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Pumpkin Pie
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 6:17 pm    Post subject: Writers seeking artists, but no artists seeking writers. Reply with quote

Lots of writers here seeking artists in this forum, but I don't see any artists (except one in high school) seeking writers. I'm just wondering if any writer has been contacted by an artist by posting here.

Personally, while I would enjoy such a collaboration on a webcomic, I expect to have to do my own artwork. I would rather focus on writing and bring in someone with more artistic talent than my own to tackle the artwork, but I feel that's just wishful thinking.

Besides, I have a feeling that all artists have a story to tell. Now whether that story is any good is debatable, but possession of one I don't think is. Then again, I'm a writer so perhaps I assume something that I shouldn't.

If such a collaboration is achieved, I can see how production could be rammed up. Specialization enabling one to focus on just one aspect of the process and not tackle both. The writer not having to stop and focus on drawing. The artists not needing to hash out plot, dialog, and such before drawing. Naturally, there is writer's block and I assume there's something similar with artists when confronted with a scene they don't know quite how to render. Then again, do artist gets such a "block" or once they know what's to be draw is that problem solved?
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Joel Fagin
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had one artist ask me to write him a comic and I sketched out an urban fantasy for him, he drew two test pages and then real life got in his way.

I'm easy. I can turn it into a story or something.

The probem with writers is that it's hard to tell when they're good. You get a lot within a fraction of a second from a picture but a story has to be read through and often the qualities are subtler anyway.

Also, drawing is more work for less story progress. It would be a massive leap of faith for a decent artist to sign on with a writer. I get the impression most of the collaborations seem to be people who knew each other in real life before they started the comic.

- Joel Fagin
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losttoy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking as both an artist and a writer, I will give my experiences.

I have been on Zwol for a while and got to know a lot of the regulars. If you notice, most of the writers looking for artists have only posted one or two times. The key is getting to know your forum members.

Alex Danner was a forum poster here at one point and he had a literary publication on the web. He had collaborations with other artists (including some Zwol members). While he did not post here in the ?Seeking Comics Artists/Writers? forum here on Zwol, he did post on a similar forum on Talk About Comics. When he did, I e-mailed him and did a comic for him. I think it was very successful match. However, it was one part in a series with each short illustrated by a different artist. John Barber and I finish our segments, but I have not heard the progress of the other artists. The key with Alex?s search is that he was searching for artists for short stories. Some of the artists flaked and some didn?t. However finding a team for an epic story will be harder to find. A lot of artists tend to either draw their own stories or flake out. You can find an artist but the key point is that there was a relationship with Alex, John and I before we worked together (be it only an internet acquaintance).

As a writer for stories I am not illustrating, I did not post here in the ?Seeking Comics Artists/Writers? forum. Instead saw comics in the ?Hype? forum with artists that have proved they can produce quality comics on a regular schedule and contacted them directly. I try to match artists with the style of the story rather then hoping somebody will read a message and maybe fit the match. Some of the artists have indeed illustrated my stories, like Eric Myers drew the Nouveau Chemin story I am doing here with Greg at Zwol. Another artist replied saying they did not have time in their schedule. There are a couple other collaborations that are wait and see.

So there you go.
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Eric F Myers
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an artist I'm always looking for new and exciting projects to work on. The problem is that most of the people that post looking for an artist either don't show enough of their writing to properly evaluate or they are just to vague with what they are looking for. I was surprised when I received an email from David a few months ago asking to illustrate his Zwol story and happily accepted. David is right, I think your best bet is go through the member list on different forums around the net and email those directly that you would like to work with. It show that you looked at the artist's site and liked what you saw. It's also a good way to make acquaintances. The worst that they can do is say no.
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Pumpkin Pie
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

efm wrote:
As an artist I'm always looking for new and exciting projects to work on.


That's great to hear. I hope there's more artists like you out there.

Quote:
The problem is that most of the people that post looking for an artist either don't show enough of their writing to properly evaluate...


Yes, I know my share of paranoid writers that fear someone stealing their work and leaving them in the dust. However, my feeling is "So what?". Yup, they stole from me a storyline. Am I bleeding? Am I about to die? No? Oh, well, I guess I can continue on then. Neat thing about copyrighting your material isn't really so you can sue someone but, as far as I'm concerned, settling any questions about who came up the idea in the first place. Every industry talks, reputations follow, and credit usually eventually rests where it is truly due ... or at least that's my experience in marketing. Besides, those that steal stories are a pathetic lot that have no creative juices themselves and thus quickly run dry once the stolen material is used up. Not to mention burn every bridge that they cross and eventually find themselves trapped and alone on a desolate island along an inhospitable coastline with rough seas all around them. Needless to say, I feel no pity for them when they cry themselves asleep.

