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Credit where Credit is due…


#1

So, I made a completely unintentional boo boo last night.
I was incredibly fortunate to get a sneak peek of the next issue of a comic series that I am VERY much enjoying…following getting to read this comic, which was soooooo good, I sent out a tweet saying how good the series and writer is while @ the writer in too, because he kindly let me have a read.
But, I didn’t mention how much I loved the art and being the plonker that I am, I didn’t credit him in.
I’ll hold my hands up, i should have sent a follow up tweet crediting the artist too…because as i said, i didn’t do this on purpose.
Lucky for me, someone replied saying how amazing the artist is too and i responded that i couldn’t agree with them more.

Then I started to think.
What about the inker? Colourist? letterer? Cover artist (if this is done by someone else)?
But, then what about the Assistant editor? the Editor? The Editor in Chief?!

I have a Marvel comic in front of me right now and on the credits page there are thirteen names involved…not even including the interns and the back-office staff we do not even know about.

So, my question is, where does the credit start and end?

Also, was having a private chat with an artist on twitter about this and I raised the follow up question.

What if i was impressed with the art is a comic, but the writing wasn’t really doing it for me?
I mean, we have all done it, bought a comic because we LOVE the artist, but not a fan of the writing.
(basically, I am describing EVERY comic I have written…because the art carries me! :smiley:)_

But in that situation, are you allowed just to praise one section of the creative team, even though the comic is made of up from so many different talented people?
And I am not talking about purposely snubbing the writer and saying…

Example:
“I love @dizevez art in the Ether, but @mattgarvey1981’s writing…ugh”

I mean, are you allowed to go…

@dizevez’s art in the Ether is AMAZING!”

Leaving me out completely, even though it is a collaboration and neither the art nor the words in the form you see in the “finished project” would exist without the both of us….or in the example of the Marvel comic….the thirteen plus people working on it.

Thoughts?


#2

In comics it’s very hard to know where the credit is due, sometimes. Took me years to understand the impact an inker makes, and without seeing the pencils it’s still hard to know how much credit to assign the inker or the penciller. It wasn’t a fluke Terry Austin happened to have had inking credit on some of the best looking books of the 80s…

So you can only really praise the bits you can specifically pinpoint as excellent.

I thought Quitely was responsible for the fantastic storytelling techniques of We3, but he admits Grant Morrison, who’s a bit of an artist himself, came up with the bones of the ideas. But as the person with their name down as artist, it’s understandable to heap the praise on Frank Quitely for all things arty in the book.

With such a collaborative medium, without those back stories, it’s hard to know.


#3

That’s an interesting question. It is something that I am probably more aware of now that I hang around these boards and occasionally interact with writers, artist etc. But we all know that there are exceptional colourists and letterers as well who have added to our enjoyment of comics.

The writing is usually the main draw for me. I will buy a book just because certain writers are doing it, less so with artists…There are certain exceptions though.

I think that you can criticise certain parts of a creative team. You can criticise whatever you like. But it is a collaborative medium and very few of us are going to know who made certain decisions.

Christopher Priest (the Black Panther Priest rather than the Prestige Priest) has a story about working with an artist on the Captain America and The Falcon series…

Only, Bart chose a page layout design that utterly confused even the most basic storytelling and completely derailed this dicey misdirect. Ignoring instructions and warnings abut how important it was to keep the lines straight and clear, Bart chose to insert—for no apparent reason—poster-shot images of Captain American and the Falcon on most every page. Accommodating these required the other panels to be modified, reduced or eliminated altogether, making the pages very hard to follow. I wrote the thing and didn’t have an earthly clue what was going on.
The story and art so confused many readers that they dropped CAF on the spot, triggering a downward spiral from which the book never rebounded. Despite Sears’ very pretty pictures, the books was an unfathomable mess.

http://digitalpriest.com/legacy/comics/caf.html

I read the comic when it came out and I didn’t have a clue who was responsible for those choices.


#4

yes absolutely correct


#5

Ever watch a film from before 1960? The end credits take less than 30 seconds, compared to today’s 5+ minutes of acknowledging everyone involved with the film including the gaffer, the best boy, and the caterer.


#6

In my experience that’s because you’ve already had to sit through five minutes of credits at the start of the movie. :slight_smile:

(I notice this a lot with the old Disney classics. It’s a struggle sometimes to get my kids to watch them because they start with credits that - to them - seem to go on forever.)


#7

I think every comic is a collaboration between the writer and artist. From there the inker, colorist and letterer are skilled craftsmen doing their part to complete the product but they’re less involved in the creative component. So credit should go to everyone, but creation I believe is a joint exercise. Millar divides every property 50:50 with the artist, ownership and partnership in every single deal that might come out of their collaboration.

As it’s a partnership if you love the art but don’t like the writing I’ve always felt the partnership wasn’t what it should have been as writer and artist should be there to challenge/help/correct/improve each other.


#8

i would have been inclined to agree with you…UNTIL i learnt to letter and have started to teach myself to colour my comics.
Especially the coloring, it is honestly an art form all by itself…creating mood, drawing the eye, moving it around the page…it is immense.


#9

I do think colouring is more of an artform nowadays. When it was just four colour job there was obviously still a lot of skill involved but I think now it can make or break some works.

As to the credit, I think in the main it should be shared equally but not all comics always work that way. The best have both but I could name comics I like for only the art or only the writing. On a Millar book his profile is such you always get the best of both worlds as he collaborates with the best but that’s not always the case (say with an Avatar book :smile:).

I think leaving one out by omission is a bit naughty but equally I wouldn’t praise stuff I didn’t like that much just to be fair.