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Try to tell me I'm wrong
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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:42 am    Post subject: Try to tell me I'm wrong Reply with quote

Artists are more valuable than writers. (Duh)

Try this thought experiment:

Someone says "Hey, I want to do a guest comic for you!"

Which comes to mind?
"Sweet! He/she's going to draw my comic!"
"Sweet! He/she's going to write my comic!"

To put this to the test, if anyone wants me to guest-write one or two of your comics (but not do the art) let me know. It has to be credited to me of course. And it has to be a humor comic, I wouldn't presume to interfere with an on-going dramatic story.

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Kail



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 424

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on what you mean by "valuable," I suppose. It's not like you can do a comic without a writer, so it's not like artists are objectively more useful. It's just that in the current market, they're rarer because of the artist-author relationship in most projects.

It's an issue in a lot of amateur creative fields, where there's a glut of "idea people" so people who can actually get things done are more in demand. In video game development, it's the same with amateur "designers" or "developers" who want to attract people (including writers) to turn their game idea into an actual product, but don't know how to turn their thoughts into actual things. They want to be the high level guy, sitting at the top and having control of the project.

The current setup has the writer as the "idea person" who comes up with the setting and characters and plot in addition to sitting down and doing the actual writing, so it's attractive to a lot of creatives who want to "realize their vision" but don't know how. They may not be particularly good writers, but then, most of us aren't particularly good artists, either.

I don't know that I'd say that makes actual good writers less valuable, though, just that there are more aspirants because of the way the work flow typically goes. It's still hard to find a good writer, it's just easier to replace them with a crappy writer if they jump ship than it is with an artist.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kail pretty much said what I wanted to say, but better than I would have.

For all of the comics I follow regularly, I follow them for their writing. With most of them, the artwork drew me in; with some of them, I didn't like the art, but decided to give them a chance, and grew to love them for either the story or their humor (or both).

If someone were going to do a guest comic for me, I would be excited to see both the writing and the art. I would be very disappointed if the artwork were good but the writing was bad.

And actually, I think having someone guest write for an April Fools or a somehow irregular, non-canon post for my story would be neat. I'm kind of a killjoy though, so I'd probably get too picky and spoil the fun. But I still might keep that idea in mind for next April.

If you wanted to write something for mine that I could post at the end of my next chapter or something, feel free and I'll credit you. It would be a while before it went up though. It won't hurt my feelings if you still rather wouldn't.
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CardboardCrack



Joined: 09 May 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It of course depends on what you're trying to do with your comic. That said, for most of the top webcomics, and especially for the strip-style comics (The Onion, Chainsawsuit, SMBC, Lefthandedtoons, Dinosaur Comics, etc), writing is the most important aspect. The artwork is often deceptively good, but its main goal is to serve the artwork.

http://cardboard-crack.tumblr.com/
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Ka-Ching



Joined: 09 Feb 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have both an artist and a writer collaborating, chances are the product of that collaboration wouldn't exist without one of those two people being involved. The artist might put in a lot more time to get the pages looking just right, and the art might be what brings the readers in to begin with, but saying one's more important than the other doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Without an artist, all a writer's got is a script. Without a script, an artist has pretty pictures and no storyline.

Unless the artist is also a talented writer. Then you've got all your bases covered.
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everybody, no matter how awful, pedantic, or childish their writing style, thinks they can write. People who can't draw have some pretty hard evidence sitting right in front of them. In that sense, artists are more important than writers.
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iaviv



Joined: 03 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider this: A good story suffers with bad art. A bad story isn't any better with good art.
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ttallan
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And consider this: Dylan Meconis (an awesome artist, BTW) was recently hired to be a guest writer for PVP.
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mcmasters's assertion has value, if only because value is entirely in perception. Regardless of the relative merits of individual artists (either literary or visual), the fact remains that it's easy for someone to maintain the delusion that their writing is of high quality, diminishing the demand for external wordsmithing, but nearly impossible to enter the same delusion regarding the quality of one's visual art style.
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Lavenderbard
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doing the art takes longer.

So even if you have a good writer and a good artist... the amount of time they put into the project won't be equal. One good writer can keep several artists busy.
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iaviv



Joined: 03 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lavenderbard wrote:
Doing the art takes longer.

So even if you have a good writer and a good artist... the amount of time they put into the project won't be equal. One good writer can keep several artists busy.


Highly inaccurate. First, what do you consider "good" exactly? This means nothing to me or anyone other than yourself. Good as in Oscar Wilde or good as in Kafka? Good like Picasso or good like Leonardo Da Vinci?
How much time do you think it took Oscar Wilde to write that comic that Picasso scribbled? (I made myself giggle, but you get the point, hopefully).
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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iaviv wrote:
Lavenderbard wrote:
Doing the art takes longer.

So even if you have a good writer and a good artist... the amount of time they put into the project won't be equal. One good writer can keep several artists busy.


Highly inaccurate. First, what do you consider "good" exactly? This means nothing to me or anyone other than yourself. Good as in Oscar Wilde or good as in Kafka? Good like Picasso or good like Leonardo Da Vinci?
How much time do you think it took Oscar Wilde to write that comic that Picasso scribbled? (I made myself giggle, but you get the point, hopefully).


Picasso could scribble that doodle and have it be considered valuable only because he had already built a foundation of works that did take time.

I assume Lavenderbard's talking about comics or webcomics- I don't think anybody's saying it doesn't take time to produce a well-written novel (though I think Stephen King just banged one out in the time I wrote that).

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lavenderbard wrote:
Doing the art takes longer.

So even if you have a good writer and a good artist... the amount of time they put into the project won't be equal. One good writer can keep several artists busy.


Clear corundums (rubies, emeralds, sapphires) are rarer and harder to extract than diamonds, yet diamonds have a higher retail value (average per karat when excluding industrial stones and accent sizes). Effort and necessity have only peripheral effect on value as determined by the marketplace.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcmasters wrote:
I assume Lavenderbard's talking about comics or webcomics- I don't think anybody's saying it doesn't take time to produce a well-written novel (though I think Stephen King just banged one out in the time I wrote that).

But graphic novels are different? It's a given that it takes less time to write a story just because you add pictures to it?

Are we talking just about humor strips, or all comics in general? Because I was thinking the OP statement was a generalization about all comics.

I think comics should be judged on an individual basis and take both writing and artwork into consideration. Saying one is worth more than the other seems arbitrary to me. They both add to the quality in a way the other can't.

A car's engine is more important than the seats inside, but no one wants to buy a car that doesn't have seats.
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iaviv



Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@mcmasters - You're missing the point...
Let's try this again, but with comics and with living people. Just to prove to how wrong this way of thinking really is:
Okay, let's say Alan Moore is writing a script. He's working on it for months (which he is known to do). Now let's say that Guy Davis is drawing it. He draws a few pages a day. He's gonna finish it in one month. He works fast. He's gonna work on it less than Alan.
There. End of story. Both good at what they do, yet the writer worked a few months longer than the artist. None of them slacked off.
Sure if you replace the writer with, say, Frank Miller, and the artist with Geof Darrow (and they have worked together more than once) the outcome is reversed completely. But that's the point. Writing and drawing are equal. Both can be easy to do or labour intensive. That's not my opinion, that's just the way things are. I'm pretty good at drawing but I see writing and drawing as the exact same challenge. They're both hard to get right.
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