MANGA, WEBCOMICS & THE NEXT GENERATION OF CREATOR
SEQUENTIAL ARTISTS VERSUS ILLUSTRATORS
You know what else almost seems backwards to those of us who are predominately superhero readers of the last thirty years? I see the adulation J. Scott Campbell and Joe Madureira are getting not from comics readers, but from up and coming animators and video game artists. Yes, these are obviously the people who don’t feel burned the most by the lack of an ending to “Battle Chasers,” or the lack of new “Danger Girl” material by Campbell…
People who admired their art in the ’90s, and even those who found it later, in the 2000s, are choosing career paths that are different from their influences. They’re going into video games or animation or whatnot, where there’s a much better chance to land a job that will actually pay the bills. And those people pass it down to the next generation, who wind up seeing Campbell or Madureira more as illustrators or video game developers, not “comic artists.”
Campbell , for example, was leading a workshop at Schoolism Live in Denver this past weekend alongside Visual Development artists, character designers, and digital painters. Schoolism is a high-end, online art training site for those wanting to get into the digital arts, mostly. They don’t do comic books, yet Campbell was a featured guest.
This all also helps me to come to grips with the talent the world of sequential comics has lost over the years. Most of them are so popular that they can lead a comfortable life doing covers and commissions. They become illustrators. Maybe they do some design work for animation or toys or advertising on the side that we never hear about because they have NDAs in place, or because they just don’t talk about it.
I wish we’d see more sequential art from those talented people, but the economics of the comics industry can’t justify it. Short of hitting the one-in-a-million jackpot of a success like “The Walking Dead,” it’s tough to justify the lifestyle choice that being a monthly comic book sequential artist demands.
Until comics once again sell in the hundreds of thousands on a regular basis, the economics just won’t be there to support sequential artists who have an eye for design and illustration.
Day 22: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
THE PURGE III
We’ve been through this before, so I’ll cut right to the chase: This past week, I dumped another 5000 comics from my collection, from across all periods of comics reading of the last 26 years.
It feels good to have that extra space in my den at home now, and I’m enjoying re-organizing what’s left behind to create a new system.
Here’s what the final haul looked like:
- The new Asterix book is due out here in North America next month. It was released in Europe last week. Interestingly, it was released at the same time digitally. The hardcover price is 10 euros. You could read it on the Amazon Kindle or Izneo.com for two euros less. Could you imagine such a high profile book — and make no mistake, it will outsell everything in the Direct Market many times over this month with an initial print run run of four million copies — being released cheaper digitally than in print? I’d love to see what the sales breakdown is on this book in a month. I doubt we’ll ever see those numbers, but the Franco-Belgian comics market seems to be relatively traditional this way. I bet the digital sales will be a very tiny fraction, even at the cheaper price.
- Since the book isn’t available digitally through Izneo in North America, I can’t check to see if it’s available as a rental, though I doubt it.
- Watch Cliff Chiang draw a “Paper Girls” pin-up/ad. It’s mesmerizing to watch, even sped up. The second issue of the series is coming out next week already. Time flies!
- Also, take a listen to Chiang’s interview on the SKETCHD podcast for more insight.
- I missed this a week or two ago, but Not Blog X has wrapped up. Let’s all wish G. Kendall well in his semi-retirement. He documented 90s comics relentlessly over the years, and always entertainingly. If you hadn’t read it before, peruse the archives bursting at the seams with Clone-era Spider-Man, Spawn, X-Men galore, and so much more.
- I was in the room at New York Comic-Con when Jim Lee and Dan DiDio came in for their CBR TV interview. I promise I didn’t feed Jonah the question about “All Star Batman and Robin,” but I’m glad he asked it.
- French Comics Blogosphere, Part 1: I was introduced to this French comic artists’ group blog this week. Lewis Trondheim is amongst the contributors, but it’s some good looking stuff right down the line.
- French Comics Blogosphere, Part 2: Boulet deserves an Eisner for “I Want To Believe”, a complete six page story that ponders the possibility that everything on the internet is true. It’s the ultimate internet comic page. Previous to that, he did a strip that is right up Scott McCloud’s infinite canvas alley…
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