Twist Street

Sam Westing, Barney Northrup, Sandy McSouthers, Julian R. Eastman, & Me

Posts tagged Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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Advice to the mid-career cartoonist who has failed to build an audience

mikedawwwson:

Advice to the mid-career cartoonist who has failed to build an audience

I’ve been publishing comics for coming on twenty years now. It’s hard to pinpoint a start-date, as like many cartoonists I’ve just been drawing my whole life, but sometime around ‘95 would be when I began putting out ‘zines…

Uh, if I can add insult to injury: who did you even think your audience was?

Your graphic novels had a $20 list price, and you hadn’t really made a name for yourself before trying to charge people $20 to find out if you were any good at making comics.  

Did you think there were a lot of people who take that kind of risk with their money, and if so, why?  Is that how you buy comics— you just see books and then spend $20 on them, regardless of if you’ve never heard of who made them, week after week?  What kind of comic-buying budget are you dealing with that allows you to do that?  

If not, why are you selling comics differently from how you’re buying them?   Or did you believe that the comic audience pays a significant attention to good reviews or awards?  If so:  why???  I seriously don’t know what data could have lead you to believe any of that.  The Ignatz awards and NPR??

Plus:  your second comic seriously looks like a children’s comic but its description is “a story as much about adults as it is adolescents, the blurred line between childhood and manhood, and the consequences of authoritative posturing.  Dispensing with idyllic notions, Dawson describes the hilarious and brutal truths about boys and men, the hypocrisy of institutional morality and the resilience of Spam and the human spirit."  First of all, that is basically gibberish.  Secondly:  not kids…?  "All ages"-?  I can’t even tell from all that— all I know is that it’s not going to have "idyllic notions" (which is such a relief).  Your Booklist review for Troop 142 begins with "Be warned: this is not a book to give to prospective Boy Scouts”.  Even good reviews are starting with warnings to prospective audience members to not accidentally buy your comic!?  Booklist suggests it for a young adult audience (Grade 10-12?)— is that indicated anywhere else?  Not on the front cover and not on your publisher page for the book, but maybe on the back…?

Which may not matter because your third book?  Sure doesn’t sound like a young adult book— “In Angie Bongiolatti we get to follow a group of young New Yorkers as they navigate the slippery slopes between work, play, friendship, sex and politics in a post 9/11 world.”  Are you trying to sell “New Yorkers navigating sex” to extremely mature Boy Scouts?  Why did you think the young adult book about camp would build an audience for … whatever (?) this third book was about?  (God only knows with that description— that description could equally apply to the work of Bret Easton Ellis or Jennifer Aniston)(it may be worth noting there’s literally zero about that description where I couldn’t find a million other things to satisfy that niche first, before I turn to something your publishers sets at a $20 list price).  Also your publisher description for your third book starts with “Set in the same universe as Troop 142"…?  I didn’t read Troop 142 so does that mean I have to read that first?  Is it the continuing adventures of those characters?  Comic fans all have some level of OCD so if you say "same universe" (whatever that means), no one is going to start at episode 2— that’s not how our people are built.  And why would you make a sequel to something no one bought to begin with? 

I can’t guess what relationship your publisher has with libraries, who I’d imagine would be a key potential buyer for you(?).  None of the rest of their catalog seems very library-oriented, though. 

(Also it seems like you’re trying to do ensemble storytelling in comics, or at least none of your ad copy except your first book mentions a central character with an interesting dilemma, which … Other than Love & Rockets, who has made that work?  There’s a certain challenge there even if everything else goes great)

What was your business model?

(via study-group)

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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They made a movie from Santa Inoue’s Tokyo Tribe.  That comic… pretty goddamn memorable; kinda became a big deal for me when I first found it in 2002 or 2003, in the corner of some Sawtelle Blvd. bookstore, just because I’d never seen anybody with that set of influences in comics, at least not quite that way before. Just that thing of seeing someone outside of America beat Americans to making comics about the most American shit…?  And just his lack of embarrassment— even though there’s plenty to be embarrassed by there.  Title pages of women in fur coats with “Cash Rules Everything Around Me” dutifully typed next to them…?  All that shit. When they finally translated those books— man, I don’t know if I’d recommend them to anybody. There’s some gross stuff in there. But before that happened, sure left an impression. Also: Inoue was Taiyo Matsumoto’s cousin and Matsumoto is still just the best.

