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Topic: Growing Roses and Meeting Deadlines (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:08pm | IP Logged | 1  

Allow me to beat a dead horse for a moment or two.

As noted elsewhere, many times, somehow being late has become associated in the minds of some (presumably) feeble-witted fans with being good. The books are late because the creative teams involved are "growing roses", to use Todd McFarlane's phrase, while books that are not late are, again in the Toddler's words "shit out on a monthly basis."

So, somehow, it is deemed impossible to produce quality work -- generations of previous artists and writers notwithstanding -- and come out on time. All those issues of FANTASTIC FOUR, THOR, AVENGERS, etc Jack Kirby produced are shit according to McFarlane, because they all came out when they were supposed to.

But, what if we just pretend for a moment that people like Kirby, Steve Ditko, Curt Swan, Joe Kubert, Carmine Infantino, and, what the heck, yours truly, were not producing "shit". How could it be that their quality work came out on time, month after month?

Here's the math: if you have a July 1st deadline, don't start on June 1st. Start on April 1st. Start on March 1st. Start on July 1st of the previous year, if that's how much time you need to grow your roses.

It's not witchcraft! It's called being professional.

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Donald Miller
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:13pm | IP Logged | 2  

That Mr. Byrne is exactly why I don't understand the justifications put forth by the publishers on this issue...They also claim that the late product is excused by the demand. 

I don't understand why it would be so terribly hard to have those artists, that are unable to produce monthly...either create a big enough backlog of work to create a cushion, or create an entire story arc, before publication, everyone is happy.

Don
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:16pm | IP Logged | 3  

This makes me remember Alpha Flight issue 26 (spring) which showed a cover for the "Hulk" from JB's run that would not be on the stands for several months (late Fall).  
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:19pm | IP Logged | 4  

22 pages in a comic book. 22 work days in a month. Easy math. Can't do a page a day, sorry you can't do this job. It's that simple. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:20pm | IP Logged | 5  

As the recently posted cover testifies, I have started work on my next ANGEL
book, which won't be on sale until October. Even working around other
things, I expect to have it finished (with most of the pages already sent to
IDW as they are completed) by early August at the latest.
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Jason Mark Hickok
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:25pm | IP Logged | 6  

Well said JB.  I think it is funny re-reading Brevoort's comments from another thread.  I DON'T buy Thor because of its lateness.  I believe that you can generate more interest in producing 12 issues which will lead to higher sales than having 7-8 issues a year.  So every issue that is released supposed to be an event?  That readers are so excited over that they can wait 3+ months between issues? 

 

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Paul W. Sondersted, Jr.
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:27pm | IP Logged | 7  

One of the usual "counterpoints" (that may not be the right terminology) to this argument is one that is truly baffling to me...

Many of the fans that subscribe to the "growing roses" theory ignore this...

They usually say something along the lines of "comic books shouldn't be monthly." Ignoring the fact that the artist (or whoever is responsible for the lateness) committed to the project as a monthly. They promised to deliver, so to speak, on time & then couldn't (or in some cases, wouldn't) do it. They didn't keep their word as a professional.

Even though many of these people are talented, they shouldn't be held up as something positive. The opposite in fact. They are setting a bad example. I don't know about the rest of you, but I was told, growing up, that bad was...well...not good.
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Simon Bowland
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:28pm | IP Logged | 8  

I confess, I do struggle to understand why an artist can't produce one page per day. If they work a solid ten hour day, it surely should be possible. If they're running late, the simple answer is to work a fourteen hour day. If they're running massively late, put in a weekend shift. It's not as if they're earning minimum wage or anything.

That said, artists who cannot produce 22 pages per month, can still be utilised in the comic industry. If, as an editor, you know your artist is slower than the required schedule, you should factor that in to the equation and find a second artist to alternate story arcs. Plan in advance and it's not a problem - or at least it shouldn't be.

That's not to say that real life can't get in the way of even the speediest of artist. Fantastic Four, for example, has been shipping late of late, because of illness and bereavement from both the writer and the penciller. That's something an editor can't really plan for, and I'd hope nobody would complain about this sort of situation.
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Robert White
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:41pm | IP Logged | 9  

This might help some modern creators...
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Paulo Pereira
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:47pm | IP Logged | 10  

Heh.




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Jim Campbell
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:48pm | IP Logged | 11  


 QUOTE:
That said, artists who cannot produce 22 pages per month, can
still be utilised in the comic industry. If, as an editor, you know your
artist is slower than the required schedule, you should factor that in to
the equation and find a second artist to alternate story arcs. Plan in
advance and it's not a problem - or at least it shouldn't be.


I couldn't agree more. Artists know -- realistically -- whether they can do
a page a day. If not, no biggie. Can you do nine issues a year? Great. We'll
get the writer to script three standalones a year and get some other
cracking artists who also can't commit to a monthly schedule or a
regular book to draw these. Everyone wins.

Lest we forget, Uncanny X-Man #205 -- Deathstrike, Wolverine, Barry
Windsor-Freakin-Smith -- was a fill-in, and that's one of my favourite
X-Men issues of all time!

This doesn't seem like rocket surgery to me.

Cheers

Jim
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Keith Thomas
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Posted: 04 June 2009 at 3:57pm | IP Logged | 12  

I think we live in the age of lowered expectations, so
many lazy people out there just expect everyone else to
be as lazy as them.

Edited by Keith Thomas on 04 June 2009 at 4:27pm
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