I usually call the shots in the few projects I’ve done but, as others have said, I also stress to the artist that they are welcome to innovate to a certain extent.
One reason why I do this is because, so far, each project that I’ve done has been the first project that I’ve done with that particular artist. So, I have no idea if they know how to tell a story. Just because someone can draw, it doesn’t mean they know how to tell a story visually.
I can even recall seeing an artist show us the back of a character’s head at a pivotal, tense moment when one would think you would want to show us the character’s facial expression/reaction. And this was a “big time” artist in a mainstream book.
I would think that, if you worked with an artist over time, you could loosen the reins a little bit.
I also think that being too loose with the script puts an unfair burden on the artist. I mean, it’s easy to write, “Jesus and Santa Claus have a slobberknocker match to the death in the fiery pits of Hell” but how you actually depict that, shot by shot, takes a little more thought and time. This is another reason why I think Kirby, Ditko and their generation STILL don’t get the credit that they really deserve.
Also, I was disappointed by that Bendis book. I think it could have had much more depth and breadth. There was a lot of white space in that book, is all I’m saying.
That’s my $.02