If you think the area where you live is too isolated and lacks a comics scene, consider the Pacific island of Guam: Fewer than 200,000 people, only about half of whom use the Internet. Few comics outlets, and a small selection. And even ordering online can be problematic. Tim visited Guam recently and spoke with Carlo Cariño (creator of Its a Big Island) and Roland Miranda, political cartoonist for the Pacific Daily News (see his work here and here). They discussed their creative work and the difficulties of being an island-based artist.
Reviews of Asterios Polyp blanket the Internet; why need we pile on? Well, for starters, to counteract all the reviewers who think that giving a story synoposis = explaining what the book’s about. That approach falls far short with Polyp, so Tim and Kumar are here to explain what they feel David Mazzucchelli’s masterwork graphic novel is really about!
Is having your work illegally downloaded the worst thing that can happen to a comics artist? If you work for a major, perhaps not, but every download can have a noticeable effect when you’re trying to make a living drawing comics that are less widely purchased. One such freelancer, Jake Ekiss of Dallas, Texas, joins Tim and Mulele to talk about the prevalence of comics downloading and the feeling among many struggling comics artists that their time and effort are undervalued. What about those downloaders who later buy? What about those who download because they can’t afford the product?
A recent Comics Reporter article by Ng Suat Tong on “Writing, Collaboration, and Superheroes” (and a rebuttal to it from Chris Allen Online) got us to thinking: Do modern writers give sufficient instruction to artists? How much of what you see on the page came from the writer, and how much from the artist? Are some artists not carrying out the writer’s suggestions, and is that because the artist had a better idea, because the writer’s instructions were impractical, or because the artist is simply, um, not that good?
To explore these questions, Kumar, Mulele, and Tim chose four scripts from the Comicbook Script Archive site, and read them alongside the finished comics that resulted from them: Punisher Max #39, by Garth Ennis and Leandro Fernandez; Y: the Last Man #18, by Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra; Daredevil 28, by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev; and (the ringer of the lot) Batman: the Killing Joke, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. Here’s the resulting discussion!