Quote:
...or they are just to vague with what they are looking for.


The "I'll know it when I see it" explanation usually doesn't help in these situations. As for myself, I'm looking for something along the lines of the top illustration on this page: http://www.dominic-deegan.com/fanart.html The one that shows the Seer looking into his crystal ball. I love pencil work. Always have. No coloring, but great shading and shadows. Then again, I've seen some quite impressive pencil work done with color pencils. Another thing I like about pencil is its hard-to-define vagueness that seems to give life to what's being rendered and demands more than a single glance to fully take in.

Of course, when "vague" means they don't have any work to show, we're then talking about the Great American Story writers ... that never actually put pen to paper. Every writing group I've been part of had one of these. They'd "brainstorm" with us about their novel but then never write it. My words of advice to them was and has always been: "Never tell someone your story. Only let them read it." Once some writers tell their story, they lose all their motivation and energy to write it. The reason that happens is that they've shared their great vision and received their reward (i.e., the accolades of their friends). Why write it now? I know I'm this way. I never discuss the stories I'm working on until they're done. Even the proofreaders or writing groups I use only learn of my stories when I put a chapter in their hands. I'm more than willing to discuss what took place in that chapter, how it fits into what's already been written, and such, but not about where the story will lead to. That I only tell on paper.

And that is the artist I seek. One that doesn't drain me of my energy before I actually have written the text down, but one is willing to wait and discuss it once it has been. One that trusts in my ability to weave a story and not try or, worse, demand they help me brainstorm it before it is written. Once written, it can be discussed, revised, and errors corrected. And by their reaction to it, I know the future chapters will be changed. More than once I've had a minor character become a major character simply because my reader got excited about what will happen next with that character and showed real emotion for them. To me, that's a good character. A good character is one people get emotional over. A great character is one that readers will literally physically cry for when they die.

Quote:
I was surprised when I received an email from David a few months ago asking to illustrate his Zwol story and happily accepted. David is right, I think your best bet is go through the member list on different forums around the net and email those directly that you would like to work with. It show that you looked at the artist's site and liked what you saw. It's also a good way to make acquaintances. The worst that they can do is say no.


Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'll polish up the first story arch of the webcomic and present it as a "single" piece of work. No long-term commitments required. If the partnership doesn't work out, I look for another artist with whom has the right style and hopefully it all clicks then.
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losttoy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never get the writer who does not want to show a sample of their work because somebody might steal their idea. Let's just face it, people ... there is nothing new under the sun and it has all been done before.

Furthermore (with no offence to any writer here or there), when somebody posts ?looking for artist? it is almost always the same sci-fi crap. Anybody with a strange concept can write science fiction. Warp drive, robots, a weird civilization, aliens, and so on are plot devices that do not show how well of a writer you are. Simple plot, storytelling, and character development is what you need. That is why I cannot stand superhero comics but love comics like Strangers in Paradise.

Once again, this shows why the short story is so important. Sci-fi epics just go on and on and on. It is an investment for the writer, artist, and reader. A short story shows a beginning, middle and end. Inn my opinion to build a relationship with an artist and your readers, short stories can prove good writing better than a story arc.
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Pumpkin Pie
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

losttoy wrote:
I never get the writer who does not want to show a sample of their work because somebody might steal their idea. Let's just face it, people ... there is nothing new under the sun and it has all been done before.


I always like to challenge them with, "What are you doing differently that Shakespeare hasn't already done?" No one has ever been able to answer that.

Quote:
Furthermore (with no offence to any writer here or there), when somebody posts ?looking for artist? it is almost always the same sci-fi crap. Anybody with a strange concept can write science fiction. Warp drive, robots, a weird civilization, aliens, and so on are plot devices that do not show how well of a writer you are. Simple plot, storytelling, and character development is what you need. That is why I cannot stand superhero comics but love comics like Strangers in Paradise.


Personally, I cannot stand love comics since they use the same cliches over and over. But, then again, I hate soap operas for the same reason. To each their own. One is not better than another and there are both great and terrible works of art in both. After all, "trashy dime romance novel" is a commonly used phrase and it doesn't describe sci fi novels.

As for science fiction, I think the best is educational. It explores what the future would be like if such-n-such scientific theory was correct. Shows its ramifications, benefits, disadvantages, and so on. Explores the human condition and how it would react to such a change. For this reason, I do not consider Star Trek or Star Wars science fiction. They're space opera. Both of their creators would agree since I've read where both have publicly said so. For real science fiction, we're talking about Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark.