Artists in the credits include Young Hastle, Loota, Vito Foccacio, and DJ Ken Watanabe.

(Source: blogs.indiewire.com)

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby? movie trailers. Doogie Did This Before the Internet.

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Back in the day, Walter would, every once in a while, forget how to draw. Remember?" Louise said.

“Oh yeah,” Walter agreed. “That still happens occasionally. It’s like, ‘Oh my god, nothing I’m drawing looks any good anymore. My life is over as an artist.’ And what I realized, because I was an editor at the time, and had seen a lot of work go past me, was that when you hit this phase where suddenly your stuff, which looks just like it did yesterday, doesn’t look good to you anymore, it’s because your mind has made a leap. Your brain has gotten farther than your hand has learned to do it yet. But eventually, give it a few weeks, keep it up and you’ve made a leap in your own craft. That was a big help because it was so depressing when you realize you couldn’t draw anymore.
From an interview with Walt and Louise Simonson.

Filed under I want to remember this for later. Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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graemem:

“When women create superhero comics, though—as with G. Willow Wilson on Ms. Marvel—they’ve had success attracting a female audience. So Marvel’s decision to make Thor a woman, and the company’s general effort to reach out to female readers, seem like canny business moves.”

Well, except for the fact that the creative team making Thor a woman doesn’t contain one woman, of course. (From here. This has been the year for “Hey, women go to Comic-Con too?!?” pieces, it seems. See also this terrible piece.)

2009 headlines: “Did Twilight Ruin Comic-Con? Some people think so.

And: “Will Twilight Ruin This Year’s Comic-Con?

And Yahoo Answers: “What is comic-con? and how did twilight ruin it?

And the LA Weekly’s delightful headline: “Comic-Con’s Twilight Protests: Is There a Gender War Brewing?”

2011: ”This Year, Twilight Will Not Ruin San Diego Comic Con

But this year it’s okay because there’s going to be a female version of a corporate-sponsored male character written by the usual guys.  Plus, Thorette’s shoulders and parts of her belly don’t have any armor on them, another female superhero plainly created for the male gaze; with Twilight, women were asserting their own sexual thoughts, too (however messed up)— that threat is gone.  Not a hard math; just the same old lame one.

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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comicartistevolution:

Bill Sienkiewicz 1990: Big Numbers #3

It remains one of his greatest regrets of his career and has often commented that “a day doesn’t go by that he doesn’t think of wanting to finish it.”  

I should maybe finish Big Numbers someday.” — Bill Sienkiewicz to himself, while inking Daredevil comics.  Goddamn, that is fucking tragic.  

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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Reading all the announcements for new comics coming out of Comicon (and/or clicking refresh to find out if this is the year gun violence has finally and inevitably erupted, or some crazy weirdo runs through the crowd with a Lord of the Rings sword, cutting down dweebs like they were so much wheat; however you want to phrase it).  Besides the delight involved with the heavily promoted comic about the black superhero being named FEAR HIM, besides that, sometimes I feel a little— I don’t know if jealousy is the right word…?  Or maybe it is.  

I guess I’m jealous of the being able to do stuff with a straight face part…?  Basically how I see it going in my head, is if I ever tried to make some comic or cartoon or whatever, that’s all like, “Hey, guys, it’s the year 2098, on the Planet Squeeswag and there’s an elf on a big motorcycle, and—"…?  I just imagine someone immediately jumping up and yelling, "It’s not the year 2098— you’re a sad man who never gets out of his pajamas on his weekend, falls asleep on his couch regularly because he’s too lazy to walk over to his bed, and sometimes has problems sleeping because he’s lying awake worrying about whether he needs to have his testosterone levels checked.  Nice try, jag-off."  And that someone’s name?  Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  And we’re both buck-naked.

