Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Comic Whatevers...

So, i think i'm FINALLY pulling out of my horrible comic art burn out, and i think i figured out why!

All this time i was working on stuff for clients and some of them put SO much pressure on every single detail of the artwork that they were missing the point. They had always missed the point. The school was trying to beat it into our heads for 3 years, and even I lost sight of it. But thanks to actually READING comics again, i figured it out.


Yeah, i know...the most obvious thing in the entire universe! The art has to do its job, and doesn't have to be perfect, that's just a bonus if it is! But obviously the average person, and even the average art nerd (speaking for myself obviously) doesnt look at a panel for longer than it takes to read the dialogue, and in a lot of cases actually spends more time ON the dialogue than paying attention to the details. I tried telling this to clients...clients that wanted to go over every panel line for line, but they wouldn't pay attention. They wanted to get the absolute best picture for their money, which, i cant say as i blame em for it. But they weren't looking at the BIG picture! They were looking at huge 300dpi scans of 11 by 17 inch pages, panels that on the monitor were easily 5 to 6 times the size of what they would look printed! Hell even on the page, or at 72dpi its still almost 2 times the size! and that's still without color, ink, and lettering to fill it all out!

Now, i mean the following as no knocks to any artists: BUT, i've gotten back into POWERS and have been re-reading the image years and now i'm onto the icon stuff...those last few months at image, man the artwork in those is SO RUSHED, but the pacing, the storytelling, so on point! And there's a couple glory shots along the way, which is what most people would remember anyways. Oeming is SO good at that. And Bendis writes so many words, you probably dont even need artwork to fill a page...so maybe thats a bad example! But the story works, what i remember is the STORY, the combination of everything, the finished product! It's some of the best comics i've ever read! Same with Blankets. Blankets was great, the guys an amazing artist to boot, but he has his flaws like everyone else, and i don't get hung up on them. It doesnt take me OUT of the story, or make me wish i hadnt paid money for it. I also read FURY peacemaker, by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The art in that book...well lets just say its nothing i would ever really find appealing. But again it all comes together and who really sees it long enough to care? The guy knows how to get it down on paper, and how to make the story flow and who cares if he uses too many hatch lines, or draws every tooth in someones face? I don't.

So right now i'm kind of in this great head-space where flaws don't really concern me that much. I don't care if something small is slightly off, or if it looks perfect flipped over on a light-box. And when i don't worry about that kinda shit, i think the mistakes actually happen LESS and i can continue to make progress on pages instead of leaving the same one on my desk for weeks just KNOWING that i have to make that face better...but not wanting to try since i did it 80 times prior.

I hope this actually makes some sense to you guys, and if anyone IS having the same kinda problems as i was/am having about being overly self critical, that this actually helps! And if you guys have any other tips to get over being burnt out, or blocked, feel free to drop em in the comments.



  1. I envy you/understand what you're saying.

    I totally agree with the concept. Some of the best comics aren't visual dynamite; they tell a great story.

    I think it's why JRjr keeps getting big gigs: his art isn't the best when it comes to rendering or style, but his storytelling is top-notch.

    Unfortunately, it's a reality of the biz that sometimes great art is all that can save a book. If you get shafted with a writer with wooden dialogue or slapshod pacing, nailing the art might be the only way to keep you employed!

    Then again, if they're that bad, yer probably screwed!

    Good post. Makes me think about things a bit more. Now if only I could get myself to draw anything beyond head-shots and rough sketches!

  2. Yeah, there's exceptions i suppose. And all of these guys are established pros, unless youre doing some kinda indy book its gonna be hard to get into the biz unless you're an amazing talent all the way around (ahem Cory!) I'm also not saying to just burn through things just to do them as fast as possible either, but it IS a deadline heavy business, so sometimes that might be the case with these books. Like when POWERS went to marvel the art got significantly better...and i wonder how much of that had to do with him coming to his end of the line deadlines at image and then having more time at marvel? Of course, that was '04/'05 and Oeming was doing lots of projects all at once before he went to Marvel.

    Mostly though, with me, it was some specific clients and projects that really sort of killed me, so i'm glad to realize that there's a little less pressure, and i can relax and have more fun and experiment more...who knows, maybe i'll bust that brush out again!


  3. Hey love the Post. I do have to agree, I do envy you Eric for coming to this conclusion.

    I know in my experience that it seems like I have hit a brick wall. I don't have that much time to draw, however I do try to sketch at work when I can. For such a long time I feel like I have been just staring at this wall and it has just become part of me.

    Just recently I have started to try to pull the wall down by trying more dynamics, more fluidity, and minimizing detail. I have found that it seems to get me more interested in art just slightly, and is also helping to remove that Damn Wall brick by brick. It feels slow, but i know its something I have to try and get back into.

    This is just how I feel, and I think you are also right. I should start picking up some more comics to get me reading them and get my more motivated.