Saturday, December 22, 2007

One Banner #9- Parable Explained

I would hope that the Parable of the Sandboxes is self-explanatory. However, I would also hope that the truth behind it would be so self-evident that artists would be working hard to make it a thing of the past. And yet, here we are.

The sandbox is the artist’s personal vision and body of work. Pride often attaches us to these projects so much that we become isolated, and the projects never become all they can be (in fact, they often fail to materialize at all). Further, someone else’s project might be improved and realized by someone else lending a creative hand- but that requires some sacrifice. There’s that word again.

Teamwork requires a character trait that will not be found in the prideful: compromise. Compromise means that you might have to give up YOUR project to work on another one. It might mean that your creative teammates might make suggestions about changing story or art elements for the betterment of the project. If you’re a hardliner “my way or the highway” kind of guy, you’ll be alone in your sandbox in short order.

As soon as you invite people into you sandbox, it becomes THEIR sandbox too in a way. If you can do it, you’ll have a lot more fun and your comics will rock. If ya can’t hack that, play by yourself.

The Bible teaches us quite clearly that we’re not to be alone. The New Testament alone has over 50 verses that emphasize how we are to be with “one another” and “each other.” There’s a reason for this: God loves it when we fellowship, and good things come from it.

I just get plain giddy when I see artists working together. Some of my best times in comics have been when I’ve gotten to work with talented guys like Tom Hall, Hale Burckinh, Jesus Marquez, Kneon Transitt, Ben Avery and many others. To me, that’s what it’s all about.

But I’m still not an advocate of one banner, one company, one ring to rule them all (just to be clear). Doctrinal, creative and business differences come into play more the larger the pool gets. I guess that’s where we’re going next- perhaps the ugliest arguments of all that have caused the most strife.

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