Thursday, March 03, 2005

Feeling guilty- must post. 

We've been blog-negligent here at the studio. This means, I'm happy to say, that we've been making our deadlines rather than writing clever things here. Still, a neglected blog is an unhappy thing, so I thought I'd stick a few things of moderate interest out where everyone can see them.

Sean Stewart's wonderful fantasy novel Perfect Circle is up for a Nebula. We worked on a spin-off together, a short comic called "Family Reunion."

This was cool: Remember that student film of Me and Edith Head? Here's a photo from the set. Got to say, it looks pretty close to me. The actress playing Katrina is Shayna Weston.

Interviews with two artists everyone at Mercury admires: James Jean and Darwyn Cooke.

Negativland, he ain't: I see that this guy is going to be exhibiting at Blackfish Gallery here in Portland. Wow, cool: another fine artist "appropriating" a cartoonist's work and signing his own name to it. Perhaps in the future it won't even be neccesary to go through the trouble of projecting a cartoonist's hard work onto canvas and tracing it. Why not just scan it, crop it and put up a link to your "art?" Add an amazon tip jar and you're good to go.

Finally, since we've had some new traffic because of the Oregonian article, here's a brief essay from my site that I thought might be worth reposting for those of you who haven't seen it:

Thoughts on writing for an artist

There are several strategies involved in tailoring one's writing to the artist. On the most basic level, it means writing about the things they like to draw and avoiding their weaknesses. If an artist draws conspicuously unattractive women, a writer should keep that in mind when writing a story in which a woman's beauty is an important plot point. If the artist likes drawing dogs and can depict all the nuances of canine behavior, it'd be a good idea to write something about dogs for him.

Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan: Tales of Human Waste, despite being a collection of illustrated text pieces rather than comics, offers some good lessons in this. Flipping through it, it's remarkable how well the pieces play to the artists' strangths. Kevin McGuire's piece would've been meaningless if it had been drawn by someone less capable with facial expressions. Carla Speed McNeil's piece called for her ability to fill a space with funny, manic, perverse characters. Chris Sprouse's page demanded zooming architectural perspective to make an infinite urinal of The City.

There is a risk of typecasting when a writer does this, but (much as it pains me to say this) typecasting often happen for a reason. Really good writers will sometimes spot previously unrevealed capabilities in an artist and write for that, and the results can be breathtaking. And sometimes they just get lucky and push the artist in a direction he or she was ready to go.

Most of the content of a comics story is in the pictures. Imagine the same script, dilligently illustrated by Charles Schulz, George Perez and S. Clay Wilson. You'd have three completely different stories. Every artist, no matter how hard he works to communicate the writer's ideas, brings his own understanding of the world to any script he illustrates. A writer with an understanding of his collaborator's work is better prepared to write stories that make sense in that context.

-Steve Lieber

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker