As far as movies are concerned, big screen or small, there are about 15,000 independent projects a year that are left as digital files on hard drives - never making it the screen. What you are seeing, when they finally hit the screen, are the elite of what has been made that year. A small fraction of what is made. And only a fraction of that is competent. And yes, there is always a handful of great stuff. And of that, the writers are not entirely responsible. Actors, directors, editors, composers, production designers, etc, have a lot to do with how these pieces hit us emotionally. (Similar to how an artist can effect the impact of a comic.)
Naturally gifted: James Joyce was naturally gifted, then he devoted tens of thousands of hours to reading, deconstructing literature/philosophy, also studying music and science, and other topics that serve to buttress his writing.
Comics. There are a handful of great writers in the comic world. There might be a lot of good writers, but there is a vast difference between the two. Back to film as an analogy: A lot of people will see a good movie, and then call it a great movie. The next question is, "was it as good as The Godfather." -well, no... but. That being said, I don't agree that there are a lot of great writers. There are a handful, who fortunately can turn out a few titles at a time.
You are right, though. It is subjective. Everything we like is not good.
But this has taken us completely away from the point.
I didn't write my comment just in reference to yours. In this thread that is already short, "collaboration thread," the sentiment of devaluing the contribution of a writer versus that of an artist has already been repeated a few times. In terms of the overall quality of a comic, would you rather read a comic that is well written with strong characters, story arc, tension, cliffhangers, reveals, theme, of something with great artwork.
Of course the answer is both, and a good artist can really help with the pacing, the amount of information in a panel, how we feel about a character, etc. But if the writing sucks, the art is not going to make it good.
If you were an artist, in theory, what do you think would move your career further faster? Working for free on something that is great? Or getting paid to illustrate stuff that is mediocre?
An artist who is not published is in the same boat as a writer who is not published.
If you can afford to pay somebody, because it is in your best interest. That's great. And I am not saying that it is not good advice if it moves you forward in your career quicker.
I am specifically contesting the idea that one has more value than the other. You can compare the amount of time it takes to complete a panel if you like. I can counter with, "it is the quality of the characters and the story that keeps the audience on board." And we can go back and forth.
But, look at the number of great artist who are not published in this competition alone.
And let's go back to how this thread started:
For the record, my belief is that if you are trying to get a published artist on board, or someone who is further along in their career than you are, then you should pay them. Whether it is film or comics, or any creative endeavor, however, you are not going to get paid to do it until you have proven that you can do it.
...And looking at this thread, Collaboration Thread, the idea seems to be to put together writers and artists who are starting out (professionally) and putting them together. An artist will do better if they are working with a great writer, not just vice versa.