck have taken him a long way.
Missed the first installment of this article series? Read it here.
The majority of independent employers/collaborators who are seeking comic book artists do not know the first thing about making a comic. Some do, but most don’t. They don’t understand that a single page of professional quality art can easily take days to produce, and are sometimes produced by multiple people. A lot of people seem to think that they are doing you a favor by offering to allow you to work on their comic, and as a result they don’t have to pay fair wages. They seem to think that all you have to do is sit down at your drawing table (or screen), snap your fingers, and a masterpiece will materialize before your eyes. To these people I say – DO 5 MINUTES OF BASIC RESEARCH! Producing well-drawn comic art is no easy feat, and those of us who do it for a living have been practicing nearly our entire lives to refine our skills. Artists have to eat and pay bills like everyone else, so we deserve to be paid for our work. Just because it’s a creative field does not mean we work for free. Our skills are a trade just like any other. Would you ask a plumber to spend all day working on your toilet only to offer them $10 once it’s fixed? I seriously hope not.
Making Comics friend Sarah Weaver had a wonderful question that demanded a response: “How can a manga writer transition into writing western style graphic novels?”
Michael Yakutis, Private Comic Eye, led the investigation into the answering of Sarah’s question:
Writing a westernized graphic novel (like those found in North America or Europe) differs from that of a manga in various ways. Obviously the visual look of manga is greatly different from western comics, and manga comics can get away with using symbols to help convey emotion, such as popping veins and sweat drops on the forehead. Manga comics tend to place more emphasis on character emotions and reactions whereas western comics typically avoid overly-exaggerated character expressions unless they’re going for a more “cartoony” look.
We are nearing the end of our first year of Making Comics Worldwide and we are not slowing down as we round turn four, especially when it comes to the guests we have on the podcast. This episode’s guest, Gene Luen Yang, is an award winning artist and creator of works that have been and continue to be used in classrooms to educate students. This lies right at the feet of what we do at Making Comics Worldwide so having Gene on the show was almost vital. We were glad we made it happen.
Join Adam and Kevin as they head out on location to Gene’s hotel room in downtown San Diego to discuss using comics to educate, how software coding can be both similar and different from making comics, and also what it’s like to have your name spoken by Alex Trebek.
What do you charge for your freelance illustration work? The answer – probably not enough! There seems to be a growing trend in the indie comics community in which freelancers are not getting paid fair rates for their work. It sickens me when I peruse Deviant Art and see countless artists offering their talents for a measly $5 per page. It’s infuriating when I look through job offers on Digital Webbing that offer a whopping $20 per page, yet come with a list of complicated demands. It drives me to the brink of insanity when I spend all day on Craigslist only to uncover ad after ad ending with “I can’t afford to pay you at this time, but you can add the work to your portfolio and we can split the profits (if there are any – which there almost never is).”
Inked linework is an iconic element of comics. Duh.
But have you thought about why? I guess because of the whole history of how the art form evolved; I’m not an expert on that. But it makes sense to me that Doré et al. etched rather than painted for book illustrations, and that Outcault et al. inked cartoons in a way that could be reproduced on plates. Pencil, pastel, and paint and other media just don’t play as nice with printing presses as clean linework does.
After a quick break for Halloween and an amazing discussion with one of the masters in the horror genre, we return you to another re-issue of Jason Brubaker’s old podcasts. This week is Part 2 of the fantastic conversation between Jason, Doug TenNapel, and Ethan Nicolle, first with a brief intro with Adam and Patrick. If you missed Part 1, click here.
Best quotes from the ‘cast:
The most common question that creative people get asked by “normal” people may well be, “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a difficult question to answer, because it assumes there is an easy answer, some kind of tangible oasis that transforms visitors into brilliant artists. In my experience, ideas for comics (and other art forms) aren’t found in one place, but in EVERY place. And if one wants to be a creator, then one should constantly be seeking out new experiences in life and art alike, actively seeking inspiration instead of expecting it to arrive.
Don Elson (@BrmaDon) hit up our twitter with a great question this week:
Why should one write a script when in the end they draw the comic as well?
Making Comics Worldwide celebrates its first Halloween with one of best in the horror genre since the ’70s, Stephen Bissette. With his past work on Swamp Thing and Heavy Metal, to name a few, as well as his current teaching position with the Center for Cartoon Studies, Stephen shares his amazing insights and knowledge with Adam and Patrick in topics ranging from comics education to being part of the inception of the 24 hour comic challenge with Scott McCloud.
To begin the podcast, for your Halloween pleasure, enjoy a spectacular reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” by Vincent Price.