Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Truth nuggets.

Darick Robertson had some bits to say about the perception of writers and artists and the short-shrift artists can tend to get these days from fans and readers.

From Standard Attrition

Emphasis and Italics are mine. It's a sizable chunk, but take the time to digest it.

Adam Kurtzberg wrote:
No offense implied at all towards Darick, definitely, but I would've flipped shit if Geof Darrow or Brandon Graham or Jamie Hernandez ended up doing more than covers or the stuff in those two specials.


Darick:

I have great respect for all the artists that did covers for Transmet. Moebius drew my character. Fucking Moebius! Those Jaime Hernandez covers happened because I personally all but begged him at a San Diego con to take them on.

I co-created the title, drawing every chapter, month after month. Does that make any difference? Would you feel the same way about Greg Rucka or Jamie Delano, or Peter Milligan coming in and writing a few arcs instead of Ellis?

I understand Adam is musing, and means no disrespect, but it is somewhat offensive in that it dismisses the fact that as an artist, I was creating something original. That attitude makes my work dismissible as if it just happened. I was fighting time and circumstance to create a complete work. Warren didn't draw it, and Warren, awesome as he is, didn't instruct every little nuance that was in the book. It's hard enough that it's widely recognized at his singular achievement. But that world, those images, those characters that could perform without dialogue? Those three eyed smileys punctuating the book? On all the merchandise? The statue and the action figure designs? That was me. Even those two specials Adam mentioned, were my idea. I was involved in all that Transmet became and was.

These weren't prose novels with cover illos by me. The way the characters looked, the expressions that told you Warren's excellent story? I brought you that. Little things maybe you dig, like Spider's glasses, the look of his tattoos, his cat, Sex puppets, Buy Bombs, Yelena being pregnant in the final issue, Spider's lighter looking like a pistol? The City? That was me. Little things that added up to what that book became. It was a team effort. If Warren and I grew a cherry tree I couldn't claim some cherries as mine and some as his. We grew it together.

If you were at a concert, would you want another singer to run in and replace the lead mid song? On a TV series, do you want the lead actor to suddenly be replaced by Al Pacino, just because he's a good actor too? Suddenly instead of James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, by season three they just bring in Dustin Hoffman, with no explanation? Hey, that guy can act! But he's not Tony Soprano. The script remains the same, but the show is now affected. If another artist drew it, he would be drawing what I created and established.

It's different with mainstream super hero ongoing series that spans decades, but Transmet was a limited five year series that Warren and I created from nothing. It was a hell of lot of hard work to stick with all 60 issues. Completing that was a hard fought achievement in itself. I think I deserved to be the sole artist. And I think I did OK.

\m/