As for my sci fi story, it explores what the future would be like when mature nanotechnology exists. How society will be changed by it. Naturally to build tension into the story, I'm not making it a utopia. In mine, there are conflicting factions but even they are meant to be educational. The factions represent the different uses one can make of nanotechnology ... or not. Just as we have today with the Amish, not everyone will embrace the technology. Just as we have today with computer hackers, not everyone will use it for good. Add a couple central characters that interact with all factions, have each faction actively work on their own agendas, and you have a very lively world for your characters.

Quote:
Once again, this shows why the short story is so important. Sci-fi epics just go on and on and on. It is an investment for the writer, artist, and reader. A short story shows a beginning, middle and end. Inn my opinion to build a relationship with an artist and your readers, short stories can prove good writing better than a story arc.


As Roger Ebert once said, "No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough." Same can be said of novels and comics.

I've been brewing my sci fi story on a back burner for seven years now. I appreciate the advice and know you mean well, but this is the story I want to tell and I think it is ready now. Perhaps I'll need to do the artwork for it myself. That's fine. I'm exploring that option right now. I just would like really good art for the story as I want the best for it. I think even if I was already a great artist, I would still want better than I could do for it.

And right now I'm searching for the right artistic style for it. So far it is pencil sketching (along the lines of the top illustration on this page of the Seer looking into his crystal ball; http://www.dominic-deegan.com/fanart.html , but my search continues as I go from one webcomic to the next. My current search pattern is exploring the possibility of it being along the lines of Heavy Metal erotic realism styles, but so far pencil sketching still is at the top.


Last edited by Pumpkin Pie on Tue Jan 04, 2005 8:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joel Fagin
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

losttoy wrote:
there is nothing new under the sun and it has all been done before.


Tell that to Terry Pratchett.

- Joel Fagin
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ThisBloke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:14 am    Post subject: Many truths... but... Reply with quote

While much has been said here I mostly agree with, I hope you'll forgive me a quick whine. Having posted a complete first issue script of a comic for people's evaluation, on various different boards over the last six months or so (I'm vauge on exact times as the process always seems longer yet the time between checking for replies seems shorter and shorter) I've had a grand total of... no replies.

I've accepted now that the script can't be any good, yet it puzzles me that it can be just bad enough to make no-one interested in it, without hating it enough to tell me its flaws. Just mediocre may be the worst evaluation.

I think the final truth may be what has already been spoken here - I need to hang out on boards more, posting insightful comments that reveal my writing personality, then approach someone direct. It just seems to take away somewhat from the entertaining 'how it all began' story to tell the media after worldwide fame ensues.

Ah well. I could just write another script.
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Joel Fagin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: Many truths... but... Reply with quote

ThisBloke wrote:
I've accepted now that the script can't be any good


Nah. Don't think that. Reading is quite a large investment of effort and time. It's not like looking at a picture and saying "Hey, cool". You have to sit down and plough through something which is done by an amature and is therefore assumed to be worse than something you'd get in a bookstore.

And scripts are not reader friendly anyway. I'd rather read a book than a play.

Optimally, in fact, I suspect a short story would be the way to go for a pitch. It shows a better mastery of moods, characters, setting and vision. It shows you know what the world looks like, feels like and tastes like. It shows you know how the characters act and feel rather than just what they say. It shows you how the scene should be set, where the camera should be and the pacing of the action.

And it's more involving and entertaining to read.

Quote:
The stone-tiled street was glistening and moist from a recent shower of mist-like rain. The city lights broke across the random prisms of the water, sparkling like kaleidoscope shards.

Sound approached; heavy, rhythmic. Wind stirred as it came.

Feet pounded over the street. Their owner skidded around a corner, almost falling, but managing to push off of the wall. His breathing was desperate and his breath almost gone.

His steps faded down the street, and the night was briefly silent...


- Joel Fagin
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ThisBloke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:54 am    Post subject: Rephrasing Reply with quote

Sorry, that should be "I've accepted that the script can't be good enough".
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Joel Fagin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:09 am    Post subject: Re: Rephrasing Reply with quote

ThisBloke wrote:
Sorry, that should be "I've accepted that the script can't be good enough".


Well, don't say that, either, for all the same reasons. Scripts are just not much fun to read, I'm afraid.

- Joel Fagin
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ThisBloke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:28 am    Post subject: I can't agree Reply with quote

Scripts can be just as much fun to read - it's merely a matter of formatting. Much though I hate to agree to with a script-writing book, many of them make the point that people simply aren't used to reading in that manner. When I briefly posted fanfic, in script format, the comments I got back virtually always had something along the lines of "good stuff but I found the format hard to deal with".

