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Try to tell me I'm wrong
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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

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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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 317

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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Lavenderbard
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 845
Location: Ohio

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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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

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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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 317

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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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

References to Alan Moore, Kafka, Oscar Wilde, or whoever else isn't going to disprove my opinion: art is more valuable than writing.

Throw out the outliers for a minute. Scratch the great comic/webcomic writers and the great comic/wc artists and look at the huge swath in the middle, the multitudes of low to good to quite good to really good artists and writers. For each low-skill artist who can draw/ink/color one webcomic a week, there's at least one low-skill writer who could write three a week had he/she access to the art. For each good artist that can make one a week, there's at least one good writer who could write three a week. Etc.

I'll wager each of us on this forum, had we someone do the art for us, could easily write a second or third or even forth webcomic in addition to the one we're already doing. What, someone else will write and you do the art? Uh, no thanks.

I'm looking at it more as a numbers game, and a time game, and it just seems to favor the artists, making them, in that sense, more valuable. Kail in the second post was commenting on some of these conditions. I never meant to say quality writing is easy or not important. My opening post was purposely kind of trollish and written to get a conversation popping so it probably seemed that way.
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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MindChimera wrote:
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 would say in general yes it takes more time to do the art. A really GOOD graphic novel I'll give you; the writing may have been way more labor and time intense. I'm thinking more of the great untapped number of ideas and stories that are out there (yes, a lot of them are crap) but will never see daylight for lack of art, because art takes time.

Quote:
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.


I'm not at all saying that's how I judge a comic or webcomic, like you or any of us I put it through my personal "things that I like" strainer and hope it passes the test. I'm just describing the state of affairs regarding the production of the things.

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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iaviv wrote:
@mcmasters - Are you talking about a gag-a-day webcomic? Why would you? I thought I made it quite clear I wasn't talking about that at all. Of course that's easier than writing stories. Duh.


No I don't mean gag-a-day webcomics, but that helps prove my point. A lot of writers, good or bad, wanting to do a webcomic are going to see gag-a-day as their only viable option because visual expectations are so low, and even then there are only so many funny stick-figure comics someone's going to keep in their bookmarks. Whereas if you have access to beautiful artwork, you have no limit to your story-telling, from gag-a-day up to whatever you can imagine. There's lower access to good artwork, that's all.

I might go so far as to suggest that with beautiful and expressive artwork, a great webcomic could be produced without any damn written words at all. Wink

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Lavenderbard
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm dubious that gag a day is all that much faster. It wouldn't be faster for me, that's for sure.

As for the length of time to write a novel versus a script:
It's not a legitimate comparison. A typical novel has a lot more story in it than a typical graphic novel.

My graphic novel scripts run roughly one tenth the number of words my novels do. On a direct word for word comparison they are more story dense and a little slower to write. But not enough slower to come anywhere close to making up the difference in length.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A gag-a-day would be hard for me since I'm not actually funny.

mcmasters wrote:
I might go so far as to suggest that with beautiful and expressive artwork, a great webcomic could be produced without any damn written words at all. Wink

Lavenderbard wrote:
My graphic novel scripts run roughly one tenth the number of words my novels do. On a direct word for word comparison they are more story dense and a little slower to write. But not enough slower to come anywhere close to making up the difference in length.

You guys are forgetting this:
ttallan wrote:
(Oh, and just because a webcomic doesn't have any words, doesn't mean it wasn't written. If a story of some sort wasn't involved, then the artwork isn't a comic, it's just a lovely piece of art.)

"Writing" is not just dialogue. It's creating a story. And a "story" is not the same as "words on the page." Saying a novel has "more story" than a graphic novel is inaccurate, you would have to examine individual examples from each to make a claim like that. It has more words, sure.

Writing includes plot, foreshadowing, humor, background elements, atmosphere, expressions, actions or hesitations, moods, emotions, personalities, and, of course, dialogue and narration so you can connect it all.

In my own experience: I have a large spreadsheet with the plot outlined from beginning to end, but I save writing the smaller scenes until I'm coming up to them. And then I write out what I want to happen in the scene before writing the dialogue.

I'm curious about people who work on an artist/writer team. How much of the detail does the writer let the artist decide? I suppose it depends on the people, but still. That's a part of writing; deciding what's there is the writer's job, bringing it to life is the artist's job.

Depending on how much freedom your writer gives your artist, then your artist may also be a writer.
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Lo (Aquapunk)



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They both suffer from a glut of people with no real interest in giving up blood, sweat, and tears for their work.

I'd say that 100 pinups of random characters facing left are just as vapid and useless as badly written stories, no matter how long either took to make. Time isn't relevant here-- it's the end product that matters. And there's a lot of bad art out there.
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Lavenderbard
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MindChimera wrote:

"Writing" is not just dialogue. It's creating a story. And a "story" is not the same as "words on the page."


If you "write the story" without actually writing the story, then how is your artist supposed to know what the story is? Read your mind?

Even when the artist is me, I still write everything pertinent to the story down to make sure I don't forget to include it when I go to do the art.

MindChimera wrote:
Saying a novel has "more story" than a graphic novel is inaccurate, you would have to examine individual examples from each to make a claim like that.


I'm making the claim because I've written twelve novels, four novellas and seven graphic novel scripts, and my results have been fairly consistent. A story that is the right size for a novella will come out just about perfect for a graphic novel. If I have more than a novella worth of story, I need to start thinking about multiple volumes and how I'm going to make the splits.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lavenderbard wrote:
MindChimera wrote:

"Writing" is not just dialogue. It's creating a story. And a "story" is not the same as "words on the page."


If you "write the story" without actually writing the story, then how is your artist supposed to know what the story is? Read your mind?

Who said "don't write the story"? I said "dialogue." I also said "just," and what I meant was, dialogue may or may not be there. Obviously, there is a written story that the artist would need to follow.

Kail wrote:
Maybe this is part of the problem. To me, writing in a webcomic is primarily dialogue. Writing text. It's not the same as something just having a story, it's a specific way of communicating through words. The same way that drawing requires you to actually have a picture when you're done, writing requires you to have some words on the page. There are a fair number of people who can write decent dialogue, but can't come up with interesting plots, and people who can come up with really interesting storylines but can't execute them well.

Traditionally, it's been the same person doing the "writing" writing as the "storyline" writing, so often they're viewed as the same thing, but they're very different skillsets, I'd argue.

Edited to add:
For example, the responsibilities of a writer vary from medium to medium. In a movie script, the writer is expected to know about framing, scene composition, lighting, and so on, while in a webcomic, that's often the artist's job. And even in a lot of big professional superhero comics, the "writers" aren't coming up with the overarching plot lines, that's mandated by the editor.

Yeah, I think there's some confusion on definitions and everyone having a different process. Can we agree on a definition for "writer"? Otherwise this conversation is going to be frustrating.
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