Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blogathon 34: Monthly Quality (Part 2)

There is no answer. At least none that I can see that are viable. I mean, there's always "Be better," but that doesn't seem very practical. Or nice. It's interesting that Ryan approached the topic from the writing standpoint. That's not something that occurred to me as much. It's struck me that the bigger problem is the artistic side and the inconsistent art on these stories that aren't quite as good as last month's.

I guess the problem is where do you draw the line? Say monthly isn't right -- what is? I'm all for nuance, but that's not the way corporations are going to work. I doubt they would want Comic A monthly because the writer feels that that schedule works for his muse, but Comic B is every 9 weeks, because that writer's muse is a bit slower. Nah, they'll just fire Writer B and see if Writer A can fit Comic B into his schedule. Because companies aren't interested in art. They're interested in sales.

The art side of things has to come from the writers and artists. That's the way it's always worked and that's the way it's going to keep working. The company wants to make money, the creators want to make money and art. The minute a concern becomes money, a compromise is made. The issue isn't every month producing a masterpiece, it's producing something that allows you to produce something else next month. If you produce something amazing, of course you're not going to repeat it next month probably. But, here's the thing: you're likely to never repeat it. I don't think "Otherworld" (to use Ryan's example) would have been significantly better if Remender had more time. It might be a little better, but the basic framework would have been the same and that framework was weaker than what had come before.

Besides, deadlines are good. Some of my best writing has come in the face of deadlines. I used to purposefully write essays in school the night before, because that would force me to think better. That's when the mad ideas come. You need to think quickly and make connections you might not have made otherwise. There's an energy there. And I'll always take energy over dull perfection.

It comes down to what matters: art or money. Make the choice and live with it. If the art suffers too much, the money will too and a change will be made. I don't even know exactly why I'm talking about this. (I say in my calmest voice.) There's a part of me that doesn't care, actually. Why am I worrying about why other people can't do their jobs properly? This is a side of comics that I can never fully get into. Yes, it impacts the quality of them... but, what about the ones that aren't impacted -- or are made better? This isn't an issue there. All that means it that, for this job, those other people are better. That doesn't mean that the system is broken necessarily, it means that, maybe, someone isn't best suited to work in it.

God, that sounds so cold and mean... but it's true. Horrible things to say while raising money for the Hero Initiative. But, where is the line? Where does business and the fact that I'm spending my money begin and where does not being a prick about it end? I want to say with my wallet and my pull list. If a writer can't write five books a month, a writer shouldn't write five books a month, because that's a decision that will hurt the art in the shortterm and the money in the longterm. Who wants to keep paying a guy churning out crap no one likes?

So much of this deals in areas that I know little about. Money issues and such and how much people make and how much they need and... I don't have any answers. Just awful realities that make me sound like an uncaring asshole.

Maybe the system should change. That begins with the readers. And what's their vested interest?

In 30 minutes, I talk Identity Crisis with Shawn Starr...

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Hero Initiative (Details in this post)! After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]