Monday, February 27, 2012

Creative Partner, Or Just The Guy What Draws The Pictures?

My pal Howard Chaykin is always an interesting person to talk to (and about), but I seize upon the last two paragraphs in this interview over at to drive home a point:

"I recently heard an anecdote about one of my colleagues, a comic book writer, who apparently believes that the artist has absolutely nothing to do with the creative process in comics. If the artist is drawing realistic people in realistic situations, he is simply doing a job of work rather than participating in the creation of the material. I am of the belief that the artist does 50% of the 'writing' in comic books. I think the guy is plum crazy. It staggered me in its limited understanding of what comic books are about."

"For example Watchmen is always being referred to as Alan Moore’s Watchmen as if Dave Gibbons had nothing to do with it. But the sensibility of that book would have been an entirely different experience if someone besides Dave had drawn it, and I don’t think that Dave gets near the credit and props he deserves. I think that it is important to acknowledge the fact that comics is a visual narrative medium in which much of the 'writing' is provided by the artist who visualizes the material."

Young artists take note: You are doing more than filling a shopping list. It is as much your job to create the story your reader ends up reading as it is the writer's. You are partners.

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