There is a special hybrid in the comics industry: the artist/writer. This is a combination of skills common enough in some circles (webcomics and indie graphic novels) but not so much in others (ongoing comic book series). That said, an artist/writer is also in a unique position for those projects where the roles of artist and writer are shared. Dark Horse Comics hosted an engaging and informative panel on this subject during Emerald City Comicon this last weekend that featured cartoonists Matt Kindt (Dept. H, Ether), Kristen Gudsnuk (Henchgirl, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls), and Adam Warren (Empowered). It was moderated by Patric Reynolds (Joe Golem).
ETHER #5 by Matt Kindt and David Rubin. On Sale March 15.
Matt Kindt focused on ETHER, which he writes and David Rubin draws. Kindt is completely in love with all aspects of comics and continually finds ways to push the medium. But he is also quite appreciative when he teams up with an artist that is on a similar wavelength. “I can give David Rubin, say, a page with six panels and he can find a way to turn that into a 12-panel page.”
EMPOWERED: Soldier of Love #2 by Adam Warren and Karla Diaz. On Sale March 22.
Adam Warren encouraged any aspiring cartoonists to not worry too much about a formal cartooning education. Warren said that, after he discovered manga, he was ultimately compelled to relearn comics after attending the Joe Kubert School that provided him with a traditional comics education.
HENCHGIRL TPB by Kristen Gudsnuk. On Sale March 29.
Kristen Gudsnuk stressed that she is self-taught. When she first developed her Henchgirl webcomic, she did not have to consider how to create the same comic for print. But, she did learn that she would not be able to continue drawing her comics on the subway. She redrew the first four issues of her print comic and went from there. A tip from Cliff Chiang really helped. He scans his pencils and prints them in nonphoto blue and uses that to ink on.
Whether the issues are technical or more general, a panel on the creation of comics has something for everyone. It definitely has the potential to inspire. And plenty to relate to. For instance, Matt Kindt admitted that he feels he is no longer qualified for any other job than being a cartoonist. He says he was never really good at being your typical office worker in a cubicle. But there was one bright spot. He worked out his schedule where he did his drawing from home and, while he was at “work” in the office, he would do his writing. For any aspiring cartoonist, finding a job that is so amenable to your dreams is nice work if you can get it.
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4 responses to “ECCC 2017 Panel Recap: Artists Who Write: The Craft and Creation of Comics”
I found a relief in switching from comix to making illustrated flash fiction, one illustration per story. It’s different, of course, you don’t draw the action the same way, but I guess I draw slower than I write (compared to others).I’ll be back making comix some day, though. When the time comes.
That is definitely a great way to work in its own right.
hello henry chamberlain its dennis the vizsla dog oh hay comic buks!!! my dada oridjinally wanted to do comic buks but their wuz a littel problim he kannot draw!!! he wurkd with an artist for a wile but ended up switching to just riting storeez and novels becuz with those yoo do not need to draw!!! wel eksept with wurds i gess!!! ha ha ok bye
Drawing can be tough, especially if you don’t know how. It takes a lot of practice. Ah, but working with words–that’s pretty magical too!