The obvious comparision is poetry - it looks different on the page, off putting. Lines don't end where we expect, it's often intended to be spoken, not read. Scripts have sluglines, different placements for dialogue and descriptions, they are not a finished item... but I would happily (and do) read a good play script than see a bad production.

I realise this may sound like I'm mocking those who find reading scripts difficult but it is genuinely that they haven't had the practice. There is no reason Western civilisation had to read right to left, top to bottom. The only reason most people English-readers could effortlessly read this post is that they were trained to... if all you'd been show were scripts, prose would seem very undisiplined.

Obviously the unfamliarity of script format is a fair barrier that should be taken into account but I don't think there is something intrinsic within it that means it will always be harder to engage with for the majority.

Though I do tell everyone to just skip on past the slug lines. If you can't tell where it is from the actual scripting and you need to, it isn't a good script.
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ThisBloke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:32 am    Post subject: For example Reply with quote

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

A stone-tiled street - glistening and moist from a recent shower of mist-like rain.

City lights breaking across the random prisms of water, sparkling like kaleidoscope shards.

A heavy, rhythmic sound approaching. Wind stirring. closer.

Feet pounding over the street. OWNER skids around a corner, almost falling, but managing to push off of the wall.

Breathing desperate, harsh, almost exhausted gulps.

She ploughs on, steps fading down the street. Leaving it empty and silent in the night...
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Joel Fagin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: For example Reply with quote

ThisBloke wrote:
EXT. STREET - NIGHT

A stone-tiled street - glistening and moist from a recent shower of mist-like rain.

City lights breaking across the random prisms of water, sparkling like kaleidoscope shards.

A heavy, rhythmic sound approaching. Wind stirring. closer.

Feet pounding over the street. OWNER skids around a corner, almost falling, but managing to push off of the wall.

Breathing desperate, harsh, almost exhausted gulps.

She ploughs on, steps fading down the street. Leaving it empty and silent in the night...


*concedes point*

I still wouldn't automatically assume your script is bad, though. There's still the whole time-and-effort-investment angle. Art just needs a glance. Writing takes longer and, lets face it, not everyone reads anyway.

- Joel Fagin
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ThisBloke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:44 am    Post subject: I thank you. Reply with quote

No, I don't think it's bad or I wouldn't have put it out there. I'm just puzzled at no response. And forced once more to consider the gap between myself and the greats. Ah well.

Thank you for the debate, it was fun.

Like your site - you got game.
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Pumpkin Pie
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: I thank you. Reply with quote

ThisBloke wrote:
No, I don't think it's bad or I wouldn't have put it out there. I'm just puzzled at no response. And forced once more to consider the gap between myself and the greats. Ah well.


First, why not post a link to your thread here. No harm in doing that. It doesn't highjack this thread but pulls people to yours.

Second, if you can, post a reply to it to bring it back up to the top of the thread display. Don't do this a lot though and when you do, add something to it that gives a good reason for doing so. What this does is get your thread before people's eyes again and expands your original post. Possibly your expansion will start interest that your original post didn't.

Third, participate in the forums. People like getting replies to their threads and if you give intelligent replies to them, they might then be more inclined to give ones to yours.

Lastly, I do understand your fustration. It sucks not getting a reply to an important thread you've started. For example, I'm in that boat right now with the thread "Let's talk money. Topic: hiring an artist". However, it should be noted that this forum doesn't have a lot of regular posters. Perhaps it is just the holidays. On the bright side, I do like this forum better than the ones at Buzzcomix, Keenspace, and "Talk about Comics". Namely, this one's subforums are more geared towards actually producing webcomics and the business side of it.
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Tim Mallos
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey PP:
Not getting a response to your other thread may be a formatting issue too!
I started to read it, but ran out of steam / was distracted by other issues.

Not having read the whole post, I'm not comfortable responding...

Yes, I have a short attention span. I also....what was I talking about?

Tim
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Pumpkin Pie
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim Mallos wrote:
Hey PP:
Not getting a response to your other thread may be a formatting issue too!
I started to read it, but ran out of steam / was distracted by other issues.

Not having read the whole post, I'm not comfortable responding...

Yes, I have a short attention span. I also....what was I talking about?

Tim


*laugh* Yeah, it's a long one. I "sometimes" overdo it on that score. I just wanted to be thorough. I was probably too thorough.

However, I'm getting some feedback, but it is only via email and it only trickling in. My biggest concern is using the right language so that artists will understand what I'm looking for and not leaving something out that I didn't know I should to put in and/or address. Made a change to the ads today due to one such comment.

Anyway, when you get the time, I'd appreciate your thoughts.
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