Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Creator Roundup

This week Dan Hipp solemnly swears he’s up to no good, Mark Waid talks about Marcos Martin, Dave Johnson gets the ink out, Charles Soule talks about being helpful, Becky Cloonan goes vampire, Eduardo Risso talks about Brian Azzarello, Chrissie Zullo captures dualism, Christos Gage writes angsty teens and Peter Nguyen graws a seascape.

Dan Hipp is up to no good:

Mark Waid has a chat with ComiXology about Daredevil and Marcos Martin:
Speaking of the "we", can you talk a little bit about the artists on the book, Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin? Were those guys already on board with Daredevil before you? Was it a package deal when you started talking to Tom Brevoort about the book?

Yeah. Either Brevoort or Wacker or both assembled them, I'd bet Wacker. Marcos and Wacker are pretty good pals, and both artists were already on board by the time I signed on. I couldn't have been happier with that. I'd never worked with Paolo before, and I was a little nervous because I wasn't terribly familiar with what the process of working together was going to be like. I met with him and at the Orlando Megacon last year and he got it immediately, I knew we were on the same wavelength because he was all about storytelling. He didn't care about splash pages, he didn't care about some two-page spread he could sell for a lot of money at conventions. He wanted to tell a story.

Now, both of these guys are suffering through the adjustment I'm having to make as a guy who has written 22 page stories his entire career and is suddenly having to write twenty page stories. It probably doesn't seem like it would be that big a deal, and I'm not whining...but it is a bigger deal than it would seem. Every single storytelling rhythm I have, having written comics for 25 years for a 22 page's instinct by now, my gut knows where I should be by page six, where I should be by page 17. All those rules are out the window, and unfortunately for both Paolo and Marcos, I've been temporarily solving this problem by cramming 22 page stories into 20 pages. That's not a solution. They, to their credit, have gotten my back 100% and they are not afraid of denser material. They still find ways to open it up and surprise me, Marcos in particular.

It seems to me like people still haven't grasped how special Marcos Martin is.

He's groundbreaking. He's absolutely groundbreaking in the way he approaches storytelling, in the way he approaches layout. When I work with him it's a very collaborative process. I was giving him plot first, dialog after the pencils just to give him a little bit more elbow room to storytell but he found it was slowing him down because he really felt like he needed more of the details. So I started giving him full scripts, and even with a full script, he would blow it all up and then put it back together. Which is all fine! He would ask first, sure, but he was turning out these layouts that were moving things around, putting in a new emphasis. The opening to his first full issue was originally a two page sequence that he turned into four, with Daredevil reaching down for the flash drive, the lion growling and stuff. That was his invention, that was not quite what I had called for.

Dave Johnson draws a sumi girl:

Charles Soule has a cracker of a post on helping out. here’s a taste:
Sort of an odd post to write, because the subject matter is a bit of a tightrope walk.  I’ve been extremely fortunate with comics writing so far – I’ve had some incredible opportunities, and I think a large part of that has been that I’ve had a few people in the business who were further ahead in their careers than I, who decided to help me out in large or small ways.  That could be anything from advice on the business to a critique to a publishing deal.  There are a ton of people I could name, but my list is starting to get so long that I’d be in danger of skipping important people.  Basically, my feeling is that you don’t get very far in comics if you don’t get the occasional leg up from someone higher up the ladder.
I think that it’s important to pay that forward – Haley Joel Osment and Kevin Spacey taught me
that much, at least.  (They also showed me a bit about telling believable stories to police detectives and a great deal about how to craft a successful performance as a sad, child-sized robot.)
(Yeah, that was an A.I. shoutout.)
Anyway, when I get asked to look something over, or to give advice on breaking in, or to talk about page rates or similar questions, I do my best to find time to answer.  I did a long Q&A session over on reddit’s comic book board recently, which was great because I was able to reach thousands of people in the same time it would have taken me to explain all that stuff to just a single person over email or at a con.  You can see that here, if you’re interested.

Becky Cloonan posted the cover for the upcoming Dracula book she provided illustrations for:

Eduardo Risso sat down with Comics Bulletin to discuss Spaceman, 100 Bullets and working with Azzarello:
Chudolinski: What is your working relationship with Azzarello like? I think most people tend to think the writer pens the script, hands it to the artist and that's all. Nevertheless, I get the feeling that might not have been the case here. How did the two of you trade ideas back and forth while working on particular stories?
Risso: Building a team is not simple. That's why, in my case, when I see that the relationship works I try to keep it. I believe that, over time, a good team can get wonderful products from which we all win -- companies, readers and ourselves [the creators].
Now, my relationship with the writers has always been the same. I try to show that they can trust my graphic narrative [for everything] that they want to tell. That is, if the writer asks me [for] A and B, I give A, B, C and D, so that he can pay more attention to the dialogue and [trust me completely for] the task of graphic sequences.
Chudolinski: In 100 Bullets, were there stories that got cancelled and were never published? Did DC Comics ever censor your work?
Risso: There were no canceled or censored stories. We always had complete freedom on the part of the company.
Chudolinski: You're one of the few artists working in superhero comics these days that has fans both within the mainstream DC/Marvel world and the European comics world, especially among the Italian and Spanish fan bases. If we can get you to speculate for a minute, what is it about your art that draws in readers from so many different geographical areas?
Risso: I can’t say that there is anything in particular [that I do] to attract readers. I would summarize in a few words -- professionalism and respect.
Chudolinski: What are some of the movies and books that have had an influence on your work and your life?
Risso: [With] Spielberg's ET, I remember there was a break in my way of thinking about comics. A book I read in my youth, Juan Salvador Gaviota, influenced my life. I guess many others have done [the same], but [these in particular] left an important mark on me.

Chrissie Zullo added some more art to her blog, including this Black Queen/White Queen:

Christos Gage chats with CBR about Avengers academy and Angel & Faith:

Peter Nguyen posted this pic of Aquaman on his Tumblr:

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