Wednesday, May 21, 2008

If You Want Something Done "Ehhh"

If you want something done right...the classic completion to that, of course, is "do it yourself." But managing a multi-million dollar company for years, and being the editor of the longest-running Christian anthology comic alive, I can tell you that's rarely the case. It's usually ego, pure and simple. I'm more of the persuasion that it takes a village to raise a child- a team of well-assigned and well-trained experts to get a job done well.

As we were driving to "Positive Puppy Training School" (long story and I think there's a sermon in there somewhere), my wife asked me, "why didn't you just draw Colossians yourself?" Logical question. I'm not the worst artist I know by any stretch. But my attachment to the story, crossed with my own personal disatisfaction with my art (a problem that haunts many artists) was paralyzing the project. So, before Colossians languished further, I took the advice of Richard and Wendy Pini regarding Elfquest...

Deep breath... and let it go.

My two pencilers- Kneon Transitt and Dan Barlowe- have no long history with the characters and are very efficient and consistent artistically. They both simply like the part of the story they're drawing. No preconceived notions. Let 'er rip. And they have.

The next question made me think a little more. "What if the artist draws something you don't like?" Excellent point. After all, with literally 25 years of experience with characters like Foxx, Savage, Trogg, JazzMan and Stasella Paine to go on, what if the artist just didn't nail it just right?

The answer to that is that it's all in how you look at it.

If I wanted the characters drawn MY WAY, well, I should draw em myself, right? But since drawing them myself wasn't working I've got two real capable guys lending a hand. Rather than be the anal controlling guy, I found it was easier to chuck my ego out the window and just let the art happen. I wanted Kneon and Dan to have FUN drawing it- the hopeful result being a fun book to read. And it worked.

As an interesting side effect, for me- it was like reading my own story for the first time. This has given me a little more of the perspective of the first-time reader, which has certainly helped in developing a story that's for fans.

The creative process in comics continues to fascinate and excite me. I believe Colossians is happening as it should, and the results should be pretty durn skippy.

The image above is my original concept for the cover art for Colossians #1 (penciled, inked and marker colored by moi). While I don't think it's too shabby for a rough, I have to say I'm glad I've got a TEAM to make the vision come to life.

1 comment:

Joe Chiappetta said...

It's nice to see some previews of this. I too wrestled with the idea of drawing my own Christian space opera after I wrote the first draft. My wife said one day after she read the draft of the novel, "You need to draw this." I said, "I can't draw this... it's over 50,000 words. You'd never see me again."

Whatever you end up doing, I do wish you much success.