Sunday, March 1, 2009

Prof's advice

Its critique time and I've been hearing a lot about my work recently and I figured I'd post some of it.

Writing for the screen and stage
I wrote a period piece for Robin and was one of three people to have it on time (two weeks ago) but he stopped the reading after the first few pages and told me he would read it himself, and that it “just wasn’t working” so I waited over the weekend to see what he thought, once he read it all. But I got it back, with no specific comments and it had, not a grade but an R –for “revise.” I asked him about it and for some direction after class but he said he didn’t know what I could do to fix it, I mentioned the possibility of writing an entirely new script, and I did, in two-days. And he liked it better, however it was a more stereo-typical work, for my writing, thematically, and the dialog and subject material for the previous work, the period piece, was a vast jump and very ballsey, I thought. But it didn’t seem to matter.

Senior Project
Though he says differently, the outlook of Maelstrom actually being a completed book or even issue is about as solid as my partner's word. I've done two issue's worth of pencils (25pgs total), 3 issues of breakdowns, 8 (soon to be 16) pages of inks and two issue's worth of scripts, not to mention outlining issue-by-issue the plot of the whole mini-series. And on his part, he doesn't like the pages he did and plans to redo them, period. So I'm looking at them as a learning experience, artistically and professionally. This whole roommate situation, which he was a part of, and this whole last few months has really shown me how flaky people can be. Even Bryan has mentioned that "maybe once this thing is all over, you may say hay I don’t need that James guy” and I have kept my story fairly self contained, except for the ending. So you could read it as a hospital-drama but the whole intrigue for me was adding story to balance James’ craziness so that readers could have both and then constantly being able to cross-cut between the two, so you could build tension/anticipation quickly just as any good story does (prominent examples where they’ve come out and said they use this are the original Star-Wars trilogy and the TV-Show Lost). I did enjoy writing my story however and could actually see myself writing soaps or something but I love writing episodically because that’s enough of a structure and it’s fun to play to its strengths.
Artistically, though, Bryan has mentioned that my style, that realism that I have is “very unforgiving” and where some artists, because of their style, could draw a blob with some hot dogs hanging off in any direction and we would be non the wiser, when you try to draw a realistic hand (and it seems to be hands specifically that he has a problem with), people know what their hands do and do not look like so they spot it in a second, just like backgrounds. So I need to find out how to address this, if its going more stylized or just working on drawing more and drawing from life more considering except for backgrounds (and even then rarely) I don’t really use reference, especially for poses. Though I will use more for these next spider-man pages in…(seg-way)

I've been trying to figure out how to and actually drawing "hot comic book girls" all quarter, as they had been "man-ish" before, and these last pages for spider-man will be drawing the black cat, and the same pages Tom did for submissions with Hanna to Marvel (by the way I found an ergonomic chair, just like Hanna, or other professional comic book artists who sit at the drawing board for as long as he does a day, to help my back) so we'll see how they compare. "Shame-less" is the word Lyle used to describe them, but conceited to making similar decisions when doing his pages. I'm really excited about them and really only have the splash page totally the way I want it, so I'm taking tomorrow to map-out and start on the pencils, that I'll finish Tuesday before class (when they are due).
He also mentioned sending packets out and emphasizes that I needed to meet with Axel and Bob, from Marvel and DC, respectively, at Editor's day. He said there is "something old and something new" about my style, but regardless there is an "undeniable energy" about my work, so he thinks someone will snatch me up fairly soon. So I'm really going to try and polish these Spider-man pages so I can send them out and be proud of them.
He mentioned previous students who had opportunities with these guys and blew it by not keeping true to their word and being relentless with their pursuit of the goals; Going to New York if they ask to see you and sending packets every month. He also mentioned something about there being hostels for people in my situation that aren't too expensive and that was news to me since the absolute cheapest place we found last time was $80 a night, which wouldn't be too bad for a night or two but who knows how long I may have to be there before getting something. So he's going to push me to get there, because he thinks I can do it and soon. I've given myself 5 years to break in and make a decent living at comics, to the point I don't have to have a side-job. That is an extremely tight deadline considering most artists don't get their big break for 10-15 years. I'll be there to see that as long as I can make due in the meantime, meaning, taking on whatever work comes along and looking for it, endlessly.

1 comment:

Tom Lyle said...

You should make it WELL before that deadline of 5 to 10 years, if you keep up the way you're going. I just hope that your "Need for speed" in doing your work doesn't cause problems for you. I think you "settle" sometimes when you should push harder. Not much "settling", but just some. You're doing really well. Keep going and keep the faith.