I’m not jealous about the rest of it, the actually making something about Planet Squeeswag because I don’t have any ideas about Planet Squeeswag usually, or what life’s like there, in the summer— that’s not the stuff I just usually make when left alone to my own devices, at least.  I’m just jealous of that sort of, like— I just imagine it takes a self-confidence I just don’t think I’m ever going to have to say “I really think I’ve got important things to say about werewolf dick-magicians" out loud or whatever. I guess I’m just kinda jealous that I don’t have that, like, gear to even have those kinds of ideas.  I wouldn’t even know how to get to the place where I did have that gear, what kind of hemophiliac-slash-Rocky-in-the-tundra workout routine I’d have to do to get there.  I’m not decrying it— like, it’s obviously a very popular skill to have!  People seem really excited by that stuff, and hey, great.  I mean, it’s a little weird they made a whole documentary of Image creators yelling Freedom like they were extras in Braveheart, before announcing sci-fi/fantasy comics. But excitement’s good for everybody, I suppose, and I’m not trying to be all “I just got to be Phe Phe" about it.  Like I’m legitimately and sincerely jealous of the confidence that must take.  

I don’t have that.  I don’t even know if it’d be nice to have that kind of confidence— with that kind of confidence, maybe I’d drive like all crazy, or wear shorts a lot, or try to fist-fight the local teenagers at the mall food court, or do things that it’s probably just as well I don’t do.  Maybe it’d be unhealthy for me, that kind of confidence.  But the heart wants what the heart wants, I guess. 

Video is a very-NSFW commercial for a bath cream from Thailand.  

Filed under Commercials. Project Diary. Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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Went looking to see if anyone was talking about something relating to comic books on twitter; found these tweets instead. So yeah, I’d say so far my favorite news from Comicon so far is whatever the heck this is.  ”Why was my business competitor not sufficiently respectful towards me?  Why can’t comics just be creator-enjoyed?"  Also: who taught comic book people the word "diatribe" and can someone go back in a time machine and slap them in the face, with the back of their hand?  Not me— I’m too weak; I literally got a bad cramp hugging someone the other day.  I yelled out in pain because of the physical exertion caused by hugging. I’m falling apart both physically and emotionally.  But someone else.  Time Machine Ownership a plus.  

Went looking to see if anyone was talking about something relating to comic books on twitter; found these tweets instead. So yeah, I’d say so far my favorite news from Comicon so far is whatever the heck this is.  ”Why was my business competitor not sufficiently respectful towards me?  Why can’t comics just be creator-enjoyed?"  Also: who taught comic book people the word "diatribe" and can someone go back in a time machine and slap them in the face, with the back of their hand?  Not me— I’m too weak; I literally got a bad cramp hugging someone the other day.  I yelled out in pain because of the physical exertion caused by hugging. I’m falling apart both physically and emotionally.  But someone else.  Time Machine Ownership a plus.  

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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comicsalliance:

DARK HORSE PUSHES 12 CREATOR-OWNED SERIES FOR SDCC, INCLUDING ‘FIGHT CLUB 2′, ‘LADY KILLER’, AND ‘HELLBOY AND THE B.P.R.D.’
By Andrew Wheeler
Over the last twelve days, Dark Horse has thrown a spotlight on twelve new creator-owned titles that they plan to promote at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. The series include the Fight Club sequel from Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart
READ MORE

How much of the Fight Club sequel is Cameron Stewart going to own?  

comicsalliance:

DARK HORSE PUSHES 12 CREATOR-OWNED SERIES FOR SDCC, INCLUDING ‘FIGHT CLUB 2′, ‘LADY KILLER’, AND ‘HELLBOY AND THE B.P.R.D.’

By Andrew Wheeler

Over the last twelve days, Dark Horse has thrown a spotlight on twelve new creator-owned titles that they plan to promote at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. The series include the Fight Club sequel from Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart

READ MORE

How much of the Fight Club sequel is Cameron Stewart going to own?  

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?