Saturday, September 24, 2011

Art in Comics

So, I gave my wife some Witchblade so that she could take a look through them and tell me if she would like them. I have come to the conclusion that she likes the adventure titles in comics, but the ones that have central protagonists that are female (she like Red Sonja, Zatanna, etc.). And I love the feedback she gives for these, because she has no previous experience with comics and is new to the form and not completely jaded and obsessed like I am.

She finished the first one the other day and told me that she liked it although there were some soap opera elements to it that were a little silly (and I agree).

A couple of days later and she has volume two in her hands. Her first comment, "Whoa, the art on this is different. I don't like it as much". I'm interested so I press the topic a little, "Having the art change so substantially is like changing the lead character of a television show. It is jarring", she says.

Which brings me to my rant/topic for the day. We have the new DC universe. We have an amount of new readers that have come in for the "first" time, comics-virgins. So when these virgins hit the first art change in the stories that they are reading how will they react?

It is the constant debate that rages through the comics world. Do we have books that come out on time, or do we have consistent quality in the books. In the case of Civil War, they chose the quality. In the case of the new DC, they are choosing the schedule.

I cannot help but notice that half the books are due for some kind of creative change in the next couple of months (already) and that this is something that will likely be happening on a regular basis, so I have a couple of suggestions for Dan Didio and crew.

1. Tailor your substitutes. Make sure the people that are filling in for these books have a style that is similar in some ways to those that they are covering for.

2. Remember the trade. Some folks might get this in trade. Will the constant change of guard make them wary to return.

3. Keep on doing what you are doing. It is awesome and pleasant to watch.

Now that that is over, let me continue. The European market takes their time, and always has. Artists that have problems hitting their deadlines here are happy making books with Jodorowsky that have no set date attached to them and are done to amazing detail. And people buy the hell out of them. Think about it. You have Harry Potter being made. It takes years and investment, but in the end the sales are gangbusters. It all works out doesn't it?

It is good to see this happening in the Earth One books and other OGNs, but the serial nature of comics doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Why would it when the comics companies can sell us twenty different versions of the same book?

These are my thoughts and I hope you enjoy them. Leave comments below if you have them, as I would love to know what you think.

Martin

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